Content marketing is a strategic approach to creating and distributing content that is valuable, relevant, and engaging; the goal is to attract new customers and retain existing ones, usually with the aid of carefully-crafted buyer personas or clearly-defined target audiences.
In other words, there’s quite a bit more to it than just posting the occasional blog or sharing your thoughts on Twitter. A robust content marketing strategy requires you to identify the audience you’re trying to reach, the types of content that will resonate, and the content distribution channels that will prove most lucrative.
For today, we want to focus on this last point: Where should you be investing your content resources to make the biggest impact in 2021? There’s not necessarily an easy answer to this question; really, it depends on the audience you’re trying to reach. With that said, there are a few content distribution channels that we could identify as highly valuable across the board.
Where to Share Content in 2021
Video has been growing in prominence for years now, with YouTube serving as the most popular video platform in the world. (It’s also, behind Google, the second most-used Internet search engine.)
And during the pandemic, YouTube has only gained importance, providing quarantined users with a steady stream of information and entertainment while furnishing marketers with a decent substitute for face-to-face communication.
We recommend YouTube for a number of reasons, starting with these:
- It’s an easy, intuitive, convenient place to upload and store video content.
- Because YouTube is owned by Google, the videos you upload can be optimized for maximum visibility on the search engine results page (SERP).
- YouTube is one of the primary places people go when they want to search for specific kinds of info, including “how to” tutorials, product unboxings, and more.
The bottom line: YouTube should be a centerpiece to any content marketing strategy.
2) Live video
A lot of marketers have wrapped their heads around YouTube… but streaming live video content? That may seem a little more intimidating.
And yet, close to half of all marketers say they value live video, as it allows them to connect with their audience in a direct, real-time setting.
There are a number of specific forums you can choose for live video content. The two most popular are Facebook Live and Instagram Live, though you might also try live streaming on YouTube.
As for how to use your live video streams, opt for something that’s interactive and personal: A webinar, a Q&A, an interview, or simply a quick update on your business’ products and services.
For a long time, “content marketing” and “blogging” felt like synonymous terms. That’s obviously a reductive view, but it doesn’t change the fact that blogging has always been central to smart, strategic content marketing.
At enCOMPASS, we generally recommend that our clients have blogs, for numerous reasons:
- Comprehensive, informative written content can be great for SEO.
- A blog can serve as a central hub for all your other content marketing endeavors (for example, you can post your videos and other content there).
- You can also use your blog to fuel other content endeavors, for example, by repurposing blog content for an email newsletter.
Blogging remains a valuable form of content marketing, and one that we heartily recommend.
We’re also big believers in email marketing, which continues to be one of the best ways to engage your clients and customers directly. In terms of ROI, email marketing is tough to beat.
There are a number of ways to use email effectively: A regular newsletter, company updates, sales emails, and more. Just keep in mind that, to get the kind of results you want, you’ll need to think strategically about how you segment your email list, what kind of content you share, how often you send emails, and even how you time those emails.
With that said, email marketing is something we recommend to all our clients. There’s simply no better way to keep the lines of communication open between you and the customers you serve.
Audio content, like video content, has risen in popularity during the pandemic, with more and more of us stuck at home and seeking diversions wherever we can find them.
A well-done podcast can help you exhibit thought leadership, increase brand awareness, and potentially even drive people to your website.
As for what to podcast about, just focus on your areas of expertise: Talk about your industry, the latest happenings at your business, or whatever you’re passionate about. Remember what Michael Hyatt said, “"Marketing is really just about sharing your passion.”
Choosing the Right Channels for 2021
One of the most important parts of content marketing is choosing the right platform… and clearly, there are a lot to choose from. If you’d like to talk further about individualized strategies for your brand, reach out to the enCOMPASS team any time.
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