Content marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. There are a litany of useful platforms that you can take advantage of when promoting your product, offer, or service.
It is to be expected along your content marketing journey to find that you are more comfortable and willing to use certain content marketing channels over others. And weighing the inherent benefits and disadvantages of certain content marketing platforms over others can benefit your business in different ways.
The more familiar and settled in with these platforms that you become, you will be able to pick and choose which ones you feel are sustainable and make the most positive impact for your business.
As a marketer who has used ALL of the content marketing platforms that I’ll explain today (Blogging, Video, Podcast, and Images) I’ll explain which are useful for your specific business branding needs, and which are NOT.
What Are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
The following are a few of the largest benefits of content marketing over other marketing channels. You can take advantage of these benefits by starting your content creation today!
1. Greater On-Site Content
The more content that exists on your site, the greater the chance that people stay longer than they otherwise would, which can translate into more exposure for your offer or credibility for your services.
This also affects trust. The more content you have, the more you are seen as a consistent and trustworthy name in the industry. All of which leads to higher conversion rates among consumers.
2. SEO Benefits
SEO is to pull marketing what SEM is to push marketing. put simply, SEO is your ability to be organically “searchable” in a search engine. The more content that you feature on your site, the greater the chance that your site (and consequently, your offer) is stumbled upon by somebody browsing the web for similar keywords.
Creating more pages of information on your website is a great way to boost the natural outreach your site can obtain by working on the “numbers game” side of the marketing equation.
3. Compounded Value
As we know, compounding is the single best way to get great returns on an investment, and content marketing is no stranger to benefitting from compounded value.
Unlike many other marketing channels, content marketing costs nothing but your time. Although creating content is time-consuming in the end, gaining traffic in a compounded fashion (and consequently sales as well) is a great way to make the time you might otherwise spend on increasing your brand’s reputation, driving traffic, or leveraging domain authority, work for you.
4. Referral Traffic
Referral traffic occurs when other authoritative domain names link back to a piece of content that you produce and you rightfully earn what’s appropriately called a “backlink.”
Backlinks are incredibly valuable when it comes to search engine ranking and SEO because it directly affects the credibility of your site as seen by the search engines themselves. High-cred sites are seen as industry leaders, experts, and thought-leaders, thus making them rank higher in google and giving your SEO a boost for little cost.
To heighten the chance that your site receives backlinks, be sure to post high-quality and expert content that others are sure to link to!
5. Brand Reputation
As more and more people stumble across the material that you provide, they will be forming an opinion about you and your brand. This opinion may be the “maker or breaker” of a potential sale or opinion that they form around your brand reputation.
Along with your backlinks, the more that these people see your content posted and shared around social media, the more they will begin to see you as a credible and reliable source of relevant information to your industry.
These are just a few of the many benefits of content marketing, some other inherent benefits include:
1. Greater social media outreach.
2. Content sharing, making a single piece of content transform into multiple media channels.
3. Increased consumer/content relationships.
4. Industry Utility: Every industry can create content.
5. Decreased Marketing Costs
Types of Content Marketing Channels
Now, let’s begin to explore the various channels you can utilize to offer content marketing, and the benefits and disadvantages of each.
Blogging is the original master of online content marketing. It used to be that every person (and their mother) had a blog when blogging first hit the mainstream and became commercially available for anybody with some basic tech-sense.
Nowadays, you don’t even need tech-sense to code and create a blog, as many online companies will take care of the formatting and posting for you! (i.e. WordPress, etc.)
Blogs can be formal, informal, conversational, fiction, non-fiction, or anything else under the sun. Essentially, if you can write about it, you can blog about it.
It used to be that blogs were link-ridden personal journals of day-to-day events. This is no longer the case (thank goodness). Nowadays, blogs are most often used as tools for businesses to share updates, news, and other media with their audience to offer tips and uses for products or services.
People enjoy blogging for simplicity and conversational engagement factors. Blogs often allow businesses to engage with consumers and markets in a more direct and purposeful way.
Blogs directly benefit an organization’s outreach efforts in the following ways:
1. Greater Search Engine Traffic
2. Shareable Media
4. Establishes Industry Thought-Leadership
5. Grows a Community
7. Manages Your Reputation
8. Outlet For Connecting With Other Brands
9. Builds Trust in Your Audience
10. Adds Personality
Blogs are best conducted with the compounding theory in mind. That is to say, creating a blog will likely not immediately give you a boost in traffic or sales, it is time-consuming and requires lots of ongoing effort and attention before you begin to see great returns.
Podcasts and Videos
Podcasts and/or Videos can be excellent tools to increase the engagement factor over blogs and basic written articles. In fact, most brands are making the transition from written media to recorded audio and visual media. This is because audio and visual media is renowned for increasing engagement and creating a community among viewers.
There is a reason why Youtube has become the world’s second-largest search engine (after Google). Lots of people are taking advantage of creating a youtube channel or on-site podcast to increase consumer engagement, trust, and searchability on video-based search engines.
It is likely that a brand that has established both a written and video-based presence will increase outreach and gain more consumers than a brand that has only one or the other. In other words, ensure that people can find you on ALL media channels if you want to make the most use of your content marketing efforts.
What’s The Difference Between Podcasts and Videos?
Podcasts are generally audio-only, videos (often) contain both video and audio, but don’t HAVE to contain audio. In other words, if you can see the content on a screen alongside audio, it’s video.
Podcasts are generally longer than video content, this is because video content can get quite boring if the people on screen are only talking in a static and unchanging environment. If that was the case, it might as well have been a podcast.
Videos are great for creating dynamic and informative content for your brand. It’s best to use video when you legitimately have something to show your viewers as opposed to only telling them.
Let’s dive into podcasts and their benefits/disadvantages!
The benefit that podcasting has over video is that it doesn’t necessarily need to include any pricey equipment to create a high-quality podcast. Video, on the other hand, requires greater amounts of audio knowledge, set-up, and quality camera gear/editing before high-quality content can be produced.
Podcasts, generally, only require a microphone. Of which, a high-quality microphone that will be suitable for podcasting can cost as little as $25.
A camera that is suitable for corporation-grade videos on the other hand will cost upwards of $500 alone.
The other benefit of podcasts is that they can be produced in mass and relatively quickly when compared to their video brethren. This is because podcasts don’t require the fit and polish that making an engaging video requires in the editing process.
1. Requires Less Setup
2. Requires Less Initial Investment
3. Can Be Mass Produced
Disadvantages of Podcasts:
1. Requires Pre-Existing Listener Base to be Immediately Successful
2. Less Engaging Than Video
3. Often Requires Specialized Hosting Formats.
Consider the following questions to determine if a podcast is right for your business.
1. Does your product or service NEED to be demonstrated? If not, a podcast may be a good choice.
2. Do you have very little investment capital for content marketing? If so, a podcast may be a better immediate choice.
3. Do you have a curious consumer base? If so, a podcast can benefit you.
4. Can you handle the technicalities of Podcasting? (creating regular content, uploading consistently, audio editing).
5. Where are you going to host your podcast? (Youtube, Apple Music, Your Website, etc.)
Considering the questions above, you can decide whether you want to invest in a podcast! Remember, the investment needed to purchase a microphone and basic audio editing equipment is not mutually exclusive to podcasts! They can be utilized with video also if you were to decide to invest in a camera down the line!
Videos are often like podcasts with the added visual element, sound obvious. But, what is much less obvious is the fact that videos are highly consumable, greatly searched, and more engaging than most other forms of content because it appeals to a COMBINATION of our senses as opposed to visual (blogs) or audio (podcasts) alone.
Video creation, however, is much more difficult than creating a blog or podcast. This is not only because of the greater immediate investment in equipment but also due to the amount of editing, both audio and visual, that goes into creating engaging and exciting content that catches the attention of consumers.
Although many people will say that you can begin creating video content on your cell-phone (and while this is true) it may not be appropriate or convey the reputation that you want to as a corporation or professional business in terms of quality.
That being said, never let a budget stop you. If you can’t afford a high-grade setup, your cell phone will work just fine to get you started and help you build.
There are a variety of ways to create video content that others find engaging. Here are just a few of the options:
1. Interview Industry Experts: (hidden benefit: can be translated into podcasts or blog articles)
2. Vlog About Your Business!
3. Video Q and A’s!: (hidden benefit: your consumers will get to know you better)
4. Create Product/Service Demonstrations
5. Use video to Leverage PR
All of these can be used to increase the engagement and outreach of your brand, and all of which are open and free to transform based on different ideas and subjects of discussion!
Everyone knows what Instagram is nowadays, it’s one of the largest and most frequented picture-sharing social media sites there is. Sharing images can be a great way to share your brand’s story in an inexpensive way to increase outreach, whether you use Instagram or not.
Images can be shared on blog posts, in videos, on your website directly, and through social media channels to give quick tidbits of information to your consumer base.
People’s eyes are naturally drawn to images (part of what makes videos so engaging) and images are a great way to break up text and free the eye from strain or boredom.
Using images for online content is inexpensive because our smartphone cameras are better at taking high-quality photos than they are at recording videos. Therefore, a cell phone is really all you need when taking good quality photos of your product, service, or whatever other content you need to make an impact.
Images also add to your website’s SEO because you can add keywords to relevant articles with the featured images. Meaning that people who search for google images with similar keywords will stumble across your image which will inherently be linked back to your website.
You can utilize images in more creative ways on social media as well, inviting people to create captions, creating twitter or Reddit discussions, and build a community over various marketing channels.
The benefits of images are:
1. Natural additives to various other content marketing channels (OR stand-alone content for discussion)
2. Breaks up text.
3. Inexpensive to produce.
4. Takes very little time to produce.
5. Easily transferrable among content marketing channels.
6. Creates good Outreach.
7. Useful for on-site SEO.
Images should naturally be used alongside your other marketing channels. This is because they are quick, inexpensive, and do wonders for your SEO and eye-catching articles. They immediately increase the perceived quality of online content. There is no reason NOT to include images.
The only downside of producing good image content is the legality of images. It’s not as simple as googling a certain image and using whichever one you want, there are often legal implications of using stock images or images that belong to other authors.
Occasionally, you may have to contact the author or marketer for use of their images, but creating some of your own should give you no issues. here are some of the restrictive rights on images and what they mean.
1. All Rights Reserved: You cannot use the photo unless you contact the author, and often embed attribution as well. You may also need to pay a fee.
2. Some Rights Reserved: The agreement between you and the photographer may not be as formal or strict, but there are some general limitations or attributions put in place by the author or photographer.
3. No Derivative Works: You cannot take the image and alter it in any way or claim it as your own.
4. Creative Commons: Generally a photo is free to use (or adjust) without fee, as long as you follow any listed guidelines.
So, there you have it! We’ve covered all of the main players in terms of content marketing and the various channels for content creation.
Whichever channels you use should match your overall goals and vision you have for your organization. If you are an expert source of material and ground-breaking discovery in your industry, then you may want to consider implementing a form of ALL of these marketing channels the way that some major online influencers do such as Forbes.com or Inc.com!
Whichever content marketing channels you choose to use, take a look at some relevant industry channels to determine some best practices and emulate their content structures so that you can lower your learning curve on creating great content!
Hope I helped, and if you need more help with your marketing, don’t be afraid to book a free appointment with me by clicking HERE! It takes 5 minutes at most.
Thanks for reading!
Work With Austin
-Austin Denison is a management consultant and coach from Southern California and founder/CEO of Denison Success Systems LLC. He is the author of The Essential Change Management Guidebook: Master The Art of Organizational Change as well as The Potential Dichotomy: The Philosophy of a Fulfilling Life.