Content Marketing for Profitability
One way to amp up your efficiency is to get more out of each piece of content you produce. This requires attention to two areas of content marketing: adapting content for different formats and promoting your content across multiple channels.
Adapt Content for Multiple Formats
The “adapt or die” imperative isn’t as dire for content marketers as it is for, say, an animal trying to blend into its surroundings. But unless you’re blessed with unlimited resources, you’ll need to think tactically about each piece of content. The content you’ve developed for a blog post, as an example, could also be used in a range of other formats:
- Case studies
- How-to guides
- Webinars / slidedecks
- Interactive assessment tools
Adapting a piece of content to different formats assumes that the content itself will be transformed in some way to fit the new medium. You don't want to just read your blog post into a camera and call it a video.
The adaptation helps reach more of your audience in the ways they prefer. Different segments of your audience may be graphics-focused, while others love video or prefer all the details laid out in text.
To some extent, the content formats you choose to adapt with will depend on the nature of the content itself. Not everything lends itself to a case study or an infographic as readily as you might like, though that doesn’t mean you can’t re-use the content as part of a broader case study or infographic.
As you plan to adapt a particular piece of content, your top consideration should be how to best use the new format’s strengths. You should also think about how any new format might highlight different aspects of your content, and whether that varied focus will help you connect better with different audience segments.
Promoting Content Across Channels
Publishing your content, in whichever form(s), is just the beginning. Once it’s published, it’s time to promote it.
In other words, publishing puts the content in content marketing. Getting the word out is the marketing.
There are, of course, a great many channels to choose from when considering how to promote your content, and you’ll want to select your channels based on two criteria:
- Is this a place where my target audience gathers?
- Is my content appropriate for this channel?
Obviously, there’s no point in using a channel if your target audience isn’t there. No matter how brilliant the content, nor how clever your come-on, you can’t attract what doesn’t exist.
Similarly, there’s no point in using a channel if you’re not using it correctly. And by correctly, I mean by behaving within the expected norms of that channel’s community — in a way that will resonate with the audience.
Some channels to consider are:
- Email newsletter
- Guest blog posts
- PPC advertising
- Event sponsorship
- Direct mail
- Traditional advertising
- Social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
- Quora questions and similar “expert” forums
- YouTube and other video channels
- Slideshare and similar content-sharing platforms
Each of these channels has its own strengths and weaknesses, but they should not be evaluated on those merits alone. You must also consider how well it fits into your overall content marketing plan and, frankly, whether you have the resources to do the channel justice.
Drive ‘Em Back
Whichever channels you choose, your goal will usually be to drive any interest you generate back to your website to create engagement. Engagement leads to conversion, which is the ultimate goal. Be sure your newly adapted content includes a call-to-action to encourage the engagement and conversion you’re after.
Trust Your Data, Not Your Gut
Finally, recognize that in our discussions above, we’ve made some very large assumptions about the appropriateness of various formats and channels. A strong intuition or “obvious” fit is a great place to start, but there’s no excuse for not tracking your results and backing your instincts up with data. Let the data show you what techniques and channels work best for you and your audience.
Remember, the goal is increased efficiency, not just increased activity. Data will let you know whether your activity is reaping the rewards you are aiming for.
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")