8/18/2020 0 Comments
Your blog is just one tool in the content marketing toolbox.
Content marketing is an effective way to demonstrate your expertise, expand your influence, and increase your impact. It plays a vital role in your business development efforts and is, in many ways, an extension of your consulting practice. For many consulting practices, a blog is at the heart of their content marketing strategy. But a blog is only one type of content, and other formats are equally well-suited to serving as the foundation of your content marketing strategy.
Five effective alternatives to traditional blogging.
The key to a successful content marketing initiative is to select one core type of content to serve as your foundation. If you find writing a chore, try another medium. And then round-out your strategy with different formats and content types such as white papers, ebooks, infographics, and case studies. Consider these alternatives to traditional blogging:
1. Video continues to grow. According to the 2019 Content Preferences Survey Report by Ceros, 51% of B2B buyers are willing to invest five- to twenty-minutes watching a video about a product or service. It is an engaging medium that does not need to be expensive. A simple video shot with your smartphone that delivers helpful content is more valuable than a highly-produced video designed for an advertising campaign. It allows your audience to get to know, like, and trust you. It is also a powerful way to share client success stories.
2. Podcast listenership is on the rise. PodcastInsights recently reported that 37% of the U.S. population listened to a podcast last month — a five percent increase in listenership from 2019. While the number of listeners has steadily increased, the number of podcasts has exploded. There are more than 1 million podcasts on iTunes. But podcast listeners tend to be loyal, and if you enjoy the medium, it can be a great way to connect with your audience.
3. Webinars position you as the expert. Webinars are an excellent way to generate leads and inform and engage your audience. According to a survey conducted by Ceros, 63% of B2B buyers are willing to spend 20 to 60 minutes watching a webinar. Webinars build trust with your audience, letting them experience what it is like to work with you.
4. Email newsletters are still effective. Your email newsletter list is a valuable asset that gives you access to your audience’s email inbox. This access makes email newsletters an excellent way to distribute your content. They also help you connect with and engage your audience.
5. Curated content brings the best of the web to your audience. Some of the most well-known sites on the web, including the Huffington Post and Brain Pickings, rely on curated content. To be a good curator, you have to know your audience well. You also have to put in the time, energy, and effort to scour the web so you can pick out the very best of the best content. As a curator, your job is to share valuable content with your audience. In that way, you are positioning yourself as an expert and an invaluable resource.
You can build your content marketing program on any of these types of content. Regardless of what type you choose, however, the content should be published on your website. For example, if you have a YouTube channel, embed your videos on your website and add a transcript of the video or show notes. Do the same for your podcasts, webinars, email newsletters, and curated content.
Third-party platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, Medium, and other services are excellent tools for content distribution. But you have little control over how those platforms operate, and policies (and algorithms) change regularly. By publishing your content on your website, online real estate that you own, you maintain control of your content. You can then use that content to invite people to your website where they can get to know more about you and your consulting practice. Finally, by consistently adding content to your website, you show your audience that you are actively engaged in the work you do.
As you refine your content marketing strategy, consider each of these options. Which one is best suited to your skills and resources? Which one will do the best job of meeting the needs of your audience? This week, choose one content format to serve as your foundation. Focus on that format for the rest of 2020, and start thinking of ways you can incorporate other types of content into your strategy next year. In the comments, let us know what type of content you are committing to this year. And if you’d like some help setting a strategy for next year, schedule an exploratory call.