Creating content for your online properties is arguably one of the most time-consuming aspects of digital marketing. In the past, Internet marketers would make educated guesses about the type of content that we need to create for our businesses for example webpages with text and dome images. But this type of strategy can lead to a hit-and-miss approach and it leads to business owners creating a lot of content that only gets read by a few people.
Online Content is not limited to text even if Search Engines prefer text based content as they can better understand what your page is about. But remember
that visitors of your site do not read on the internet, they scan through your Content. Images, video, podcasts (audio), apps, polls etc are all part of online content and depending of your target customers you might need to create and publish different types of content to get your
message in front of your ideal client.
In order to add value, you need to address directly the challenges that your ideal customer faces. Then you need to create unique, engaging content on a limited marketing budget. A content marketing mix can help you achieve this without breaking the bank.
What Your Content Marketing Mix Should Look Like
According to the experts, a best-in-class marketing mix should consist of:
65% Self-Generated Content (Created By Your Business)
Original content is the content that you create yourself – it’s the content that takes blood, sweat and tears (or at least a bit of dedicated time) to produce. To achieve this, you can enlist your staff members to write blog posts, film videos, repurpose brochures into long-format press releases or write case studies of the projects you completed.
25% Curated Content
While curated content refers to content that was produced by someone else, there is still a level of personalization involved because real people have gone through the process of selecting it to share with your audience. The key to getting content curation right is committing to consistently finding, organizing and sharing high quality and relevant digital content with the right target market.
This is the process of simultaneously publishing your content in a number of newspapers or other online sources.
A marketing mix that consists of different sources of content will not only help you to leverage your resources more efficiently, but it will better engage your target audience because you’re focusing on sharing high value content with them.
Do a Content Audit to See What Type of Content Already Exists
Instead of embarking on a costly exercise of generating new content from the get-go, many marketers can make great strides by taking a step back and conducting a content audit to determine the following:
Find Out What Content Already Exists Within Your Company
There are undoubtedly presentations, proposals, brochures and action plans that can be adapted for content marketing purposes. A lot of great content will already be available within an organization and many times, all you need to do is remove sensitive client information and reword it for your target audience in order to ‘re-launch’ great content to the masses.
Take a Content Inventory and Identify Gaps to Fill
When creating an inventory of content, you will probably find that there’s a lot of information available on a number of products and services, but there are giant gaps when it comes to other products or services that a company offers. Identifying the gaps will give you a good starting point when it comes to what you need to write about.
Replace or Remove Outdated Content
Few people visit their corporate website on a daily basis and they’re usually shocked to see how outdated some of the client-facing information is. A content audit will show you where you need to remove and replace old legacy content.
Improve the Quality of Existing Content
If you’re working with content that’s more than five years old, you might find that it contains good information but the tone, style and focus is just a bit off. Improving on existing content is a good way to stretch your marketing budget (instead of getting completely new content written, you can tweak content that’s already been created in order to make it more effective).
Repurpose Your Content
Case studies can be repurposed into downloadable whitepapers, internal company news can be repurposed into blog posts, PowerPoint presentations can be repurposed into SlideShare presentations and photos from your conferences and functions can be used to populate your Pinterest account.
Find Out Who You Can Team Up With to Curate Additional Content
If your primary business isn’t becoming the “news agency” for your industry, then you can’t spend all your time creating quality content.
Distributing your Content
As many businesses with an online presence you will probably own several web properties: your website, a blog, an eshop, a facebook business page, a Google+ MyBusiness entry, etc....
Decide initial publishing platform you will be using for each type of online content: that could be
- website for products and services
- blog for indepth articles
- YouTube Channel for videos
- picture sharing platform like Pinterest or Instagram for your photos
In most cases you will be able to republish automatically the initial content to your other properties, i.e. a blog post to your facebook page, a Pinterest picture to your website. We call this marketing automation. An indepth article with illustrations (graphs, pictures, etc) can be curated into several facebook or G+ posts, each retweeted, the pictures republished on Pinterest or Instagram, the blogpost shared in pdf through slideshare.
Don't try to do everything at the same time but research well where your target customers are and use these channels as a priority.
This is how a marketing mix can consist of different types of valuable content, without digital marketers spending weeks on creating content from scratch. For more information on understanding different marketing verticals and buyer personas to create a winning content strategy, read Chapter 4 of WSI's book, Digital Minds: 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing.