Blogging, Pulses, Pins, Instant Articles — the content marketing landscape is constantly sprouting new channels. Long gone are the days of an HTML-based blogger site being your only option — we’ve dissected the best of ‘new media’ to suit your business.
Content Marketing 101
Content marketing (publishing and sharing content to engage current and potential customers) has exploded in the past three years, and is utilised by around 72% of marketers. It’s a great way to massage your audience down the sales funnel, using content to engage and connect. Broadly, the aim of content marketing is to stop trying to interrupt what your customers are interested in, and become what they’re interested in. It’s less about shouting about your brand, and more about producing content as a service for your customer, served how and when they like. Therefore, where you post becomes as important as what you post.
A Blog, without building a blog
Long gone are singular, rigid writing destinations like Blogger and Salon. Today, creative networks such as Medium and Svbtle provide a wider platform for writers to come in and share their thoughts on ANY topic, free for users to discover across web and a very slick mobile app. For the user, these services act like a magazine, with customisable interests and easy to use interfaces. Content is ranked on popularity with an enormous audience waiting to read your content, so long as it’s deemed relevant enough by the all-empowering ‘algorithm’.
The Good: Lifehacker said it best, calling these ‘discovery’ platforms: a destination for users to find genuine value and trust that what they are reading is the best information on the chosen topic. They look great, are easy to use and have been utilised as the platform of choice for companies like Instagram, Asana, and more.
The Bad: These services are great for less regular writers and thought leaders, but offer little in the way of customisation. Despite a notification system, viewers are unlikely to return to your page looking for new content due to the vast volume of new content posted every day.
Recommended for: Not-so-regular writers, thought leaders, and creatives looking for an extremely simple and attractive platform to find a singular, if sporadic audience.
Stay social – native social media platforms
The Good: Instant targeting — your audience engages with you for a reason, and longer-form copy platforms bridge the gap between the visual/short copy briefs of most social posts. LinkedIn Pulse offers a fabulous platform for thought leaders and business experts to speak to a relevant audience, including about 90% of all white-collar workers in Australia. And, if a post strikes gold, it has the potential to send your story into the view of millions of eyeballs across the world.
The Bad: Again, the lack of customisation and audience tracking makes this a great destination for single visits. Also, this kind of publishing is posted by a particular employee, rather than business page, so they’d better have something good to say! Think of it as an op-ed: the only business-focussed opinion pieces that are interesting to read have ‘light and shade’ — nobody wants to read 1,500 words of bland, generic, marketing trope-laden self-promotion. Write about the lessons you’ve learned, give away your IP, and bring something newsworthy to the
Recommended for: Sporadic updates, divisive opinion-editorial, personal reflections and focused long-form copy requirements.
WordPress: build your own blog
Of course, no one is stopping you from building your own blog! If you plan on regularly updating content, have an eye for design, and a little coding knowledge, it’s not difficult to launch your own hub either on its own or as part of a larger business website via plugins.
The Pros: WordPress is simple to use and relatively SEO friendly, with great integration options for creative portfolios or media. It’s highly customisable and can be adapted to virtually any objective. If you plan to publish regularly updated content and a need for strong analytics, this is the platform for you. We love it so much, we built Red Wire on it! 😀
The Cons: Looks aren’t everything — while first impressions count, a pretty site gives your audience no reason to return. Without a content marketing strategy, you can spend many hours building a site that nobody visits. This can be a costly exercise, so unless you’re planning on making the most of it, leave it to the pros.
Recommended for: Big business and/or high-volume content producers, as well as those looking to integrate a blogging solution into an existing website.
4 Minute Read