Once you’ve committed to digital content marketing, you’ll need to find the best ways to share your content and encourage engagement.
There’s a lot of content out there online already, so you can either battle for space or follow our guide to get your material in front of the eyes of your audience.
It can be tough raft the perfect digital content marketing strategy
One of the ways I succeed is by funnelling content down into seed content and then spreading it across different platforms.
I’ll show you exactly how that works later, but for now, let’s have a look at how I start.
My distribution model begins with conveying a thought, feeling or idea in a long-form medium. This can be in the form of a blog, white-paper, vlog or interview – which will make up the ‘base piece’ of content and be at the core of your digital content marketing strategy.
You may have tried long-form content already and realised that, by itself, you’re actually getting little or no engagement.
We know social media is filled with videos, pics and pieces that make it hard for your content to stand out – even when you pay to push it out further.
So then what’s the best way to connect and share your base content?
Simple, it’s called repurposing.
Just create golden micro-content pieces that originated from your base piece.
These can be cuts from an interview or a line that’s been transformed into an Instagram-style inspirational quote. You can even get creative and make infographics, GIFs and memes.
Once you’ve shared this micro-content, you’ll find it gets more traction and engagement than if you focus on deploying your main piece alone.
The key is to use a content production cycle, so you can identify what your audiences think is relevant and valuable content. This way, you can produce more of what they want.
And that means you’re going to see huge bursts of fresh engagement, increased reach and far better results.
Let’s look at the cycle and how we can find out what audiences like about your content.
The trick of producing great micro-content is to pick out the best bits that you think will resonate with your audience. Then make sure it’s designed for the platform that you’re publishing on.
You’ll be surprised at how many people get this wrong. There’s nothing worse than seeing the same ad across different platforms, with the only change being its dimensions.
Those people are missing out, because doing it this way is just responsive ‘adzy’ design, when it needs to be a true native.
Think about it. Instagram video lengths work best under a minute and Snapchat 15 seconds, so one size doesn’t fit all, especially when you consider variations in graphics and subtitles for videos.
Trust me, if you take the time to create good-fit content, your engagement will rocket.
But remember, your content also needs to be designed so it drives awareness back to your main base-piece.
If you’re hoping for conversion into sales at this point, it’s not impossible, but building relationships with your audience is a better long-term strategy.
So now we’ve talked about the ‘convey, create and share’ stages (through getting your base-piece and generating micro-content), let’s talk about completing the loop.
The first stage of distributing content is about driving viewership and listens. The next part is when you focus on what the community is saying or reacting to.
By listening to them, you can get key insights on the type of content that your audiences want to see and incorporate this into your digital content marketing strategy.
To get more specific, you can ask your community to comment with a timestamp on what they liked. Here’s a comment from a long Q&A session video.
Because the comment is time stamped, you can cut that emotive part of the video and deploy it across channels in a native fit.
(By the way, the more comments a post has on Facebook, then the better it will perform – in terms of reach and how long it stays around for!)
Once you’ve gathered more of your insights, you can create some focused micro-content that you know will resonate with audiences.
Video is a great way of reaching new audiences and keeping your community engaged. Just look at the various dimensions and sizes that can be utilised across social media channels.
Social media algorithms favour putting content that you like in your news feeds so that you keep using their platform. This means if someone watches one of your videos on Facebook, the next piece you publish will be more likely to reach them.
This is why repurposing your content is a great way of maximising brand exposure and driving awareness back to the base content you originally created.
It may look like you’re going to end up producing a month’s worth of content from just one piece, but there’s no doubt that relevant and valuable content is what gets you noticed.
If you want to grow online, and want a stronger brand position (and search engine ranking) in the future, you need to have a digital content marketing plan and a distribution strategy to go with.
Here are the 9 steps we would typically go through to turn a single piece of content into over 30 engaging pieces:
1) Publish a video taken from a vlog or interview
2) Extract the audio and make it into a podcast
3) Identify and create the first round of micro-content pieces
4) Distribute it all, including the base piece, across channels
5) Write supporting articles and guest posts
6) Gather and listen to comments
7) Apply insights and create new micro-content
8) Distribute again, this time your fresh micro-content with even more focus
9) Write more content based around popular themes, adding extra points to make it look fresh
And here’s what this process looks like if we map it out.
Content creation is when you or your business author and share ideas that are valuable to your audience. The great thing about creating content is that it’s yours.
Well-crafted digital content marketing positions you as a thought leader, someone who really understands your industry, with expertise and experiences worth sharing.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t curate content at all. There is real value in showing your audience that you care about keeping them informed about other related things, and that your sole concern isn’t just pushing your own message.
If you respond to breaking news or comment on industry trends, your audience will return time and again to see what you have to say.
Eventually, this brand affiliation will mean that when it’s time to act or buy, you will be at the forefront of their minds.
So, push out meaningful content and break up the best bits to make sure your messages reach the right people.