Just as the best bars serve a variety of drinks—and have shelves full of crystalware to match—effective content strategies involve different types of content, using each in the right way to do what they do best.
The first two entries in this series talked about the forms content can take, as well as the ways by which it can be accessed and promoted. In this final segment, we’ll take a look at how those can be put together to come up with a content strategy that covers your bases.
Trends in content marketing indicate that text, audio, and video will all remain relevant for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, lively online debates about the ideal post length show that both long-form and short-form content remain popular, as well.
Meanwhile, gated and ungated content each have their own capabilities and limitations. The same holds true for different publishing channels, whether websites, content management systems, or social networks.
Brewed by Experts: The Case of BuzzFeed
For an example of how all these might be observed in practice, we can turn to one of the most prolific online content creators, Buzzfeed; more specifically, we can look at their use of videos.
BuzzFeed generates a huge amount of content in one general format: that of the short-form video. But it does this successfully by varying the subject matter of these videos, as well as the channels for distribution. They create material for categories from technology to beauty to food—a perennial crowd favorite—and publish these to various social media and video-hosting platforms.
Each platform comes with its own considerations. YouTube, for instance, gets them the most views, but Facebook gets them the most engagement. So when Facebook implemented autoplay on videos, they thought long and hard about the crucial first seconds on each video clip.
BuzzFeed’s preferred platforms and formats support a strategy that emphasizes social sharing and engagement. The negligible length of each requires minimal commitment from viewers. It also meshes well with an audience likely to view them in the gaps of a busy schedule—and likely to share them to friends of similar taste. And while each video might spark several dialogs between friends, each is also the focal point of a large, open-ended conversation.
Homebrew: Content Strategy Example
But what does it look like on the conceptualizing end of things? How do you put together the right types of content to emerge with a well-stocked strategy? Let’s consider that with an example.
Say you were starting, or perhaps restarting, a small brand’s content marketing efforts from scratch. You have little by way of liquid resources, but enough manpower to produce regular content. The objective of your campaign is to generate leads.
Since lead generation is your primary goal, you need a platform that can host gated content with lead capture forms. Wordpress fits your purposes, with add-ons used to host the lead capture forms. It fits within the limits of your resources, too, since it’s free. Given Wordpress’s features, you could produce regular articles, mostly short-form with the occasional long-form piece thrown in.
As Wordpress sites mostly stand alone, you have less built-in promotion than you would have on a social platform like Tumblr or Medium. Given that, it would do well to supplement your publishing with promotion and amplification on other social networks.
You could then create a Twitter account, promoting your blogs with 140-character excerpts; and a Facebook account, with blurbs to go along with the preview images—and, when you have more resources at hand, you could create short videos for those blogs, taking advantage of the network’s algorithmic preference for that medium.
Of course, strategies need to stay nimble. Web content is ever-evolving, both in the algorithms that determine its visibility, and in the readers whose tastes dictate trends.
If you’re looking to expand the content on offer in your own marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We’d be glad to discuss what we can help you whip up: