community garden
Whatever your niche, there's sure to be an online community where you can reach people interested in topics relevant to your business PHOTO: Daniel Funes Fuentes

Humans are communal by nature. We crave interaction, discussion and acceptance — and despite some popular misconceptions — all of that community spirit did carry over into the digital era. It just changed where and how we interact.

Now that we have covered the best social networks for content marketing, as well as the most powerful audio and visual channels, we’re taking a look at the third and final category of our ultimate guide to content marketing channels: online communities.

For the purposes of this article, we're looking at third party online communities to reach your audience as opposed to a community you build and nurture on your own.

Community-Based Content Marketing Channels

When it comes to engaging with communities, you’ll have to offset any links back to your website with plenty of value-packed posts that don’t serve as links away from the community. Otherwise you risk being kicked out with the rest of the spammers.

Wikipedia

Here’s a channel you probably haven't considered. While Wikipedia is closely monitored to keep trolls and spammers at bay, it welcomes genuine and relevant information backed by credible sources.

If you have carried out any studies or have any data to share with your community, you could add to relevant Wikipedia pages and cite your blog or website as a source.

Learn how to start editing Wikipedia pages.

Medium

Medium is a blogging platform with a social twist. It boasted 30 million monthly visitors in 2016, with publishers posting over 7.5 million articles the same year.

You could contact Medium to become become an approved brand, or you could follow the likes of Slack, which adopted Medium as its sole blogging platform, leveraging the power of the existing Medium community in the process.

Kissmetrics shares some good tips on getting started with content marketing on Medium.

Reddit

The self-proclaimed “front page of the internet,” Reddit is home to millions of discussions across a range of topics. Find one (or two) that relate to your industry, and jump into some threads to engage with the community.

Marketing guru Wilson Hung’s study on his own subtle Reddit marketing is often used as a guide by brands looking to engage in Reddit content marketing.

Learn how to use Reddit for content marketing.

Comments Sections

Commenting on popular Facebook posts, blog posts and YouTube videos is another great way to provide value to your audience through content.

By leaving comments on rival or related content producers, you can expand on their content or answer questions posed by other commenters for exposure, brand awareness and website traffic. Marketing podcaster Ryan Hanley uses this tactic to drive traffic to his blog.

Get started with blog comment content marketing.

Quora

If the internet had an official Q&A section, Quora would be it. Anybody can ask any question about pretty much any subject, inviting the community to answer their query. The best answers are voted up to the top of the page, making it a crowdsourced knowledge hub.

The best way to incorporate Quora into your content marketing strategy is to answer questions relevant to your niche. Provide the value, and mention your involvement in the field as an evidence of your expertise. CrazyEgg Founder Neil Patel used this tactic to help grow his business.

Here's how to get started with Quora content marketing.

Niche Forums

Reddit is a great place to find niche community discussions, but you may find more value in joining forums dedicated to your industry.

KnowledgeHub for example, is the perfect niche forum for public service organizations. It’s a global collaboration and discussion board that caters to the world’s governmental bodies, large and small. That might suit your organization, but if not, hunt for something with a similarly narrow focus.

Get started with forum content marketing.

Content Marketing Through the Right Channels

Whether you choose to go the social route, the audio/visual approach, online communities or a combination therein, remember: the goal isn’t to push your content through every available channel (after all, only a select few companies in the world could afford such a mammoth task). Select a handful of channels that are most likely to connect you with large swathes of your target market.

Did we miss any content marketing channels? Share them with us in the comments section below.