Content marketing has become the backbone of every worthwhile B2C and B2B marketing strategy.
The short explanation for that is that no other form of marketing allows a brand to deliver such high value information at the same speed and scale. After all, you can’t converse with your audience or dish out advice through a banner ad.
Choosing the Right Channels
As you piece together your content strategy, you’ll need to think about which channels will be the best match for your content. Your company blog is the most obvious avenue, but when the world’s attention is already squarely focused on mammoth apps and online communities, branching out to other channels also makes a lot of sense.
So the only real question is: Which channels are best suited to your brand?
In this three-part series, we’ll be taking a look at the biggest and best content marketing channels in three categories:
- Social media content marketing
- Audio and visual content marketing
- Online community content marketing
Based on your overall content marketing goals, you’ll be able to choose which channels on these lists represent the best strategic fits, based on the nature of your content, your target audience, your strategy and your budget.
Social Media Content Marketing Channels
The social media landscape makes up a gigantic slice of the world wide web’s traffic today, so being active on social media isn’t a choice for a brand that wants to be successful, it’s a necessity.
As for choosing the right social media channels to focus on, the list below should help:
With over 1.9 billion active users, Facebook needs very little introduction. It’s the most popular social network, largely because it gives great content a solid chance of going viral, be it organically or through advertising.
The most common ways to execute your Facebook content marketing efforts are through:
- Facebook Pages: The most commonly trodden path for marketers on Facebook are good old fashioned business pages
- Facebook Instant Articles: Blogging and text in general are still the main drivers of content marketing. The bottom line is, people like to read. Hence, using Facebook Instant Articles to publish short articles similar to those that might be found on Medium or LinkedIn Pulse is a great way to build a Facebook following
- Facebook Groups: Facebook users set up groups to discuss ideas, movements, hobbies, brands and everything in between. Find a group relevant to your niche, join it and then (tastefully) use your content to add value to the conversations
- Facebook Ads: To promote your content further on Facebook, consider boosting the posts on your Facebook page or checking out the Facebook Ad Manager
Emirates Airlines does a commendable job of content marketing on Facebook, with regular images, contests and interaction in the comments sections.
Here's how to get started with Facebook content marketing.
Twitter has 400 million monthly active users and is widely considered an influential platform when it comes to entertainment, politics, social commentary and, of course, business.
Tweeting out useful content, images, videos and occasionally links to your website with the right hashtags is a good way to kickstart your Twitter content marketing project. Wendy’s has maintained a solid Twitter presence with regular banter, customer interactions, great imagery and useful content.
You can also try:
- Twitter Direct Messages: The power of direct messaging is underestimated, particularly in B2B situations
- Twitter Moments: If you're posting a series of tweets, perhaps because you’re live-tweeting an event, you may wish to create a Twitter Moment, which is essentially an easy-to-digest slideshow of tweets you select
- Twitter Ads: To get your content in front of more people, you can craft a Twitter Ad to funnel people towards your Twitter profile or website
Here's how to get started with Twitter content marketing.
With 600 million monthly active users, Facebook’s adopted child Instagram is the place to be if you have visual content to share. You can publish images, slideshows, collages and video content up to one minute long. Just like with Twitter, hashtags are key to getting your content seen by more users.
Digital agency Salted Stone has found its way on Instagram with creative photography and behind-the-scenes snaps.
Further ways to push your content through Instagram include:
- Instagram Direct Messaging: Similar to Twitter direct messaging, you can reach out to your audience on an individual basis in order to provide added value. Ideal for B2B content marketers
- Promoted Content: Instagram allows you to sponsor specific posts, helping you reach a broader audience
Get started with Instagram content marketing.
Snapchat's unique position in the market makes it well worth experimentation. It boasts 300 million monthly active users and is popular among millennials.
Because a Snapchat story is essentially a vlog that automatically self-destructs in 24 hours, Snapchat is great if your brand has an evolving or serialized story to tell. It’s also ideal for event content marketing, as you can document entire events from start to finish and encourage your attendees to do the same with geofilters that are exclusive to your event’s location.
Here are the best ways to leverage Snapchat as a content marketer:
- Geofilters: Snapchat geofilters are ideal for local businesses and event marketing because they let you offer free branded filters to users in a specified location
- Snapchat Ads: Snapchat has a self-service ad platform that allows your video content to show up after Snapchat stories end
- Sponsored Filters: Large brands often sponsor a Snapchat filter in order to promote a product or event
Online magazine Bustle uses Snapchat to re-purpose its website content and to expose some of its behind-the-scenes operations.
Get started with Snapchat content marketing.
Pinterest is yet another visual social network. The focus is entirely on imagery, so users go to extra lengths to beautify their photography in order to gain maximum Repins.
Begin by setting up a few Pinterest Boards, with each one focusing on a particular topic. Online foodie magazine Relish have built a solid Pinterest following by pinning high quality images of food, along with recipes.
Here's how to get started with Pinterest content marketing.
Out of all the social networks on this list, LinkedIn is the one most likely to host a black tie event. It’s for business-related interactions first and foremost, making it an excellent hunting ground for B2B content marketers.
Other than just publishing quotes and content via your LinkedIn profile or business page, here’s how to best leverage the marketing power of LinkedIn:
- LinkedIn Pulse Articles: LinkedIn allows you to publish fully fledged articles within their ecosystem. Ideal for sharing opinions and announcing news
- LinkedIn Groups: Similar to Facebook Groups, you can join LinkedIn groups relevant to your niche and get involved in the conversations
- LinkedIn Ads: Like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, you can help yourself to LinkedIn’s ad manager to spread your brand’s message further
Serial entrepreneur James Caan sets a good example on LinkedIn, leveraging his regular LinkedIn Pulse articles to help cement his status as a LinkedIn influencer.
Here's how to get started with LinkedIn content marketing.
Tumblr is rarely high on a content marketer’s list of priorities, and it’s difficult to understand why that would be. After all, Tumblr hosts over 334 million blogs, with bloggers publishing around 1 billion Tumblr posts per month.
Images and GIFs are dominant on Tumblr, and much like on Twitter, Tumblr’s user base appreciates creativity and humor. Netflix builds its following on Tumblr by sharing fan-created art related to its programming.
Get started with Tumblr content marketing.
That’s right, WhatsApp isn’t just a place to chat with friends and family — it’s a channel content marketers should be taking very seriously. With 1.2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp has become a popular news source in a number of countries.
Other than the obvious route of deploying chatbots for giveaways, customer support and engagement, content marketers can leverage WhatsApp in a number of creative ways.
For example, mayonnaise manufacturer Hellmann’s conducted a novel WhatsApp campaign in Brazil. Hellmann's invited its audience to send in photos of the contents of their refrigerator via WhatsApp so that chefs could offer tips and advice on what to make with the ingredients shown in the pictures.
Here’s how to get started with WhatsApp.
Your brand’s presence on social media is non-negotiable if you want prolonged attention from your current and potential customers. The list above should help you select the handful of social networks that represent the best fit for your content marketing energy.
In part two of this series, we’ll be looking at audio and visual content marketing channels.