It’s 2017. And what that means is that there’s no excuse for bad content. Gone are the days when you could publish fluff listicles with vaguely related stock photos and expect to drive great traffic. The modern content marketer is (I hope) a little savvier, a little more sophisticated. Part of this is a having broad spectrum of appeal—if you’re hosting a party, chances are you want to have more than just one thing on tap to offer your guests. The same applies with content. Written stuff is great, but it’s only one way to reach your segments. What about video? What about podcasts? The possibilities for great, different content are nearly limitless right now. It’s just a matter of adjusting perspective. Let’s talk about four ways a business can easily diversify its content strategy.
1. Change up your formats
One of the most annoying things about content creation is that it’s easy to get tunnel vision and keep doing the same old comfortable thing. In the early stages, it’s useful to stay focused. Chances are, a marketing team in its younger stages is still learning the basics of content creation, and so it’s valuable to stick with one thing until it learns how to do it with excellence. But this mindset ultimately needs to be outgrown.
Great content strategies thrive on dynamism. What attracts users, along with your stuff being great, is having a wide variety of things to choose from. In the question of podcast or video or blog post, the answer should simply be: yes. Everybody likes to have options, and your users are no different. Let them choose their favorite way to engage with your brand.
2. Lean on visual
That being said, there is one tactic that is pretty well proven by this point to be especially effective. For example, a recent study showed that if a person hears a piece of information, he or she will only remember 10 percent of it three days later. However, if a picture is added, 65 percent of it will be remembered. This means that visual aids are not simply flashy and appealing, but they actually help our brains retain information.
Content strategists can’t afford to forget that. Spice up boring text with an infographic and all of sudden, something bland has become something shareable and engaging. But again, this needs to be thoughtful and not just soulless stock images of people fake-smiling next to a desk—make it count.
3. Find new niches of appeal
Every good content strategist needs to be thoughtful about his or her audience. And really, this should be plural: audiences, not audience. Strategists should think about how their content can reach not just their most natural audiences, but other customer segments as well. The internet has splintered traditional broad demographics. If you run a fitness blog, you’re not thinking about your content simply reaching fitness nuts, you’re thinking about reaching specific segments like people into weightlifting shoes.
Think along these specific lines and see whether that old post that you liked but never found its audience could be repurposed to reach a more definite demographic. It may just be a matter of rewriting the title and a few key paragraphs.
4. Dig deeper on social media
Like I said before, it’s 2017. If your business is not on Facebook and Twitter yet, I don’t know what to tell you. For the rest of us, I want to leave you with the thought that it might be worthwhile to explore other, less ubiquitous platforms that still have a significant user base that your content can reach. As just one example, Qzone, a Chinese social media platform, has 638 million users. But when was the last time you read an article about content strategy on it?
Spread out onto platforms that are less saturated by competition, and you may find the rewards far outweigh the hassle of being a frontiersman.
Image by Digflavio