Three skills to master by 2020 Part 2: Producing and distributing great content

Last week, I published the first in a series of articles entitled ‘Three skills to master by 2020’. Thank you to everyone who read, liked, shared, and of course, commented on the post.

This week, I want to follow on from my post about live streaming & broadcasting with some insights into different formats of content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute (a highly recommended site, by the way), content marketing is ‘the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action’. So how can you create and use content to generate new opportunities for your business?

“Content is King”

Every business is sitting on expertise that can be translated into valuable content. Content comes in many forms from the basics of blogging, videos, podcasts, infographics, whitepapers, and much more. The key is figuring out what you have, what you can create, and what you can repurpose. This is an important part of content creation — the ability to recreate and repurpose content. It may have started as an email to someone, but with a bit of work it becomes a PowerPoint, and even a video from the same information.

Let’s take a look at three different formats, and how and why you could use them in your content marketing strategy.

Blogging

Blogging is probably the most well known form of content marketing. Although our attention span for reading continues to dwindle, a well-written blog post is still a great medium for giving value to your audience by sharing your thoughts and useful info with them. Writing a blog was encouraged by most website marketers as a way to keep your website current and to bring traffic to your site. In my view, this is less relevant now and a blog is now more about sharing your views and thoughts as part of building confidence and trust in you and your business, rather than driving website traffic to your website. This is partly why I prefer to upload to platforms such as LinkedIn and Medium.

As with any piece of content, a blog shouldn’t just sit there. Don’t think once it’s written and published, it’s magically going to get exposure. As I’ve highlighted in the title, it’s not just about producing but it’s also about distributing. Share your content on social media multiple times, include it in a relevant email marketing campaign, and repost it on other platforms. In addition, start looking at ways that the content can be repurposed and recreated in other formats. My favourite folks at The Content Marketing Institute have put together a useful guide for distributing content once it’s created, which includes advice from Jay Baer, a content marketing expert that I admire.

Video

In my last post, I demonstrated how important video is for engaging audiences in today’s world. As stated above, the video can include exactly the same info your blog might, but the format will appeal to a different portion of your customers that may not engage with written material. Jay Baer, mentioned above, recently declared ‘Video Is The New Blogging’, and for many businesses, this is true. They have left behind the ‘old-fashioned’ words on a page and opted for video-only content. If your business blogs in the traditional sense and has not yet ventured into the world of video content, I do not believe you should abandon blogging. My view is do both and just repurpose and reuse everything!

Infographics

Creating an infographic is no longer just the domain of media but for anyone now. If your business deals with a lot of data then this is for you. If you can create numbers and figures to illustrate a point then this is a great way to get the message across. We can all create striking visuals now with tools such as Canva, Piktochart and Venngage. Think of something that you can share in this format- even if it is a recent survey of customers and their thoughts.

Whether you are just getting started with producing content and material or you want to improve, I would highly recommended following Joe Pulizzi who is the creator of Content Marketing Institute and also Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. As always, I welcome any feedback and comments below or on Twitter @SafarazAli

Kind regards,

Saf

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Safaraz Ali (Saf)

Author of CannyBites business books,host of Canny Conversations Podcast. Founder of BAME Apprenticeship Awards, UK Social Entreoreneur #diversity #DEI