Marketing is an industry that has exploded in a million directions. From print advertisements grew blogging and content marketing. From radio, we saw the advent of podcasts. Television spawned the rise of video marketing on social media. And on and on and on.
For businesses with limited budgets, this is a daunting reality. Which medium do you choose? It can be tempting to pick one platform in order to optimize your investments.
That’s a mistake, as you end up limiting how your audience engages with and views your brand. Sure, having one core competency is good, but you also need to create enough variety that you’ll keep your current customers interested and your prospective customers intrigued.
Common Misconceptions About Content Diversification
When you resolve to spread your messaging across multiple platforms, you’ll have to avoid a few faulty beliefs that exist, such as:
1. If you build it, they will come.
You could create the most engaging podcast on the market, but if your audience doesn’t have the time to listen to it, you’ve wasted time and money.
Instead, start with your audience. How do they consume media? What types of media draw them in? Do they prefer different types of information (promotional versus educational) in different formats? The answers to these questions will help you build a media strategy that fits easily into your audience’s lifestyle.
“The overall way that people want to consume content has changed significantly,” says Jeff Wedren, associate vice president of global marketing at PowerObjects. “People are busy. They don’t want to spend the time necessarily doing a ton of research, but if you can provide something upfront that gives them a glimpse that’s a little more human, it can go a long way.”
2. If you don’t go all in, it isn’t worth it.
Videos and podcasts aren’t impactful because of the sound quality or the ultra HD camera. They’re impactful because they connect your audience with a person who tells a story they’ll remember. Even the most technically advanced equipment can’t compete with a brilliantly told story.
“The capacity to produce quality video in this day and age is so easy,” says Wedren. “The actual shooting and editing of it is not that difficult. You just need to make sure it’s a cohesive story.”
3. If it works for one channel, it will work for all of them.
Much like knowing your audience, you also need to have a deep understanding of the channels you’re using to push out this content. Video works great for social media and other lead-generation channels, but it may not be the best mode for in-depth, technical content pieces for the end of your sales funnel.
“You need to really understand the audience,” Wedren advises. “If we’re really going after the small to midsize markets, that content and what we’re going to provide will be different than what we’re aiming at the enterprise.”
The one thing you can count on in marketing is that things will always change. Facebook and Google will always modify their algorithms and come out with new features. When you juggle different media types, you always need to be aware of these adaptations and test your content to make sure it continues to engage your audience.
Nontraditional Media Types to Consider
People want to consume content in a different way. Everyone is busy. Consumers don’t want to spend time doing a ton of research, so if you can provide something upfront that gives them a glimpse that’s a little more human, it can go a long way. Here are a few ideas for content diversification:
1. Free trials
Nothing will ever beat giving your customers the ability to try before they buy. It is the easiest way for them to guarantee that your product or service will make an impact on their overall business goals. Bonus: It saves you and your sales team time and energy, as you won’t have to spend so much time aggressively selling.
It’s so easy to create a diversified portfolio of video content. You can have 15-second videos that show your value proposition for social media or 30-minute case studies that put a face to the changes you claim your product made. It’s also highly successful: Ninety percent of users claim that video helped them make purchasing decisions, according to HubSpot.
Audio content hasn’t changed much over the years. Long-form audio content is typically educational in nature, and it helps brands and individuals establish themselves as an industry thought leaders. Its 25 percent higher conversion rate (over traditional blogging) speaks for itself.
Implementing new media types can seem daunting and, at times, a bit risky. But the right content at the right time and in the right format has the power to drastically reshape the way your customers see your brand — for the better.