Content marketing is a very effective way to market your brand, business or organization's products and services in a way that is engaging, relevant and welcome. The idea is to offer people bits of content that are informative, entertaining, useful and have pass-along value. You offer them something valuable in exchange for time spent with your brand with the expectation that they will share your content with others of similar interests. Start thinking of absolutely everything you or your company puts online as content, from quick tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn status updates, photos and blog posts to SlideShare presentations, press releases, podcasts and of course videos. Define your audience, create your content and institute a smart social media marketing strategy for long term distribution, interaction and engagement.
Video Content Marketing
Video is the crown jewel of content marketing because people can both see and hear your message and they can be moved and called to action in ways rarely possible with other forms of content. Essentially, video is all of the other forms of content rolled into one.
Video content marketing involves centering your content marketing strategy around video(s) and using social media marketing approaches to support and promote the video content. Since video offers sight, sound and emotion, the medium is the most engaging way to share your message and can be embedded in blog posts, shared on YouTube and faceBook, tweeted on Twitter, updated on LinkedIn, emailed and shared in about a bazillion other ways.
The best way to maximize engagement, spread and conversion through video and other forms of content marketing is to let your content be your message. If your content is informative, entertaining or useful and your content is your message, then your message will be informative, entertaining or useful. This doesn't mean cramming your message into the content or simply placing your product in the content but rather seamlessly integrating the look, feel and flavor of the video with your message even if that means going very light on the branding and heavy on the value of the content. If executed properly, your message will be revealed through user generated conversation outside of the content along blogs, discussion boards and even mainstream media channels. Types of effective video content include funny viral videos, branded entertainment, webisodes, feel good videos, cause driven videos and even video ads provided they are uniquely entertaining.
Integrate And/Or Multi-Purpose Your Content
A very effective strategy is to integrate the same bit of content or versions of the same content across multiple delivery channels. For example, we are currently working with video game publisher THQ on the release of their new game title Truth or Lies.
We developed the game trailer and web series based on game questions using live action to show the excitement of the user experience while playing the game. This and similar versions of the video are being used to promote a contest in which viewers can win a trip to Hollywood to star in new episodes of the web series. The contest and videos are being promoted across the brand's Facebook, Twitter and Youtube channels and on the Truth or Lies website. The long-term value of such an approach is that the same content is being used in multiple ways and will live on the web for months to come, attracting more and more attention as viewers share and conversation builds. Relevant game blogs and publications are encouraged to pick up the story and thus the message spreads. All of this targeted activity will result in brand awareness and product sales both online and at brick and mortar video game retailers.
Another example of multipurposing your content would be to create informative blog posts, targeted at your ideal demographic, that can be converted to SlideShare presentations and a YouTube videos (slides with music video blogs). Embed the SlideShares and videos on your LinkedIn and Facebook as well as on your blog post. Post links to the various versions of the content on Twitter and on your Facebook and LinkedIn status. You get the idea. Always think in terms of creating content that can be repurposed to maximize the return on your investment of resources to create the content.
Optimizing Your Content For Search And Sharing
As with any other content, video must be search engine optimized to include a captivating and searchable title, keyword rich description and appropriate tags plus Youtube captioning but don't forget to optimize for sharing as well. Sharing optimization includes being aware of how you want your content to be shared and making the sharing process very easy and intuitive for your viewers. For videos this could mean using annotations to tell viewers how to share, reminding them to do so and placing share options next to video embeds including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Digg and more. For blog posts, be sure to have share options on each post and share options for the entire blog or website. SlideShare offers multiple optimization and sharing options including tags and works a bit like Youtube.
Tips And Take-Aways
- Decide which types of content you will focus on
- Establish your content marketing goals. What do you want to happen?
- Choose your target audience (demographic)
- Make the content relevant to your audience, engaging, unexpected, memorable, entertaining or informative
- Integrate your content across multiple social media marketing channels
- Allow and encourage your message to be shared and expanded upon across blogs and online publications.
- Optimize your content for search and sharing