Alecs is a Client Accounts Manager at Express Writers.
Peanut butter would never be the same without jelly.
In like sense, combined strategies make for a much richer experience.
In your daily life, I’m sure you can come up with at least five things without even thinking too hard about them that work well together. The same goes for content marketing. Some things just function better together and work towards accomplishing an overall goal. The strengths of one particular type of marketing covers the weaknesses of another.
Just like a well-prepared team, using content marketing methods that overlap make for a much better overall experience.
The Power & Synergy of A Content Combination Strategy
Content combination strategy is the plan by which you make these individual content management strategies work as a team.
What the strategy does is figure out which individual strategies cover the most amount of exposure for your target demographic. From there you can develop distribution plans for each of those vehicles of exposure. Thus, if your initial exposure medium was blogging but you saw a need for outreach on social media and print media, then you would incorporate those types of marketing into your overall marketing plan.
Using a content combination strategy allows you to adjust your content to suit. Blogs are great for long-form content but if you operate on social media, for example, those users tend to favor images over long form narrative content. Combining the content you produce and matching it to the relevant medium for distribution allows you to increase your outreach and develop more high quality content that will encourage users to come visit your page.
Understanding Content Synergy Dynamics
Some things just work very well together. Take, for example, email marketing alongside offering a free e-book to readers. Email marketing by itself can be a hit and miss affair. Some users actively avoid ending up on mailing lists. However, when combined with the prospect of a free e-book, email subscriptions soar. People always enjoy the thought of something for nothing and that’s why free e-book marketing tends to net far more email subscriptions than any other type of strategy.
The combination of these strategies sees the utilization of the email address as the object you need to obtain. With an active email address you can add the user to your email list and send them good content and information that they can use to better their lives, interspersing it with offers for products they may be interested in.
In order to ensure that the email is active, you send them a copy of your e-book that they want, opting in to your mailing list to get it. It’s a novel idea that balances the user’s greed with an entry point for marketing to the customer at a later date.
Not all content pairs are as synergistic as that one. Modern methods of social media make it easy for interaction to take place and utilizing it in tandem with a product that a company offers in order to win free merchandise is something many small businesses have adopted. This sees the use of a widespread media outlet and user generated content alongside free marketing in terms of the product being visible on the user’s picture which is then shared and liked in order for them to win the prize.
Extending Effectiveness and Outreach
Most content marketers run blogs. It’s their major source of production and distribution of content. The problem with blogs is that they are usually limited to a particular location in the hierarchy of modern media. Blogs are considered places where people go to share ideas and discuss things at length. On the opposite end of the perception spectrum is social media. Social media serves as the place where people go to interact with their friends and close acquaintances. It’s here that the majority of consumers exist.
The numbers show that worldwide, there are over two billion users on social media. How many of those do you think take time to visit a blog? The answer is quite a lot, depending on it shows up on their feed. Blogs and websites have realized that utilizing social media in tandem with their regular posts can lead to an increase in their popularity and overall positive KPI’s. Social media networks like Facebook make it easy to create pages that are linked officially to blogs so that users can benefit from their massive user base when creating content.
Sometimes, it works the other way around. Some Facebook pages have become so popular that they’ve forced their owners to build blogs around them in order to capitalize on their success. A good example of this is SciBabe on Facebook. Originally a page made to rant against the anti-science point of view of the popular Food Babe page, the owner eventually expanded it into an entire website dedicated to fighting misinformation on social media (a noble pursuit, but ultimately futile).
Research in Multiple Formats: How to Appeal to a Wider Audience
Content marketers already know the power of infographics. They are among the most popular ways of spreading information to people in a single, easy to share image. Infographics themselves sometimes represents a compilation of work from various research outlets. Statistics and facts are gathered and put into cool, flashy graphical representations to make the facts fun to read and easy to internalize for later use. The infographic is the modern successor to an older type of research distribution material, the white paper. Although infographics are the new kid on the block, white papers still have quite a bit of a following.
Older copywriters have told me about the days when they would be tasked with creating white papers that were a couple dozen pages long from information given to them by a particular company. What a white paper is, for those of us who grew up in the digital age, is a report that is written to offer factual information on a product or proposals on an issue. Although there is still a market for white papers, that market has shrunk considerably as more and more people are moving away from traditional printed media. Online white papers do exist, of course, and these are usually given as “free e-books” to people who are interested in a particular topic.
The average layman on social media, however, doesn’t have the time and attention span to find themselves reading a twenty-page report on solar panel efficiency and the impact on the future of renewable energy (for example). However, if you take the same statistics and factoids from the white paper and place it into an infographic that is then posted on social media, you are guaranteed to get the same people to share it, because it’s something they’re interested in. One of the major fallouts of a shorter attention span for consumers is that you have to adapt your methods of communication to stand a chance of getting your message across.
Keyword, Descriptions and e-Commerce
E-Commerce is how most companies are developing their online marketing ability these days because it makes for easier convenience. Stores that operate online don’t need to worry about having specific opening hours or missing out if no one is around to mind the store. They are the true realization of all the good things that the internet promised to business owners. By itself, e-commerce manages to generate quite a lot of extra profit for a company. SingPost, a Singaporean postal service provider, managed to hit 46.6M in profit during the first quarter of 2015 thanks to investments in e-commerce and improved logistics. When combined with keywords, the amount of total profit you’re looking at can be quite large.
Keywords are the backbone of search engine optimization. By knowing what keywords pertain to your business and strategically selecting keywords to focus on, you are much more likely to benefit from searches for a particular product or products.
Keywords can be utilized in product descriptions in order to boost sales from e-commerce based businesses. By utilizing keywords like this, you make any search engine a possible portal to a sale. Consider that consumers conduct over 3.5 billion searches per day on Google along, that should tell you the size of a potential market that you are getting access to.
All that glitters is not gold, however and keyword research can be time consuming and tedious. Some companies exist that are skilled at performing keyword searches for clients at a professional level, so they may be of some help in finding keywords that have a high enough volume with low enough competition to be worthwhile. Trying to do it yourself may be frustrating but it’s definitely worth trying, if only because of the potential for great sales.
Adobe’s Integrated SEO Social Strategy
Adobe is a giant in software, famous for such notable titles as Photoshop and Illustrator, just to name a couple. In a 2012 conference David Lloyd, the software giant’s SEO manager, explained how it used data to inform and improve its impact on social media, its content optimization and strategies surrounding its website. The operation, as is to be expected for a company of this size, is monumental.
Multiple teams of individual explore and sift through incoming data on keywords and URL’s that affect the company. The ones that are most important to the company and its products along with the URL’s of the best performing posts by Adobe themselves are retrieved and sent to their social media department. The teams at the social media center then go about linking and sharing the content that already has substantial conversion numbers, allowing them to leverage their data of reach out to more users across multiple social media channels. But what does all this have to do with SEO?
The keywords are where the SEO-social synergy comes in. By utilizing the keyword research and tying it in to already well-performing content they drive the popularity of that content and the connected keywords through the roof. Adobe utilizes a software suite known as BrightEdge that was able to prove the success of their synergistic content management strategy. A combination of seven tweets managed to drive Adobe’s rank up from twenty eighth to second for the keyword phrase “social analytics”. Lloyd maintains that for something like this to happen, it requires a lot of product awareness and good business skills.
Above All Else, Have a Plan
Seeing how content strategies work together in tandem to create a powerful marketing system that can reach out to the furthest edges of marketing and even combine disparate elements seems like an exciting prospect, especially for rookie content marketers.
Here’s the spoke in your wheel: before you rush off to do something that combines six or seven different marketing tactics, you need to have a plan.
Going off half cocked will end in you investing time and effort into a project that will most likely fail in the long run. Know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Define Your Goal
A combined content strategy is one that links different marketing types together to drive towards one final goal. You need to define your goal before you decide what vehicles you’re going to use to get there. Marketing can be very engrossing, but it can also be very frustrating. When you’re utilizing multiple content vehicles to achieve your goals, you’re in for a whole lot more frustration. Sometimes something will work, and you’ll have no clue how to duplicate it. Sometimes something won’t work no matter what you do. Combined content strategies are powerful when they work, but in order to get them to work, you have to know these content marketing channels inside and out.
Develop A Thought-Out Plan
Developing a well-thought-out plan that uses different channels that all direct their content towards a final goal is what you should be aiming to achieve with a combined strategy. You need to know what you want your users to do and figure out how these disparate strategies can work together as a team to finalize your goal. Some teams are better suited to work together than others, but that doesn’t mean you should leave out combinations from the get-go.
Content strategies evolve, and while a simple one might be a good place to start, eventually the needs of the company will outgrow it and you’ll have to think of new ways to promote the company or product.
Combined strategies offer you depth that will guarantee performance as time goes by.
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