When it comes to content, there are a myriad channels you could consider to promote your latest piece of company news. From the obvious Big Six (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn) to the Fediverse, to your own corporate blog, it seems a daunting prospect to post everywhere.
The big question is: should you? The aim of this post is to provide the answer.
One post to rule them all
With so many channels, the content aggregator was born. Hootsuite. Buffer. Later. Even Facebook Business Suite if you’re feeling masochistic. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses for cross-posting the same or similar content across channels.
They are an incredible time saver compared with logging into each channel separately. But the problem is that the very existence of these tools has made content providers lazy. Why write a post tailored to the strengths of each channel and its demographic, when you can write one post and spam it everywhere?
The advantage is that you get the message out quickly with a low pain point. The disadvantage? What if your subscribers use more than one channel? Then you’re effectively sending them the same thing two, three, four times. What will it do to your follower base? It’ll erode it.
And you don’t want that.
Many posts to bind them
At the opposite end of the spectrum, you could shun the aggregator and write custom posts for each channel. But who has time for that?
Well, we do.
Writing the same content for all channels doesn’t leverage the nuances of each, which is why we don’t do it. When we write a post to promote your content, you can be sure it’s focused on the demographic of the chosen channel(s). Why? Because it boosts engagement.
It’s all very good saying that but how you do you know it’s true and we’re not just saying it for the sake of it? Because in true content marketing fashion, we’re going to give you the rundown on how to take advantage of each channel’s power.
Strength: Good for building a community.
Weakness: Needs staff to reply.
Facebook is an easy platform to gain eyeballs on your content but it’s very (very) easy to overdo it or completely miss the mark and have people scroll past without even blinking. You need to carefully consider the imagery and wording of the title, plus the first handful of words, since the remainder is hidden behind a ‘More…’ link.
If people do click to read it, and they comment, you need to be on the ball to respond. A responsive page with exchanges between content owner and content consumer will remain buoyant for longer, increasing the chances of it being seen – and possibly reposted – by others.
Strength: Younger, visually-swayed demographic.
Weakness: Instagram for Business doesn’t offer hyperlinks.
At the time of writing, Instagram’s average demographic is age thirty-four and under. This makes it the perfect market for your fashion photo or sparkly bling post. But upload a picture or video of your latest world-beating label printing product, and the majority won’t care, so you’ve wasted your (and their) time.
Coupled with that, if you’re using an aggregator, you need an Instagram for Business account to auto-schedule. And you then aren’t permitted to use hyperlinks, which makes it a pretty useless platform for an engagement loop for your web content.
Strength: Immediacy, trending hashtags, and retweeting things from other users.
Weakness: Limited character count means posts can often sound terse and stunted.
If you happen to have some content that fits a globally-trending hashtag then Twitter is hard to beat. Write the post, slap the hashtags in, and bask in the twitterstorm. If you’re a philosophical type, many followers will retweet your words, which is a fabulous way of extending reach for free.
A word of warning though: research the tags first so you don’t inadvertently hijack ones meant for other causes. That can backfire big time. And don’t whatever you do post for the sake of it just to appear relevant. It’ll have the opposite effect.
Strength: Huge user base, and ‘related’ content can pay dividends for exposure.
Weakness: Ads have the potential to put people off.
A YouTube channel is a great place to post all things video, from the frivolous to the serious. And polls allow you to engage with viewers and help direct future content towards topics they want to consume. If you’re so inclined and build a large following, it can also become a revenue stream in itself via ads.
The major problem with ads though, is that their placement can be rather random, which has the potential to annoy viewers. Also, since any advertiser’s ad can appear in any slot, and the algorithm that determines which one plays is based on relevance, you may find a competitor advertising on your own video.
Strength: Content organized into ‘boards’ that can be sharply focused.
Weakness: Image-heavy content can be time-consuming to produce.
Compared to other channels, where content is just posted to a single stream and then generally lost, Pinterest allows the savvy marketer to categorise posts by theme. This means it’s possible to gain followers to particular niches, which has the knock-on effect of increasing the chance they’ll like – and recommend – future posts because it’s related to what they already consume.
It isn’t a quick-fix platform though. Creating high quality imagery that resonates with users is hard work, so be prepared to put the hours in.
Strength: More business-oriented focus, perfect for opinion pieces and announcements.
Weakness: Limited opportunity for fun.
Although some of LinkedIn’s business practices for extending its reach have come under fire in the past, it remains a solid base for content with a more corporate slant. Posts about product launches, marketing drives, and service updates are all excellent candidates for business posts, and have the potential to reach a more focused demographic through your extended network of contacts.
While not frowned upon, frivolous content isn’t as well received, and there are certain types and lengths of content that convert way better than others, so it pays to research before posting.
Strength: You are in control of when content appears, and how long it is promoted.
Weakness: Limited scope for feedback, short of comments.
Although not a social channel, per se, the humble website blog/news post should not be overlooked. In fact, one of the most effective marketing techniques is to write a long-form piece published on your website and then use the ‘now now now’ of social media to promote it. The benefit is that social carries the interactivity element and can capitalise on all the strengths of each platform highlighted above, but the long tail SEO benefits of having the article available as indexable content fodder for search engines, adds to the body of work that defines your company and its ethos.
Social media is fleeting. Post and it’s gone, sometimes within minutes or hours. It’s perfect for capturing ‘now’ and highlighting trending concepts, but for any kind of meaningful longevity of information, a website blog article is hard to beat. The organic search juice from well-crafted content is incredibly powerful.
That’s why we at Crafting Words focus primarily on blog content, and use the power of social channels to promote it. Using the tools in this way offers the best of both worlds, and you can ride the marketing potential that each provides.