Video Marketing

Learn about using videos and video marketing effectively as part of your content marketing strategy.

Video Marketing

Learn about using videos and video marketing effectively as part of your content marketing strategy.

Video Marketing - Video IconResearch from leading online sources shows that people are watching more videos online than ever before.

According to sites like Wyzowl and Statista, for example, around 500 hours of new videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and more than 1 billion videos get viewed each day on TikTok.

It’s no wonder, then, that videos are an important part of marketing a business online effectively.

In this lesson, we provide a brief overview of video marketing and the challenges of managing your video content as part of your video marketing strategy.

We’ll look at:

  • What Is Video Marketing?
  • Your Video Marketing Strategy
  • Different Types Of Videos You Can Create
  • Managing Your Video Content Effectively

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What Is Video Marketing?

“Video marketing is using videos to promote and market your product or service, increase engagement on your digital and social channels, educate your consumers and customers, and reach your audience with a new medium.”

Source: HubSpot

More businesses are turning to video marketing and investing in the creation and distribution of video content to promote and market their services online.

And there is a good reason for this. According to Wyzowl, customers overwhelmingly prefer watching short videos to learn more about a product or service and buy physical and digital goods than reading text-based articles or blog posts, viewing infographics, downloading ebooks or manuals, attending webinars, receiving sales calls or trialing demos.

Also, the same research shows that people watch on average 2.5 hours of online videos and are twice as likely to share video content than any other type of content, including social media posts, blog posts, articles, or product pages.

In short, videos can be a powerful and effective way to:

  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Increase dwell time (the amount of time a user takes analyzing a web page before clicking back to search results)
  • Increase a user’s understanding of your product or service
  • Generate new business leads
  • Increase sales
  • Reduce support calls
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate good ROI

To reap the above benefits, however, you need an effective video marketing strategy.

Your Video Marketing Strategy

Video marketing is an effective way to promote and market your business online, but there are also challenges.

Online consumers are inundated every day with all kinds of marketing, advertising, and sales messages, and exposed to other types of interesting, and engaging visual content like live streaming, interactive 360 videos, augmented reality, and more.

On top of this, many competing businesses are also using videos.

For your video marketing strategy to be effective, then, you may need to create different types of branded video content and distribute these through different channels to reach your target audience and achieve your goals, taking into account the fact that most online consumers have very limited time and short attention spans, that there may be a lot of competition, and that your business may have very limited resources, such as a small budget, and a content team that lacks the time and the video production and editing skills to create really polished videos.

It’s also important to think about the purpose of your videos and where you plan to display these.

For example, some of the places you may want to display your videos include:

  • Landing or email-capture pages
  • Sales pages
  • Social media platforms
  • Social media ads
  • Private membership sites (e.g. welcome page, training pages, etc.)
  • Crowdfunding sites
  • Affiliate sites
  • etc.

Factors like your strategic goals, the story you want to tell using a video format, your budget, etc. will determine the types of videos your can produce and how you will distribute these.

For more information on creating an effective video marketing strategy, we recommend reading these excellent guides:

Video Marketing Distribution Channels

Video distribution channels
Most widely used video distribution channels. Source: Wyzowl

Research shows that in addition to posting videos on YouTube, more businesses are now planning to include channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok in their video marketing strategy.

For the latest video marketing statistics, including the most widely-used video distribution channels, go here.

Types Of Videos

What are the different kinds of videos you can create and what types of videos should you create for your business?

This all depends on your video marketing strategy.

According to Wyzowl, here are the most popular types of videos being created

Chart - Types of videos created.
The main types of videos being created. Source: Wyzowl

As the graph above shows, most video types fall into these groups:

  • Live Action – Live action videos are quick to film and edit, and can be made quite inexpensively (see description in the next section below).
  • Animated – Animated videos let you control every aspect of what viewers will see (see description in the next section below).
  • Screen Recorded – Screen-recorded videos essentially capture what you can see on your entire screen or a section of your screen, and can include mouse movements, callouts, annotations, in-picture videos, background soundtracks, etc. in the editing process. These types of videos are great for “looking over the shoulder” how-to tutorials.

And here are the most popular types of videos being created according to their purpose…

Chart showing most popular video types.
These are the most popular types of videos. Source: Wyzowl

Let’s go through these different types of videos:

Animated Videos

As stated earlier, with animated videos, you have complete control over all aspects of what will appear in your video.

You control the video’s look and feel…from background scenery to main characters, design, text, callouts, colors, timings, transitions, soundtrack, special effects, and more.

Additionally, animated videos can be created completely in-house on your computer. You don’t have to hire actors, scout for shoot locations, or worry about bad takes and reshoots. You can tweak and refine animated videos to your heart’s content and go back and edit them at any time.

You can also use animated videos to create almost all other types of videos, including video ads, teaser videos, sales videos, explainer videos, product demos, event videos, training videos, onboarding videos, and more!

Here is an example of an animated video used to explain food safety cross-contamination…

For more information and examples of animated videos, go here:

App Demo Videos

App demo videos (also called app explainer videos) show off what a mobile app can do…how it works, how it looks, how it feels, and all the features and benefits users need to know and understand to download or buy and use your app.

App demo videos are often made using direct screen recordings but can include footage of the app, elements of animated or live-action video, 3D device animations, illustrations, and more!

Many app demos can also double up as explainer videos by introducing your target audience to the features and story behind your app.

Check out this animated app demo video for a children’s learning app:

For more information and examples of app demo videos, go here:

Behind The Scenes Videos

“Behind the scene” videos let viewers meet the people working in your company, see your team at work, and gain valuable insights into your business processes and your company culture.

“Behind the scene” videos are not only great for personalizing your business and building trust but they can also act as an effective recruitment tool for your company.

Here is a great example of a “behind the scenes” video:

For more information and examples of “behind-the-scenes” videos, go here:

Corporate Videos

A corporate or business video refers to the production of video content for brands and companies that can be used for everything – from educating and persuading new customers, to providing informative walkthroughs and demos of your website or solutions, to training and onboarding new employees.

Corporate videos can include a mix of different video types – animated, live-action, screen-recorded, interactive, and more.

They are also quite versatile, in that the final video can be used for a wide range of purposes (e.g. social posts, emails, adverts, trade shows, etc.).

Here is an example of a corporate video created by a University for viewers who are deciding on which higher-learning institute they should attend:

For more information and examples of  corporate videos, go here:

Customer Onboarding Videos

Onboarding videos welcome, educate, and empower customers and users about the full benefits of your company, products, services, and features, help them get their accounts and administrative settings up and running, show them how to assemble and use physical/digital products, and give them the knowledge and tools they need to get up and running quickly.

Onboarding videos also help to improve user experience and increase customer satisfaction, retention, loyalty, and revenue by upskilling and empowering them and providing them with timely information and support, reducing product returns due to buyer’s remorse.

Onboarding videos range from simple welcome videos to software demo videos, product walkthrough videos, detailed educational videos, etc.,

They can also be used in a range of different ways. For example, you can make them available as an on-demand “learn at your own pace” type knowledge portal, upload them to YouTube and add them to a ‘User Onboarding’ playlist, build the video content into your customer workflow as an interactive guide, and more.

Here is an example of a “bite-sized” customer onboarding video from Asana:

For more information and examples of customer onboarding videos, go here:

Customer Service Videos

Customer service videos help customers troubleshoot and solve problems, answer questions about your products or services, and reduce support queries.

Customer service videos can include FAQ videos, video tutorials, and feature or product demos.

Publishing customer service videos publicly can also help to build trust with users and reassure them that your business will be there to support them.

If you are wondering how to create customer service videos that will help get you and your customers out of a pickle, watch the video below:

For more information and examples of customer service videos, go here:

Demo Videos

Demo videos are short, educational video clips that showcase your products or services, highlight their key benefits, and explain or show how your products or services work.

Demo videos typically encourage viewers to purchase the product or service after watching it in action and can be done in the form of a tutorial, a showcase, or an animated video.

Here, for example, is an animated demo video offering an innovative solution to a problem that many new parents have to face (some do it bravely, and some just suck it up):

For more information and examples of demo videos, go here:

Event Videos

Event videos are great for grabbing the attention of viewers and passersby at events like exhibitions and trade shows and providing them with product highlights or a visual summary of what your business does.

You can also use event videos to generate a buzz (and sell tickets) before an event, add impact to award ceremonies (e.g. to introduce nominees, review “best moments”, celebrate winners, etc.), enhance sales presentations or investment pitches, give audiences a “behind the scenes” tour at internal events like annual team meetings, sales conferences, sales kick-offs, etc.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from event videos and produce these as animated event videos or live-action videos with event videography.

Here is an example of an event video aimed at participants with a lot of dough to throw around:

For more information and examples of event videos, go here:

Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are designed to save companies time and help viewers quickly understand their business, product, or service by communicating key concepts and key points concisely.

Explainer videos are one of the most popular and versatile types of videos. They can be any length, but many are typically 1-2 minutes long, and once created, can be used repeatedly in multiple ways, such as:

  • Your home page
  • Social media
  • Email signatures
  • Paid social/YouTube ad campaigns
  • Events
  • Introduction to training or onboarding new customers or new team members.

Additionally, you can use elements from your explainer video as web graphics (e.g. a screengrab) and other print/digital assets.

Here is a video that tells you nothing, yet explains everything about what this company does:

For more information and examples of explainer videos, go here:

Interactive Videos

Unlike “linear” videos where users can only play, pause, rewind, and fast-forward content, interactive videos put users in control of their viewing experience by allowing them to click and interact with your video content to make decisions, answer questions, complete forms, buy products, and more!

An interactive video is essentially video content overlaid with interactive elements so the choices viewers make while watching determine how the video plays out.

Some of the most popular interactive features & functionality of interactive videos include branching stories with clickable hotspots and outcomes that depend on the choices viewers make, navigating to specific chapters in the video content, interactive quizzes, and built-in eCommerce allowing users to fill out forms and buy products on your ‘shoppable video’.

It’s important to note that interactive videos need to be hosted on a special server for the overlaid interactive functionality of the video to work.

Click on the image below to view an interactive video that walks you through Amazon’s company onboarding process using a gamified approach.

Amazon Interactive Video
Amazon’s interactive onboarding video.

For more information and examples of interactive videos, go here:

Live-Action Videos

A live-action video is essentially recording people talking on camera. This can be the company CEO, members of a team, clients, customers, etc. telling a story in their own words, and sharing their expertise or experiences (e.g. testimonials).

Featuring real people in your video puts a face to your brand adds a personal touch, and helps to build trust and credibility

If you are looking to create a high volume of video content (e.g. for social media), live-action videos are ideal, as they are relatively quick to film and edit.

Here is one of the most successful live-action explainer videos of all time:

For more information and examples of interactive videos, go here:

Microinteractions

Microinteractions are trigger-based events where a user interacts with your website or mobile app through animation.

No doubt you have seen microinteractions on websites and social media. Simple examples are the ‘heart’ or ‘thumbs up’ animation that comes up when you like someone’s post or text message, and the animated ‘loading’ icon you see when you are waiting for a web page to load.

Microinteractions are designed to provide users with instant and relevant feedback, add “emotion” and status updates, and encourage user interaction (e.g. sharing, liking, and commenting on your content). They can help to improve site navigation and user experience and make your website more interesting and engaging to users.

Microinteractions can be simple, as shown below…

Microinteraction - Flight Finder
Flight Finder. Source: Mauricio Bucardo

Or complex, such as the Porsche Car Configurator:

Porsche Car Configurator
Porsche Car Configurator. Source: Porsche.com

For more information and examples of microinteractions, go here:

Product Demo Videos

Product demo videos let you educate, explain, entertain, and sell products by building customer confidence and removing barriers to purchase.

Product demo videos work in a similar way to explainer videos by showing users product features, explaining their functionality, and involving them so they can understand what the product does, how it works, and visualize themselves using it.

You can include live-action footage (e.g. someone presenting and giving a product demonstration) and/or animation (e.g. cross-sections, close-ups, etc.) in your product demo videos.

In addition to helping you sell products directly to consumers, product demo videos can also be used to educate your sales team, distributors, affiliates, clients, etc.

Here, for example, is a slick video aimed at coffee-loving consumers who want to enjoy barista-style coffees at home:

For more information and examples of product demo videos, go here:

Sales Videos

Sales videos support your sales process by helping to convert leads into new customers.

In addition to educating potential customers about the benefits and features of your products or services, they help to build rapport, address frequently asked questions, and proactively overcome objections, inspiring and persuading prospects to become customers.

Sales videos are also great for people that don’t like being “sold to” as these can work for you as your 24/7 sales team, delivering a perfect sales pitch consistently, and allowing prospects to inspect what you have to offer in a place where they feel safe, comfortable, and at a time that is suitable and convenient for them.

Sales videos can save your sales reps time (by helping them spend less time on the phone taking and making sales calls), used instead of an actual sales team member, or included in a sales presentation.

Sales videos can be created using a blend of animated or live-action footage, and include text slides, testimonials, product demos or showcases, screen recordings, interactive elements, and more…whatever is required to get someone interested in your brand to the point where they make a decision to buy.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with injecting a little humor in your sales videos, so you can sell without actually saying much about your company or products, as shown in the video below:

For more information and examples of sales videos, go here:

Social Media Videos

Social media videos are short-form videos designed to tell stories that will attract viewers on social platforms and drive engagement actions.

Various types of videos work well on social media, including interviews, Q&As, live videos, announcements, reveals, behind-the-scenes, product demos, user-generated videos, giveaways and contests, promos and deals, event videos, and tutorials.

With most social media platforms, you can simply upload your regular videos, like the example video shown below, sourced from Facebook:

In addition to posting videos on social platforms, you can use animated videos and animated social graphics in status updates, profiles, news feeds, and other areas to keep followers interested.

Note: You may need to adjust your video formats and files to use some of the advertising and promotional features available on various social media platforms.

For more information and examples of social media videos, go here:

Teaser Videos

Just like movie trailers, teaser videos give viewers a sneak peek of a product or service and are designed to raise awareness and build anticipation about new and upcoming features, products, and events (live events, online courses, etc.).

You can create a teaser video if you haven’t yet finished building your new product, service, feature, or idea. This allows you to get your promotion going and build momentum and anticipation for it earlier, as well as providing an opportunity for feedback from your audience.

You can then gauge the feedback and response to refine your development process and improve the chances of success for your final product.

Alternatively, if you are creating a teaser video for a more complete and fuller video-based product (e.g. an online course), here is an effective format for creating ‘sneak-peek’ videos:

  1. Script and produce the full (i.e. complete) version of your video first
  2. Identify an ideal spot in your video timeline to insert a break
  3. Create an additional ‘click here to learn more’ slide
  4. Produce two versions of the video: your full video and the shorter teaser video ending with the ‘click here to learn more’ slide.

You can also create the above sneak peek video by editing highlights of your course and compiling these into a “compilation teaser” video.

Once you have your teaser video done, make sure to share it on your website and social media platforms…maybe even consider boosting it with an ad spend or going offline (e.g. video billboards, events, TV, etc.) to generate maximum impact and awareness.

Below is a video compilation showcasing various product teaser videos:

For more information and examples of teaser videos, go here:

Testimonial Videos

Allowing your satisfied customers and clients to promote and champion your business through testimonial videos (and case study videos) is a powerful way to build trust, boost credibility, and provide social proof for your brand, and ultimately increase sales of your products and services.

Just as many consumers check product reviews from other users before making a decision, many people also watch video testimonials to learn more about a company, product, or service and to help influence their purchasing decisions.

Testimonial videos are especially effective when your business can demonstrate through customers or client testimonials how your solution, product, or service has helped solve their problems and address their pain points, as many of your target audience will experience similar issues and challenges.

There are various ways to create testimonial videos. You can:

  • Create low-budget testimonial videos in-house by collecting written testimonials from satisfied customers, adding these to a slide presentation with a voice-over and/or soundtrack, and presenting these as a screen recording
  • Use video testimonial software (see further below), or
  • Create live-action recordings using a professional video production company.

You can add testimonial videos to product/service pages on your website, share them on social media, include them in video ad campaigns, and various other ways.

Here is an example of a low-budget yet compelling video testimonial you could shoot  with just your phone and basic video-editing software:

For more information and examples of testimonial videos, go here:

Training Videos

Training videos are a powerful learning tool, especially “look over the shoulder”-style how-to screen recordings and videos that combine audio and visual elements with written text such as bullet point reminders, key concept summaries, checklists, diagrams, flowcharts, etc.

One of the main benefits of creating training videos from a business point of view is that these provide consistency in your organization. Videos can be used to train individuals or whole teams and explain your processes, policies, products, production workflows, and troubleshooting, as well as the culture, values, behaviors, and standards your organization expects from all team members.

They are also extremely cost-effective, as you can use the same video to train new team members or new customers or clients.

From the viewer’s point of view, there are many benefits too. Viewers can learn at their own pace and usually at a time that suits them, rewind over points repeatedly, and demonstrate in a couple of minutes what could take hours to explain.

Training videos encompass a wide range of purposes and can use different styles (e.g. screen recording, animation. live-action, or a combination of all of these) to communicate their information.

For example, you can create the following types of training videos:

  • Product training videos to demonstrate how products work.
  • Demo videos to provide an overview of how a software application or product works.
  • Orientation videos to welcome new members to your team and help them learn about their new roles.
  • Customer relations videos to showcase customer interactions and improve customer experience using ‘roleplay’ scenarios.
  • Sales training videos to empower your sales team to present effectively, handle objections, and convert prospects into new sales.
  • Retail training videos to show your team how customers should be treated and help them learn skills like upselling and cross-selling, dealing with difficult customers and complaints, etc.
  • Safety training videos to demonstrate how to operate safely and follow correct procedures.
  • HR training videos to explain your policies and make your rules and expectations clear.
  • Explainer videos to help your team members, customers, distributors, reps, affiliates, etc. understand your business, products, services, solutions, etc.

Training videos can also be of varying lengths. In some cases, long videos may be required, such as recorded presentations or webinars. In other situations, it may be more effective if the information is broken down into bite-size digestible short videos.

For example, here is a comprehensive video tutorial on using Photoshop that delivers almost one hour of training content…

And here is an example of a short instructional video dealing with workplace bullying:

For more information and examples of training videos, go here:

Video Ads

Video advertising is using video content to sell products or services.

Video ads are typically promotional-type videos introducing your brand, product, or service, which are created specifically for sharing outside of your business, where you pay for audiences to view or click on it.

Video ads can be quite effective if done right. The key is to capture the viewer’s attention within the first few seconds, and then keep them engaged with content that tells the right story without ‘hard selling’ them, and then asking for the purchase at the right moment.

Typical examples of video ads include:

  • Video banner advertisements appearing on a landing page or website.
  • Pre-, mid-, or post-roll video advertisements that are played before, during, or after an online video or a video posted on social media.
  • TV video ads aired as traditional commercials on TV or streaming services.
  • Live video ads shown as part of a real-time streamed event, conversation, or product launch.
  • Sponsored video ads (e.g. “This video is brought to you by…”) placed within other videos or marketing content.

Below is an example of a video ad aimed at mobile phone users and created to promote Android:

For more information and examples of video ads, go here:

Videographics

“Videographics are an engaging visual representation of compiled data put forward in a graphically appealing and easy-to-understand way…

A videographic provides the audience with valuable information while entertaining them at the same time. It is a short, informative type of video that helps your audience digest your reports or statistical numbers better in a matter of minutes. “

Source: Breadandbeyond

Essentially, a  videographic makes information easier to interpret by taking complex data and data-driven messages from statistics, polls, and survey results and turning them into compelling and concise visual information made simple, quick, and easy to consume.

Informative videographics encourage sharing on multiple platforms, resulting in better brand recall.

Below is an example of a videographic-based video:

For more information and examples of videographics, go here:

Video Marketing Tools

Here are some useful tools tat can help to improve your video marketing results.

Hookle

Hookle
Hookle – Social Media Planning App

Hookle is an app that lets you manage all of your social media marketing in one place and lets you schedule and publish your videos to all your social media platforms.

Check out the video below for an overview of this tool:

More info: Hookle

For more social media management tools that you can use to track video performance across multiple platforms, see this section of the course: Social Media Tools

Create Cartoon Explainer Videos Easily

Create Cartoon Explainer Videos Easily With ToonlyCartoon explainer videos can be very effective when it comes to grabbing and keeping a viewer’s attention.

They can also be used to inform, educate, and convert viewers into prospective clients and customers, train users, simplify complex subjects, tell engaging stories, etc.

As stated earlier, explainer videos are great for getting your point across quickly, reducing customer support calls, and getting your videos shared online.

Cartoon explainer videos can also be expensive to create. A digital agency will typically charge thousands of dollars to create a short animated video for your business, and some will even charge thousands of dollars per minute of video!

For an inexpensive and easy-to-use cartoon explainer video creation software that you can use to create animated explainer videos in-house, check out Toonly.

Animated Video Creation Tool

Explaindio - Animated Video Creation ToolIf you are looking for a powerful video creation software tool that can help you create 2D & 3D animated marketing, explainer, and training videos, doodle sketch videos, and motion videos in-house in minutes, check out Doodly.

Live Action Video Animation

Viddyoze Live Action Video Animation

If you are looking for a video animation tool that lets you easily create stunning live-action video intros and logo stings with no video editing or production skills, check out Viddyoze.

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For more video creation tools, see this section: Video Creation And Editing Tools

Video Testimonial Software

Use any of the tools below to collect video testimonials from happy clients and customers and promote these on your website, blog, social media, etc.

Vocal Video

Vocal Video
Vocal Video – All-in-one video testimonial software platform.

Vocal Video is an all-in-one platform for collecting, editing, hosting, and sharing testimonial videos.

This tool lets you easily and quickly collect testimonial videos, edit them, and apply your branding.

You can also trim your video, add graphics and licensed music, switch from video to audio, and create a video transcript directly from the tool with no additional software required.

More info: Vocal Video

VideoAsk

VideoAsk
VideoAsk

VideoAsk is a “video conversation” platform that lets you and your customers quickly send video, text, or audio replies back and forth.

Essentially, it’s like communicating via emails but using videos instead.

You can use this tool to collect customer feedback, add video welcome messages for respondents, and use conditional logic to send pre-recorded questions to customers based on their previous responses.

More info: VideoAsk

VideoPeel

VideoPeel
VideoPeel – Customer Advocacy Video Platform

VideoPeel allows users to click, record, and submit video testimonials automatically via mobile or desktop using a video capture link. The tool also automates thank-you messages.

VideoPeel displays all of your questions on one screen and offers you the option of choosing different video campaign templates (profile message, photo message, or video message). You can use their editing tools to add your logo, a simple text overlay, a star rating, and a disclaimer.

Collected video responses are held in a single repository for easy management.

VideoPeel also offers Shopify integration, Amazon syndication, and other eCommerce and social media publishing options.

More info: VideoPeel

Boast

Boast
Boast

Boast is a tool you can use to automatically collect raw video testimonials, written feedback, and star ratings.

Boast also offers an email drip campaign function that automatically sends customers a prompt to fill out a form.

More info: Boast

Vouch

Vouch
Vouch

Vouch is a video testimonials tool that lets you add questions and send a single link to one or many users.

You can review your video responses and transcripts, trim your videos or stitch them together to create a playlist using their video editing software, and publish or share these via a link, embed code, or integration.

The tool features speaker notes, calendar reminders, and unlimited takes, allowing users to easily record their video responses and send these back to you.

Vouch lets you add your own logo, colors, and styling to control your brand experience across all touchpoints, and integrates with many popular workflow tools, allowing you to collect and share video testimonials from tools you are already using.

More info: Vouch

Video Monetization Platforms

Video monetization platforms allow you to get paid for the videos you publish online. When audiences view or download your content, you get paid, so the more that people watch, the more you earn.

If you would like to monetize your videos, consider using a tool like the one shown below.

Uscreen

Uscreen is an end-to-end white-labeled video monetization platform that supports subscription and pay-per-view models and is designed to generate revenue on OTT streaming services similar to Netflix or Hulu.

Uscreen provides everything you need to monetize, distribute and scale your streaming service business: video hosting, streaming, built-in billing, monetization, analytics, and even end-user support.

Uscreen also provides membership sites for your subscribers, fully-branded apps for mobile and TV, tools to host live streaming events, community and course features, and more than 1,000 integrations (e.g. Mailchimp, Salesforce, Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign, and many more!)

More info: Uscreen

For more information on video monetization platforms, see this article: Best Video Monetization Platforms

Video Marketing And WordPress

If you use WordPress, go here for plugins that can help you integrate video marketing with your WordPress site: WordPress Engagement Plugins

Managing Your Video Marketing Strategy

Video marketing is not only essential when it comes to promoting your content online effectively, it is also extremely challenging to track and manage effectively without the right strategy, systems, processes, tools, resources, and budget.

Before you start producing videos for your business, make sure that you have the following in place:

  • Your Content Strategy and Content Plan to ensure that any videos you create will contribute to achieving your business objectives.
  • A documented content production workflow – whether you decide to create videos in-house or outsource the creation to an external agency, it’s important for your video creation processes to be documented.
  • Content Documentation System – where are you storing all digital assets, files, and elements used in the production of your videos? Make sure these are easily accessible as you will need to update your videos in the future.
  • Video Metrics – Have you defined the important metrics you will be tracking for your videos? You will need these metrics to know which videos and video topics are generating the best ROI and to improve your results.
  • Tracking System – Your tracking system will help you monitor, measure, and evaluate the effectiveness of your videos and your video marketing campaigns.

Summary

Most businesses with an online presence today need to engage in video marketing.  There are many types of videos you can create for your business, so it’s important to develop a clear video marketing strategy for your business.

Action Steps

Create a video marketing strategy aligned with your overall content strategy and objectives, set up the systems you need to manage it effectively, and schedule regular reviews to make sure that your video marketing strategy is consistently delivering your business its expected targets, continued growth, and a positive ROI.

Resources

Also, see the sections below for additional information and video-related tools and resources that can help you create professional videos and video content inexpensively:

Video Tutorials

Video Marketing - WPMasterclasses.comVideo Marketing

Learn useful strategies and practical methods that will help you improve your sales and conversions using video marketing.

More info: Video Marketing

YouTube Marketing - WPMasterclasses.comYouTube Marketing

Learn how to drive more traffic to your site and more customers to your business by getting your videos to rank higher on YouTube and on Google’s search results.

More info: YouTube Marketing

References

Next Lesson

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Image: Video icon

Email Marketing

Learn about using emails. autoresponders, and email marketing effectively as part of your content marketing strategy.

Email Marketing

Learn about using emails, autoresponders, and email marketing effectively as part of your content marketing strategy.

Email Marketing - Email iconA successful email marketing strategy will help you grow a targeted and responsive email list of subscribers.

You can then use this list to nurture leads into prospective clients and customers using emails targeted to your audience and distributed through email services and autoresponders.

This lesson will give you a better understanding of using email marketing to grow your business online.

In this lesson, we cover the following areas:

  • Getting Started With Email Marketing
  • Why Use Autoresponders?
  • Email Drip Feeding And Broadcasting Messages
  • Email Marketing Services
  • Email Integration With Your Website

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Getting Started With Email Marketing

Covering everything you need to know about email marketing is beyond the scope of our course.

If you’re new to email marketing, watch the video below for a quick overview and practical tips to help you get started:

Additionally, we recommend reading this excellent guide: The Ultimate Guide To Email Marketing

Email Marketing Goals

In the wider context of effective content management, it is useful to set goals when implementing an email marketing strategy to include the following:

  • Integration with Content Strategy: Ensure that email campaigns align with your overarching content strategy to maintain consistency in messaging and branding across all channels.
  • Ensuring Content Relevance: Deliver targeted email content that resonates with your audience’s interests, preferences, and stage in the customer journey.
  • Segmenting Email Lists Effectively: Divide the subscriber base into segments based on demographics, behavior, preferences, and past interactions. Personalize email content to cater to the specific needs, preferences, and interests of each segment.
  • Optimized Email Design: Design visually appealing emails that are mobile-responsive and easy to read. Incorporate clear calls-to-action (CTAs), compelling visuals, and concise copy.
  • Consistent Email Cadence: Establish a consistent schedule for sending emails to maintain audience engagement without overwhelming them. This ensures that subscribers anticipate and look forward to receiving your content, leading to better open and click-through rates.
  • Enhanced Email Deliverability: Ensure emails reach recipients’ inboxes by maintaining sender reputation, optimizing email content, and adhering to email regulations such as GDPR and CAN-SPAM Act. This fosters better engagement and avoids email being marked as spam.
  • Improved Email Open Rates: This involves crafting compelling subject lines and preview text to increase open rates. Personalization, segmentation, and A/B testing can also optimize content for higher open rates, driving better campaign performance.
  • Boosted Click-Through Rates: Develop engaging email content with clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons and relevant links to drive recipients to desired actions, such as visiting a website or making a purchase].
  • Reduced Unsubscribe Rates: Provide valuable and relevant content to subscribers based on their preferences and behaviors. Regularly review email performance metrics to identify trends and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
  • Performance Tracking and Optimization: Monitor email performance metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. Analyze data to identify trends, optimize content, and refine email strategies for continuous improvement.
  • Ensuring Email Compliance: Adhere to email marketing regulations and best practices, as well as legal and industry regulations regarding email marketing, including obtaining consent, providing clear opt-out options, honoring unsubscribe requests promptly, and ensuring data privacy and security. Compliance helps build trust with subscribers and mitigates legal risks.

Lifecycle Email Marketing

Lifecycle email marketing is a strategic approach designed to deliver timely and relevant messages to the right audience, guiding them through their journey from awareness to advocacy.

It’s a potent tool for nurturing prospects and customers, influencing purchase decisions, and boosting revenue.

The Power of Lifecycle Emails

There are two key reasons why lifecycle emails are highly effective.

  1. Email marketing boasts an impressive average return on investment (ROI) of around $44 for every $1 spent.
  2. Lifecycle marketing comprehensively addresses all stages of the marketing funnel, including customer acquisition, retention, and upselling, making it a significant revenue driver.

Lifecycle Email Marketing Stages

There are eight stages in lifecycle email marketing:

  1. Awareness: Introduce your brand and grab attention.
  2. Knowledge and Interest: Establish authority and build trust.
  3. Consideration: Nourish interest with targeted content.
  4. Selection: Highlight why your offering is superior.
  5. Purchase: Facilitate conversions and follow up post-sale.
  6. Satisfaction: Ensure customer happiness and engagement.
  7. Retention and Loyalty: Reengage customers and seek upsell opportunities.
  8. Advocacy: Encourage referrals and foster advocacy.

Tailoring Content To Each Lifecycle Phase

Early Phase

Focus on addressing customer pain points without overt selling, building trust through educational content, and setting expectations through welcome emails.

Middle Phase

Continue nurturing post-purchase relationships with thank you emails, onboarding guides, feedback requests, and incentives like discounts or replenishment reminders.

Late Phase

Leverage satisfied customers to drive advocacy through referral programs and reengagement emails, reinforcing relationships built in earlier phases.

Tips For Effective Lifecycle Campaigns

  • Establish KPIs: Set objectives and benchmarks tailored to each stage to measure success effectively.
  • Avoid Urgency: Prioritize building value over creating urgency to foster genuine customer engagement.
  • Personalize Content: Segment your audience based on interests and behaviors to deliver highly relevant content that resonates.

When executed thoughtfully, lifecycle email marketing can be a powerful tool for nurturing customer relationships, maximizing revenue, and cultivating brand advocates.

Understanding the distinct needs of each stage and crafting tailored content accordingly is the key to unlocking the full potential of this strategy.

Why Use Autoresponders?

Another secret of growing a successful business through content marketing is to have an email marketing strategy that allows you to:

  1. Grow a targeted and responsive email list of subscribers,
  2. Turn subscribers into prospective clients and customers, and
  3. Train/Upsell existing customers.

Building and managing lists with emails using email services and autoresponders allow you to keep in touch with your subscribers and deliver timely or scheduled email messages, training content, and information of value on a regular basis and at the click of a button.

If you’ve ever filled out an opt-in form online to get more information about a product or service, or signed up for an email newsletter and received an instant response in your e-mail inbox, your email reply was most likely sent via an autoresponder program.

Simply put, autoresponders are email programs that send out pre-written messages. These emails can be in response to trigger requests sent to a specific email address or scheduled to be sent out sequentially whenever a new subscriber opts into your service.

An email marketing and autoresponder service can help your business automate your communications with your target audience.

Autoresponders are one of the most powerful online marketing tools you have available for growing your business online. They are easy to use and once you have set things up, your entire marketing can be automated to keep your business growing 24 hours a day on auto-pilot.

When new subscribers sign up, they are instantly added to an automated sales, training, and/or customer relationship system, and remain on your list until they decide to unsubscribe.

Autoresponders can be used in a variety of ways, from sending welcome emails to building customer lists, following up with prospects, and tracking leads through a sales pipeline.

Some autoresponders, like signup services for e-groups and forums, are one-time deals. They provide a single response for every message received (e.g. email a specific address and you get back email instructions on how to join or access the group).

Depending on your email marketing strategy, you could set up multiple autoresponders to target different groups of users or address different needs.

For example, you may want to set up an autoresponder to send out only important product updates to premium-level clients and another autoresponder to grow and nurture leads (and eventually turn these subscribers into premium clients).

Email Drip Feeding And Broadcasting Messages

Email Drip Feeding

With an autoresponder, you can bulk-write your email messages and then drip-feed emails to your subscribers at regular intervals that you specify.

Drip-feed emails to subscribers using autoresponders
Drip-feed emails to your subscribers using autoresponders and automate your communications.

If you are setting up a series of training emails or an email course, for example, you would create the content of those emails, add these to your autoresponder, and then set up a predetermined schedule to drip-feed your emails and send out messages to your subscriber email addresses.

For instance, you can set up an autoresponder to send subscribers an instant response when they sign up (e.g. a welcome email), then a follow-up message 2-3 days later, then another message 5-7 days after the previous email has been sent, and so on.

You can also program your autoresponder to send one message every day (e.g. an inspirational quote or daily reflection), 2-3 emails per week (e.g. product training or an email course), twice monthly (e.g. a newsletter), once a year (e.g. a subscription renewal reminder), or any interval that works for your audience and keeps them interested and engaged with our email series (and subscribed).

For a great example of using an autoresponder to set up an email course, make sure to subscribe to our 120-lesson Free Content Ideas course.

Email Broadcasting

In addition to drip feeding, you can also create a single email message and broadcast it to your list on specific days, times, and intervals of your choice.

Email broadcasting is great for sending out special offers, time-sensitive announcements, product updates, event reminders, breaking news, etc.

Email Marketing Services

Ideally, your business should be capturing visitor details from your website or blog and adding them to your mailing list or newsletter.

There are many self-hosting scripts available, including plugins and add-ons that you can use to send out newsletters and autoresponder messages via your own website or CMS platform.

However, we recommend choosing a reliable third-party (i.e. hosted) service provider to handle your email marketing activities, such as your list-building campaigns, autoresponder setups, subscriber list segmentation, reporting, statistics, etc.

Well-known providers are recognized by Internet Service Providers (ISP) and have higher email deliverability rates. They also provide regular technical support.

Some of the most well-known service providers available include Aweber, GetResponse, MailChimp, and iContact.

Logos of well-known email service providers.
We recommend using a reliable email marketing service instead of hosting your own!

With a self-hosted script or plugin, you have to manage all of the technical aspects yourself. While this option may seem sensible while your list is small, as soon as your subscriber base starts to become significant in terms of size and potential value, you run the risk of losing everything if anything happens to your service.

Using a well-known professional autoresponder service ensures reliable email deliverability. The services we recommend using are affordable, provide responsive customer support, and have the infrastructure to keep your data secure. These services also integrate with WordPress, allowing you to build your subscriber list directly from your website or blog.

For example, here’s an email marketing service we use and recommend:

Aweber

You can use a service like Aweber to set up email capture forms for your website and automate your email marketing campaigns.

Aweber is one of the world’s most reliable and popular email delivery services and offers a professional and affordable list-building, autoresponder, and email marketing automation solution with many extensive features like:

  • Send Email Newsletters – Aweber lets you send engaging email newsletters to your opt-in subscribers.
  • Publish A Signup Form To Your Website Or Blog – Publish a signup form to your site using a simple and intuitive point-and-click Web Form wizard.
  • Create Autoresponders – Autoresponders allow you to build relationships with your subscribers. Autoresponders can welcome new subscribers, educate them about your products and services and drive your email readers back to your website, all on auto-pilot.
  • Manage Unlimited Email Campaigns – With Aweber, you can not only create unlimited sequential email newsletters for your subscribers and set the frequency for each message, but you can also create unlimited lists (e.g. for building lists on different niche markets, segmenting different types of users, etc …), send email messages as often as you want and manage all of your lists and messages from one account.
  • Email Templates – If you want to send colorful, image-rich newsletters, Aweber offers over one hundred HTML email templates that have been tested for readability in all popular email clients, or you can paste in your own template, or create one from scratch using their point-and-click message editor.
  • Email Deliverability – Aweber has one of the highest deliverability rates in the industry and has built relationships with most of the major ISPs (Internet Service Providers). This means that while many small businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to get their email delivered with all the spam blocking and filtering in place, your emails are almost guaranteed to get through just about every time.
  • Free Expert Customer Support – Apart from the fact that AWeber is extremely easy to use and offers excellent educational materials such as a blog, knowledge base, and video tutorials, they also provide access to free customer support staffed by real people via phone, email, and live text chat.

In addition to the above services, Aweber also offers advanced email marketing tools such as:

  • Send Blog Newsletters (RSS to Email) – The Blog Broadcaster feature automatically turns your RSS feed into emails that you can send to readers daily, weekly, monthly, or whenever you publish something new on your website or blog.
  • Email Web Analytics – You can easily see what’s working and what isn’t in your email campaigns with Aweber’s powerful testing tools and easy-to-read reports.
  • Easy Shopping Cart Integration – You can integrate e-commerce with email marketing into your business.
  • tip

    To test drive Aweber for free, enter your details into the form below, or click here to sign up for an account:

    Powered by AWeber

To learn more about autoresponder services, go here:

Additionally, see this section for more information on email marketing services and tools, including tools for building lists of email addresses for your marketing campaigns: Content Promotion Tools & Resources

Email Marketing And WordPress

If you use WordPress, you can easily add opt-in forms to your site to capture visitor details and turn them into subscribers for your newsletters and email marketing campaigns.

For plugins that can help you integrate email marketing with your WordPress site and add opt-in forms linked to your autoresponder service, go here: WordPress Engagement Plugins

Additional Email Marketing Resources & Information

These useful resources cover areas like creating autoresponders and opt-in forms, and managing your subscriber lists  and will help you become a better email marketer:

Write Better Emails

How To Craft The Perfect Email - Free Guide
How To Craft The Perfect Email – Free Guide

A FREE, 7-day email course on how to write welcome emails and autoresponder series, plus fill-in-the-blank email templates that will help make sending emails easier.

Download this free guide here: Write Better Emails

Growing Your Business With Email Marketing

How To Grow Your Business With Email Marketing - Free Guide
How To Grow Your Business With Email Marketing – Free Guide

This FREE guide explains how to grow your business with email marketing.

The guide covers how to:

  • Create signup forms
  • Create email content
  • Collect new subscribers
  • Automate your emails
  • Measure email performance, and more.

Download the free guide here: Growing Your Business With Email Marketing

Promote Your Podcast With Email Marketing

Promote Your Podcast With Email Marketing - Free Guide
Promote Your Podcast With Email Marketing – Free Guide

If your content marketing strategy includes podcasting, this FREE guide will help you master easy email marketing strategies to turn listeners into subscribers, build your brand, and grow your podcast.

Download the free guide here: Promote Your Podcast With Email Marketing

Video Tutorials

How To Use Aweber - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Use Aweber

Learn how to use Aweber to set up autoresponders, newsletters, and subscriber opt-in forms that can be integrated with WordPress for lead generation, user engagement, training customers, and more.

More info: How To Use Aweber

Email Marketing - WPMasterclasses.comEmail Marketing

Learn how to profit from email marketing by connecting with more prospects, leads, and customers using email.

More info: Email Marketing

How To Build A Subscriber List - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Build A Subscriber List

This video course covers essential areas of list-building, from planning, building, and automating your list-building strategy, to methods for turning online users into loyal subscribers.

More info: How To Build A Subscriber List

Summary

Launching an effective email marketing campaign with high-converting opt-in forms and autoresponder messages that deliver value to subscribers can mean the difference between struggling online and building a successful and profitable digital business presence.

Build a strong relationship with your subscribers and nurture them by providing content of value at optimal intervals, and the people on your email list may never want to unsubscribe.

Action Steps

If email marketing is important to your business, you can’t afford to risk having disruptions and experiencing regular problems with your email service.

Make sure that you have signed up with a reliable, professional, and well-known email service provider…it will save you time, money, and headaches in the long run!

Resources

  • Email Marketing Planning Template – Use this free template to organize emails you will send to different segments of your database, track A/B tests, summarize results, gather data on email performance, compile data on Excel or Google Sheets, and automatically calculate delivery, open, and click through rates.

References

Next Lesson

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Image: Email icon

Content Distribution

Learn about ways to manage your organization’s content distribution strategy for shared and promoted content.

Content Distribution

Learn about ways to manage your organization’s content distribution strategy for shared and promoted content.

Content Distribution - Woman holding mobile phone over laptopYour business has to share and promote its content using various channels to reach as many people in its target audience as it can.

In this lesson, we cover the following areas:

  • What Is Content Distribution?
  • Your Content Distribution Strategy
  • Content Distribution Channels
  • Managing Your Content Distribution

What Is Content Distribution?

“Content distribution is the process of sharing, publishing, and promoting your content. It’s how you provide your content to your audience members for their consumption through various channels and media formats.”

Source: Hubspot

One of the challenges of promoting content successfully is that businesses today have many different options to get their content in front of people but limited time to manage the process and limited resources to engage in a truly effective multichannel or omnichannel marketing strategy.

For example, you can promote your blog posts and other resources via organic and paid channels, using email marketing, video marketing, press releases, pay-per-click advertising, social media, influencer outreach, content syndication, etc.

Some of these methods can also deliver better results if distributed in conjunction with one another, such as posting blogs, videos, social media updates, and email newsletters.

Content Distribution Strategy
Distributing content in conjunction with other methods can deliver better results.

If we look at the above, for instance:

  • You can include a video in a blog post and links to your post in a social media post (for free or using paid methods) and an email newsletter.
  • You can also promote your video on social media (for free or using paid methods) and in your email newsletter, in addition to including it in your blog post.
  • You can promote your email newsletter on your blog and social media and encourage new subscribers to signup while asking existing subscribers to share your emails on their social platforms with their friends and followers.
  • You can promote your latest blog posts, videos, or newsletter issues on various social media platforms (for free or using paid methods) and invite them to share these, engage with them, subscribe to them, etc.

To coordinate all of the above content distribution, however, you need a plan.

Your Content Distribution Strategy

Having a plan helps to ensure that your content reaches the right audience, via the right channels, at the right time.

If you haven’t got a content distribution strategy in place, here’s one from HubSpot that you can use.

How to Build a Content Distribution Strategy
If you need a content distribution strategy, use this one. Source: HubSpot

Let’s take a brief look at this plan and what you need to do to implement it:

  1. Research your target audience –  This should be included in your content strategy. If not, speak to your marketing team.
  2. Audit your content – See this lesson: Content Audit
  3. Choose your content distribution channels – See the section below.
  4. Decide on your content types – See this lesson: Content Types
  5. Set your content distribution KPIs and goals – These should be included in your content strategy. If not, speak to your marketing team and see this lesson: Content Metrics
  6. Build an editorial calendar – See this lesson: Editorial Calendar
  7. Create your content – See the lessons in this module: Content Production
  8. Distribute and market your content – See the lessons in this module: Content Promotion
  9. Measure and analyze your results – See this lesson: Content Tracking

Additionally, refer to HubSpot’s article: The Ultimate Guide To Content Distribution

Content Distribution Channels

Your content distribution channels are the channels through which the content you create gets shared and promoted.

Choosing the right distribution channels helps to ensure that your content reaches as many target audience members as possible.

Content Marketing Distribution Channels - Earned, Owned, and Paid Media
Content distribution channels overlap and can be combined to maximize their impact and reach. Source: Kurve

Your target audience and resources will determine which channels you use to distribute your content.

Traditionally, there are three main types of content distribution channels:

Owned Media

Owned media is any type of content that you create, own, and have full control over.

This content normally resides on your own website (e.g. your blog), your social media accounts, and any additional locations where you store assets that you own.

Owned media can include:

  • Your website and company blog
  • Self-hosted videos and podcasts
  • Images and infographics
  • E-books and guides
  • Whitepapers and reports
  • Recorded webinars
  • Courses
  • Email marketing campaigns

Essentially, any content that you create in-house or outsource by hiring people to create or produce it for you where you have an agreement to own the finished content is considered to be owned media.

Paid Media

Paid media is where you pay to promote your content. Paid distribution channels can expose your content to your target audience quickly and more easily than using owned methods, but it costs money and it’s only effective as long as you are paying. If you stop paying, it stops showing.

Paid media can include:

  • Search engine marketing: Search/Display/Product ads
  • Paid social ads
  • Influencer marketing
  • Paid affiliate marketing programs
  • Advertorials
  • Sponsored content
  • Offline ads (billboards, TV commercials, etc.)

Paid media should be worked alongside other channels. For example, you can use data collected from successful paid campaigns to drive content creation for owned and earned channels.

Earned Media

Earned media is content that someone else creates, which you haven’t paid for but it benefits your business.

Essentially, this is where someone who is not a part of your organization is giving your organization promotion or coverage.

Earned media can include:

  • Customer reviews and testimonials
  • Positive feedback on review sites
  • Backlinks
  • Having your products or services featured, included, or mentioned in externally-hosted or published media (e.g. listicles, roundups, newsletters, etc.)
  • Press/news coverage
  • Awards and public events

Earned media can be considered as being “organic’ media and can often be generated using owned and paid media, or a combination of these.

For example, if you publish a high-quality content item on your website (owned media) that gains high-ranking authority, share it on your social media channels, and/or promote it using paid channels (paid media), and other companies then link to it or promote it, that’s using owned and paid media to gain earned media.

Shared Media

With recent development in social media, marketers like PR professionals have been asked to embrace a new distribution channel, where the content is partially owned and partially earned, called shared media.

“Shared media is content that is shared across social media or shared between multiple owners. It doesn’t have a concrete, explicit definition, because as social media evolves, shared media changes too.”

Source: New Breed

Shared media can include:

  • Social media content
  • User-generated content
  • Co-created partner materials

An example of shared media is someone liking or commenting on a post on your organization’s Facebook page. This action is recorded on your company’s social media page and the user’s profile but neither your company nor the user owns that content.

Content Distribution: The PESO Model - Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned Media.
The PESO Model – Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned Media. Source: SpinSucks.com. Click on the above image to enlarge it.

Reciprocal Linking

Although Google disapproves of any form of link spam, reciprocal linking is a widely-used practice on the web.

Typically, this will involve another website offering to link to your site from an existing article on their site if you agree to add a link to their site from an existing article on your site.

Essentially, this is an “I’ll link to your site if you link to my site” arrangement between websites, and it happens all the time.

So, if you plan to engage in reciprocal linking activities with other sites despite what Google says, it’s best to have a set of guidelines that you can supply to anyone who contacts you with an offer to exchange links, especially if the other party is offering to provide you with ready-made content containing a link to your site that you can simply paste into your site as a new post or add to an existing post.

Reciprocal Linking Guidelines

Developing a set of guidelines for how other sites should supply content to you and what you will accept (or reject) will help to reduce time-wasting (e.g. by sending you unacceptable content or content that needs to be completely reworked) and dealing with content that is totally off-brand or that doesn’t match your tone and voice, quality standards, etc.

Here are some things to consider when creating guidelines for accepting reciprocal link exchanges:

  • Backlinks and anchor texts should match the content and style of your blog posts.
  • Copy supplied must be in the same format, style, and tone of voice as your blog posts.
  • Images supplied must meet your minimum image dimensions (to avoid pixelation).
  • Copy or anchor text must not be hypey or salesy –it should be informative and provide value to your audience.
  • No links in the introduction or conclusion (this will just send visitors away from your site).
  • Only add links to relevant articles that provide value to the post & reader (avoid home page, product page, etc links)
  • Ensure that the link isn’t too close to other links (i.e. not in the same sentence or paragraph as another link)
  • Anchor text should not exceed four words
  • Links supplied must be clickable (so you can check where these are pointing to).

As you can see, this is quite a lot of work. however, it’s your credibility and reputation on the line, so you should do your best to protect it.

Balancing Content Quality & Quantity

An additional consideration in your content distribution strategy is the “frequency” of your distribution.

If you post content too often, your audience can become fatigued and start ignoring your content or your new content notifications. If you post too little or too infrequently, your content may not build enough traction for people to engage meaningfully with it.

Your content distribution strategy, therefore, needs to be balanced so that you are not only distributing the right content to the right audience via the right channels but also at the right frequency.

Managing Your Content Distribution

Managing published and distributed content can be challenging. It not only requires managing the content in the channels but the channels themselves.

Knowing which type of channel you use to distribute your content, therefore, can help you to better manage your content.

For example:

Owned Media – This content is completely under your control. So, as long as you have good content management systems and processes in place, you should be able to effectively manage all content in your owned channels.

Owned media pros: You have complete control, you can publish content directly on your site, social networks, etc. and it can cost less overall.

Owned media cons: Your audience can be limited and all your owned channels require maintenance.

Paid Media – Although you have influence over the content in paid media channels, often your control will be limited either by someone else’s rules (e.g. an external webmaster or publication), or by a lack of systems, transparency, or the willingness of 3rd parties to share, divulge, or provide you with full information or access to the management of the content.

For example, if you employ an agency to manage and distribute your content on paid distribution channels, they may have proprietary systems, knowledge, or methods for obtaining results that they may not be willing to divulge, disclose, or share with you.

Paid media pros: Instant results, easier to target your audience, easier to track and measure, and having control over the message and the copy.

Paid media cons: It can be expensive and create a dependency on channels that may not scale as you spend more money.

Earned/Shared Media – One of the main difficulties when managing earned or shared media content is that it’s almost always outside of your control.

Tracking earned or shared content metrics from shares, likes, and followers, for example, doesn’t necessarily give you the ability to manage the content being generated by users or followers. This challenge has even led to the development and adoption of earned media management strategies by communications professionals.

Earned/Shared media pros: Boosts trust and credibility, and increases brand awareness and reach.

Earned/Shared media cons: Can be difficult as it takes time and effort to earn, and can generate negative publicity (e.g. someone could create a meme ridiculing your brand or product and it then gets shared virally online).

It’s important to note that as more cross-channel marketing opportunities arise, what distinguishes one type of distribution channel from another can become a little blurred. This seems to be especially true with social media.

For example, social media is technically earned media, but it also allows for paid media content placements through advertising, “boosted” posts, etc., and owned media (e.g. when you post content on your own social channels via Facebook, X[formerly Twitter], LinkedIn, etc.)

Content Distribution Checklist

Creating valuable content is only half the battle. Effectively distributing that content is equally vital for success. Content distribution ensures your carefully crafted pieces reach the right audience, maximizing their impact.

Use the following comprehensive checklist to streamline your content distribution efforts:

  • Channel Selection: Identify relevant channels such as social media, email, and third-party platforms.
  • Audience Segmentation: Tailor content distribution strategies based on your target audience.
  • Optimized Titles: Craft catchy and SEO-friendly titles to boost click-through rates. These headline generating tools can help.
  • Editorial Calendar: Implement an editorial content calendar for organized planning and execution.
  • Performance Metrics: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure content metrics and gauge the success of your distribution efforts.
  • Leverage Influencers: Collaborate with influencers to expand your content’s reach and credibility. Use these social media tools to help you find influencers.
  • Repurposing Content: Repurpose content for various channels and formats to maximize its utility.
  • Email Newsletters: Incorporate content into regular email newsletters for consistent engagement.
  • Monitoring Trends: Stay updated on industry trends to align content distribution strategies accordingly.
  • User-generated Content: Encourage and amplify user-generated content for authentic engagement.

Summary

Content distribution is vital to the success of your organization’s content strategy.

What type of content you publish, how you publish it, where you publish it, and how often you publish it can all have a significant impact on your audience’s engagement with your brand.

Content is normally distributed through owned, paid, and/or earned media. Recent developments in social media have seen the emergence of a new distribution channel called shared media.

Action Steps

Review your content strategy and the content types produced in your organization.

Make sure that you and your content team clearly understand the different types of distribution channels and the challenges of managing not only the content distributed via those channels but also the channels themselves.

Resources

Content Promotion Kit – Includes a content promotion checklist (PDF), an editable checklist to customize for your business, templates for sharing content with leads, customers, and influencers, and templates for promoting content on social media.

References

Next Lesson

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Image: Woman holding mobile phone