12 Most Common Platforms for Content Marketing

12 Most Common Platforms for Content Marketing

Content marketing, the offering of valuable information as a means of attracting potential customers, is the new way of engaging. If you want to get someone’s attention, you’ve got to earn it. You’ve got to show them that you can deliver before money ever changes hands. In today’s competitive landscape, if you aren’t offering content, you aren’t getting converts.

Perhaps content marketing sounds like a good idea to you, but you don’t really know where to start. How does content marketing manifest itself in actual activities that you perform? What does content marketing actually look like?

While one of the most common misconceptions about it is that it is confined to blogging, there are actually a variety of tools that use content marketing. You’ve probably already heard of, and may even have implemented, some of the most basic forms of content marketing. If not, it’s time to learn them.

1. Blogging

Blogging is the simplest, most recognizable, and arguably most effective form of content marketing. You can start a blog for free with platforms such as WordPress. Your content shows up in Internet searches and can also be subscribed to by email or RSS. There’s simply no easier way to share consistent information with people than writing about it in this manner. A great example is Anthony Iannarino, a B2B sales coach who writes daily for his blog. Another great way to share information with customers is to write a guest article (ahem, ahem) for another’s blog.

2. Podcasting

A veteran in content marketing, podcasting is essentially an audio version of a blog. Audio can be very helpful for people because, unlike any other medium, you can consume the content while simultaneously engaging in other activities. Econtalk, a podcast hosted by Russell Roberts of George Mason University taught me more about economics than all I had learned from acquiring a bachelors degree on the subject. Still a very powerful way to get your message across.

3. Video

Video is a greatly under-utilized platform for content marketing. Many are familiar with the fact that YouTube is the second most-visited search engine in the world, behind Google. Clearly, people are thirsty for content that they can consume visually. Blendtec does an excellent job with video in its “Will it Blend?” series, in which it shows a Blendtec blender blending everything from glow sticks to golf balls to iPads. If you aren’t using video, you should start thinking of ways to implement it.

4. Webinar

People spend hundreds, sometimes thousands, to attend seminars. They rush at the opportunity to attend one for free from the comfort of their own homes. Focus, a website consisting of community of business professionals on the web, does an excellent job of administering webinars. This method of content marketing requires a bit of technical expertise and at least a few willing participants, but it can be done. Give it a shot.

5. White papers

White papers are proprietary documents containing in-depth research or case studies. Traditionally, research organizations have charged a great amount for such information. If you can offer it for free to those who express interest, you are adding tremendous value. Michael Stelzner, a seasoned Internet marketer, offers an extensive resource for writing white papers. Do you have a mountain of research and industry background just sitting around? Maybe you ought to consider putting one together.

6. Ebooks

Writing a book can be a daunting task and yet the list price on new publications is shocking to many people just looking for some information. Targeted, practical, eBooks can be a cost-effective way of providing extensive information to customers. Sales trainer Mark Hunter provides a great set of eBooks available for free on his site. If you haven’t yet written an eBook, now might be the time to sharpen your writing skills and get to work.

7. Email/newsletter

Providing a customer information via email is the next best thing to calling them. You can be sure they’ll at least look at the subject line. You can create a newsletter, informing your reader on industry trends and interesting events. Also, you can create a series of emails under one theme. Blogging authority Copyblogger, right now, is offering a great string of emails to subscribers called Internet Marketing for Smart People. Email marketing and newsletters are great ways to keep customers thinking about you.

8. Commenting

While commenting on others blogs is not typically considered content marketing, it can be if you do it right. Commenting platforms such as Livefyre, Disqus, and Comment Luv all in different ways, link your comments to you and your own content. Therefore, when you comment on others’ blogs, you are providing high-quality information that can be traced back to your brand. Being active in the communities of others is a great way to get them involved with yours.

9. Facebook page

Yes, social media can be used for content marketing. Although content should be more invitational and interactive, it is nonetheless content. The Facebook page is the chief hub of content marketing in the social networking world. Customers often find thins out about their favorite brands via their Facebook feed. Bruce Sallan has an excellent article on how to best utilize content on Facebook. What are you doing with your Facebook page?

10. Twitter

Twitter is a social media platform centered almost entirely around the sharing of information. When I’m deciding whether or not to follow someone, I’ll look at their Tweets to determine whether or not the information is something that will be useful to me. It is likely that your potential customers are doing the same thing. Twitter can be a powerful content marketing platform if you share things that are interesting. How are you using Twitter to share content?

11. LinkedIn Answers

Why call yourself an expert when you can let others do it for you? LinkedIn “Answers” is a forum in which anyone can ask questions and answer them. Whoever gives the best answer to any given question, as judged by the asker of the question, can get expertise points in the category of the question posted. This platform is fully searchable on the web, so it’s great for gaining recognition as a thought leader. Have you participated in LinkedIn Answers yet?

12. Google Plus

Yes, it’s the new kid on the block. And, yes, there is much debate as to its longevity with the general public. But there is little debate as to its usefulness as a content marketing platform. Sharing links, photos, videos, and even entire blog posts is incredibly easy. Authors Chris Brogan and Robert Scoble both have wildly successful blogs and yet have found it worthwhile to post tons of unique content on the budding social network. If Google Plus catches on, it will provide an amazing opportunity for content distribution. Have you tinkered with it yet?

Content marketers of the web, weigh in! What am I missing?

Featured image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography licensed via Creative Commons.

Doug Rice

http://www.douglaserice.com

Douglas E. Rice is a marketer, writer, and researcher who blogs regularly. He is the author of The Curiosity Manifesto, a provocative guide to learning new things and keeping an open mind.

468 ad
19 comments
jim2012
jim2012

if your business is in travel I'd also suggest www.bestholidaynews.com as a good platform to distribute your content.

MikeMaySay
MikeMaySay

I've always thought of events as content marketing. They aggregate an audience and allow a brand to demonstrate its expertise and authority, and to build its profile among prospects and customers. Not just conferences and trade shows, but local events. There is a realtor in my town who creates an annual "Strut Your Mutt" event downtown targeted at pet owners, and the popular Farmers Market here was actually created by one of the vendors, who built it so that he would have the ideal platform to market and sell through (which would be far less ideal if he were there all alone).

JudiYoung
JudiYoung

Doug, I noticed you don't list Quora or Amplify. Is it your opinion that neither are worthwhile? ... just curious. Thanks!

nischala.murthy
nischala.murthy

This is a great compilation Doug.. They are all channels for content creation.. some of them like twitter double up as content marketing channels as well...in fact each of them has a very different content life cycle and u definitely need to market ur blog or podcast, etc to potential audience using a marketing channel... else, your content runs of risk of getting limited eyes / ears

BruceSallan
BruceSallan

Thx for the shout-out Doug! Much appreciated.

PaulBiedermann
PaulBiedermann moderator

Thanks for the great roundup here, Doug! Really helpful information that is sure to get people’s wheels spinning for different ways of creating awareness.

margieclayman
margieclayman

Great post as always, Doug. It's easy to limit our thinking and just equate blogging with content marketing, but as you say, it goes well beyond that single platform.

Thanks for this information!

Latest blog post: The Two Rules I Live By

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

Love this Doug - content marketing is certainly the current buzz word and you gave wonderful examples of where and what to share!

LinkedIn is one place that I haven't done too much with as far as commenting and creating content. I am on the network & keep my status updated etc,

Have you read Content Rules by Ann Handley & CC Chapman?

Thanks for the great resource information!

Peggy

douglaserice
douglaserice

@MikeMaySay definitely true, Mike! Event marketing is a content marketing classic! Seminars predate webinars. It's always great when you can get a large group of people together to have conversations. Those are some powerful examples. Thanks for your contribution!

JudiYoung
JudiYoung

@JudiYoung Doug, Quora is just like LinkedIn Answers - ask a question and get replies. It's good! And Amplify is great, too, although I admit I haven't been active lately. Amplify doesn't seem to have the high amount of spam and Internet Marketers as some of the other networking sites (LinkedIn Groups can drive me crazy) and can be a great place for a real conversation with like-minded peeps. Look me up if you go there: judi.amplify.com.

douglaserice
douglaserice

@JudiYoung I've not heard of Amplify and haven't had much experience with Quora. Tell me about them. Do you think they make good content marketing platforms?

douglaserice
douglaserice

@nischala.murthy thx for your comment! I really like that you draw a distinction between content creation and content marketing. A lot of people seem to think they're doing Internet marketing as long as they have a website. Optimization of, distribution of, and interaction with content makes it marketing, not merely having it.

douglaserice
douglaserice

@BruceSallan no problem, I really enjoyed that post. It really made me think about my FB Page. Unfortunately, I haven't yet gotten past the 'thinking.' LOL.

douglaserice
douglaserice

@PaulBiedermann no problem. Thanks for the opportunity. It's one of my mottos in content marketing to go beyond the blog. We've got to tur every avenue and reach our audiences where they are.

douglaserice
douglaserice

@margieclayman thanks, Margie! I think it's important to understand content marketing in a broader context lest (did I say lest?) we lose sight of the fact that it's all about engaging our audiences. Are we reaching our customers in the way THEY want to reached? That's the question.

douglaserice
douglaserice

@PegFitzpatrick thanks for the comment, Peggy! I hadn't heard of Content Rules but am a huge fan of Marketing Profs. Thanks for the recommendation!

douglaserice
douglaserice

@JudiYoung I signed up for Quora. It seems very good. I need to be more active on it. Great community!

JudiYoung
JudiYoung

@douglaserice I just tried to get into Amplify - no go. It may have done away and if so,that's a shame. Anyway, Quora is still going strong ...

Adsense