Content Marketers – Know Your Playbook
I get the feeling that when most folks hear the term content marketing, the first thing that pops into their heads is “blogging.” And sure, a blog is a cornerstone of any good content strategy — I mean, without blogs, this post would be nothing more than a lonely desktop icon upon my Katy Perr… err… New England Patriots wallpaper. But it’s also just the tip of the iceberg.
One of the best (and most fun) things about content marketing is that there is SO MUCH you can do with it. Case in point, Joe Pulizzi and the folks at the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) just published an updated version of their Content Marketing Playbook. This is a free download that breaks down 42 (yes, 42) different tactics for delivering content to your audience.
My guess is that most marketers (and some publishers) can’t even name 22 different content types, let alone 42. Listed from most popular to relatively obscure, the Playbook provides definitions, examples and expert insights on each idea. Not sure what the hell microblogging means? The explanation is in there. Looking to start a newsletter? You’ll find the key play points. Wondering if your company should develop an iPad app? Joe shares his thoughts.
Of course, the point isn’t that you should be using every one of these formats. It’s really about being aware of the opportunities out there and choosing what makes the most sense for you and your target audience.
As for me, I tend to lean toward the text-based side of the content coin. Maybe it’s my journalism roots, but the sites I’ve managed have always had more success with written content than multimedia. Of course, that’s not to say things like podcasts and videos should be completely abandoned (different people consume content in different ways after all); it’s just my personal preference.
Of the 42 content options included in the Playbook, here are my five favorites (in no particular order) that every content strategy should include:
- Blogs/Articles – Duh – I already said this was key. And it’s not like everyone doesn’t already know it anyway. But it’s still worth including because quite frankly, if you don’t have a blog, you’re not doing content marketing.
- Newsletters – OK, I’ll admit I have my issues with newsletters. But when it comes to attracting immediate traffic to your latest content, there’s really no better way. Plus, from a business perspective, every newsletter subscriber you get is also a new lead. So yes, they are a must. In fact, the CMI Playbook offers an example of a quality newsletter that looks oddly familiar…
- eBooks – I love eBooks because they allow you to take a large idea and capture it in a nice, pretty PDF design. As content items, they have their own identity on your site; it’s not just content, it’s special content. This is also one of the best content types to gate and grab more subscribers/leads – a win-win!
- Microblogging – As Joe and co. point out, this basically means having a Twitter presence. But as I wrote recently, your potential customers are on Twitter, so you have to be too. Simple as that.
- Podcasts – I know, I know, this isn’t written content. But the best thing about podcasts is that not only do they add variety to your site and open you up to new potential customers, but they are incredibly easy to produce. Just choose a topic, get someone on the phone, press Record and by the time you’re done talking, it’s essentially ready to go. Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom.
But again, there is a lot more out there when it comes to content. In fact, Joe has spoken on many of these topics in a series of 60-second videos for OpenView Labs. I encourage you to check out the videos (examples below), download the Playbook, and get to work on improving your content strategy. Chances are there’s at least one idea in there that could open you up to a whole new audience.
Joe Pulizzi on:
What are your favorite content types?
You can find more information on content marketing and editorial practices at the OpenView Labs website. You can also follow Brendan on Twitter @BrenCournoyer and find more from the OpenView team @OpenViewVenture.