It’s pervasiveness has changed marketing for-ev-ver.
Historically, businesses generally found customers. Today, customers generally find businesses. They do this through online searches, polling their friends on social media, and browsing websites.
People are online foraging for information. They’re hungry and in search for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
This is why your platform must be built with content today.
Whether you are an individual, small business owner, or large corporation striving to connect with consumers, then you must build a platform on content that will not only help you project your message, but help people find your message.
Below are seven types of content you can create to help you build an audience online. Though some of the options below work better than others individually, it’s best to utilize one or more of them together. (To help you determine what types of content you should create, you can download for free my eBook, Effective Content Creation.)
Blogging is not dead. It’s…changing.
Sure, in some ways, old-school blogging is dying. The conversational nature of blogging has moved to embrace easier, shorter, and more accessible forms of communication, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
But this doesn’t mean that blogging is dead. If anything, this change — or maturation, if you will — is paving the way for the best years of blogging. Businesses have been successfully launched from blogging. And many people have individually launched a business, published a book, or became a thought leader through blogging.
Today, blogging is still one of the best ways you can build an audience online. Even though there are two ways you can quickly build an audience online with blogging, blogging is not for the faint of heart. You have to go into it with a long-term plan. It can take months, if not years, to build an audience of reputable size.
But don’t let this dissuade you from blogging.
You can regularly create killer content, build an audience online, and make a difference in the world.
2. Evergreen Content
Evergreen refers to a plant that retains green leaves throughout the year. In a similar vein, evergreen content is content that retains relevancy and provides value for readers for a long time.
Evergreen content can take on many forms, such as:
- Video Series
- And more…
The key to creating evergreen content is quality. Take time to develop one or more evergreen pieces of content. They will most likely be one of the most viewed and shared items you create.
3. Content Curation
Creating new content might not be your thing. And that’s okay. You can amass a huge audience around your ideas or products by curating content.
Like a museum curator who sorts through pieces of art to select the best pieces for their collection, content curation is the art of sorting through content to present material that provides value for your audience and meets your objectives.
You can do this by sifting through online and offline resources (e.g., books, magazines, newspapers, etc.) for material that will provide value for your readers. With this unformed lump of research in hand, you now have the creative liberty to mold it into any shape you see fit. Here are a few examples:
- You can write one blog post based upon your research like Maria Popova from Brain Pickings
- You can create an exclusive, weekly, hand-curated email for your readers like Amy Lynn Andrews
- You can curate links and include a standalone piece of content like Brian Clark with Further
- You can curate links around one specific topic like countless people.
- And on and on and on…
Content curation is an excellent way to build an audience. But make sure you don’t fall victim to creating worthless link posts.
Infographics and link posts “receive more average shares than other types of content.”
Infographics are simple in concept. They are a medium to present information in a visual way. In other words, infographics equals information + graphics.
They have proven to be an important tool for many, including Neil Patel of KISSmetrics and QuickSprout. Though they don’t have the value they once did a few years ago, infographics are still a great way to generate traffic, leads, and links from other sites that will drive traffic back to your site.
Not everyone likes to read or listen to what you have to say. Many people would prefer to watch a video.
Not only do many people prefer to watch a video, there are a host of other benefits to creating videos, such as:
- Video production and costs are continually declining
- Video accessibility is increasing (e.g., Facebook’s video auto-play function)
- Videos are nearly 10 times more likely to be shared, commented on, or embedded as compared to blogs or social media posts
- Videos are watched by 65% of viewers nearly 3/4 of the way through
- Videos will account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2017
Though videos can easily go viral or lead you to become a Snapchat superstar, fight the temptation of haphazardly recording and sharing videos with your audience.
Think through your objectives. Consider what your audience will prefer. Clarify exactly how you’re going to use video. These few simple steps will help you prepare to create a helpful video for your audience that will connect, engage, and compel them to action.
Podcasts may be one of the best mediums to build an audience online today.
As mentioned before, not everyone within your target market prefers to read what you’ve written or watch what you recorded. In all honesty, they may not have the ability to do so. And this is where the power of podcasting comes into play.
Unlike blog posts, infographics, and video content, podcasts can be consumed at any time or place. Though someone may not read your pithy social media posts, your well-researched article, or watch your entertaining video, they will listen to your podcast while exercising, mowing their lawn, and most importantly of all — while driving in their car.
Today, you don’t need to take out a business loan to produce a quality podcast. You can start connecting with your audience on an “entirely new and intimate level” with little to no cost.
7. Social Media
Social media can be a great means to build your audience. But there is one important step you should take to building an audience online before focusing on social media.
Social media is primarily about one thing: being social. It is a medium that is best used to enhance loyalty and retention, not drive new sales.
When it comes to building an audience online with social media, I believe there are a few basic principles to keep in mind:
- Identify your topic(s)
- Define your audience
- Provide helpful content
- Promote your content
- Engage your network
- Promote other people
- Connect with like-minded people and organizations
Social media is a great tool to connect with people 1-on-1 and lead them through your innovative marketing funnel. Optimize your social media accounts and lead people to your site where you can better engage him or her, nurture your relationship, and compel them to take action.
Get a free copy of Jesse’s latest book, Effective Content Creation: The Busy Person’s Guide to Creating Content, by subscribing to his newsletter.