Multi-Channel Content Marketing Plan: Recycling, Organizing & Consolidating Content Assets
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The web is getting richer and more visual.
A short decade ago, it was quite possible to wow your audience by adding a nice screenshot to your article.
These days, you really need to think hard about how to get your audience to even notice your page.
What has proven to get my content assets noticed is to be everywhere (i.e. consistently marketing to multiple channels with a well-branded message).
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Part of the content marketing process includes creating and using a solid plan. In order to help you manage this process, we have created an editorial calendar template, which will better prepare you for upcoming projects — including those related to multi-channel content marketing plans.
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What is Multi-Channel Content Marketing?
As the name suggests, a multi-channel content marketing plan takes multiple platforms into account, which can drive targeted traffic to your website.
While multi-channel content marketing makes perfect sense these days — as your audience is likely frequenting multiple platforms, and you need to be where your audience is — it is also incredibly difficult to build and manage.
The more channels you are trying to cater to, the more content assets you are likely to need. There are video-only, audio-only, image-only, micro-video-only, etc. platforms out there.
There are channels that tend to respond better to animated GIFs, and there are platforms that hardly support them. There are platforms that support mostly vertical images, and there are platforms that prefer square images. There are channels that work great for marketing infographics, and there are channels where long-form infographics won’t even work.
With such a variety of formats and best practices, how can a small or middle-sized business or publication possibly keep up without investing thousands into huge marketing teams?
This is where recycling (aka repackaging and repurposing) content marketing comes into play.
Recycling Content Marketing
Recycling content means turning a content asset into a new format. This may be turning text content into a video or an infographic. This can also be about turning a video into a text article by transcribing it.
Fundamentally, you need one basic content asset to turn it into multiple assets and create a micro-strategy for each channel.
In other words, recycling content lets you and your brand be everywhere without broadcasting the same copied message.
Instead, you create a custom content asset for each channel while still maintaining a consistent style throughout.
Multi-Channel Content Marketing in Action
Let’s say our basic content is a text article, which is usually the case, and let’s make it a how-to article.
Here are all the marketing channels to which you are planning to market:
- Google organic
One way to approach that is to snap your link everywhere you can — at least where it’s possible, which would take Instagram off the charts.
However, your content deserves better.
Sharing a link on social media isn’t a terrible idea, from time to time, but if it’s all you do, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. It may very well be that most of your social media followers don’t even see your content:
- “Link” posts notoriously get very little exposure on most social media platforms. The theory is sites, like Facebook and Twitter, don’t like the idea of their users simply sharing links to other sites. This may be a signal of a spammy activity.
- Social media updates that have nothing but a link are easy to overlook. Web users are quickly getting used to visual memes, eye-catching videos, and images. They may well miss your update if it’s not visual.
It is a much smarter approach to treat your social media channels like any other marketing channel out there (e.g. your own site). You need original content to attract and engage your audience.
Plus, it’s doable.
Provided we have our how-to article already written, what kind of asset might we need for all other channels?
- Google organic: Our text article
- Facebook: A quick video teaser
- Twitter: A nice image (an animated GIF)
- Instagram: A visual quote
- Youtube: A video summary/takeaways
- Pinterest: Visual takeaways
Is it really doable?
With the right set of tools, all of those assets won’t take long to create.
Content Recycling Tools
As I am an extremely busy person, I have thoroughly been picking out tools that would save my time while allowing me to create all the content assets I need. Here are the tools I am using:
Quotes, Takeaways, Key Points into Visual Quotes (Snappa)
Snappa is a less known alternative to Canva (there are more of those). While I love both tools, Snappa offers a nice feature, allowing you to resize your initial creation into multiple formats with one click of a mouse.
I use Snappa to create visual quotes from my text content to highlight key steps or key points to repurpose them on multiple channels.
Any Images into Animated GIFs: Pixaloop
Pixaloop allows you to “bring your photos to life”. The app allows you to animate any part of your image, and it doesn’t require any web design skills or additional training.
The app comes with a variety of free and paid video effects, camera effects, overlay objects (stars, butterflies, candle flickers, coffee steam, etc.), and movements. It is a powerful app for recycling images into animated assets to use on Twitter.
Animated GIFs work best for Twitter and Instagram.
Takeaways, Key Points, Subheadings into Mini-Videos: InVideo
InVideo is an online video editor that makes video creation a breeze. Simply pick a template and edit it by copy-pasting your subheadings, key steps, or best points from your video. You can also upload your own screenshots, photos, add your own voiceover, or select an existing audio track.
These micro-videos are great content assets to use on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.
Takeaways, Key Points, Subheadings into Infographics: Venngage
No need to create design-heavy infographics, which would take weeks to put together. You can create flowcharts, checklists, or visual takeaways.
These would help to get more results from Pinterest and engage more interactions on your site by making your content easier to digest. Venngage is a great tool to easily plug in those types of infographics.
You can also use a variety of free tools to create simple, yet effective, data visualizations, which would also do very well across social media channels. For example, pie charts and venn diagrams usually make great social media content.
Video & Audio Instructions: Zoom
For YouTube, you may also use video teasers, but it also often makes sense to create longer content for the platform to get more subscribers and loyal viewers. YouTube users love step-by-step instructions, and YouTube is known for giving advantage to longer videos (about 14 minutes long, on average).
I have found Zoom very easy to record those. It costs nothing to set up and record a one-person meeting where you’d simply read your article and show steps on the screen. This is where you can reuse your infographics and visual instructions from above. After a couple of videos, it will take you 30–50 minutes to create one solid video instruction.
At this point, here’s what your recycling content campaign would look like:
Time required: ~60 minutes
Wait! There’s More
Mix and Match
Remember how I mentioned above that many of those content formats would make great assets for several channels? Here, you have an option to mix and match channels driving your fans and followers to your article, again and again, by using diverse assets.
Additionally, the recycling content strategy can help you take full advantage of additional social media features, like Instagram Live and Facebook Live, through streaming your full video.
In other words:
Fill up Your Social Media Calendar
As you create more and more content assets, schedule them to go live on your social media channels. Scheduling will help spread out your content and avoid cluttering your social media feeds.
CoSchedule will help you manage most social media scheduling from a single dashboard.
It’s also a good idea to utilize CoSchedule’s to-do list option, so you don’t overlook any of the creation or promotion pieces.
Target Even More Platforms
The variety of content assets which you have created open up more platforms for you to experiment, like:
Some of these sites may drive lots of traffic (e.g. Imgur), and all of them are also useful branded networks that help you dominate organic search results when anyone is searching for your name.
These social media profiles show up for my brand name, allowing me to have more control over my branded search sentiment.
Curate and Consolidate
While recycling is mostly about expanding your reach, it also helps to keep all of those assets organized and consolidated. This will create a searchable database of your media and content pieces as well as help you create even more traffic and brand awareness sources.
The two easiest curation platforms allowing you to collect your own brand assets under one roof are:
- Flipboard: Create a rich, visually pleasing magazine by adding all your assets here.
- Paper.li: Auto-curate your assets from multiple sources by pulling new content from your blog and social media profiles into a weekly newspaper. Your newspaper can be auto-tweeted to your brand’s Twitter account — driving even more clicks to your content recycling campaign.
SEO Content Marketing: How Does This Strategy Help With SEO?
Finally, how much of that strategy may be helping your SEO efforts?
In my previous article on SEO management, I’ve mentioned how search results are becoming more and more visual. This forces SEO consultants to produce more diverse content assets.
This recycling content strategy helps you with this. Grab more positions in search results, including images, video carousels, visual featured snippets, etc.
A well-organized content recycling strategy is likely to help your brand appear in all of these visual search elements.
With that in mind, your own site (i.e. the initial how-to article) should be the center of this campaign. In other words, make sure to reuse most of your visual assets within your article.
- Embed your long-form video and link to the Youtube page.
- Hotlink your infographics and visual quotes.
- Embed your animated GIFs.
This will help Google to find, index, and rank all of your assets.
Plus, visual content is known to improve on-page engagement, which, in turn, may send all sorts of good signals to Google — improving your article positions.
Monitor and Ultimately Focus on What Works
Who are we kidding? No one will have time or energy to go through all these steps for each and every article they write. The beauty of doing it from time to time is the ability to accumulate enough data to make informed decisions when you don’t have time for this whole process.
In other words, targeting so many channels with diverse content assets will help you identify:
- Best performing platforms — in terms of traffic and conversions.
- Best performing content assets (i.e. those that manage to engage more of your followers).
It is a lot to monitor and analyze. You are likely to have to open lots of tabs and native analytics solutions each time you need to get a closer look at how each of your channels is performing.
It makes a lot of sense to consolidate all those data points into a single dashboard. Ideally, that dashboard should be capable of correlating all types of channel activity with different types of conversions, from click throughs, to leads captured, all the way to sales.
Sisense provides a strong solution, which makes tracking the impact of multi-channel content marketing campaigns manageable. You can use the business intelligence platform’s native data connectors (there are over 160 of them) to import engagement metrics from all the channels you are using (Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, your CRM, etc.) and easily visualize the metrics that matter to you.
It is also a good idea to embrace alternative analytics platforms, which will offer you more manageable insights. When it comes to web analytics, it is never a good idea to get stuck with a single solution. Playing with different data sources is key, which is why I always recommend checking newer platforms. Finteza is one platform, which I discovered not so long ago, and I fell in love because it is extremely easy to set up and figure out.
Finteza allows you to slice and dice the data by traffic source, demographics, landing page, etc. — allowing you to see exactly what’s driving best-performing clicks to your site and how different user groups interact with your content assets:
Multi-channel content marketing content through recycle is not only doable, it will also help you discover more traffic channels, better understand your target audience, and create a more effective SEO strategy. By using the above tools, you will find it quite easy to set up and run.
February 3, 2021