The Best Channels for Content

While there are many options for sharing content it’s important to realize that different audiences engage with content on different channels. Before companies go posting and publishing everywhere it’s important to understand who your target audience is and where they communicate naturally. Be sure that you understand your audience’s behaviors and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

Here are several options for distribution channels and a brief overview of the pros and cons, and the content that tends to perform best on them.

Twitter

Twitter is a powerful content sharing platform. A recent study shows that content which has a picture and a link is much more likely to be shared so include a graphic when you can.

Pros:

  • Very searchable – the use of several well placed hashtags can make your content easy to find for those who may be looking for information on that topic
  • Active users- when you share others content they generally take notice and share yours with their audiences

Cons:

  • Tweets limited to 140 Characters
  • One of the busiest platforms – an average of over 350,000 tweets are sent per minute so your content must be very targeted and seen at the right times in order to lead to engagement

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great platform particularly for B2B companies. With millions of business professionals on this platform it’s important that when you share links to content be sure to add insightful commentary and be authoritative. To better engage users on this platform content such as eBooks, whitepapers or blog posts tend to perform best.

Pros:

  • Large network of business professionals
  • Targeted advertising options to boost your post into the right feed
  • More qualified leads

Cons:

  • Challenging to drive content engagement from business pages with low follower numbers
  • Less active community- although there are more people now engaging on LinkedIn daily, it’s generally been known to be more for jobs so if people aren’t actively hunting for a job they may not log in as frequently

Facebook

Facebook is my personal least favorite network for content marketing. While it does have the highest number of active users, it’s much more personal and pushing ads into newsfeeds can lead to more annoyed people than qualified leads. That said if you’re going to use Facebook as a method of content dissemination, visual pieces such as graphics, photos, and videos consistently drive more engagement.

Pros:

  • Larges active community logging in multiple times per day
  • Audience can be reached with large marketing budget

Cons:

  • Algorithms hide content from the feed unless post is paid for – and even then it’s reach is substantially stunted
  • Leads are generally less qualified than other channels

Google+

While many content marketers have discounted Google+ as a giant flop, it turns out that since google controls the search world, they have skewed the tables in their favor over other platforms. While you may not see much engagement on this platform it doesn’t hurt to post and it may actually help! Keep it visual for better click through as well.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a fantastic referral source especially for retail businesses. Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah says that shoppers referred by Pinterest are more 10% more likely to make a purchase than visitors who arrive from other social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. They’ll also spend 10% more on average. (via Mashable) Marketers can use this to their advantage by capturing attention with visuals that link to a relevant page with information on how to purchase a product.

Pros:

  • Very Searchable
  • Active user base

Cons:

  • A user may lift your image and not re-pin the information attached to it

Instagram

Instagram is a great platform with a huge active user base. The use of hashtags make images searchable and it can be a good way of getting your product into the public eye depending upon your target audience. It’s important that you balance fun images with images from your business. It’s unlikely anyone will follow if you’re overly sales focused so its important to be whimsical and interact with the community that you’re engaging with.

Pros:

  • Visual + video capability gives you the opportunity to inspire potential customers
  • Hashtags are very searchable and allow ease of discovery

Cons:

  • Challenging to link to external content directly
  • Young user base so not the right fit for all businesses

Email

Email marketing is still a very valuable way to connect with current and potential customers. That said, it’s important that you make it very personal and keep your subject straightforward and to the point. Once your customer has opted-in, keep the relationship going with valuable content that not only pushes your sales goals on them but keeps it relevant for them.

Pros:

  • If opened, good way to share multiple links/products at once
  • Everyone has email

Cons:

  • Very low percentage opened
  • Everyone gets thousands of emails daily so it’s a challenge to stand out

Blogs

Blogging is a key way for content marketing and platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr have made it simple to execute. You can generate organic traffic by consistently posting content that is authoritative and valuable to the community. Always remember to include a call to action so that the reader engages.

Pros:

  • Great way to share videos, eBooks, infographics, images, research, and data
  • Well written content will be linked back to and increase domain authority

Cons:

  • There’s a lot of blogs out there so standing out amidst the noise can be challenging
  • Poorly written content will hurt you more than it helps you

Whatever the platforms you choose to use, keep in mind that no one likes to be marketed to – but everyone likes to have information that is thought out and valuable shared with them. Keep your quality high and you’ll find success.