When developing your content strategy, your first task will be to determine what platforms you want to publish content on. Your website will serve as the hub for all of the content that you produce for your business. You will also publish content on other publishing platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, but the goal should always be to drive users back to your website so that they can read your content on your website, sign-up for your email list, click on your ads and purchase products that you sell. Your website is where you will make your money at, but you can’t focus on your website alone because you won’t be able to build an audience without also publishing content on other platforms. You need to leverage other marketing channels and publishing platforms so that people will come to your website and click on your ads and buy your products.
Here are some examples of different platforms you can publish content on:
- CreateSpace (paperback books)
- Google News (News stories)
- iTunes (Podcasts)
- Kindle (eBooks)
- Stitcher (Podcasts)
Not every publishing platform will be right for every business. Not everyone should try to run a YouTube channel, have a major presence on LinkedIn, launch a podcast or rely heavily on Facebook. Focus on the publishing channels that cater to your target audience. At MarketBeat, we only focus on social networks that cater to investors. Publishing content through Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat won’t move the needle for our business because people don’t look for investing content on those platforms. However, Twitter, LinkedIn and StockTwits are excellent publishing channels for MarketBeat content because there are users actively searching for investing content on those platforms. Identify what social media channels your audience is already using and focus exclusively on those platforms.
One way to determine what social media platforms your audience is using is to look at what your competitors are doing. If all of your competitors are active on Pinterest, you should probably be leveraging Pinterest as well. If all of your competitors have an active YouTube channel, it’s probably working for them as a good source of web traffic. The best way to determine which social media platforms are working for your competitors is by using SimilarWeb (www.similarweb.com). Enter your competitors’ websites into SimilarWeb and it will show you which social media channels are referring the most traffic to their websites. SimilarWeb does charge a fee for some of its services, but the basic social media referral information you are looking for is available for free without a login.
There are dozens of different platforms that you could publish content on, but not all of them will be worth the effort and you don’t have enough hours in the day to properly leverage every available social media platform. The 80/20 rule is in full effect when choosing your publishing platforms—the vast majority of the results that you get will come from the few platforms that are most relevant to your niche. Focus only on the two or three publishing platforms that will generate the best results for your business and set aside everything else. You will get better traction the platforms you focus on and will still have time to work on your website and build your email list.
At this point, you may not know what social media services and other publishing channels you should focus on. The next several sections of this chapter provide an overview of some major publishing platforms and will help to determine whether or not each platform is a good fit for your business.