Content publishing is a key element for improving visibility, brand unity, and spreading awareness with potential customers. Here are 5 content publishing platforms and tips for using each one.
The first step in developing an effective publishing strategy is to define the main purpose of your content. Is your main goal visibility, or increasing conversion rates? Is your content itself the product? We’ve compiled a list of the 5 best content publishing platforms for growing your business, along with guidelines and tips for using each one.
1. Social Media Platforms
If your goal is visibility, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are key content publishing platforms to master. Your posts can be short and explicitly promotional, but to build a loyal following, your page needs to offer more than that. Here are some tips on how to create highly engaging posts:
• Include visual elements. A recent Twitter study found that people are three times more likely to engage with tweets that have videos, photos, infographics, or GIFs.
• Spotlight team members with fun facts to add personality to your brand.
• How-to videos that tell your followers how to use your products or services are key for content and social media engagement.
• Include pictures, stories, and reviews from happy customers.
• Develop partner posts with influencers: maintaining connections and loyalty with influencers will also create brand awareness and generate profits from an influencers’ followers.
Medium is a hybrid between a self-publishing platform and a content-curating publisher. As such, the platform publishes a wide variety of posts, ranging from the casual blogpost to heavy-hitting content. Its algorithm promotes and elevates content based on how much engagement it attracts: so a high-performing post could have a long lifespan and become evergreen content. To take advantage of this, you should aim to make your Medium content substantial and informative.
• Write about new ideas, new ways to do something, and new stories about people. Explicit branding or blatant self-promotion doesn’t do very well.
• Re-publish content from your blog or website. Making a platform that you don’t control the home for your content has its risks. If you already have your own website but still understand the benefits of Medium’s reach, you can rework existing content, or simply post extracts, directing users to the full article on your own website.
• Visual elements are always key for engagement. For some inspiration, see this comic drawn over a J.Crew catalog or these I Love Charts graphics.
• Identify relevant publications to submit your articles to. Medium sorts stories into themed collections. Topics like technology, startups, and politics are always trending on the site. Writing specific pieces for a relevant publication allows you to reach your target audience.
LinkedIn offers many advantages for content publishers. Primarily, its user base is senior and influential, so a strong existing network on LinkedIn can easily be leveraged into a subscriber base through the platform’s alert system, which sends notifications for each new user post from your network. And only 0.5% of users post on LinkedIn every week, meaning there is a lot of space left to grab attention and gain exposure. LinkedIn is differentiated from other platforms by their mindset: they are intentional about networking, and more curious and receptive about learning from their users. If your goal is to network and brand yourself among other professionals, or if you already have a strong network, choose LinkedIn.
• Stick narrowly to your expertise (which can be cross-checked against your profile). Clearly define your target community and aim to give professionally relevant know-how such as bite-sized insights and practical, step-by-step advice which has helped your own career.
• Adding custom images can get you twice as many comments on your posts. Creatively experiment beyond the long text format: try short videos and interesting infographics.
• Establish your individual credibility and personal brand on LinkedIn. Create connections, receive endorsements, recommendations, and post articles.
• Post 3 – 5 times per week. Frequency and speed are very important in gaining visibility, but make sure there is always quality in your content.
• Write thoughtful comments on other users’ posts, which will get people clicking to view your profile. This will help you get connection requests and visitors to help build your network.
4. Email Marketing Platforms
If you’re looking to convert more sales, studies show that email converts at a higher rate than nearly any other channel. Email newsletters allow you to keep a potential audience connected with your business, so you can nurture a relationship even when they aren’t ready to buy. Mailchimp and ConvertKit are leading the email platform industries, and they both have a full suite of marketing tools. For example, you can automate and sequence emails, segment and manage audiences, set up landing pages, and customize the look and feel of emails. They charge you per subscriber, which can be a costly downside for a growing company without a big subscriber list.
• Create valuable content that a site visitor would want to exchange their email address for.
• Outside of email newsletters, you can insert a Call to Action button in your email signature. Your signature space is real estate for you to offer leads or relevant offers to entice your audience. Apps like Sigstr help you manage signatures and rollout campaigns across your entire team.
But what if your content itself is the product you are selling? Substack is getting a huge buzz, and for good reason. Like Mailchimp and Convertkit, Substack is an email newsletter platform. What is different about it is its focus on the content itself. Its business model departs from the ad-driven model that has been dominating our internet landscape. All of the platforms mentioned previously operate with the underlying assumption that content publishing is the means to another end, be it visibility, higher conversion rates, or branding. Substack, on the other hand, allows writers to build their own paid subscription businesses, and earns money by taking a 10% commission of revenue. The incentive, therefore, is for writers to provide readers with as much value as possible in the content itself.
This is reflected in their simple user interface. Substck’s marketing tools are significantly more limited: you can’t customize the email template, font, or landing page, for example. Don’t use Substack if you are selling a product and are looking to convert efficiently. On the other hand, Substack frees the writer from the frustrations that Mailchimp and Convertkit bring as platforms designed for techies, not content creators. The simplicity of Substack enables writers to focus on their craft. The platform’s chief beneficiary are writers, helping them establish a direct relationship with their audience.
• Create bundles with other newsletters. Collaborate with other writers to set up a new newsletter with bundled content.
• Let your content remain free for a while. The longer your newsletter is free, the more readers you attract before you turn it into a paid subscription. If you develop a loyal subscriber base, they will be willing to pay the price to continue to read your content.
• Create a newsletter centered around your own name. Substack’s main focus is the connection between an individual (not a publication or group) and their audience.
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