Branded Content vs Content Brand
The promise of content marketing is to attract an audience vs. buying it, or relying on publishers to help spread your content. That's why successful organizations are shifting from just building content to developing a content brand. The difference between content marketing and just content is a brand-owned destination that serves customers over the brand. This means you have to think long and hard about where your content will live, how it supports the brand mission, and what value that has for the customer and the business.
Your favourite content generation/marketing tools
Google trends, Google auto-fill and Buzzsumo are tools I use every day to plan content. With those free tools you can see what topics are important, what content is getting shared, which sites are being sought out and who is influential for each topic that matters to your audience.
#1 Social media channel for content marketing
I think the big three social networks are still important for any brand. Twitter is great for getting quick feedback on what works. Linkedin is great for deep engagement with targeted audiences. And Facebook is where so many of us discover the content we are interested in. Some brands that have more visual content to share are finding success on Instagram and Pinterest but I still think the top 3 are the best bet for most companies.
Long detailed vs short snackable content
This not a battle. In order to gain your audience's attention you need to build both long form and snackable content. Long form provides the best answer to the questions your customers are asking, and shows off your expertise. And short form content makes a simple point when we aren't in the mood to sit back and read 2,000 or more words. But you need to build a content marketing program that does both.
The future of the Content-SEO pair
When we have a question, we ask Google. So understanding what people are searching for and what questions they ask is the first rule of building an effective content marketing brand. I believe this will continue to be the case into the near future and beyond. When we look into the content consumption patterns for most brands, there are three main customer channels for content discovery: search, social and email (yes email is still important.). So brands need to focus on all three if they want to get found by the customers.