Thinking Beyond Blogging
Tips to promote your content beyond the blog
When it comes to creating great content, most people start with blogging. While blogs are an excellent tool to provide your readers with information about your industry, they can tend to be time-consuming and sometimes may not produce the kinds of engagement your business is looking for.
While we fully encourage you to continue writing and rolling out new blog content on your website, we also want to remind you that there are other excellent ways to engage with your audience as a business. If your business has been looking for ways to promote content outside of the blog, you’re at the right place.
The main tool we’re going to be focusing on in this post is live video.
Live video streaming for content promotion
Before you turn and run at the sight of this idea, please allow us to get some myths out of the way:
Myth #1: It’s going to cost you an arm and a leg.
Truth: You don’t need fancy, expensive filming equipment. Really, your smartphone can do it all. Having a selfie stick or tripod can also be helpful, but isn’t necessary.
Myth #2: You have to be a video expert.
Truth: Live video is popular not because it’s done professionally or because it’s perfectly scripted. It’s popular because it’s personal, transparent, and engaging.
Myth #3: This is only for large businesses.
Truth: Anyone can do this. There have been small businesses that have become known globally through their use of live video. This can be a successful content marketing tool for anyone who puts it to good use!
Why is live video a great tool for promoting your business?
It’s not scripted.
This is where a lot of people get nervous. They would sooner call this a con rather than a pro because they’re afraid of having their audience see their imperfections. However, live videos are more engaging for the very reason that they’re unscripted. People get to see you in real time. The transparency actually builds trust with your audience and they enjoy seeing you as you really are…human. They don’t expect your brand to be perfect. They expect you to be real.
It’s visually stimulating.
Okay, this one is obvious. We already know that adding images to a blog post helps add visual appeal. But movement, even more than an image, is eye catching and people are more likely to engage and stay tuned.
It’s an affordable way to promote your brand.
We covered this briefly when we hit myth #1. This is an awesome tool that doesn’t have to cost you additional money if you already own a smartphone. Most of the platforms you can use to share live video are free. Your business probably already uses various social media platforms. Who doesn’t want an affordable way to raise awareness about their brand?
It’s a way to gain traffic.
Live video can draw more people to your page on the platform you’re using and could ultimately end up sending more traffic to your website.
It’s a way to grow your followers.
Especially if you are using live video as a tool to share content that is valuable with your viewers, your audience will grow. People will share the video with friends who will then share it with others.
It provides direct contact with your audience.
Unlike a blog, live video provides the next best thing to face to face contact. Especially when you use live video to answer questions and allow viewers to engage via comments, you’re giving them real-time contact with you that is far more valuable than just a typical blog post or FAQ page.
A Few Livestream Platforms Your Business Can Use
Not every business is targeting the same audience, so the tool you choose to use will be based on the audience you want to reach.
Facebook Live is probably the most well-known live video tool because so many individuals and businesses use Facebook. Facebook Live allows you to interact with your audience and see reactions to your video as it’s going. You can use your mobile phone or your desktop computer to do the video. You are able to choose your privacy settings so that you can stream publically or with your chosen group of people. If you’re promoting your brand, streaming publicly is the best way to reach a larger audience! If you’re unsure of what things will look like, start out by choosing “only me” in privacy settings to test how the video will appear to others. It’s extremely helpful to write an attention-grabbing headline for your video that makes the purpose of your live stream clear. Facebook Live allows you to add lenses, filters, writing, or drawings to your video. Once you have finished your video, you’re able to make it permanently available to your chosen audience.
YouTube Live Though perhaps not as popular as Facebook Live, Youtube Live is a common tool used for live streaming and provides more options if a glitch were to occur.
Instagram Live If you have a large audience for your industry on Instagram, this may be the route to go.
Periscope (purchased by Twitter) is a live streaming video mobile app. This is a great tool for those who have more of their followers and more engagement on Twitter than other social media platforms.
Snapchat is a great option if your target audience is young adults. ‘Snaps’ are available for 24-hours, then they’re gone, making this a great platform for exclusive content.
Creative Ways Businesses Can Use Live Video
Large and small businesses alike are getting creative with the ways they use live video to promote their content. Don’t fall into the trap thinking your industry is too boring to do live video. Here are some ideas your business can try.
- Give a tour of your business. This gives your audience a behind-the-scenes peek into your company.
- Announce upcoming events, freebies, contests, etc.
- Hold interviews/Q&A sessions. Rather than just responding to individuals privately who have questions (which you can still do!), respond to common questions live and allow your audience to submit questions as you’re filming. This is an great way to connect with your viewers and even provide excellent customer support.
- Film how-to videos, showing people how to use your product or showing them more about your services. This will help you build trust with your clients as well as prospects.
- Respond to hot topics related to your industry.
- Livestream when you launch a new product.
- Hold a webinar.
Additional Tips for Live Video
- Inform your audience (ideally, more than once!) ahead of time that you will be live streaming.
- Make sure you have a good wifi connection to lessen the possibility of your video cutting off or having other issues.
- Get your team involved with ideas and the actual video.
- Relax. Have fun. Don’t leave out the humor.
- Know your audience and the best time to do your video when more of your audience will be able to see it live.
- Challenge your viewers to invite others to the stream.
- Monitor how your audience responds to your video, both while it’s live and then within 24 hours after the event. Check for comments, shares, etc. This can help you get a good understanding of what they liked and what you can do differently next time.
More Engaging Platforms to Share Your Content
While live video can break the habit of the “same old blog,” we’d encourage you not to stop there. Here are some additional platforms on which you can share and promote your content.
If your company does a number of different presentations, this could be an excellent way for you to share those presentations with followers online. Slideshare is a slide hosting service through LinkedIn that allows you to share files, pdfs, powerpoints, keynotes, and OpenDocument presentations either privately with a chosen group of people or publically. This can be particularly helpful if you’re in a business to business (B2B) industry. Of course, being that Slideshare is a part of LinkedIn, you can feature your slide decks on your LinkedIn profile – it’s like getting twice the promotion on the same bit of content!
This is another tool that might make you cringe at the amount of money you may have to spend. The truth is, you don’t need expensive equipment to share a valuable podcast with those who follow your business. You can use your computer’s native microphone/sound recorder or use the microphone on your smartphone. To edit audio files, you can use Audacity (a free audio software) or if you want more control, Reaper is another great tool. Audio marketing allows you to go above and beyond the more common way many businesses communicate online.
But where should you host your podcast? That’s a great question. Here are some free platforms worth checking out:
I hope this article was helpful and you are able to bring your brand to life for your audience!