As a budding or established entrepreneur, scrappy marketer or ambitious employee, one of the toughest questions to tackle is where to start when it comes to marketing your company – specifically, which marketing channels to invest time and money into.
Of course, in an ideal world, we’d all take the omnipresent approach to marketing like Gary Vaynerchuk or Dan Lok, where you’re active on every platform nearly 24 hours a day. Yet, if you have tight funds or limited bandwidth, this approach simply isn’t a realistic one.
To accommodate, nearly all content I’ve read online encourages readers to focus on hopping on specific marketing channels, whether that’s striking Instagram while the iron is hot, Pinterest, or YouTube. I think all entrepreneurs should take a different approach, though, by focusing on mediums as opposed to particular platforms – visual, audio, and written content being the main three.
The reason for this is simple: your skill sets are different than the marketing guru who told you to hop on LinkedIn video a few months back. You might be an exceptional writer who is better suited to invest time in Medium, or a have the next radio legend on your staff.
Here’s how and where to start.
Which medium should you choose?
Be honest with yourself here when answering this question: which medium, or skill set, are you best at?
Are you (or someone on your team) amazing on camera, but have the voice of a dying frog? Then stick to video and avoid podcasting. Are you an incredible writer who comes across as boring on video? Then invest time into blogging, and steer clear of video.
Self awareness is key when it comes to creating stellar online content. If you aren’t gifted at a certain skill set and lack the funds to hire someone to do it for you, then continue with what you’re great at. It’s not playing it safe, it’s playing it smart.
While the fact that there are 500 million blogs online may seem scary, there’s still plenty of opportunities in the blogosphere if you play your cards right. If you decide on blogging, for starters, consider using sites like Medium and LinkedIn to republish your posts on. Both allow you to post native blog posts.
On LinkedIn, you can also take advantage of long-form, story-style posts that illustrate a key lesson through compelling copywriting – these posts are favored by the algorithm, tend to go viral, and are text-only.
From there, you can begin using your material on Medium and LinkedIn as leverage when pitching to become a regular contributor to niche blogs, where your writing will get more exposure. Then you can go even further up the ladder by pitching to big-time magazines and publications. The sky is the limit from there – including book deals. And it all started with blogging.
Lastly, prioritize pillar content when blogging on your own website. This type of content tends to rank higher on Google and is far more shareable than most short-form blog content.
If you’re well-suited to go with video, you’re in luck because nearly every social-media platform has native video on it now. To start, it’s always a good idea to use YouTube as your core video publishing platform, then repurpose videos on other platforms using clips of the YouTube video – on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and beyond.
Next, try your best to network with video influencers in your niche. The video community across platforms is usually pretty tight-knit, and willing to lend a hand to other creators they see potential in.
As a final best practice, try hopping on visual features early – such as Instagram Stories or Facebook Live when they first hit the market. On top of having less competition to stand out from the crowd, the platforms’ algorithm prioritize content made on new features to garner more eyeballs, giving you a better chance of going viral.
Podcasting is the main outlet for those who choose the audio medium, and it’s also a tough nut to crack. First, you should take advantage of Anchor, a free podcast hosting tool that automatically publishes your episodes to multiple platforms – including iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and more. You should also promote your podcast through your email newsletter, across social media, and in your blog content.
If you’re friendly with influencers or prominent figures in your industry, invite them to be on your show. This will help you gain more traction through cross-promoting it with the guest’s audience.
Last, you can take advantage of cool creation tools like Audiogram, which turns your audio snippets into highly shareable videos that can be published across social media.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.