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Using digital marketing to grow your business can be a web of  confusion if you’re new to it, or even if you’re used to focusing on one particular area. In this article, we’ll look at an overview of the main aspects of digital marketing, so that you can get a birdseye view and start to visualise how an integrated, strategic digital marketing program might help you and your business to flourish.

By Ellie Keft

December 20, 2021

Writing based content

Writing-based content is, you guessed it, anything that is predominantly focused on and relies on the written word.

Blogs

Blogging isn’t what it used to be; a journal-like set of chronological posts written mostly in first person, or as a set of opinions by a particular author. Other hallmarks included frequent updates and a section down the bottom welcome discussion through comments.

These days, blogging is a core part of most marketing plans, and many websites have a blog section.

Maintaining a blog requires producing high quality, relevant articles that are aligned to your bigger marketing objective.

In-depth publications and reports

When we say an ‘in-depth publication’ we’re talking about the chunky beef pie of content; research reports, online digests, white papers, eBooks or workbooks.

Some more details:

  • online digest—a collection of information, presented as a summary of the most important parts
  • white paper—similar to a digest, but also includes your personal/ your brand’s stance on the issue
  • eBook—a book that can be read on a digital device

These are publications that require significant research and publication, and will suit some industries or sectors more than others.

Producing these extra long form content types is a great opportunity to dig much deeper than other content forms.

You’ll be able to cover topics in some serious detail, keeping your audience up to date with industry news or important changes, and you’ll be able to clearly show exactly what you stand for.

Exclusive email broadcasts

Email marketing generally describes sending out a regular electronic direct mail broadcasts (eDMs).

Often, these are quick email updates, sharing content, product offers and special deals.

When we talk about an ‘exclusive’ email broadcast however, we’re referring to a smaller, segmented list of contacts that have access to a special stream of content that is themed around a particular topic or purpose.

These contacts will have opted in to this exclusive list specifically, and you will have explained the huge amount of value they will receive from subscribing, beyond a simple email broadcast.

If your business and/or industry has a topic within your content pillars that your audience is fascinated with, or wants to be kept in the loop about, this option is golden.

Video based content

Video-based content in the way I’ve categorised it is video content that is intentionally produced, via a process of planning and structuring the content, doing some post-production and polishing it up. That’s in comparison to the more ad-hoc video content like lives and webinars, which I’ll chat about soon.

Mini courses and mini video series

In the context of online marketing, a ‘mini course’ is a short course that is delivered digitally that takes no more than a few hours to complete.

Similarly, a mini video series is a series of short videos that, in total, take no more than a few hours to consume.

Both of these content formats are often used both to find new leads, and to give people a taste-tester for a chunkier course or offering.

Youtube videos

In this day and age, video is KING, and having great quality video content that can be shared on multiple platforms is more important than ever.

Creating a YouTube channel is the 21st Century’s version of starting your own television station.

You’ll be able to produce regular videos and upload them to your channel.

Depending on your industry, your skills, your budget and your personal preferences around speaking on camera, there are hundreds of options for video content creation.

And with social media platforms like Instagram beginning to strongly favour video content, YouTube videos are one of the most easily repurposed content mediums out there.

Design based content

Design-based content is a publication online or offline that requires graphic design and/or artistic direction.

Public publications

When I say a ‘print publication’ or a ‘physical, printed publication’, I’m talking about providing a blissfully offline digital-detox for your audience…an analogue DREAM!

A beautifully designed mini-magazine or newspaper (also called a ‘zine’), a gorgeous printed brochure, or perhaps a set of flash cards or even affirmations…

You can be so creative with this—this is the most joyous, tactile content option out there!

  • Your audience are deep-divers and focused-thinkers, or they’re simply sick of digital content and need a way to escape the online world more than anything.
  • You have several full days per month to spend on the project, or you’re willing to and have the resources to outsources large parts of the production

Creative assets

Creating and packaging up creative assets is a great way to provide valuable content to your audience, while making the most of your specific skills in visual design.

You can get infinitely creative here, but creative assets that you could offer your audience for free might include:

  • Smart phone or desktop backgrounds
  • Canva templates for social media, webinar presentations or eBooks
  • Basic webpage templates
  • Administrative or operational assets like brand kits, contracts or agreements
  • Print-at-home artworks

Aaaand so on. All of you visual creatives out there who are skilled in graphic design will have tonnes of ideas, I’m sure!

  • Your audience is time poor—They want a quick content fix (perhaps in between activities, maybe even while they’re on the toilet!)
  • You need about half a day to a day per week to work on this, or you’re willing and able to outsource parts of the process.

Creating and packaging up creative assets is a great way to provide valuable content to your audience, while making the most of your specific skills in visual design.

Event based content

Event-based content includes online sessions that happen ‘in the moment’, that is, live. I call them event-based because their value really is in having people show up live, rather than watch a replay, and there’s a whole different energy to a live online event where people can connect, and bounce off each other’s energy.

Live online events

When we’re talking about live, online events, we mean things like Zoom Q&A sessions, online workshops and webinars, and online events and celebrations.

These days, so many people CRAVE human interaction, even if it is on the other side of a computer screen.

By bringing people together, and providing a container for sharing, learning and growing as a community, you’re fostering the space that you (and many members of your audience) always dreamt of.

  • Your brand messages are a little more complex and your audience needs a lot of information and education to get ‘up to speed’ with your offering, or if they need step by step instructions or need to sit down and take action in the moment
  • Your audience is logical and details-focused or thirsty for learning and upskilling
  • You have at least 1 day per week to spend on the project, or you’re willing to and have the resources to outsource parts of the production.

Social media ‘lives’

Social media is a great tool for creating community, and encouraging conversation and interaction from your audience.

You can build trust by providing consistent value.

Sometimes however, social media can seem a little contrived or fake, given its curated nature.

And this is where social media lives help to break down that barrier and show the ‘real you’ behind the brand.

When you ‘go live’ on social media, you’re live streaming a video in real time, giving a talk or a workshop, perhaps interviewing a colleague or showing behind-the-scenes of your business.

And one of the biggest benefits, is the two-way conversation it facilitates (in real time). Your audience can show up live, and ask any questions they have.

  • Your brand messages are fairly simple, or perhaps quite fun and lighthearted and don’t necessarily need a deep dive or any explanation with every idea published
  • Your audience is time poor and they generally want a quick content fix (perhaps in between activities, maybe even while they’re on the toilet!)
  • This takes less planning and time, so you really only need a couple of hours per week to prep and deliver this form of content

Audio based content

With audio-based content I’m mostly talking about podcasts, but I guess you could also include other stuff like audio samples, guided meditations or journaling prompts and so on. But for this list I’m just going to talk about podcasts.

Podcasts are for you if…

  • Your business has someone who loves speaking out their ideas and has the gift of the gab, as long as they have time to think about what they’re going to say and there’s no speaking on camera involved.
  • Your brand messages can be either simple or complex, lighthearted or serious, depending on what format you decided to use when producing your podcast. 
  • Your audience are mega multitaskers and they like doing two (or three or four!) things at once because it makes them feel productive and energised. They love to stay up with the trends in your industry, and have their thoughts and ways of doing things challenged, with new research and thought leadership. And some of them consume content to escape rather than to learn.
  • Your objective is to:
    • Find new leads + build your email list
    • Nurture your existing audience
    • Build your brand + authority
    • Connect with new people
    • Have a creative outlet
  • You have at least half to 1 day per week to spend on the production, spending on the format, and less if you can outsource aspects.

Podcasts

For the 0.0001% of people reading this who aren’t aware of what a podcast is, it is a digital audio file that you can listen to online, or on specific podcast smartphone apps.

If there’s a topic on your mind, there’s a podcast for that!

Podcasting is a great medium for creating genuine connections with your audience.

This article is based on an episode of my podcast, Unearth Your Herd… check it out!

Photo credit: Andrew Neel

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land we predominantly work on, the Ngunnawal people. We recognise that ‘Australia’ was founded on the dispossession of First Nations people, that sovereignty was never ceded, and that this country always was and always will be, their land. Hiatus Studios pays our rent by making monthly donations to Healing Foundation, which supports Stolen Generations survivors, their families and communities.

© Copyright Ellie Keft 2021