One of the most common mistakes that a business can make is choosing the wrong channel when it comes to communicating with members of their target audience.
Yes, fail forward fast.
Yes, content iteration is key.
But, do you know why it’s so essential to choose a channel that’s natural to your target audience?
Content marketing begins and ends with communication. As a business, what do you want your content to communicate? Choosing the right channel is about being mindful of the fact that your content has to support your business objectives from a numbers perspective and perception standpoint.
The concept is simplistic and powerful in nature. Think about it, how does the ideal member of your target audience consume content? Audio? Video? Text? All Three? The more, the merrier. Content marketing is about increasing your odds by doing what’s natural for your target audience.
If you write, people will read. If you create videos, people will watch. If you record podcasts, people will listen. The first step of any successful endeavor is moving in the right direction. For content marketing, this means choosing the right channels.
A Channel is how you choose to communicate with your target audience. This can be through digital, broadcast, live (in-person) or Print. As a brand, ‘the medium is the message’ as Marshall McLuhan would say.
Meaning how do you present your message on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube that serves the needs of your business goals and communicates effectively with your target audience? Does your digital approach translate well over to live and in-person meetings?
For example, 227-mn.com is a channel and WordPress is the platform. One of the many reasons, Facebook has became so popular is because it serves as the platform, channel, structure and naturally provides substance within one ecosystem.
Channels play a major role in the overall content marketing ecosystem. Let’s break it down,
Ready? Here we go.
- Platforms are used to deliver content, whether it be through our phones (Instagram, Tik-Tok, etc.) or content management systems (WordPress, Hootsuite, etc.)
- Channels are how we choose to communicate with our target audience (Surprisingly, there are only four: Broadcast, Digital, In-Person & Print).
- Structure determines how the content is presented for consumption on a given platform (Recording a podcast on video and breaking it down to audio across multiple platforms).
- Substance is the messaging within your content formats
- Formats are how you present your content on any given channel (Text, video, audio or images).
Given the numerous pieces in play, do you see why it’s important to choose the right channel for your content? It’s not only about perception when people view your brand. It’s about effectively creating value, structure and insights surrounding your messaging.
Your target audience will perceive your brand differently depending on how you choose to distribute your message.
For example, does a podcast recorded solely through audio translate over to a live experience vs. a podcast that’s recorded through YouTube? This is why choosing the right path starts with choosing the right channel. Why? It’s about content flexing, by carrying the right message that translates well over to other experiences.
Entertain this question, by reading my articles can you imagine having a conversation with me over coffee? Or seeing me speak at an event? As humans, we all make natural connections that we are inherently prone to make.
Now let’s deep dive into to the four channels you can use to distribute your content.
Meet & Greets
When I discuss the importance of messaging it’s much more about perception than information. Why? Because the channel that you chose to deliver your information will have a direct influence on the value being presented.
An advertisement for a brewery that offers live entertainment will be extremely different if it were presented during a 30-second spot on a radio station vs. on a member of your target audience’s Instagram feed.
As humans, we naturally perceive messages differently. The radio offers an highly receptive environment for businesses, while Instagram offers an highly engaged end user. This is why choosing the right channel is imperative. The channel acts as a go-between for the conversation being created.
For content marketing purposes, we want the channel to support and embrace these conversations. Before choosing a channel some key questions are:
- Does this support my target audience during the sales & buying process?
- Will my overall content float across different mediums & channels?
- Does the channel support my business goals?
- What am I trying to accomplish when creating content? Overall end result?
- Does my channel support repeat branding opportunities?
- Can members of my target audience engage?
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