In the triathlon world, there’s a saying that goes, “You can’t win a race during the swim, but you can certainly lose it.” So it goes with a content strategy, and especially a company blog. It’s my opinion that even with all the fanfare around content strategy, creation alone won’t cut it. Innovative marketing, analysis, and design along with informed marketing decisions are the vital organs of a vibrant content marketing strategy. But with that said, if you don’t create content, you’ll flounder quickly among the competition (and you also won’t have much to market).
When it comes to a content strategy, you can do one of two things: curate or create (aside from promotion and analysis, etc.). Creation is pretty straightforward (though less likely to happen), which is just to make something new on the web. Curation is sharing and adding to what has already been created.
With that said, we’ve seen and will see ever more creative ways to create and share content. The handover from the previous decade, the blog, will not leave, but there will be innovative variants on what the blog does that we’ll see released in the next few years. Examples of this that are already happening include Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine. All of the content on these platforms could be and were previously shared on blogs, but now they’ve become their own platforms centered around a certain piece of content, making it easier to share and create.
Which brings us to microblogging.
Microblogging isn’t just Facebook statuses and tweets. With the advent of Tumblr, a new element in content creation is offered that’s an upgrade to a tweet or a Facebook status because it’s on its own platform and offers the versatility of a custom domain and various theme options, something the other two do not offer. Many people write Facebook statuses as mircoblogs, but it’s on the platform of Facebook and it’s heavy on likes, shares, and comments. I see microblogging more as a longer form of Twitter, but with greater freedom in length and media formats. Videos, images, quotes, links — all of it can be shared via microblogging.
Right now, Tumblr remains mostly a creative arena, something akin to Instagram, but it has the potential to create its own popular niche.
Here are six things to keep in mind when wanting to get into microblogging for creation or curation of content:
First, it’s perfect for providing quick commentary and sharing your views on trending topics. Have you ever read a post and thought, “I’d love to write a blogpost response to this but I don’t have the time”? Microblogging is perfect for posting a link and then leaving a short paragraph comment on what you’ve read, adding your own spin of critique or praise (or both). Microblogging becomes a great platform for thought leadership and sharing ideas quickly with added commentary.
Second, it’s a great link-building tool with low time costs on your end. Personal and manual link building (basically anything other than directory-based link building) is the present and future of that area in SEO. Microblogging creates an excellent place to post diplomatic and transactionary blogposts (the often “Hey, I’ll link to your site if you link to mine” kind of link building), and even better, it can be the starting point of new relationships with other content creators online (“Hey, we just linked to your site with some kind words. Feel free to do the same.”).
Third, WordPress still remains the king of blogging and is more versatile than microblogging platforms like Tumblr because of the plethora of plugins. If your company’s website is already on WordPress, well congratulations because you’re halfway to having a killer content strategy. WordPress was made for blogging and the customizability of websites with content creation in mind. A Tumblr page can create content and make pages but the hosting isn’t yours, and you can’t run ads (among other things) which normal websites can do.
Fourth, don’t rely on the media outlet’s provided domain. This may be obvious and is already happening if you microblog from a company website, but if it’s a personal brand, yourname.tumblr.com is not as good as yourname.com for the domain. Domains gain authority and clout online, so building up that authority (particularly those links that people send to it) is crucial to a long-term microblogging content strategy.
Fifth, microblogging can be an easier sell and starting point for your agency or company to get into content creation. A common attitude toward blogging is that it’s a waste of time, it’s vanity marketing, or the team doesn’t have the time or expertise in copywriting to maintain a blog. Has someone at your company shared a link to an article that’s shaken up your industry? A quick microblog post should be your next step (at the very least) with internal activity like this. It’s an organic activity already happening that becomes a wasted opportunity if you do nothing.
Microblogging sells easily because it takes less time, and it can be a supplement to the learning and article reading that employees at your company are already doing.
Sixth, three recommended places to start for microblogging are to build a WordPress site, start a Tumblr, or try out Medium (a new platform integrated with Twitter). Those are the big ones, but microblogging certainly isn’t confined to those three. Microblogging is to Twitter/Tumblr what tissue is to Kleenex.
I will say Medium has an advantage in easy integration with Google authorship verification, which is another big part of the future of digital marketing and content curation and creation.
That should be plenty to get your company started on a content marketing strategy that’s both easy and viable. Generating the ideas for content is the topic of another post, but it also can make a difference in how effective your content strategy is. Feel free to leave comments or questions in the combox or contact us directly with a message.