Third party platforms, like YouTube and Medium, are a great way to promote your own branded content. But how do you use them and what content should your share?
Many brands put a huge amount of effort into their marketing push on social media, posting regularly to Facebook, constantly updating Twitter and maybe even running accounts on Instagram and Pinterest.
For content marketers these platforms present an excellent opportunity to promote editorial which is hosted on the brand’s original site. They are however far from being the only option for content marketers who want to extend the reach of the content they create. YouTube, the new-ish long form site Medium as well as microblog site Tumblr are all great ways that brands can not only engage with readers, but also encourage them to view their own branded content which is housed elsewhere.
What then should brands post on these sites and why? Is it Ok to offer a truncated version of their content, or should brands double up when posting content?
At a recent CMA digital breakfast Sam Orams, Partner and Head of Operations of video agencyBespoke Banter began his presentation by stating that the golden rule for brands, and indeed publishers, is that they need to host their own video content. This gives them a much greater degree of control over how the content is presented and whether it is available to embed on third party sites - not always a good thing. It also increases monetisation options too.
However brands shouldn’t rule out posting their content to YouTube. It is not only hugely successful as a platform but it is also useful from an SEO perspective as videos hosted there can appear very high on consumer searches.
Orams’ advice to brands was to host their key videos on their own site but consider using YouTube to offer ancillary video. So, for example, fashion brands could post a video of a shoot on their site while addingbehind the scenes videos and background interviews with the photographers, models etc. on YouTube.
The video platform offers all kinds of opportunities for content creators to link elsewhere so for brands it is largely a matter of choosing how many links need to be added and where they should be placed. Brand could also use YouTube to host edited snippets of videos especially if the originals are more than a few minutes long.
The brainchild of several members of the team that founded Twitter Medium is proving to be popular as a site that hosts long form content. Think of it as a YouTube for words and images with writers able to create and edit content on an easy to use online content management system.
Not surprisingly, given its genesis, Medium is highly integrated with Twitter so for example users log in using their Twitter passwords.
So how is it useful for brands? Well, it is still early days for brands on the platform but savvy companies are starting to see Medium as a place to engage with its influential consumers.
Most Medium posts are essentially word accompanied by a few images and video. It seems likely that the second iteration of the platform will extend this further and enable users to add graphics and more in a very interactive way. At this point it could become a very useful tool for brands who want to display their storytelling prowess.
For now though the brands that are using the platform tend to be posting longer stories that have either been specially created for Medium or sited elsewhere. They are usually long-ish features with lots of images - the type of stories that take up several pages in a printed magazine.
Brands can also use the platform to promote content on their own site via round up posts, such as BuzzFeed style top tens, but peppered with links to content housed elsewhere. This can only work if done in a manner that takes into consideration the sensitivities of Medium as a platform and stands alone as a piece of editorial content. It will be interesting to see how brands use this tactic in the future.
Tumblr’s recent acquisition by Yahoo underlines just how important the micro blogging platform has become to online influentials. There are all sorts of rumours as to how its new-ish owners will develop the platform for brands but for now, from a content marketing perspective Tumblr is probably best used as part of campaigns.
So for example if a brand is hosting a photography competition they can create a page to that displays all of the pictures. Tumblr is a great place to house ancillary content such as images from a photo shoot.