Here is How You Create the Perfect Cross-Channel Content Strategy
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One of my favorite content marketing strategies is creating one long-form blog post, and repurposing that piece for different channels and audiences.
In this article, I’ll quickly go over my framework for developing a content strategy that scales, using one great article as a starting point.
1. Start with One Great Piece of Long-Form Content
The first step is to write a blog post. While you technically could start the process with a podcast episode or YouTube video , leading with the blog means you’ll have all of the materials you need in one place.
This way, you won’t need to go back and do more research before posting on social or recording a video.
Some ideas for repurposing blog content:
Blog socially. Post shorter versions of the blog on Reddit, Quora, or Medium to get in front of new users. Since readers browse content by topic, this is a great way to find new readers based on shared interests.
Rewrite as a guest post. While you shouldn’t paste the original on other channels, consider writing your post from another angle, updating graphics and examples, or including interview content.
Reshare evergreen content on your social profiles. As long as the information is up-to-date, keep sharing the hits. Keep in mind, you’ll want to change up the captions and visuals so your feed doesn’t fill up with repeats.
Turn your favorite one-liners into quote graphics. You can share these on Instagram , Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Just be sure to change up the captions to fit the platform.
2. Turn Your Blog Post into a YouTube Video
Once you’ve written and edited your blog post, the next thing I recommend doing is turning it into a video. As mentioned, your blog post can serve as a script or an outline you can use as the basis of your video.
I recommend using the subheadings from the source blog as your guide posts, here. This will give your video structure and ensure you don’t miss any key points.
Embed the video into your blog post. Backlinko’s Brian Dean says embedding a video into your blog content might reduce your bounce rate . People spend more time on pages containing video content than those that don’t.
Get your video transcribed. Transcribing offers another chance to optimize for SEO by targeting text-based search terms. Additionally, it improves accessibility by allowing users to watch with the sound off.
Add structured markup. Adding schema to an embedded video will increase your visibility in the search results, which will help you increase traffic to your site.
Screenshot your content. Take screenshots of your videos in areas that include relevant text, then use those images to drive traffic to your YouTube channel.
Before we move on, it’s worth mentioning that you should upload video content to each platform separately. LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook algorithms all give preference to native uploads.
This means that embedding your YouTube link into all of these different channels could limit your reach.
When you’re done posting on YouTube, you’ll want to head over to Facebook and upload your content to the platform’s video library.
That way, it can appear both in your main feed and on Facebook Watch .
While you technically can just post a full YouTube video on Facebook if you’re short on time, your best bet is to shorten your content so it fits in with user expectations of the platform. According to research from BuzzSumo, Facebook videos tend to work best when they stay within the 60-90 second range.
Chop up your YouTube video. A single YouTube video can be used as source material for several Facebook posts. Try breaking up your video so that each one focuses on one subheadline at a time, so it works as a standalone concept.
Turn key concepts into short how-tos. Show users how to do something with short step-by-step videos or looping GIFs.
Show off a product. Create short videos that get up close and personal with your product. Show users what it looks like in action so they can imagine how your product/service fits in with their life.
Pull quotes and stats. It’s not revolutionary, but Facebook is perfect for sharing quote graphics and visualizations of data cited in your main article.
You can repost videos directly from Facebook to IGTV without updating the size specs. IGTV videos have a 10-minute limit unless you have over 10k followers. In that case, you’ve got a whole hour to work with.
Content that works on IGTV is similar to YouTube, but tends to have more of an emotional bent to it. Build connections with your audience by repurposing your content in the following ways:
Interviews–Host interviews with customers or industry thought leaders based on the topics featured in your content.
Story-telling–Turn your blog topic into a bigger story. A good example is Soul Cycle , which uses the platform to highlight its community members.
How-tos–Leverage influencers or community members in your how-to content like West Elm . The brand offers practical advice while maintaining a “buzzy” element.
5. Instagram Stories
Next up, add your video as an Instagram Story.
Keep in mind, you’ll need to edit your videos down to the platform’s 15-second limit before you can upload them.
What’s nice about Instagram is that businesses can add links in their Stories, making it an easy way to drive traffic to your blog with a simple swipe.
Break YouTube videos into bite-sized lessons. Chop your initial YouTube video into a series of smaller how-tos or explainers.
Poll your audience. Learn more about your audience by posting specific questions on a related topic, then link back to the post. Use this strategy enough, and you’ll have enough market research for an industry report.
Reuse Instagram stories on channels like Snapchat, Tiktok, and Facebook. The short video format works well on several different platforms.
6. LinkedIn Video
As you might have guessed, you’ll want to repost that initial video on your LinkedIn page, too.
Ideal for B2B shops, this platform is best for how-to videos, visual case studies, explainers, and short clips that explain the benefits of your products and services.
Linkedin videos should be less than 10 minutes long, but you can reuse your YouTube content here, so long as it makes sense within the platform’s professional context.
You might also turn blog content into a Slideshare deck or repurpose video from IGTV, Facebook, and YouTube.
Twitter videos are less than a minute. So, what you’ll want to do here is edit your original video down into short snippets.
Again, it’s smart to use your subheaders as your guide for breaking up topics, as generally, each one-minute-long video should function as a standalone idea.
Twitter is also the ideal place for sharing stats, data, lists, and text-based posts.
8. Turn Your Post into a Podcast
The “golden age” of podcasting extends beyond genres like comedy and true crime.
Brands are also seeing great results from the format, as it’s a great way to connect with your audience, tell your story, and offer helpful insights.
Still, podcasts are a huge commitment. You’ll need to post regularly to keep subscribers invested in your show, and it isn’t easy coming up with new content every week when you have other things to do.
Fortunately, there are several online tools out there that allow you to turn a YouTube video into an audio file, including Youtubemp3 , Y2mate , and Online Video Converter .
9. Translate Content into Image-Centric Formats
Beyond video, text, and podcasting, image-first socials are another opportunity to use your blog content to reach more users.
One thing I like to do is to have a designer create one image for every blog post. This allows me to maintain cohesive branding on the Ignite Visibility blog, and I can reuse the images as a cover photo for the related podcast and YouTube video.
You might also ask a designer to help you turn blog content into the following formats:
These assets can be shared across a range of formats from Instagram and Facebook to Pinterest, Slideshare, and LinkedIn.
10. Promote Your Posts with Paid Ads
Once I’ve uploaded my blog post, video content, and gotten started on social channels, then I’ll start looking at how I might repurpose that content in my paid ads strategy.
I usually post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn first, as these channels tend to work best for my brand.
I generally recommend spending a few hundred dollars per blog post to get the best results and promoting top-perfoming content to increase its reach.
You can use your blog content to inform ad and landing page copy. This allows you to maintain a message match between before and after the click.
11. Targeted outreach strategy
Promotion doesn’t stop at paid ads. I spend a lot of time focused on targeted outreach, as it’s an effective way to get other people to share your content with their networks.
Send a personal message. Take to LinkedIn or email to pitch guest post ideas to relevant websites. Share your blog post, along with performance metrics and keyword research to help you make your case.
Include links in your email campaigns. Though not necessarily a personalized outreach strategy, your email newsletter can be a great way to promote new content and drive traffic back to recently updated posts.
Promote posts within closed groups. Closed online communities like LinkedIn or Facebook Groups are great for sharing ideas with like-minded people. Share content within industry groups, when appropriate. In other words, you’ll want to avoid getting too promotional and only share links when it helps answer a question or addresses a pain point.
Tag people in your social posts. Mention a brand or expert in a post? Make sure to them on social media and link to the post. Most people will view this as a compliment and re-share the post with their network.
Creating a Cross-Channel Funnel
If you’re wondering how all of this content works together across the entire buying cycle, I’ll go over a few examples of what to use and when.
Additionally, this graphic offers a good explanation for what types of content work best at each stage in the buyer’s journey.
Top of the Funnel
If we look at this Instagram post, it’s a solid example of a brand introducing a product line in a low-key fashion.
Instagram Story. The Instagram Story is perfect top-of-the-funnel fare, as it does a nice job capturing attention and entertaining audiences, rather than pushing the sale.
Blog content. While I’m not sure this Instagram example is associated with a blog post, UO could follow a similar approach and link to a blog post instead of a YouTube video. In terms of content, the tone should remain light and general–think design trends or basic tips.
YouTube Video. As you can see in the caption, the Instagram post aims to drive traffic to a longer YouTube post. The short animation is eye-catching and is an effective tool for generating interest in the longer video. The goal here isn’t selling outright, but rather showcasing Urban Outfitters’ home collection in a fun, interesting way.
Paid YouTube Ads. UO might target users who watched the video with in-stream ads showing off their homewares or by showing additional videos in-feed.
Middle of the Funnel
I’ll start with an example from Coschedule. They used this tweet featuring a custom graphic to promote a post called 48 Essential Marketing Skills You Need to Be Successful in 2018.
Social Posts–There’s the example outlined above, which highlights one concept from a longer article. You might make a series of graphics that cover all key concepts and use them on Twitter, as well as Facebook and Instagram. What’s nice about this format is, you could use this as either an organic post or a paid advertisement.
Lead Magnet–You might link a post like the one above to a lead magnet like an e-book, white paper, or case study. In this case, CoSchedule placed a lead magnet into the blog post, but you could approach it a bit differently. For example, you might use the copy from your original content to create an ad and landing page to promote a related download.
Podcast–Based on this example, you might either make a deep dive episode based on the original blog post or break it up into shorter segments. An interview episode on habits with a tie-in to marketing could be an interesting approach, here.
Paid Social–Paid social ads may look just like the Tweet pictured above or reimagined as a Facebook ad. Rather than boosting posts, make sure you’re targeting specific users and tracking conversions.
Bottom of the Funnel
Bottom of the funnel is all about getting buyers to finally seal the deal. Here, I’ll use this case study from Zapier as an example.
Case Study: The case study covering Pizza to the Polls, a non-profit operated by three Zapier employees, offers specific examples for using Zapier, while at the same time, offering a look at what their employees are all about.
How-to video: Zapier might a how-to video that shows users how to set up the Zaps mentioned in the study.
Paid Search: I might target keywords related to automation for non-profits or fundraisers to capture users actively searching for solutions.
Paid Social: Zapier might take the bones of this case study and turn it into an ad promoting a free trial offer, demo, or consultation.
The remarketing funnel is designed to re-engage past visitors that didn’t complete a purchase and entice existing customers into returning for another purchase. Here’s an example from Airbnb used to retarget Facebook users:
Focus on features and benefits. The original ad leans on visuals to get would-be vacationers back into the right headspace. Straightaway, Airbnb highlights price, immediately addressing a primary objection.
Blog content. Marketers might lean on blog content to highlight attractions and events in different areas, and promote that content on social channels and search marketing to convince users to book that vacation.
Display remarketing. In addition to the Facebook ad, Airbnb might also target this same audience via Google’s Display network, aiming to capture audience interest while users browse other websites.
Email campaigns. Finally, email campaigns play a vital role in bringing casual browsers back to the site to seal the deal. Depending on past behavior, you might initially promote relevant content before making the more direct ask.
The main thing I’d like to leave you with is, the main time investment is the blog post. Spend more time writing well-researched content that matches your audience’s intent up top, and you’ll have the source material for countless videos, landing pages, podcasts, and more.
Plus, you’ll no longer need to come up with a new idea for every social post or PPC ad.