Super Fresh
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Now that Google has made it perfectly clear that posting fresh content is the most important thing a company can do to make sure it stays at the top of the search rankings – not to mention how it can be used to attract attention from potential customers – a simple question emerges: which different types of content should you post? I’d be willing to bet that even if your company posts lots of different content on a regular basis, there are other types of content that you aren’t posting. Furthermore, I’d be willing to wager that even if you are posting lots of content, you’re not cross-posting and repurposing it to the fullest extent possible. The reason I’m supremely confident is that there are so many types of content, and so many platforms to post it on, that even the best content marketers could do more.

There are three types of content you can post, which I call mini, midi and maxi content (yes, like hemlines):

  • Mini: Tweets, text messages, photos, social media shares (on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and so on), pins, comments on other peoples’ content.
  • Midi: Blog posts, your own social media posts, short videos, infographics, lists, case studies.
  • Maxi: Press releases, bylined articles, slide decks, podcasts, long-form videos, studies, white papers, speeches, webinars, online demos, one-pagers.

Your strategy should include posting content from each style. Maxi content obviously requires the most time and resources to produce, but it’s also the content that’s most easily repurposed into mini and midi content. For instance:

  • A webinar (maxi) becomes the basis of a blog post (midi), which becomes the fodder for a tweet (mini).

Each of these content types can also be recycled into similarly size content, as in:

  • A podcast (maxi) becomes a press release (maxi) becomes a blog post (midi) becomes a social media post (midi) becomes a tweet (mini).

There are many benefits to thinking about content marketing this way, including:

  • Lowering your stress about original content creation while actually posting more content. You can focus on creating one type of content (a maxi slide deck), and then easily repurpose it into a LinkedIn post (midi) and a tweet (mini).
  • Reaching your audience where they like to hang out. One of the amazing things about online communications is that it allows us all to customize our own content consumption. That’s great for users but can be vexing for marketers, because it makes it harder to find our customers. Back in the day, you could issue a press release and count on a big chunk of your audience finding it (you could even mail it to them!). Today, press releases are but one of many types of content that companies create, and it can appear on a limitless number of web sites. With all the options users now have, you’ll stand a better chance of connecting with them if you spread your content around.
  • Giving your audience content consumption options. Some people want more content, some want less. Some want to access your content from a smartphone or tablet, some want to consume it on a laptop. Some want to access it at work, some at home and some on their commute. Some want it immediately, and some want it archived for future use.
  • More data for your analytics. It’s not enough to just spread the love and post different types of content. To be truly successful, you need to know which types of content get the best results, and then adjust your output accordingly.
  • Chunking your content. Some people get hung up on writing the perfect 10-page white paper, which could just as easily be a 10-part blog post series. If you make it a series, you don’t have to write the whole paper at once, and you can repurpose each post into other midi or mini content. Then, when you finish the series, you can gather it all into that maxi white paper you always meant to write.

Content types, like hemlines, always seem to be changing in one direction or another. I’m sure we’ll find more to add to these lists as time goes on. For now, it’s a good idea to have all three types in your content closet so you’ll never be caught without something to post.