Moniek James: Digital marketing used to be 'content first' – now it's something else – myheraldreview.com

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In the past, digital marketing was all about content. I can remember the days when business owners in my community could count on me to be the person to say that content is the single most important ingredient in a digital marketing strategy. As far as I was concerned, nothing else mattered; content is everything and everything is content.
But times have changed, the digital landscape has changed, and consumer habits have changed. As a small business owner, I identify with wanting to be relevant and in the conversation with my online audiences, so it’s time I updated my advice as well.
If you consider yourself creative, it can be easier for you to simply create content that you feel like creating when inspiration strikes. For many years I invested a lot of time crafting social media posts, writing blog content and making videos that I believed would allow my audience to find me online.
But then I realized that I was putting the onus on my audience to search for me when it was my job to find them. Today instead of putting the focus only on the content itself, it is important to prioritize the channel where the content will be published because that’s how we’ll find our audience.
When we plan our content from a “channel first” perspective, we give ourselves the opportunity to filter our messages through the lens of the specific platform so we can make the content feel like it belongs there; we can create content that feels native to the platform.
But the value of repurposing existing content is undeniable. We save ourselves precious time by extending the reach of the content we’ve already worked on, without duplicating our work. The downside of this method is that “rinsing and repeating” your content doesn’t get the results it once did. New platforms have emerged within the past 18 months and the lingering effects of the pandemic have shifted the way consumers interact with marketing messages.
While it’s true that marketing nowadays is still centered on great content, the channels have become more important than ever. The better you can understand your customer journey, the more likely you are to succeed using your chosen channels. The pivot to planning with the channel in mind first challenges creatives to consider the intended channel’s unique culture to make sure their messages don’t get ignored.
Moniek James is a serial entrepreneur and nerd who helps small business owners use social media to be more awesome online. Find her at www.moniekjames.com where she shares her favorite entrepreneurial hacks and musings.
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