By Anna Ritchie published January 5, 2012

A Webinar Case Study in Using Social Media Channels for Content Distribution

Several weeks ago, Joe Chernov published an article about how to make your content live longer, starting with Step 1: “Stagger your distribution.” In it, he encourages marketers to “distribute and re-distribute [content] to maximize the number of people exposed to your work.”

While this is a great practice for marketers who may struggle to find the time, resources, or budget to create the volume of content they need, it’s a challenging undertaking, to say the least. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to distributing content, as different groups will choose to engage with your assets in different ways, often depending on which social platform they are using. This means you must be constantly tweaking your approach, and messages, to meet your audience’s changing needs without compromising your style or integrity.

As an example, take a look at how my team recently marketed a webinar across four different social channels.

Background

For a period of eight weeks, we promoted an educational webinar about the latest best practices for online lead generation. The promotions began with a targeted email campaign, a press release, and various announcements on social sites. As the event drew closer, and in the time immediately after the event, we wanted to keep audiences engaged (especially those unable to attend) by socially sharing information and real-time updates, as demonstrated below: 

LinkedIn

The LinkedIn community is a goldmine of influencers and other audiences craving educational content, particularly for B2B marketers. It’s also a place for people to gather and share ideas, best practices, and challenges with others in their industries or job roles. In general, marketers tend to do more content sharing and less self-promotion on this platform, so as not to jeopardize their reputation or deter their audience.

In addition to announcing the event on two groups I am an active member of, we also communicated how members of our own LinkedIn group could get involved, such as by submitting questions prior to the event or by following the event hashtag on Twitter. We also posted poll questions, so group members who would not be able to join the webinar could still provide their feedback, and shared the output from the webinar after it had ended.

Here are a few of our sample messages:

How to follow the event in real time:

Extending the webinar’s poll to LinkedIn group members:

Sharing the webinar output with LinkedIn group members:

Twitter

Twitter is a great tool for promoting content because you can broadcast messages quickly to a very broad audience. We used Twitter to promote the webinar event, announce speakers, and encourage people to submit their questions prior to the event.

Because the Twitter community is so vast, messages can be a bit more brief and informal than on LinkedIn groups. You can also leverage the “live Tweet” concept to share information, in real time, by using a well-communicated hashtag, which we found to be quite valuable. Using a hashtag, you can provide snippets of information, or “teasers”, to engage your community and encourage those outside your group to tune in and hear what they might be missing. Check out a few examples below:

Facebook

Our audience is not as active on Facebook as it is on Twitter or LinkedIn, but we still use this platform to share photos and articles and have discussions. The tone we use is similar to what we use for our LinkedIn group, but with a conversational style that fits in with conversations throughout the Facebook community.

Our Facebook posts ended up being somewhat of a blend of the Twitter and LinkedIn posts, as you can see from the examples below:

Blog Posts

Blogs are an incredible and, some would argue, essential content marketing tool (to learn more about why, check out this post by Joe Pulizzi, called 6 Steps to Successful Blogging).

Instead of providing a recap of the entire webinar on our blog, we chose to focus on the Q&A portion of the event. Why? People can go and view the webinar at any time; but what we wanted to demonstrate was how valuable the thoughts and opinions of our viewers were. By addressing their specific questions, rather than just highlighting our own webinar content, we were able to communicate how valuable we felt the audience’s contributions were:

What are some ways you’ve distributed content across multiple social sites? In what ways have you altered your messages to suit those different groups? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Image courtesy of opportplanet via Flickr

 

Author: Anna Ritchie

Anna Ritchie is a marketing and communications practitioner, focusing on social media, content marketing and Online Community management.You can follow her on Twitter @apritchie.

Other posts by Anna Ritchie

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  • http://amzn.to/ABCSalesBlogTips Daniel Milstein

    That is so true, Anna.  Twitter is a great tool for promoting content because you can broadcast messages quickly to a very broad audience. One thing I learned before I became a bestselling author and long before Inc Magazine voted my company as one of the fastest growing companies is blogs are an incredible and, some would argue, essential content marketing tool.

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