If you’re diligent about keeping up with content marketing trends, you probably manage content that is slightly…scattered. While you might unify the pieces on your website, videos go on YouTube or Vimeo, Podcasts go in iTunes or SoundCloud, WordPress hosts your blog, and your white papers are either in Dropbox or simply uploaded as PDFs to your website. And then there are photos. I can’t be the only one who thinks keeping up with Facebook, Instagram and Flikr seems like overkill.
Lately, I’ve been working to migrate all of the content I manage into one place. That place, as you probably guessed from the title, is Google. We’ve all heard of the traditional ways Google helps the content marketing process – Search, YouTube and Gmail, but the company offers so much more. With the exception of hosting a website (nothing really beats WordPress in my opinion), I believe you can use Google for your entire content marketing process. Here’s how:
The first key step in content marketing is making content people will read, listen to, or watch. Have all of it all in one place when you use your Google account.
- Planning: Because you can share your Google Calendar with anyone, scheduling deadlines and assigning tasks can be done in one place.
- Research: The first step in the curation of any piece of content is research. Obviously Google Search can help with this process, but be sure to take advantage of other tools including Google Books to help with the more in-depth research and Google Trends to help gauge interest in a topic.
- Web seminars: Google’s Open Hangout feature is a great way to host and record web seminars. Anyone with a Google account can join the web seminar while it’s live, and Google records the web seminar, leaving you with a nice YouTube video when you’re finished – one more piece of content.
After you create your content, it’s time to post it online. From photos to white papers, a Google account can showcase all you have to offer.
- White papers: Instead of uploading your white papers to your website directly or to a third party like Dropbox, take advantage of Google Docs. After uploading a PDF, you can change the settings to make the white paper viewable to anyone, or viewable to anyone with a password or link.
- Photos: In addition to Google Docs, did you know there is also a Google Photos app?It integrates seamlessly with Google Plus profiles, and you can set it up to automatically backup your smartphone’s photos. No more worrying about lost photos if your phone is damaged.
- Videos: YouTube obviously comes to mind here, but remember that YouTube integrates seamlessly with Google Plus. Also, the analytics side of YouTube is pretty good.
- Podcasts: SoundCloud, an already-popular podcast-hosting platform, is owned by Google. This allows you to share files from SoundCloud and play them from within a Google Plus post, meaning your audience will stay on your page while they consume your content instead of leaving for another website.
Sometimes, your content could use a boost. Let Google help with advertising and analytics as well.
- Social media: Despite naysayers, Google Plus is alive and well. At Shelten Media, we’ve started including the platform in our social media strategies for clients. I’d still advise you to keep up with Facebook and Twitter, but an active Google Plus account helps with SEO, authorship and establishing an online reputation.
- Advertising: Google’s +Post ads work differently than most social media advertising options. +Post ads go all over the Internet (not just on Google’s site, like Facebook’s ads or Twitter’s promoted posts), resulting in a much larger reach.
- Analytics: Quite simply, Google Analytics is unmatched, and you probably already use this tool.
Like I said at the beginning, I still think you’ll need a WordPress account to host your website, but you can forget trying to keep up with five or more accounts to manage your content. To me, that seems much simpler. And simpler means you have more time to work on other aspects of marketing, like writing or strategizing – a better use of time than simply maintaining different websites.