There are two basic approaches to take when you’re dealing with a content marketing strategy for a brand that has several beats or sections: Either bring everything under one umbrella on status and other networks and try to turn readers of Lifestyle into readers of Business or whatever the case be or break out the niches and try to cater to each audience, keeping everyone more or less in their lane.
The niche approach is what’s been adopted by Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and others who see more value in splitting up their content among various outlets to speak more directly to specific, narrowly-defined audiences. That makes sense.
- Engagement is going to be high: These are people who have signalled clearly that they’re interested in *that* material and so they’re more likely to heavily engage with it and share it.
- Publishing volume can be kept reasonable: Because you’re not trying to cram 80 pounds of packing into a 50 suitcase you can be more selective about what gets posted, focusing not only on whether it fits the defined subject matter but also within that if it’s likely to be popular with the audience based on previous metrics.
- Voice can be clearly defined: You know exactly who you’re talking to and what’s working for them, so the voice and tone of the posts can not only match the content but the audience as well.
- Little opportunity for cross-promotion: You’re cutting out many of the chances to expose the audience to the brand’s larger stable of content. Anything from outside the profile’s defined niche is likely to go over poorly as it’s seen as an intrusion on everyone’s attention, potentially doing damage to the profile’s credibility.
- Analytics may resemble a dog chasing its own tail: At some point you enter a metrics spiral, where something works so you do it again and it works too. But did it work because that’s what the audience actually wants or because it’s just what was done? It takes someone who really knows how to read the analytics tea leaves accurately to figure out the cause and effect here.
To be clear, there’s no universal right answer to this question, despite what some thought leaders would try and tell you. What works and what doesn’t is going to vary by brand, audience and other factors. Experiment, see what people react to and execute accordingly.