Why Content Diversification Is Important and How to Do It
When you’re running a blog, do you fall into a rut?
What I mean by this is, do you have a format for your content that you stick with? Is it basically the same thing every time? Or do you experiment, try different formats, and build different kinds of content and resources?
If you’re in a rut, even if you don’t realize it’s a rut, you may be missing out on some serious growth opportunities. The strategy overall is called Content Diversification, and it’s all about broadening the kinds of content you publish.
Curious? You should be! Let’s jump in.
What is Content Diversity?
Content diversity is about mixing up either two or three elements of your content marketing, depending on how comprehensive your promotion is.
The first element is the format your content takes. Most of us tend to just produce blog posts, the occasional landing page, enough product pages to sell what we want to sell, and not much else. Content diversity, though, adds to this mix. It encourages you to produce things like eBooks, whitepapers, slideshows, and even video content.
After all, not everyone is in the situation, mindset, or is interested in consuming blog posts exclusively. Some people prefer video content. Some people want their questions answered in two sentences instead of 500. Sometimes, the information you’re trying to convey is better portrayed as an infographic with charts instead of pure text and tables. Content diversity allows you to capture these different audiences and, more importantly, convey the information you want to convey in the most effective way possible.
The second element is the category of topics you cover. I don’t mean things like your keywords here; I mean entirely different classes of content. For example, how-to guides, informative definitions, insightful thought leadership posts, and simple announcements are all different categories of content.
This has a lot of crossover with user intent in topics.
Broadly, there are five kinds of topics content can fall into:
- Navigational. When someone types your brand name into search and they want to visit your website, it’s a navigational search.
- Informational. This is when a user has a question they want answered with information. Things like glossaries with definitions of industry terms fall into this group.
- Tutorial. These are queries where a user wants to know how to accomplish something. This is where how-to guides and instructions work the best.
- Commercial. Commercial is when a user knows they have a problem, but they’re also aware that the solution isn’t something they can DIY or that they need additional tools or supplies for it, so they’re researching what to buy; they aren’t yet ready to make a purchase, but they’re warming up to the idea. This is where content formats that showcase products in action, compare them to competition, and landing pages work well.
- Transactional. The final stage of your sales funnel, this is when a user knows they want to buy and is looking for your product page.
Different categories of content suit different user intents, which is another reason why you need to cover all of your bases with content diversity. For example, a video works best for tutorial content but won’t do a thing for transactional searches; meanwhile, a product page is perfect for transactional but isn’t going to suit the needs of someone seeking tutorial content.
If your site is 100% comprised of basic blog posts, product pages, and landing pages, you’re missing out on many combinations of format and category that are essential for reaching the broadest possible user base.
So, what’s the third element? According to Foundation, it’s the channels you use to promote your content. Pushing your content on Facebook versus Instagram versus Pinterest versus Reddit, and so on. Different formats of content work better in different channels, of course.
Personally, I don’t include this in content diversification as such because, to me, content diversification is about the content on your site. Your promotion is off-site, and I consider the promotion to be a spin-off from your primary content.
By that, I mean that you can take a base piece of content and adapt it to any channel you want. You can write a blog post and then distill a few key points into an infographic to post on Pinterest, Instagram, and Imgur. I personally don’t believe that you should be making a core piece of content specifically to share on the image-focused networks so much as you should be making good pieces of content that can be fragmented into those different channels.
All of this brings us to the question: how can you improve your content diversification?
Improving Content Diversity
Let’s talk about the various strategies you can use to diversify your content. I’m assuming that you have the three main types of content covered already, those being:
- Standard, basic, everyday blog posts.
- Landing pages for ads and more salesy marketing.
- Product pages for tangible item information and sales.
Anything else you may have dabbled in but haven’t invested in. So, that’s a large part of what you’ll be doing: expanding your horizons and the formats you regularly produce.
Step 1: Establish Evergreen Resources
The first and easiest thing you can do is set up some evergreen resources that fill the informational and tutorial roles. While a good portion of your blog content is likely already covering these bases, you also want to suit other needs with other formats. These can include:
A Glossary. Setting up a glossary isn’t going to be difficult, especially if you use WordPress; the hard part is identifying the terms unique to your industry that you want to define.
Building a glossary is a good way to cover a lot of different keywords, include links to more detailed content on complex terms, and establish yourself as a brand that knows what you’re talking about.
Free Tools. Tools are usually just small applets you establish for accomplishing specific purposes. They can be simple or complex, but the key is that they’re focused on one specific task and perform that task at least as well as other competing free tools. In some cases, they can even be loss leaders for your overall platform, but that’s a more advanced discussion.
Tutorial Videos. Blog posts can already cover tutorials, but different kinds of tutorials can benefit from different formats. For example, sometimes static pictures aren’t the best option for demonstrating a complex action a user might need to take. Videos can be excellent for this. I highly recommend having both; many people who need tutorial advice don’t want to sit through a whole video and might bounce off it, but by providing a text version as well, you cover both bases.
Evergreen resources should be things that aren’t going to change very often, if at all. They should also be kept up to date if there are any changes. Critically, if there’s a change but it doesn’t replace the original version, it can be beneficial to maintain both versions of a tutorial or have the variations documented in the tutorial. Users don’t like seeking out instructions on how to do something only to find those instructions are out of date because of a version update.
Step 2: Build Index Content
My second recommendation is to index content. What is index content?
Here’s an example: Investopedia’s page on 401(k) plans.
On the surface, this looks like a good example of an informative blog post. As you read through it, though, you notice how many links there are throughout the piece. All of those links are internal links to related topics, sub-topics, and deeper dives into the topics touched on in the post. They actually have a pattern; external links are footnotes cited with numbers, while internal links use anchor text.
This page is basically serving two purposes.
- One, it’s a deep and informative guide on what a 401(k) is and how it works, the details of using one, the different types it has, and so on.
- Two, it’s a hub where if you want to learn more about any specific aspect of 401(k)s, you can find that link and dig deeper.
A simpler example of this overall concept is an FAQ page. A simple FAQ page has a core topic and a bunch of questions about that topic, each with an answer that’s usually around 1-2 paragraphs long. Each of those answers can then link out to a deeper dive guide into the subject. It’s a great way to create a central pillar page for a bunch of more disparate content throughout your site.
Step 3: Create a Community Hub
Another kind of content you can diversify into is user-generated content. This one is tricky because you can’t implement it as a small blog with no community. Nothing is quite as depressing as a web forum with no users, right?
Once your community is large enough – and you don’t need more than maybe a dozen engaged people, but you do need enough engaged people to hold conversations – you can do something like add a simple web forum to your site.
Many blogs used to do the community hub thing with private Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, or other off-site communities. Those can be fine and serve a similar purpose, but they lose out because you don’t get the on-site engagement or the link-building opportunities, keyword usage, and other benefits of those user posts being on your site. Even if Google doesn’t value user-generated content very highly, it’s still beneficial and can still be indexed.
I highly recommend waiting to form a web forum on your domain until you have enough regular blog comments that people are already having discussions on your site. Any earlier and you risk an empty community, and while you can astroturf some engagement to kick things off, it can be a lot of work to get and keep the ball rolling until it’s self-sustaining.
Step 4: Audio, Video, and Image Content Spin-Offs
Multimedia is arguably the way of the future. Millions of people browse the internet primarily on their phones and spend most of their time on sites like Instagram and TikTok. Even sites like Reddit are usually anchored by video or image content.
Very rarely do I recommend producing multimedia content as your primary content. There are two reasons for this.
- The first is that the conversion from something like a video into a blog post can be more work and can feel jankier to a reader than the conversion in the other direction.
- The other reason is that video content (and audio content and a lot of image content) isn’t nearly as easily indexed. A huge part of why blogs are still the de facto way of producing content is because search engines still require words to index.
There are ways around this, of course. A video transcript posted on your site or uploaded to YouTube (or both) helps index the content of a video. Images can have descriptions, alt text, captions, and more.
My general recommendation, though, is to follow this process:
- Go through your old content and identify the top 10-20% of your best-performing posts.
- For each post, build a plan on how to spin it off into other forms of content.
- Produce and publish those other forms of content.
So, your top-performing blog post can be distilled down into a transcript, which you can use to record an audio version of the content and upload that to podcast sites. You can attach a video to that, either with an animatic or just on-camera reading, and post that to video sites like YouTube. You can cut clips of the most compelling bits of that video and post them on shorter-format sites like X, TikTok, and Instagram Reels.
Take the shorter key points, stitch them together into an infographic, and post that on Instagram, X, and Pinterest. Break it up into smaller pieces and share them on X, Reddit, Imgur, and elsewhere.
One piece of content can be spun off into dozens of pieces of content in different formats, across different categories, and posted to different channels. That’s how you diversify.
Start From a Strong Foundation
The final note I want to leave off on is that in order to do all of this, you need a strong, solid foundation from which to build. It’s pretty hard to record a video and make an infographic based on content that barely has substance to it, right?
Topicfinder is a great tool to help you out here. By identifying topic opportunities across your industry, you can have a wealth of information from which to put together core pillar and index content and then spin it out and out in a web of ever-expanding sub-content across a wide range of categories and formats.
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