So far in this mini-series of posts about the basics of Content Marketing, I’ve covered identifying target audiences, places to find audiences and where to look for inspiration to write engaging content.
In this post I’ll look at why creating good content alone is not enough and how social media sites help us to reach new audiences and generate all important leads and conversions.
So, you’ve researched your target audience, and you’ve written useful, valuable and relevant content, which caters to them, but now what? The old adage, “build it and they will come”, simply doesn’t work in content marketing, especially if you’re in a competitive niche.
On the Internet, there’s tons of content available to your target audience, meaning that they won’t just stumble upon yours.
Let’s look, quickly, at how it might get found with little or no effort:
Organic Search Results – There’s a possibility parts of your content will get found naturally, when Google indexes the page, so if for some reason someone searches for something quite obscure, which just happens to appear in your content, then your page may appear in the organic search listings.
Domain Authority – The other way your content might get found (again, in organic search results) is if your website already has high Domain Authority or Page Rank.
Subscribers – And of course, let’s not forget, nor under-estimate, any current subscribers you have, who will read your content and are likely to share it.
This is the foundation level of visibility your content has.
What we want to do is amplify it! Your content should not exist in a vacuum. You need to amplify the reach of your content, by sharing it, using the right mediums.
So let’s now take a look at how we get content in front of new audiences.
Three Key Factors in Content Marketing
1. Spread the Word
Social media websites, like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, make connecting and engaging with others easier than ever. Every time you put a new piece of content out there you should promote it across all 3 platforms. There are other social media sites which might be relevant to you as well, which I’ve mentioned a bit further on, but these are the 3 most popular. Make it easy for your target audience to find your content by posting a link to it. This will give your content marketing campaign a boost.
Bear in mind, each social media site behaves differently. For example, Facebook and Google+ should have 1 update for each new piece of content, whereas on Twitter you should Tweet links to your content several times per week. Be careful, though, not to tweet the same thing, as Twitter will see this as spam and could result in suspending your account.
2. Share your Content using Social Aggregators
Social aggregator sites, such as Feedly, allow users to consolidate all of their social media profiles, into one, easy to locate profile. This can be highly useful for businesses, looking to increase the reach of their content, and improve their content marketing overall.
Sites like Feedly also make it easier to manage 3rd party content. This is important because sharing content from other sources not just your own blog is considered best practice and you should invest some time each week to do this.
3. Engage your Audience with Content Marketing
Try to generate a buzz around your content, before and after it’s published. If you can build anticipation for your content before it’s available, this is a sure-fire way of growing your audience. And, as long as it lives up to the hype it will get better engagement once live.
The best way to generate a buzz is with social media. Talk about your upcoming content. Let your readers know about the content you’re releasing, and how it can help them. Share related content from 3rd party sources. Join in conversations people are already having in relation to the themes of your soon-to-be-released post. If you’ve researched the content adequately and are confident about your target audiences, then this kind of pre-hype is sure to be successful.
Earlier, I mentioned other social media sites that might be relevant to you. Some of the big ones are Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, Youtube, Medium. Whether these are relevant depends on the nature of your content because, don’t forget, when I talk about content, I’m not necessarily restricting this to blog posts, white papers, or other forms of the written word.
If your content is photos, then Pinterest or Instagram (possibly Flickr too) will work for you. If you deal mainly in video, Youtube is definitely the most relevant platform for you and where you’ll see the most success. Vimeo is another good site for video content. Medium is an emerging platform, popular with intellectual / cultural orientated content.
Try experimenting with your content and see for yourself which pieces become most popular.
Next time, I’ll be looking at how to measure the success of your content.
Got any questions? Don’t hesitate to call us on 01928 788 100.