Content marketing has been one of the most powerful marketing strategies over the past years and an approach that’s somehow getting more favorable for search engines in seeding great from crap content over the web – proving it’s a force to be reckoned with.
Tom Critchlow once said that “Now is the time for content marketing” (he blogged about it last week). And I strongly agree, and I think most of us do, because it’s simply the best way to make a brand become known for what it’s great at. People will always know and remember you for the things you teach them to do/act on or for a certain value that only you can provide.
The best thing about this practice is that it taps a lot of significant areas of marketing, wherein this approach can allow a site to improve its online branding, link building/attraction, reach in social media as well as in converting visitors to customers/brand followers, given that there’s a reason for them to be interested and to take action – and that is your content.
However, creating great content is not enough, particularly these days, where everyone – in almost any industry – is already implementing content-centric campaigns, making it more of a battle of how to push content and reach its target audience. That ability is the key to a successful content marketing campaign.
First off, there are several types of content that you can choose to create and promote. Blueglass did an article that defines each of these content formats:
• Interactive Infographics
• Video Infographics
• Kinetic Typography
In content creation, it’s important to optimize it for search, by using the keywords that you’re aiming to be searched for by people and by shaping an intent to satisfy its target audience, as it scales the opportunities of the content to achieve far greater links in the future (seeing that it can generate constant traffic through search, and can possibly generate more social shares and links).
Need more reasons to believe that it’s really time to invest on this marketing tactic? Here’s an infographic from Blueglass:
Created by BlueGlass Interactive
Now, once you have a great content done, published and ready to be promoted, you can then start using several methods that I’ll be sharing below to efficiently market, garner links to it and have it rank on search engines.
Linker outreach is a social marketing and link acquisition method that initially starts from extracting link as well as social data from web contents that are similar to the content that you’ve just launched, and reaching out to them to basically check out your content, since the likelihood of them sharing your content will be higher, as based from their interests/social activity.
There are many tools that you can use to track social shares such as Topsy, Delicious and through manual Google search (using advanced queries to track social accounts/shares on Google+, Facebook and Stumbleupon). Here are some of the basic steps of implementing a linker outreach campaign:
- Find highly shared content in your industry (have lots of social shares such as tweets, Facebook shares, Google +1s, stumbles, etc…).
- Reverse engineer these social shares by using tools such as Topsy and/or Google search.
- Make a list of influential people (particularly those who have blogs/websites), which also should include their contact details (you have to manually check their websites to find contact information) and put them down in an excel sheet.
- Craft an email template that should only be consisted of the following – where you have found there profile, that they have shared your “competitor’s content”, and that they should check out your content too (as they may also find it useful). Pro tip: Don’t ask them to share your content, since they are linkers, and they already know what to do next after seeing your content.
Discussions on the web is one of the best source of links, as along the process of building conversations that could lead to relationships, you are also able to promote your content (and your brand as an authority) when sharing your information to people who are actually seeking for it.
There are a lot of forms of discussions that you can participate to on the web such as from forum threads, Q&A sites (like Quora) as well as blogs that pertain to the subject of your content (or the problem in which your content provides a solution).
Leaving a useful comment/contribution to the discussion and referencing to your content for a more comprehensive resource can increase the CTR of your links, which is actually good, since people are finding your link useful.
Leverage Social Sharing
Social sharing is definitely the new link building (or simply a new way for search engines to measure web popularity). Once you have a great content set out for your audience to see, and you have started promoting it, it’s important that you maximize the content’s incoming traffic by making your social buttons very visible.
You can easily entice your visitors to share your content if you have a very compelling title for your content, and have your social buttons as a call to action placed above the fold.
It’s also best to add these social buttons at the end of your content, as there are times that readers tend to forget to share the content after reading the entire entry. So placing it below can put more traction to your social marketing strategy.
If you have a strong and of high value content, it’s easier to get social shares. And given that you’ll be generating a lot of social signals, you are then able to increase its chances of getting higher search rankings (for the keyword it is targeting).
Keep on increasing the amount of the content’s social shares by pushing your efforts to bring visitors to that page, as it eventually builds social proof, which can make your future attempts for link requests easier (since they’ll see that the content was heavily shared via social media).
Build Links through Content Distribution
You can also promote your exclusive content through the content you externally distribute such as guest blogs, slide presentations, press releases, ebooks and/or newsletters.
Make the link perceptible to your external content’s readers by making the strings of text longer and descriptive (like 4 – 6 words describing your content and using partial match anchor texts for it to pass through weight in terms of search rankings), as this format for links have higher chances of getting clicked. The position of the link is also vital, placing it on the anywhere on the first 3 paragraphs can help improve its CTR.
Reach out to people who’ve already linked to you
One of the most efficient (and perhaps the easiest) ways to promote a great content is to reach out to those who already know the value of your works. Of course, those would be the ones who have already linked out or socially shared your content in the past.
You can use Opensiteexplorer.org to track top domains linking to you, and list them all out. Segment your list by categorizing blogs/sites in priority-levels, so you can create different email copies for each level (depending on the difficulty of getting a link/share from them – usually based on the stature/authority of their websites).
Once your list is sorted out, you can start contacting them and let them know about your great piece that could be useful to them or their followers.