Creating a High-Impact Content Marketing Strategy: 3 of 5
The development of high-quality shareworthy content is paramount to creating a content marketing program that can pay substantial dividends. However, a well-strategized content promotion strategy is just as important. Yet this is an element many marketers fail to budget for, in terms of time, effort and money.
The following are thoughts to consider as you created a promotional strategy — using content marketing, social media and/or digital advertising — with the overarching goal of driving traffic, leads and sales.
Your website needs to be the hub.
Social media is best for outreach type activities to build brand awareness and engagement, and for providing forums to attract and retain customers. But the real gist of content marketing is to make your website the magnetic field for your overall effort.
Your website is the place you want followers to link back to, in order to build traffic, form relationships, and to keep prospects moving down the path to conversion. And since you own and control the content on your site, it won’t be diminished by the increasing incidence of new “pay to play” distribution policies on Facebook and other social networks.
Use blog syndication to amplify the effect.
The RSS feed of your blog is a key ally for helping to automate your content promotion process. By connecting this feed with your chosen social networks, your posts can be simultaneously fed to multiple channels — such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook — whenever you press Send. Today’s feature-rich email marketing platforms also enable you to use RSS to generate cross-platform friendly emails. This can serve to extend your messaging reach, while helping to build your subscriber list.
Use customized content on appropriate channels.
A one-size-fits-all approach to content promotion simply doesn’t work. So the idea isn’t to simply force your website content into places where it doesn’t fit. You want to choose a handful of appropriate platforms, then tailor your content to leverage the unique advantages of each platform.
For instance, Twitter’s 140-character max calls for short and succinct messages/links. Pinterest is very visual in nature and lends itself to arresting photos/graphics. LinkedIn audiences tend to favor substance over flash. Once you’ve fine-tuned your messages and formats, then test out several channels over. This enables you to see where you’re generating the best results, and to make adjustments in mid-stream.
Nurture conversations to encourage interactions.
Interaction with your followers on social media is an effective way to encourage conversations around your blogposts. And often, the authentic off-the-cuff responses you generate can turn into powerful statements and testimonials for your company and offerings.
Another valuable promotional tool is the practice of interacting with blogs that cover similar or related topics. Do a web search for a topic you’ve covered to see where else it’s being discussed. Engage with those sites to offer helpful comments, adding value to the conversation in a genuine and non-promotional way. This helps to establish your voice in blogosphere-at-large for the topics that relate most to your business.
Don’t overlook the power of traditional channels.
In the early days of social and digital media, there was a substantial and sudden exodus of dollars from traditional marketing channels. Now that the novelty is gone, more and more marketers are seeing the value of integrating non-digital media into their campaigns.
For instance, old-school public relations can be a valuable ally to build relationships with press outlets, online publishers and influential bloggers — while driving direct and referred traffic to your site. Likewise, a targeted direct mail campaign can be powerful tool to break through to these high-value influentials.
In the final analysis, strategic content promotion is all about applying creative thinking to get your content noticed — as opposed to waiting for the search engines to find it. Especially since the latter can literally take months, while yielding less than desirable results.