The internet has become a massive black hole of content. Here’s how to execute a smart content marketing strategy in spite of it.
Sadly, huge investments are being made in content that is just not being consumed. Beautifully created content is getting lost in cyberspace—dropped off on the side of the road in the most remote areas of the information superhighway, with no one around for light years. If you are developing content without a plan to promote it, this is exactly what you are doing: dumping your content into a black hole. Here are some content marketing tips to help shine a light on your content and avoid feeding the black hole with your wasted time, energy, and money.
Start by developing great content, then promote it.
That means content that provides value and a unique perspective for your audience. Subpar content will disappear quickly into the black hole even if you promote it. But, having great content can get you only so far. After developing your content, you must take necessary steps to both gain some love from the search engines and to get it in front of the right people by promoting it across multiple channels. With over 88% of B2B marketers in North America cranking out new content as part of their marketing programs (Source: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs), it is essential to have a strong game plan to get your content seen, and avoid getting lost in the informational abyss.
Here are 10 keys to keep your content from getting lost in space:
1. Wave to the Bots! Give yourself a shot with the search engine bots. Conduct keyword research to understand what your audience is searching for related to your topic. Make sure your page is visible and attractive to Googlebot and the other search engine crawlers by setting up on-page SEO with the appropriate title tags, headings, meta descriptions, and image alt attributes for your content. While there are a lot of factors that play into effective, modern SEO, it is still important to have a solid foundation of basic metadata for your content to help you get discovered online and keep the bots happy, so to speak.
2. Sell it in the SERPs. Create compelling, creative, and inviting page titles and meta descriptions to maximize your click-through rate on the search engine results page (SERPs). This is the copy that will show up for the user on the SERPs when the user is trying to decide which search result to click on. Think of the meta description as the ad copy for your page. Describe your page in a way that sells the content to the “customer”—which, in this case, is the search engine user that is looking for information related to your content topic.
3. Don’t be afraid to repeat your tweet. If you are posting a link to your content via Twitter you will want to schedule multiple tweets to promote your content since all of your followers will not be online at the same time. You can vary these posts with a different focus featuring a key quote, statistic, or question addressed in the content. Use the following posting schedule for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook as a general rule of thumb.
- Same day as post
- On publish – Share Title/Topic, Link
- Same day as post – Provide an interesting quote or stat related to the blog
- Day after post – Pose a key, teasing question that is answered in the article
- Week after post
- Month after post
- On publish
- Month after Post
4. Pay to play. Unfortunately, the social media landscape is quickly becoming a pay-to-play venue. As algorithms continue to evolve it is increasingly difficult to get a lot of eyeballs on your info without paying to promote a post (even if you have a large following). Invest in boosted posts in a way that will get people to your content AND will also increase your future ORGANIC POWER. In other words, use boosted posts on Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter to drive people to your content but also with a goal of increasing the followers and email subscribers. This is a marathon, not a sprint, but with consistent contributions you can continue to build a following and leverage their individual networks to expand your organic reach.
5. Images = Everything. To increase the “shareability” of your content, be sure to include engaging visual elements. Use quality custom images both in the content pieces as well as the social media posts promoting that content. There is a lot of visual noise in social media feeds, so consider what type of images will stand out and catch the eye of your audience.
6. Use network multipliers. Utilize networks of key team members in your organization as appropriate to expand your reach by sharing your content via social media, especially if your company presence on social media is young and immature. Encourage your team members to like and share your content only if part of their network would fall into your target audience. Also use hashtags (only a couple) in social posts that will help mark the content by relevant topic or event to expand your audience reach beyond your existing followers.
7. Go serial. Leverage the power of “To Be Continued” and create episodic, multi-part content to get return visits. Combine these parts and pieces to build powerful long-form content that will promote referral links from 3rd party sites.
8. Click-to-Tweet. Make your share-worthy content easier to share. Include appropriate/relevant social share buttons on your blog post page, and make it easy for those who want to share tasty bites of content, like a key quote or statistic from your article with in-context click-to-tweet buttons. You can find a number of “Click-to-Tweet” plug-ins available to make this easy to setup.
9. Keep your troops in the loop. Make sure you keep your loyal email subscribers up-to-date with your latest content. This is a group that raised their hand to say they are interested in what you have to say, so don’t leave them hanging. This may seem obvious, but it can get overlooked.
10. Captivate your captive audience. In addition to your email audience, keep your current website audience engaged by cross-linking between related content on your site. Feature new content with links on your home page, and provide cross-links to new content from related blogs, product pages, and service pages. Make this new content easy to discover for your website visitors. Connecting the content dots across your site will help get more views and shares on the new stuff, as well as provide an SEO boost with increased engagement on your site overall.
If you create beautiful, valuable content, give it a chance to survive out in cyberspace.
Strap some jet packs on those blog posts, infographics, and videos to make sure you get that valuable content in front of the audiences that need it, and avoid the black hole.
If you have any questions about how best to strap jet packs to your content, please give us a shout. We keep rocket fuel in the office.