Why Your Content Should Be the Centerpiece of Your Marketing
Lately content strategies seem to be everywhere. I have clients adding them to their social marketing plans and I’m working a project based around content analysis.
Let me tell you now – if you are not actively and regularly creating fresh content – and I’m not talking about social media posts – you and your business are missing out. In the age we are in, you have to be constantly creating content. Yes, I know all about content shock, but you still need content to be relevant.
Okay, social media posts are content, but that’s not what matters. What I’m talking about is content from your website. Blogs. Infographics. Video. Podcasts. You know, things that will get indexed by Mother Google. If you’re not feeding Mother Google on a regular basis, she’s going to forget about you and you’ll be lost in the Googlesphere while those who are feeding her will get prime spots at the table.
Why have a content strategy and distribute regularly?
Content drives people to your social networks
How many times have you visited someone’s Facebook page or Pinterest page after reading a blog post or an article? Continually publishing new content gives people something to read and while they are on your website, they’ll stay and look around or click and visit your networks.
Content drives people to your website
Once you write it, you have to get the word out. When you publish fresh content, one of the first things you do is share it all over social media and maybe email it out. People will see it, click on it and go to your website. Having regular fresh content gives people a reason to keep coming back.
Content conveys a message to your audience
Your content is a way to provide value to your audience. This could be through tips, testimonials or helping them solve a problem. No matter what it is, you are sending your audience a message. Hopefully it’s one that shows you care. This is their way to get to know you.
Content sets you apart from your competitor
If you are a small, local business, I can almost guarantee your competitors are not publishing fresh content. If they are, that right there gives you a reason to start. If you’re the first one doing it – great! You’ll have an easier time getting those people’s attention and web traffic. If you aren’t first, don’t worry – provide great content of value and share it and people will come (with a strategy of course).
Content can give you authority
The longer and more regularly you publish content, the more authority you build in the search engines. However, you’ll also build authority in your audience’s eyes because they see someone (or some business) that knows their stuff and is helping them out. Look at the people you consider to be influential and have authority – they’re publishing new content all the time.
How do you spread your content?
Share on your social networks
Of course this is a no-brainer. When I publish something new, I share it to Google Plus first (for indexing reasons), then Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest – in that order. You want to share it as many places as you can. You have a similar, yet different audience on each platform you are active on. You can also share content to sites like Flipboard, Scoop.it and Stumbleupon.
Ask your employees to share
Having an employee network that is active and shares is a goldmine for your business. Your employees are vested in your business – ask them if they would share the business’ content on their social networks and sites. Empowering them to take an active role in promoting the business will help ignite your content. I have a client that does this and we see a uptick in traffic when their staff members share.
Content syndication can be your best friend. This is an easy way to get your articles out in front of more than just your audience. You can take advantage of sites such as Triberr or Business2Community. An example of how this can work – I published an article, 4 Reasons Social Media Marketing May Not Be Working for Your Business. On my site it did okay, but I syndicate my content on Business2Community. They picked up this post and to date it’s been shared 977 times (650 came in the first 48 hours). In the first 48 hours, I saw a dramatic increase in retweets with my Twitter handle and traffic did spike on my site. Syndicating content can work for your content.
Befriend your influencers
Your influencers want to get to know you. Build a relationship with them – tweet them, mention them in an article (and tag them), send them an email. Befriending influencers and sharing their content first will help your content. I befriended one of my influencers and since then this person has shared my content on their social networks, allowed me to guest post twice on their site and now I’m working on a project with them. Building an authentic relationship with those in your industry will pay off – not immediately though. These things take time.
Your business’ marketing strategy has to now include a content strategy. You have to know what you are going to publish and where and to whom. The days of ‘just’ posting on Facebook or Twitter are over. You have to have a plan behind it and the right people to execute it.
My friend Mark Schaefer shared this awesome Slideshare presentation last year giving you ways to spread (ignite) your content. Scroll through it below and you’ll get some great ideas to use in your content strategy (if you’re not doing some of these already).
When you’re done, check out his book based around content, The Content Code. I’ve read it and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to amp up their content strategy.
So, let me ask you – what’s your business’ content strategy?