Author: Jayson DeMers
Plenty has been written about how to create smart digital marketing content. But less attention gets paid to whether your videos, infographics, social media posts and other content are actually reaching the right people.
Having a smart distribution model is how you bring in more business. Here are the critical steps for getting your content where it needs to go
Optimize for search and for mobile. Apply the principles of good search-engine optimization (SEO) to every piece of content as you create it – not after the fact. Who is your audience? What answers are people looking for? What keywords will they use to find those answers? Also, create content with mobile in mind. Think about your message’s length, formatting, visual elements and links. The better the experience, the more likely customers will absorb the information.
Design a cohesive content plan. Create “content modules” – bits of content, each with a targeted purpose, that you can use in a variety of ways. For example, a blog post can be excerpted to provide social media status updates, included in your email newsletter and syndicated on LinkedIn. Each module should plug into a clear narrative arc. Map out how you’ll use these modules to tell your story from beginning to end.
Create relationships with branded publications and sites. As customers are exposed to your content – through publications and websites they respect – they’ll learn about your brand and begin to trust your authority. Try writing guest posts for niche or industry sites. Blogging for sites that allow contributors to run columns often requires more persistence and stronger writing, but such outlets generally have larger audiences and more credibility. Also, connect with journalists and other bloggers, in hopes they’ll link to your content in their own columns and posts. Share original research or create an infographic they can write about.
Pay for distribution. This works well for a variety of formats, including entire stories, headlines, videos, links and social media updates. Tools such as Outbrain enable you to get your content onto major platforms in the form of “suggested posts.” Sponsored posts and status updates are essentially ads that allow you to exploit the extensive data that websites and social networks collect about their users.
Reach out to influencers. Create content that’s potentially interesting to leading figures in your market and their audiences. Think about how you’d like to benefit – do you want someone to review your new book, for instance? – and what you can offer in return. Strengthen these important connections by sharing influencers’ content through your channels and commenting on their blog posts.
While a successful content strategy starts with publishing exceptional content, the strategic distribution of that content is the real key. Broaden your distribution capabilities by building relationships with media, understanding your audience and tailoring your social media activities to reach your audience in a way that’s relevant to their interests.
(Jayson DeMers is the founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing and social media agency.)