Content Marketing’s 3 Rules: Location, Location, Location

12 Tactics to Extend Your Content Marketing Reach

Has your content marketing ever performed below expectations? If so, the answer may be found in the old real estate adage, location, location, location.

Content marketing experiment

As an experiment, last Monday, two of my articles were published in two different digital marketing focused content sites, namely ClickZ and this blog. The articles were similar across a number of attributes without being duplicate content. Both were written by the same author (yours truly,) had a Halloween theme, focused on social media, and used a list format. Both included some visuals in the form of photographs or charts. Therefore, without having the exact same content, the major difference between the two articles was publishing location.

 

Using social media sharing as a proxy for reader engagement and views (while social media shares aren’t an accurate measure, they can be a surrogate to show directional intent), there was a distinct difference between these articles. Despite the visual eye candy on my blog, the article on Click Z was significantly outperformed than the one on my blog. This makes sense since ClickZ is a bigger media site with a longer history and, most importantly, it has a larger reader base than my blog.

If I had written a third similar article and published it on another digital marketing focused site with greater traffic, my assumption is that it would have yielded higher results than the ClickZ column due to its existing readership.

What does this mean for marketers?

The bottom line is content marketing needs to be placed in front of the largest audience possible to yield optimal results. Just posting strong content on a blog or an ebook on your website by itself isn’t going to drive sufficient results to make your goals if the platform where the content is placed has limited traffic.

3 Ways to extend your content marketing reach

Just as you select media for your advertising, online and offline, based on the size, demographics, and interests of their user base, you must maximize the reach of  your content marketing by selecting the appropriate online locations. Here are the three options for marketers and tactics to maximize their impact.

Build your own audience. This means leveraging your internal media to support your content marketing efforts. Unfortunately, publishing your company blog or website by itself isn’t going to attract a lot more than your internal personnel. You have to build your online following. To this end, use your other media to spotlight your strong content.

  1. Promote your content marketing on your emailings. When you introduce the content marketing, consider having a special emailing highlighting the benefits of the content and some blurbs that link to your content.
  2. Spotlight content using your website, catalog and other marketing collateral. Use ads and callouts across your website to attract attention. Remember the goal of content marketing is to support the purchase process.
  3. Include a link to your content marketing in your post-purchase email. Use it as a benefit to show customers how to better use your products.
  4. Leverage other customer touchpoints. Think retail outlets, customer service and packages.
  5. Use social media sharing to extend the reach of your content. Remind readers with icons and a related call-to-action.
  6. Utilize employee email. Don’t overlook the power of placing a link in your employee signature files.

Leverage other people’s audiences. Use existing audiences on blogs, media sites and social media platforms to enhance your reputation and build your audience.

  1. Create related video content on YouTube. Since YouTube is the second largest social media platform and the second largest search engine, it’s an important addition to support your content marketing efforts. Remember your video offering has to be useful and interesting or no one’s going to pay attention to it!
  2. Post presentations on slidesharing sites like slideshare and eslide. These sites have large, diverse audiences in the tens of millions that can expose your content to a broader audience and drive traffic back to your website or blog.
  3. Offer guest posts. Write strong content for blogs covering your area of expertise. For guest posting to yield results, you need to do this consistently for a variety of blogs to get broad exposure.
  4. Write an opinion piece. Give your opinion or write an editorial for a media entity focused on your target market.

Pay to drive traffic to your content marketing. Use targeted advertising to drive readers to your content. The goal of this advertising is to boost readership, not sales directly.

  1. Use targeted advertising on social media platforms. Focus on very tight niches to maximize their effectiveness. Set a budget to ensure that your expenses remain on track.
  2. Test search and mobile search to reach your prospects while they’re on-the-go and looking for your firm. Bear in mind this option may be more costly. Depending on where your prospects are in the purchase cycle when they look for information and the size of your average order, it may be worth it. Test it and see.

To make your content marketing effective, you must build an audience using a variety of methods.

Do you have any other suggestions to extend the reach of your content marketing?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/134974908/

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