The SEO industry has shifted slightly (again), this time to killer content creation and content promotion. We’ve outlined some simple steps you can take to create and then promote good, stickly content in an inexpensive, intelligent manner.
Content has to be good. What defines good? Would you share the piece of content with a friend in the same industry as you? If you answered no, re-think the content. We like content which solves problems, addresses needs, is not overly wordy, and reads well. It’s interesting. You’d bookmark it if you didn’t have time to read the entire thing. Maybe there are a lot of cool supporting visuals, there are quotes from experts, it flows – that sort of thing.
Here are some thought-starters for content:
- Industry (trending) news and commentary around it/why it is important
- How to solve a (common) problem
- Best practices for…
- What to do in the advent of…
- Lifehacks/Industry hacks
- Tips/tricks (which are not horrible tips/tricks, e.g., save money by turning off lights when you leave the room)
- Templates for X or Y (everyone loves free things, e.g., free resume template)
- A scientific breakthrough/discovery relevant to your product, and how this will impact your customers (read: news which is actual news)
- Maps/visualizations with commentary (Never been to Rome? Here’s a map of the best places to eat in this city)
- Honest product/service reviews and how the company could correct these issues
- Interviews which ask good, probing questions
Your article needs:
- An image, preferably one you take yourself
- Sometimes a video (Under 2 minutes 90% of the time)
- A way for people to respond/react (an email address or if you are brave, you enable comments)
- 400-600 words, ballparked (sometimes more, sometimes less)
- bullet points
- A summary
- Links or ways for people to learn more
Now that we have the content, how can we promote it? We promote the content by leveraging the following ideas (there are many more – another blog post for another day – as these are a few simple ones):
- Blogger Outreach: The goal of this is to reach out to similar sites to inform them of your content (this content is good, sticky interesting content you want to share, remember?). The goal here is to ask the site owner to review your content and eventually obtain a link, and even if the site owner no-follows the link, but still talks about you, we’re still driving some referral traffic to site, increasing brand awareness, and acquiring social signals through user engagement. You want to reach out to at least 25-30+ sites in the same vertical as you (Though, the more the better) for your new content. If 2% respond, you’ve earned yourself 1-2 links (maybe).
- Paid Content Campaign (Out brain/StumbleUpon): Outbrain and Stumble are sites where, for a small free, you can promote your content. Visit both at http://www.outbrain.com/ and https://www.stumbleupon.com/pd/. If you are active on a Reddit sub, mention the link in a new post or within a reply. You cannot be overly salesy here – answer a question or provide clarity and use the content as the source or way for someone to “learn more” about the issue
- Be Active in your industry forums: Your next post or reply should be the link back to the website/blog with your new content. Note the last sentence above – this applies here too.
- Sponsored Linkedin Content Campaign: The content will show up on the news feeds of targeted business professionals within certain criteria. Additionally, have key stakeholders within your organization (the CEO) post a (free) linkedin status update with your content’s URL. Also, Twitter. And Facebook and Google+.
- Facebook Advertising: The goal of Facebook advertising is to drive very targeted traffic back to your site (You can get very granular with Facebook – almost to a level of (arguably) creepiness, but hey, it works). A few hundred dollars can go a very long way here.
- Monthly/Quarterly Newsletters: Once you have 1-2 good blog posts, include the link in your next outgoing email marketing blast.
To summarize, good content takes time to create. Sometimes, a month or more. Good content often promotes itself, but it does need a kick-start. By leveraging promotional platforms, social media sites, and forums, good content has a chance to become great content. You won’t use every method above every time (it could become expensive), but experiment. Every industry is different, so it’s hard for me to give you a clear direction, but think intelligently here. Where is your audience spending time? Head that way first.
Still need some content marketing help? Give us a shout.