5 Strategies to Put the “Marketing” Back into Content Marketing

Putting the Marketing Back into Content Marketing

Content Marketing Promotion Strategy:  The Missing Link to Profitable Content Marketing

From my point of view, the best content marketing strategy goes far beyond SEO, Google AdWords, creating content and sharing it on social media.  To me, this just feels like table stakes in today’s increasingly competitive world.  I think that it’s really about putting the “marketing” back into content marketing.  By this, I mean strategically amplifying the impact of your content by optimizing your content promotion efforts.

I know many organizations that create volumes and volumes of great content…and then it seems to just stop there.  Why?  It’s because they focusing all their energy on content creation and not content promotion very much.  In this blog, we are going to review 5 proven strategies to better promote your content, create a profitable lead machine, and improve your sales velocity.  Let’s jump in!

1.  Create a Targeted Influencer Marketing Program

This is a public relations/marketing strategy that helps create more credibility for your organization, as well as promoting valuable content. Influencers within an industry take many forms…they could be thought leaders, influential industry analysts, journalists, bloggers or even leaders of user groups.

With this strategy, I have always had my best results when my content is rich with empirical data.  The reason is that data is objective and it tells a much more compelling story.  A great example of this is creating a study that shows meaningful insights from a different perspective.Thought Leadership This easily could become the topic for a bylined article that can be pitched to the media.

The content will have even greater impact if you are able to co-author it with an industry thought leader or a customer.  Studies, guides, and e-books are considered the most effective formats to pitch to media and influencers.  That said, a good tool to consider for your PR arsenal is BuzzStream because it helps identify industry influencers, as well as link building from an SEO perspective.  I also use BuzzSumoFeedly, and ContentForest to help discover the most popular content and track trending hot topics by industry.

Another approach is promoting relevant content through leading industry associations or trade groups.  Every industry has it’s most influential organizations that represent the thought leaders of that industry.  In addition, they all have their own versions of social media sites through their associations that can be leveraged.

You can submit a blog, a white paper or a study that may be of great interest to their target audience. This is an often overlooked, but powerful strategy to promote great content and create strategic relationships with top thought leaders.  An added benefit is that membership to these organizations can help expose and position you well with prospects and customers alike.

2.  Add  Targeted Triggered Email Campaigns into the Mix

Email still has one the highest ROI as compared to other tactics and should be a vital component to your digital marketing strategy.  In a recent survey conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric found that email had a median ROI of 122% which is 4x higher than other tactics.

The key is setting up a cadence for your campaigns based on business triggers, such as the ending of a contract or signing on of a new drip email campaigncustomer, the launch of a new product, an influential white paper, etc…Consider this, triggered emails (also known as drip campaigns) drive 624% higher conversion responses for the same number of sends as compared to non-triggered emails. This is driven by a 381% higher click rate, and an 180% higher post-click conversion rate. (Source: VentureBeat, 2016).

I am personally a big fan top-of-mind email drip campaigns (also known as lead nurturing campaigns) because they systematically keep you in touch with prospective customers who aren’t quite ready to buy yet.  This also is an excellent tactic to stay in touch with your existing customer base that you may not have reached out to recently.

3. Leverage the Expanded Capabilities of LinkedIn

In the past 18 months, LinkedIn has exploded with multiple opportunities to promote and share excellent content.  First, join the LinkedIn groups that best relate to your business or functional discipline.  Not only do you benefit from other’s shared content, I encourage you to post your own original relevant content that would be of value to the group.  I like to ask what topics they are most interested in and create customized content that’s easy to share.

Another good approach is to write syndicated articles on Linkedin that speak to your target audience’s pain points.  You can also expand the life and value of your content by re-purposing it into different formats, such as a video, a SlideShare presentation, or an infographic.  From a timing standpoint, I like to post during off hours to better stand out.

 4.  Share Your Best Content with Strategic Paid Content Distribution Channels 

These paid content distribution channels are also known as sponsored content networks.  Three of the best-known paid networks areTaboola  Taboola, AdBlade and Outbrain.  Essentially how this works is that web publishers link out to other websites, getting compensated for each click generated by the sponsored content.  It’s a win-win all around from a content promotion perspective because your sponsored content is now getting to a much bigger audience.

The only caveat I have is to be careful that your content doesn’t appear spammy.  Think of sponsored content as today’s version of an advertorial.  You are paying to publish your content on other websites and influential media outlets.  This is turn leads to more traffic and more leads than you can achieve with other tactics.

5.  Invest in Digital Earned Media Opportunities

This goes hand in hand with the influencer marketing program outlined earlier in this blog.  Earned media opportunities are created by reaching out and pitching ideas to get your strategic content featured organically through proactively reaching out and pitching influencers, editors, journalists, etc.  You are literally adding value and thus earning your place for greater and third party approved distribution.  The ROI on this type of strategy is significant and growing each day.

You are literally adding value with your content and thus earning your place for greater trusted third party approved distribution.  Another example of earned media is taking advantage of guest posting opportunities on other influential respected websites.  The ROI on this type of strategy is very significant and growing each day.

Key Takeaways
  • You will get better results and a higher ROI by dedicating a significant amount of your content marketing budget on developing paid and earned media opportunities vs. a disproportionate amount on just content creation.
  • You will always be better off having less, but more strategic content that has a great integrated promotion plan behind it.
  • Keep in mind that the higher the perceived value of the content to your target segment is in direct correlation to the potential success of your content promotion campaign.
  • Social Media, Google AdWords and Search Engine Optimization are still critical components of your integrated content marketing plan.

The bottom line is that the best content marketing strategy includes a heavy emphasis on content promotion.  How does your organization approach content promotion?  Please share your comments and success stories!

Thanks,

Ruth

Related Article:  Are Your Content Marketing KPI’s Aligned with the Right Metrics?

5 Strategies to Put the “Marketing” Back into Content Marketing

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