You’ve written the best blog post of your life. Probably the best one that’s ever been written on the topic. It will enlighten everyone who reads it and help them grow their businesses exponentially. You know your audience can’t wait to read it because it was written specifically for them. One question remains. How do you get it in front of them?
The only hurdle your content marketing strategy has left to jump is distribution. How do you get the article or video or whatever else on their monitor in front of your target audience so they can read it? There are so many different considerations that go into this – which platforms? How often? What day of the week/time of the day? Should it be promoted or all organic? You can wrestle with these questions indefinitely, and in fact you will probably never stop tinkering, trying to find a better way to do things. While this certainly applies to BIG, we have been tinkering for quite a while and want to share a few insights with our readers.
There are a few tricks you can work to draw more of an audience in just by changing a few words. Without changing what you are writing about, certain websites allow you to see how people are searching, what the most popular queries are, etc. Google Trends, for instance, allows you to enter a search query and see how popular it has been historically, related queries, and related topics. All of these things can help you decide how to title your content and what buzzwords to hit as you write. If your topic is niche enough to get noticed on Google this can really draw in some traffic.
Just like everything in marketing, there is no substitute for simply knowing your audience. This will give you a strong indication towards which platforms you should be pursuing. BIG targets professionals looking for consulting services – naturally LinkedIn is the primary platform we advertise and push our content out on. The nature of your content will also influence where you decide to put it. Image-heavy content – especially that of artistic and design firms – does very well on Pinterest and Instagram for example. B2C content tends to be focused on Facebook for older demographics and Twitter for younger.
Testing, Testing, 1, 2…
These are the easier decisions. Deciding when and how often to publish requires a little more research, experimentation, and creativity. Extensive research has been conducted on the best times of day and days of the week to publish on each major platform, with some even digging in based upon the type of product or service being marketed.
There is no substitute for your own research. The good news about advertising on social media like this is that it provides all kinds of data. As soon as a post is up, you can see what sort of engagement it is getting. While most networks will not tell you by-the-hour how much visibility your post has, this is something easily tracked (usually by the intern!)
The bad news is that in recent years organic reach has been falling dramatically across platforms. Even those with the best content are feeling the crunch. It is a product of changes to the algorithms used by social media companies, and there’s little to be done about it. Sponsored content can be useful, but needs to be done in the context of a well-planned out campaign!
Content can be supplemented by other types of content as well. Blog articles can be supported by video tutorials, newsletters, infographics, etc. BIG recently started a newsletter to keep up with our followers with regular updates and any news that may be valuable to our subscribers (Subscribe here!) All of this will supplement the weekly blogs that we write, and the sum is greater than the parts!
Distribution is probably the hardest part of a content marketing strategy. Anyone can write (writing well is another story) but few people can really figure out how to get it out there. It’s the difference between being the first person to invent the automobile and the first person to invent an automobile that can be mass produced and sold to the masses. This sort of commercialization is what we will be talking about next week – how do you make your content fit into the overall sales funnel of your organization to help nurture your leads, turning them into customers. If you can put all these steps together you have the makings of a successful content marketing strategy for your organization!