- Malia Powers
A plethora of content marketing do’s and don’t’s can be easily accessed online to help you acquire blog traffic. When sifting through content strategies, be mindful of two critical steps: create valuable content and deliver your content to an audience who will find it valuable.
It takes a lot of time and effort to develop content that resonates with your intended audience.
Unfortunately, the most finely crafted blog falters if it falls prey to a failure to prioritize an effective distribution process. While there is always a certain amount of “time sink” in distribution, there are distribution lists that can be built in advance, thus making distribution more time efficient on publishing day. In addition, a carefully crafted distribution list can be reused time and time again.
Newsletter delivery is a “classic” age old content strategy, but for the last couple of years, has seen significant growth in interest. Some of the most popular newsletters today that have captured the hearts of millions are theSkimm, Next Draft, and CBInsights. The content in these newsletters ranges from breaking news to round-ups of popular blogs.
Quartz Insights’ Global Executives Summary found that
60 percent of executives read an email newsletter as one of their first three daily news sources.
In a content-saturated world, it’s no wonder why people enjoy receiving a curated email regularly. A newsletter format relieves the hassle of sourcing your own news and is perceived as a more intimate experience. Here are 3 steps for leveraging the power of newsletters:
- Step 1: Identify newsletters that provide content that is relevant to your industry.
- Step 2: Sign-up and start monitoring these newsletters. Make an effort to understand the style, cadence and type of content that is included within each.
- Step 3: Collect the editor’s contact information. They will typically provide contact information for content and news tips.
Come publishing day, be prepared with a list of pre-qualified newsletters, editor’s contact information, and a short note asking for your content to be included in the newsletter. This is an easy way to get hundreds, if not thousands of hits on your content if the editor chooses to include your post in their newsletter.
User Generated Content Platforms
User generated content is any sort of content that is posted by unpaid users, or for lack of a better term, “the community” of a particular platform. The underlying principle to understand about user generated content is that individuals are posting content, not a company brand. Users of these platforms are known for being incredibly honest and skeptical of other users’ posts, experiences, and opinions. This user climate creates a sense of authenticity that is difficult to achieve with traditional marketing campaigns. Here are steps to successful postings of user generated content:
- Step 1: Identify online communities where your users congregate. For example, if you’re a technology company, popular sites like Reddit, Product Hunt and Hacker News are three online communities to add to your list.
- Step 2: Create accounts and begin to engage on the platform.
- Step 3: Research strategies for publishing. Each platform will have its own “best practices” for who, what, and when to post. The internet is loaded with useful how-to’s for all of the major communities.
On the day of publishing, be prepared with a refined list of different content platforms and clarity with your team who will post and engage.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are giant generators for driving traffic to your content, under the critical condition that you’ve established a large following of influencers. Building a social following of influencers takes time and patience.
So unless you’re a major industry player, the attitude of simply posting the blog post on your own social network and expecting a successful response lacks one major component: influence.
Posting to your social network and getting a successful response requires building a loyal following with constant attention to understanding your audience’s interests. In the meantime, one efficient avenue for building a network following is through your influencer network.
People are more likely to purchase a product if it’s recommended by a friend than if it’s forced in front of you via marketing advertisements and commercials. According to research by The Shelf, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from other people – even if they don’t know them personally – over promotional content that comes directly from brands. Consider these 3 simple but effective strategies for building your audience base via influencer relations:
- Step 1 Identify friendlies, customers, venture capitalists and others in your network boasting a large social following.
- Step 2 Build a list of contact information.
- Step 3: Identify the best person in your network for the job of reaching out to your leads.
When you’re ready to publish your content, have an email prepared with links to your various social accounts and communities that require upvoting.
Finally, don’t forget to send thank you notes at the end of the day. Whether writing to the newsletter editor, an influencer on Twitter or a journalist who mentioned you in a round-up, a thank you note goes a long way. You’re developing a community of champions here, and this simple, personal gesture will make a substantial impact on your next encounter.
If you’d like to learn more about the tenets of a strong content strategy, watch all the talks from DevGuild: Content Strategy – a half day conference that featured speakers from Discourse, Slack, Auth0, Algolia, Twilio, Box, and Intercom.