Content marketing is a term bandied around, often erroneously or without any proper understanding, as a catch-all for producing any form of content for branding or link building purposes. Whilst there is a basic truth to this oversimplification, there is much more to it than simply writing a few hundred words and uploading it the most readily available article site.
Every man and his dog are now doing content marketing, so what makes you different? What is it that will get you noticed ahead of your competitors?
Like all other aspects of digital marketing, the way in which you produce off-site content has evolved. Whilst the old techniques still work to a certain extent, new and improved alternatives have come along that kick them into touch when it comes to effectiveness.
Looking Beyond the Obvious
Guest blogging has been done to death, well, by some at least. Some blogs are now so thick with advertorial guides that they can no longer attract any decent levels of traffic and their links are next to worthless. So, as a content marketer, it’s your job to get your article into sites that readers, peers and search engines will take seriously.
Take the time to find relevant blogs. Build up an understanding with the owners, ask what they’re looking for and write for their audience, not necessarily your own. Sometimes you will need to employ some lateral thought and look beyond your own industry. Find blogs that will benefit from your insight. Sell yourself, then work on creating some content that will make sure they come knocking on your door next time they need a guest contributor.
Success for a content marketer shouldn’t be defined by getting one article or infographic posted on a site. It should be an ongoing strategy, accumulating fresh opportunities and building your presence or that of your client. The more you can do and the higher the standards that you achieve, the greater the benefits.
Appealing to a Wider Audience
However, new opportunities aren’t always going to land on your lap. This is why diversity is so key. If you become reliant on a single site or strategy (article marketing, hubs or guest blogging), your work can become very one dimensional. This has a knock-on effect on the kind of visitors that you attract and the value of the links that you are generating too.
It’s no secret that the search engines love people who are creating top quality content, hence the rel=author tag. Equally, sites who can achieve a good spread of links from decent domains tend to fair pretty well in the organic rankings. So start looking beyond the obvious when it comes to finding a destination for your content.
Also, don’t underestimate the power of self promotion. Social signals are all the rage now, so building up strong profiles on social bookmarking and networks can make your job as a content marketer that much easier. After all, if lots of people already know who you are and what you do, you have a pre-existing audience to market your latest work to whilst also seeking out the next opportunity.
Taking Advantage of Social Presence
A major social profile can also make you more attractive to blog owners. After all, if you are prepared to write for them and then promote the content, this will help to attract new viewers. Effectively it becomes a mutually beneficial situation.
So social and content should make the perfect bedfellows, with one complementing the other. But if your content marketing has slipped into a bit of a rut, get your act together and see what else you can do. There are so many opportunities out there that it would be criminal to continue flogging the same thing over and over again.
As such, if you are running out of ideas but the content is still flowing, you just have to be prepared to do more groundwork. Do the legwork, build up your Twitter following and raise awareness of the fact that you are a pen for hire. Test the effectiveness of what you’re doing; find out what works and what doesn’t. Then, simply do more of what is working and abandon anything that isn’t. Find out what your competitors are up to too. If they can secure a guest post somewhere, maybe you can.
Essentially, take off the blinkers and make your content marketing work for you. If you’ve put in the effort, then you want to make sure that you enjoy the rewards.