More than 90% of online marketers practice content marketing to a certain extent. The problem is that many of these marketers fail to hit their target. A study has, in fact, reported that only 36% of their respondents found their content marketing efforts effective. What seems to be the problem? Well, perhaps the biggest reason for this general lack of success in content marketing is that many online marketers think their job is done as soon as they throw their articles out into the Internet. What you need to realize is that getting your content published is when the real content marketing work actually begins.
Building Internal Links
Find other posts on your site that are related to the one you’ve just published and then link from those posts to your current one. You could also conduct a site search on Google to find previous articles you’ve written that are relevant to the current one. Link those articles to the present one, making sure to use a relevant keyword in the anchor text.
Building External Links
Once your new content is published, you can start looking for relevant articles on other sites and then linking those articles back to your post. Let’s say you belong to an online community that tackles topics relevant to your published content. You could post a question or comment on the site and then provide a link to your post for those who want to learn more about the topic.
Reach out to online communities by posting questions or comments and then providing a link to your content as a source for further research. (Geograph.ie photo by zoocreative)
You could also comment on a relevant blog post and provide a link to your article in the same manner. When you do so, be sure to add real value to the discussion rather than simply providing a link. For example, you could answer a question posed by a reader and then offer a link to your content as a source for further research. Be creative in using your online connections for link building and generating interest for your content.
Using Social Media
Social media has become an essential tool for online marketing. Many businesses have created accounts on several social networking sites for marketing purposes. It may be a good idea for you to do the same. Any new content you create may then be published on your Facebook page, Google+ account, or company blog. You could also ask your Twitter followers to learn more about the topic of your article and then provide a link to the post. There are even online tools you can use to automatically post new content to several social media platforms.
A lot of online marketers repurpose content after it has achieved a certain amount of success. Repurposing certainly helps you make the most of a single content. However, rather than doing it after your content has been published, why not repurpose upfront? Once you’ve got your article written and ready for publication, create additional content by making several versions of the article. Collate the important points of your article into an Infographic. Create a Presentation using bullet points and then upload it to sites like Slideshare. Create a video covering the same topic and discussing the same points and then upload the video to Vimeo or YouTube. Again, it pays to be creative when you repurpose your content.
Repurpose your content by creating several versions of it—video, infographic, etc.—before publishing. (Flickr.com photo by Brisbane City Council)
Connecting with Bloggers
It is highly possible that your target audience is following other bloggers, listening to what they have to say, and heeding their advice. Find out who these market influencers are and then find a way to connect with them. Start with two to three influencers and try to build a mutually beneficial relationship with them. Tell them what your business is about and what kind of content you normally post. See if they’re interested in sharing some of your posts on their blog and offer to share some of their posts on your blog as well. In time, you can build a few more connections until you have an entire network of industry influencers working with you.
Developing a Personality
Online audiences are now a lot more discerning with the content they digest. They don’t appreciate reading about a company or a brand as much as they appreciate learning about the creative ideas of the people behind a company or brand. This is why more and more marketers are talking about engagement as a key to online marketing success. The content you post should speak directly to your target audience and address a specific need, whether stated or implied. Remember as well that each platform you use might cater to a different set of audience, which might make it necessary to develop a different personality for each of your targeted groups. This helps ensure your content is well-received in every platform you use.
Make sure your content has the kind of personality your target audience can easily relate to. (Commons.wikimedia.org photo by Saerin)
So you see, there’s a lot more to do after you publish your content. You may have given so much effort in the creation process, but bear in mind that content marketing is more than just creating the right content. The more important part of the entire process is in making sure what you create reaches the audience for whom it is intended and encourages the kind of action you expect your target audience to take. You don’t just publish excellent content; you have to make sure it stands out. That is the best way to ensure success in content marketing.