Content. If you’re responsible for marketing in your business that one word is probably responsible for more than a few sleepless nights. Defining what ‘Content’ is in your business is one thing, coming up with the ideas and actually working on content creation for a content strategy is quite another!
If you’re looking to move your digital marketing forward, you are probably planning to produce regular content in the form of written articles or perhaps even video. You may have already been putting in the effort to create this, but feeling like it’s falling flat with few people seeing it. If you’re reading this article, you’ll be looking for a way to get more eyes on your content so that you can start to see an ROI for the blood, sweat and tears you put into producing it.
For the sake of clarity, I’ll be using the word ‘ Blog “ throughout this article. But I’ll be using it as a bit of a ‘catch-all’ term. Essentially, I’m talking about any piece of written content you create, whether it’s an opinion piece, a press release, article, something being added to your news page or a write up of an event or interview.
Where should I start with my content strategy?
Have a purpose. What’s the objective? What are you trying to communicate or what perception are you trying to build? Whenever I’m asked by a new client where they should start overall with their online marketing, I always say that your blog is the cornerstone of your marketing activity. It feeds everything; social, email; it keeps your website alive!
So, on that note…
Step One — Your blog is added to your website
This content item needs to be hosted online somewhere. From a text perspective, it is your website where you have most ownership. If you create content and publish it on LinkedIn as a published article only, what happens if LinkedIn suddenly decides to cut publisher articles? That’s right. You’ve lost it.
In 2016 we published an article talking about our blogging and content strategy, and using LinkedIn publisher, and Facebook Notes (no longer available) were key to our success. At that time, these posts would get 1000s of views. Now, we find that the weighting of these in algorithms are pretty low, and the views and engagement are limited in comparison with our standard posts.
Yes — something could happen with your website, but if you follow good practice, you should be carrying out regular backups, so should something go wrong you always have a copy of your website. You’d therefore, always be in a position to recreate the content that might otherwise be lost.
The other thing is that Google loves fresh content — so if you have it available, why would you not want your domain to reap the benefits of that as part of your content strategy?
Step Two — Share your content on social media immediately
Once it’s been added to your website, it should now have its very own URL (website link). Use this and share it across social media using imagery that is fit for each platform. There’s all sorts of advice and guidance out there to complicate the posting process. I’m not going to get into that now. For now, I just want you to make sure you’ve added a post on every social media platform you are active on that promotes the blog you have just created.
Step Three — Schedule your content on social media
I am guessing that there’s more than one paragraph in that blog? Each paragraph probably discusses a particular aspect of the subject, so surely we can pull a tweet or post from each paragraph? It might just be a stat you’ve mentioned that you can add to an image. It might be that you can actually pull a quote from the article. Use these to schedule some additional post over the coming weeks and months. (Just be careful if your blog happens to be time-sensitive not to overdo things!)
Use different images for each post to keep your social media content looking fresh — we don’t want your audience thinking ‘I’ve seen it before’, but we do want to make sure they engage, whether it’s the first image that made them click through or the last one!
Step Four — Make use of Medium
Medium is an online blogging platform. You can add your blog here as part of your content strategy with relevant tags and a link back to the original article. Each blog you create should have links to other parts of your website anyway (internal links) so essentially, you are now creating backlinks to your website from Medium. There are a whole host of subjects being covered on Medium and in honesty, I really do think it’s an underused tool!
I don’t think we’ll ever see a time when email marketing loses its appeal for marketers. It continues to be a highly successful component of any business email strategy. Something as basic as a newsletter that is sent monthly can help keep your database of previous clients and customers engaged as well as warming up your prospects. The content you have been producing is written for these people — so why would you not deliver it into their inboxes?
You don’t necessarily need to find the time to get a newsletter together either. It is possible to automate this process if you are using the right tools and creating blog content on a regular basis. You just need to be mindful that if you don’t blog — your email newsletter may not be sent!
How can I get more people reading my blog?
By following the five steps above as a minimum and doing it consistently, I promise, you will find that your readership grows.
As part of your content strategy, here are other things you can do too…
- Invest in social advertising. Run a targeted web traffic campaign to put the article in front of your audience in their Facebook and Instagram feeds. This doesn’t need to be big-budget — just £1 a day can make a difference for you.
- Rewrite the blog as a guest blog, take one aspect of the article and go deeper on it but link back to the original. For example, I could write an article on best practice for sharing your content on Medium and add a line about how I wrote an article about amplifying your blog and link back to this!
If you’re just getting into the whole content creation game, or you’re still relatively new to the party, please don’t get disheartened if you find that you’re not getting the traction you had hoped for immediately after publishing a blog. We have articles that are getting traction now that were written six months ago, two years ago and some even longer ago than that!
The longer an item of content is out — there, the more value it has.