The post-panda Internet has left many website owners desperate to regain former rankings. The main directive of the new algorithm was to force websites to produce higher quality, relevant content on their websites if they hoped to remain competitive and to keep or increase their SERP rankings.
With the advent of social media en masse, Google (and the web in general) began using the public sharing of a website’s content across social networks as a predominant search engine ranking factor.
While this was a wonderful idea from a user perspective as it forced sites to produce better quality content for their visitors, many content developers found that their rankings were still suffering due to an apparent inability to generate interest in the wonderful content they were developing.
"Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases."
Often we produce what we feel is great content only to find our efforts falling upon deaf ears. In most cases it is not the content that fails but is more often the result of what we do (or do not do) once the content has been created. Great ideas do not simply propagate themselves into the collective consciousness of the public. Viral web content is the reward of a well devised promotion and a carefully planned implementation strategy. The deployment of your content marketing strategy is crucial to its success.
Most of us rate how "great" content is by the number of page visits, tweets, or likes that the post receives; but what makes good content and more importantly, what can you do to ensure that it is distributed by as many visitors as possible?
The best content comes from writing about topics that you know about. Those subjects that you have intimate knowledge about or are derived from your own experiences will always make for more credible content and will be considered higher quality content from a reader’s perspective.
Good content takes time and effort to develop. Great works (in any media) rarely come on a whim or spontaneous inspiration. If you have taken the time to prepare your piece by researching the subject and can offer something that is new, fresh or can communicate it in an especially novel or exciting fashion, it is much more likely to be shared by your readers. If you are particularly passionate or verbose in your delivery, your content becomes an effective vehicle for instilling confidence in the readers mind and generates credibility thereby allowing you to be considered a "specialist" in your area of expertise.
Effective content should illicit an emotional response, or create a call to action for the reader. Try to make your content actionable. Leave your readers with the sense they have gained wisdom from your piece and give them something they can take away from it. Content will be shared more readily if it speaks to your readers directly in a more actionable way. A particularity well written piece of content will almost share itself. If you can be proud of the content you have developed and are excited to share it with others, chances are that your readers will want to share it as well.
Once you have taken the time to do your research and have composed a wonderful piece of content, how do you get others to read it and share it? While great content is more likely to be shared virally, it is utterly useless without the uses of proper exploitation and a comprehensive marketing strategy.
The first distribution base for your content can be to the friends, coworkers and acquaintances in your email contacts. Remember that it is probably okay to ask your close contacts if they would mind redistributing your content as well. Customer newsletters are still a viable option to use if you have one in place.
"Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty."
Effective syndication relies on your company having a strong social media presence. Reach out to your online community, through your social media profiles that you have setup. While there are a myriad of social networks you can share your content with, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most popular and are the best places to start syndicating your content. Don’t neglect other niche market social networks that may be closely geared towards your industry as well.
Timing is everything. You will need to ensure that your content is not being syndicated at ineffective times. Plan to release your content on a Monday morning rather than on a Friday afternoon or on the weekend. Statistics show that most people check their social accounts at the beginning of the work day and after lunch. A 9-5 Monday through Thursday deployment strategy will typically be more effective, with Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays being the most effective days. Remember that it is okay to tweet your content in the morning and again in the afternoon. However, over-using this tactic can quickly annoy your followers.
Plan your content publishing as you would plan a product launch. If it is a particularly large story or news item, you can pre-announce its coming as well. This is an effective way to build consumer anticipation. Consider using a press release with a noteworthy online content syndication service such as PRWeb for your press releases.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons marketing content fails to attract views is due to the lack of follow-through and ongoing promotion of the piece. You need to continue with the promotion of your content long after it has been initially syndicated. Develop a promotion plan that includes reminding people of your content via your social networks and actively work to build links to your content on relevant sites through press releases, your website, guest blogging, online advertising or online radio shows. Any medium where you can gain exposure to your content will be beneficial in securing views.
Any online content takes time to develop traction and get noticed. The Internet has caused most of us to believe success happens overnight. Careful planning and implementation over the course of a well planned promotion, will always yield better returns.