Firstly, what is content marketing? It’s getting your content (video, text, music, etc) syndicated across lots of sites online. Alternatively, it can involve simply driving a lot of traffic to one version of your content. Either way, it involves other sites (a network if you will) linking to, embedding, or generally mentioning your content piece. The reason for doing content marketing is important to understand so you can figure out how to do it ( b2b vs b2c content marketing tactics can vary).
Why Do Content Marketing?
Unless you’re a major brand, most people are never going to read your latest blog post, facebook post, twitter post, etc. Even my own content never gets seen unless I market it. This is just something you have to understand right now, and don’t get all up in my business about it. Next question.
How Do You Do Content Marketing?
Strategy 1: Like I said, it involves a network of people (real, relevant people I might add, not Indians or Philippinos) who are willing, and wanting, to read and possibly share your content around in their own circles/social networks. You can buy access to such networks via outbrain.com or taboola.com, and pay a cpc price for relevant clicks to your article on your own site, from each network starting at about .10 cpc. I have used both, and the jury is still out as to how effective they are in the long run if you don’t continuously spend $100s of dollars a day.
Strategy 2: The other way to get your content noticed is to get it placed in an already established site (like forbes, wsj, msnbc, cnn, etc) and rely on those power house sites to drive the views and shares for you. The upside to this is the huge brand recognition you receive by being associated with such trusted sites (this is btw what Online PR is also about). The downsides are 1) It takes time to get such placements, and you have to know someone at the site (90% of the time) to get anything published mentioning you/your company. 2)You receive a fraction of the traffic to your own site (if you even get a link out of it)
So the real question is: What is your goal? Do you want to drive lots of traffic to your own content and create a strong brand over time (of course you do). How much is that worth to you? You have to invest the time and money it takes to create that awesome article, infographic, video, etc. Then you have to drive large amounts of traffic to that particular piece and hope that people then share it to help offset some of the huge expense of driving people to it in the first place.
On the flip side, do you want to rely on another site to get brand exposure for you, and receive lots less traffic, but an instant credibility boost? (yes again). It’s a balance as to which one you do more of; but my advice is to use both tactics. And above all: Test, Test Test. I’ve seen first hand what an article on Forbes can do for the amount of new business you can get, even if you didn’t get a link to your site from it.
I’ve also seen incredible organic ranking increases on sites from excellent content that was promoted, which then went viral.