What kind of traction is your current marketing content getting? Tons of shares, visits, and comments? Great! Very little of anything? You’re not alone.
B2B marketers often spend a lot of time creating great content that provides hefty value to readers. Yet it’s easy to forget that you’ve got to deliver that valuable content to an audience that finds it valuable. If no one’s seeing it, it doesn’t really matter how valuable it is, right?
And it appears that the business world has finally figured this out, at least according to Contently. In their 2014 State of Content Marketing report, they say that 2015 is the year when “businesses will finally realize the need for a distribution strategy.”
Having a flawed or non-existent,content distribution plan stunts on your business growth, as many of today’s buyers are “entirely self-driven.” So let’s get started right now and get your content in front of the right audience to drive traffic, boost your SEO efforts, and generate conversions.
Repurpose your content
Take your great content and re-purpose it for different media. That means taking your latest webinar and create a white paper from it. Use the comments and questions from that same webinar and create an infographic that answers those questions. Turn a white paper into a tight SlideShare presentation. The possibilities are quite endless, once you start thinking about reshaping your content for other networks.
Alyssa Mattero, Senior Manager of Digital and Content Marketing at Perfect Search, thinks of content as being “liquid in form” since you can take one piece of information or concept and turn it into a large amount of content.
Show up where they are
In today’s online world, there’s a community for every niche, market, and topic. Do a search for “your industry + forum” or “your industry + community” to find relevant ones to your B2B business. Stick to the groups that are active, regardless of size, as that’s the better barometer for you. Groups can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.
Get active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn in not just for congratulating friends on work anniversaries and hunting for a new job. Get involved with both LinkedIn Pulse and any relevant groups to your industry.
LinkedIn Pulse lets users see and engage with content published by their connections and influencers they follow. Readers can share the content they like easily, and you can engage with them through the commenting system as well.
Targeting the right audience through LinkedIn is easier than ever, as you can share posts and updates publicly, in groups, or to specific individuals. Such a strategy delivers your content to an even wider circle of readers.
Make your content sharable
By now you’ve seen all those “sharing” buttons on websites, posts, etc. You may have even responded to a request for a re-tweet on Twitter or a “liked” post on LinkedIn. That’s our expectation of digital content. Sharing it should be easy.
Felix Salmon talks about this in his article on Reuters. While he may specifically be discussing about paywalls and subscriptions, he makes a valid point: the more sharable you make your content, the more new readers you’ll get and they’ll want to continue reading your content in the future. Salmon was referring to publications that put up a paywall for their content, which is a great way for them to make money, but a bad way for their content to be shared and earn them more subscriptions.
The same is true with any B2B marketing content you create. Make it easy to share with others, and you’ll find more people reading your content. And sharing it. And reading it. And sharing it. You get the idea. How do you make it shareable?
Add social sharing buttons to your website (where appropriate), so your audience can share for themselves on whichever platform they like. And don’t forget calls-to-action encouraging readers to share your content. Did you know asking for a “retweet” on Twitter gives you a 12x retweet rate?
Send to your email list
The email list is not dead, especially for B2B marketers. For many, it’s the lifeblood of their marketing campaigns. According to Chief Marketer’s 2014 B2B Lead Generation Survey, it remains the most popular lead generation channel, with 87 percent of respondents using it. Email is also highly rated as being a fantastic source of qualified leads.
So why then aren’t you sending your content to your email list? These are readers who already like your content, and have a circle of contacts they could be sharing your content with too. There’s a good chance they’ll spread the word if you produce high-quality content (and send it to them.)
Connect with influencers
It’s not enough to simply toss your content at these influencers, but rather, you’ve got to give them a reason to want to share it with their audience. Demonstrate the value you’re offering in the content, as well as the value the influencer’s audience would get from it as well.
Here’s a quick list of tools to help you find influencers:
- Followerwonk: A free tool to find Twitter influencers
- Traackr: A paid tool to discover influencers, get social insights, and figure out how best to connect with them
- Buzzsumo: A free tool that’ll help you find the most popular content and the influencers sharing it
- Appinions: A paid tool that bills itself as an influencer marketing platform
Once you find your influencers, engage with them on the appropriate social platform (Twitter, LinkedIn updates, blog comments, etc.) Build the relationship with them through conversations and comments. Retweet and Favorite their posts. Only then should you even consider approaching them to share your content.
Syndicate your content
By choosing the right sites to syndicate your content to, you’ll instantly gain new audiences with one single move: publishing a blog post on your own blog. Think of it as extending the reach of your B2B blog without much effort.
Some marketers don’t like syndication because it affects their SEO scores, since the exact same post appears on multiple sites. Read Nick Steeves’ post How to Syndicate Blog Content While Maintaining SEO for tips on how to avoid this issue. There’s a bit of manual work to be done here, but it’s well worth the effort.
Another way to get your content seen by new audiences is guest blogging. For the B2B marketer, that means writing for relevant publications in your industry or market.
Not only does it get your content out to a new audience, it also identifies you as a thought leader in your industry, increasing your authority and building your personal brand. Plus it’s good from an SEO perspective as it gets more organic inbound links to your B2B website.
Guest blogging is not an easy thing to start, however, as the larger publications you’ll probably want to target receive many requests daily. Read Neil Patel’s post on how to get your guest post published for some great tips, or Jess Ostroff’s post 9 Tips to Perfectly Pitch Your Guest Blog Post on Jay Baer’s Convince and Convert.
Decide if paid ads are for you
We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention paid advertising for your content as well. From Twitter’s promoted tweets to Outbrain’s “suggested posts,” paid distribution can also get your content in front of a bigger audience. The caveat is that the audience might not be the right one for you. Make sure to evaluate whether the audience is a good fit for your content before signing on the dotted line.
Creating great content is just half the job of a content marketing strategy. The other half is distributing your valuable content to a hungry audience. Being focused on the latter will drive traffic to your website, boost your SEO efforts, and ultimately generate conversions that grow your B2B business.
Have you been using any of these tactics in your B2B content marketing? How is it going? What other content distribution methods have been working for you? We’d love to hear about your successes in the comments.
Photo via Flickr, Creative Commons
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