By now, every B2B marketer worth their salt has hired copywriters, former journalists and agencies to fuel their growing content marketing machines. But are you happy with your results?
Before we go any further let me be clear: I believe in content marketing. I really do.
I just think B2B marketers get too focused on the “content” and not enough on the “marketing” part of the equation. Said another way, you can’t rely on SEO and inbound marketing alone to get your quality content in front of target buyers. Yes, it’ll work to some degree, but it won’t make the money you’re pouring into content production pay off … there’s just too much content competition these days.
So how do you improve?
It starts with understanding that content marketing has three parts: content production, content distribution and content syndication. And if you don't consider and successfully implement each of these parts, you’re going to waste a lot of money producing awesome content that few will ever see.
Much more work needs to be done on the content distribution and syndication sides of things. Here’s how to start fixing that.
Leverage Your Owned Media
Since you’ve invested in building your website traffic, email database and social media channels, it only makes sense to actively (and consistently) use this “owned” media to distribute your brand content. For instance, when it comes to content distribution:
- Prominently display brand content on your website: Don’t banish your new white paper or webinar to the “resources” section of the website. Go ahead and promote it on your home page, write a blog post about it, and feature it in relevant sections throughout your website
- Email blog posts to your database: It’s great that you’re finally crafting thought-leadership blog posts — why do you hesitate to share them with customers and prospects? They’ll value this content way more than your “appointment setting” emails. Plus, doing this regularly will give a big boost to blog traffic, blog subscribers and social amplification
- Convert brand content to social content: It’s not enough to simply tweet or post once or twice about a new content offer. Think about how you can turn brand content into lots of social posts to promote through your company’s social media channel. For example, the typical white paper will convert into 10 to 15 tweets and three to five social posts that can be scheduled on an “evergreen” basis
Get In Front of Other People’s Audiences
Why not work harder to get your quality content in front of other people’s audiences? Especially if you’re like most B2B marketers, and are looking for “net-new” leads. And while you’re likely already spending on traditional paid media and PR, there’s more you can do with content syndication:
- Consider Social Advertising: Since you understand the value of “organic” social media, it’s time to consider promoting your upcoming webinar or user conference with “paid” social. In particular, buying advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The key is taking advantage of the excellent targeting options and promoting campaigns that are customized for each social network
- Develop more newsworthy and visual brand content: Reporters love a good story, especially a visual one. So how does your latest white paper, case study or report fit into the right “narrative” to make reporters sit up and take notice? And does it include visual media (infographics, charts, short-videos) that make it easy for bloggers to spice up any article? Think about this when developing your next brand content piece
- Do bylines in industry publications: Contributed content by front-line executives is in demand at top industry publications. And these bylines can help establish your company as a thought leader, and showcase your content with a wider audience. So prioritize bylines with your PR firm (or investigate contributor guidelines yourself) and make them a pillar of your syndication strategy
- Identify and Engage Influencers: Influencers provide both credibility for your content and get it in front of their huge audiences. But do you know who the people are that influence your target audience? If you’re not sure, now’s the time to find out. The list usually includes industry analysts, bloggers and other thought leaders that your buyers read and share on social media. Identify and build relationships with these folks
- Repurpose your blog content: Republish your thought leadership blog posts whenever possible. For example, ask company bloggers to also post on the LinkedIn publishing platform, on Medium, and within relevant community blogging sites like Business2Community. And don’t forget to republish executive bylines on the company blog. When republishing blog posts, make sure and include a link to where the blog post was first published
- Ask advocates to share: Who else’s audiences’ can you piggyback on? Your customers and employees, of course! Always ask company advocates to promote your latest content marketing offer with their social networks. This is as easy as emailing them a link to a company tweet or post, and asking them to share it
What’s the bottom line? Today’s successful content marketers are not just experts at producing compelling and engaging content, but also at distributing and syndicating it. Welcome to the next stage of content marketing!
How much of your content marketing efforts are focused on distribution and syndication? What else are you doing to get your brand content in front of more target buyers? Share in the comments below.