Ok, so you're creating content consistently on your corporate blog. Well done. That's the first step. But don't sit back. There's work to do.
You see, people don't inherently trust a corporate blog. They trust publications that aren't in a financial relationship with your business. They also trust people. So, your success in the coming year depends on two things:
- Creating content that will instill trust in you, and your company
- Distributing it to places that people trust with the help of trusted people
Without these two things, it will be hard to make inbound marketing work.
Creating Great Content
What makes great content? That's the eternal question. In fact, if you Googled it right now, you'd probably find at least ten articles that could tell you the 7 steps to creating content that will make your audience drool.
I think it's a bit easier than seven steps. In fact, I think you can boil the definition of great content down into a single sentence.
Great content solves someone's real problem in a way you would want your real problem solved, without selling them anything.
That's right. Great content is about selflessly giving away your expertise to make people's lives better. If you aren't doing that, or worse, if your product or service doesn't do that, we'd urge you to reconsider.
It's 2019, people. No more selling, please. It doesn't work anymore.
No one wants to read another corporate blog post about the 7 ways your product will change their life (personally or professionally). We're over that. In fact, we're mostly just busy and want our problems solved quickly and easily. If you can do that, you're headed in a good direction.
Distributing Content To The Right Places Through The Right People
Creating content that people will give a damn about is really only half the battle. Because, if that content only lives on your corporate blog, you're in trouble. Here's why: most of your potential clients and customers probably aren't spending every moment of their day on your site waiting for you to publish something new.
After you create some great content, your job is to get the right eyes on it.
We think this comes down to making sure it's in the right places, and also making sure the right people are sharing it.
Content In The Right Places
So how do you get your content to the right places? First you need to do a little research to understand where your target audience spends their time online. Use this research to create a persona. Once you're done, you can start promoting your content. Usually there are four places to start:
- Social Networks: All networks aren't created equal. Where you should focus your efforts really depends on your audience and the product you're marketing. If you're in apparel, you might consider Instagram. On the other hand, if you're a B2B firm, LinkedIn is a great place to start.
- Third Party Publications: Identify the leading publications in your industry (that your prospects already trust). Then, pitch your content to them. This could be a niche publication, or it could be something national like Forbes. Let your persona, and your knowledge of the industry determine this. In this situation, the original content will probably live on the publication's site. You can then republish it on your site and link back to the publication.
- Publishing Platforms: LinkedIn articles and Medium are two publishing platforms to consider as distribution tools. For LinkedIn, modify your article slightly and link back to your site's blog, noting that it was originally published there. This will protect your search ranking, while distributing your content to new eyes that wouldn't see it on your site. For Medium, you might consider combining a series of blog posts into a longer piece. Of course, make sure you link back to your site. Remember, Medium works best if you're in the tech field.
- Paid Digital Media: You can also pay to promote your content across social channels, programmatic display, and native advertising. We're fans of these tactics because they can get eyes on your content quickly, but don't do them as a substitute for the first three approaches.
Content Shared By People Your Audience Trusts
We've talked about how to best share your content as a brand. You also need to get people your target audience already trusts to share your content.
Here are a few of the groups of people you might consider courting, and our suggestion for how to get started with them.
- C-Suite Executives: Your senior executives likely have significant networks that could be leveraged in a greater way to grow the business. Work with them to establish a regular cadence at which they personally share your corporate content.
- Trusted Clients: Do you have a few clients who absolutely love you? We hope so! Think about approaching them to see if they'd be willing to share content you publish on a regular basis. They'll likely appreciate the content you're creating, and know other people that will as well.
- Employees: Create incentives for your employees to share corporate content. If you combine their social networks, they have a far wider reach than you do. If you follow this approach, we do recommend creating some guidelines for how your team should promote corporate content.
- Influencers: Finally, find the people everyone trusts in your industry. If you can win over a few of them you're really going to see some growth. They have the network you need. Start out by liking, sharing, and commenting on their content on social media. Then maybe start some one-on-one conversations; maybe even share some of your content. If you work at it over time, you'll build a relationship that positions you to be able to ask them to share your content.
In 2019, creating consistent content will be important, but without two key elements that consistency might be all for naught. Make sure you:
- Create content that will instill trust in you, and your company
- Distribute it to places that people trust with the help of trusted people
Best of luck on the journey ahead!