It is no secret that creating original content for your website is a terrific way to convey your business’ marketing messaging, establish yourself as an industry expert, and humanize your company and its employees.
By writing articles, blogs and whitepapers, companies can offer real value to their current and potential customers. Creating compelling content begins by being well-written, informative and understandable. You are exchanging information with your target audience, so it should be enjoyable for them to read and feel like you are having a simple conversation with them. Investing in an accomplished writer to have on your staff, or utilizing the services of a professional copywriter, is worthwhile for creating engaging posts.
Having a well-written piece is just the first step. From there, the key is delivering that content to the widest possible audience. Fortunately, there are many online platforms for the distribution of your original content. An investment of time and money is required to properly market your posts across multiple channels, but it is often rewarded with a significant ROI since increases in viewers frequently translates to increases in clients, customers and revenue.
If you run a business, then you are almost certain to possess expertise in your field. There are many industry-related websites that are searching for relevant content from professionals who are leaders in their field and many would gladly publish original content that you offer to them. Being featured on other websites allows you to establish yourself as an expert in your industry and gain exposure for your business. Writing a piece for other blogs or websites gives you direct access to an audience of prospective clients and customers. Blue Fountain Media’s own VP of Digital Services, Gabriel Shaoolian, regularly submits entries on Huffington Post to share his business expertise as a thought leader.
Now that you have considered taking the time to create unique content, here are some keys to streamlining the process of becoming a guest columnist on an authoritative site:
- Know your audience. Find websites that are relevant to your brand image.
- Send a friendly e-mail to the owner addressing their real name, your expertise and interest for the website.
- Send the editors a list of topics you could be writing about. Prepare the headline and a detailed synopsis.
- Provide samples of your work to let them get an idea of your writing style and welcome the site editor to suggest ideas for you.
- Be professional and follow any guidelines that have been set.
- Always follow up with the editors and interact with the commenters
Social Media Channels
Social media has become a vital part of sharing information within and between networks. If your company has one or more social media accounts, these platforms can be used to announce the publication of your latest piece. By broadcasting your work on several different profiles, there’s a greater chance for your friends and followers to see it and share with their own networks. Regularly updating your posts on social media creates an ever-growing audience and more opportunities to gain new customers.
Since each social media network differs in types of users and related subjects, it is important to consider using different strategies. Effective social media content management is beneficial in creating a personalized message to each audience. Each social network includes different dynamics. Your company should focus on adjusting the message with the tone of the website. For instance, LinkedIn is a professional website used to connect colleagues and business partners, while Instagram is more informal and image based. Facebook allows you to directly communicate your message by sending promotions to a specific target market with the ability to like, comment, and share. The one common trend between sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the use of hashtags. With billions of active users on these sites, utilizing hashtags can categorize your posts and increase your visibility. Learning the features of social media will help understand how active users interact and share your posts.
Social News Websites
If you have created truly useful content, social news websites are a great resource for getting your message out and driving traffic to your website. Social news websites are a community of individuals with shared interests that post news and other stories on a wide variety of topics, and include websites like Digg, Reddit, Slashdot, Inbound.org, and StumbleUpon.
Posting your article on any of these platforms gives you a chance to share your article to a wide audience and the opportunity to get a link back to your website. Becoming part of a social news site community can help build your link profile, but be mindful of the quality of your message. Simply sharing links to your blog is ineffective and could be considered spamming. To avoid this, share your post to the appropriate forum with genuine advice supported by your content. Take into account that these websites are often moderated by users themselves, so create a message that is natural, as if you are telling your friends.
Social news sites also give you the opportunity to comment on other related articles. This is another great way of driving traffic to your site and getting your company’s message out to a larger audience. This will only work if you are regularly involved in commenting and submitting relevant information on the right subject. For example, Reddit includes many “subreddits,” which are categories used to filter article topics. Truly helpful contributions have the possibility of being “upvoted,” increasing the visibility of your post. According to an eMarketer report, Reddit has become an effective content marketing tool with 30.3% of marketers using it in 2015. So writing an entertaining post can go “viral,” attracting thousands, if not tens of thousands, of visitors to your site.
Relevant Groups and Blogs
Many blogs allow readers to comment. If you have original content that can supplement an existing blog, writing a brief comment can be a terrific way to get the word out about your business. Follow the most popular blogs that cover areas where your company has expertise, and then provide an insightful comment that is supported by your company’s blog content. Interested readers who find your comment valuable will continue reading on your website and can turn into leads.
Websites like LinkedIn and Facebook give members the opportunity to ask questions. If you join an industry group, regularly review the questions written by group members. Just like posting in the comments section of a blog, if you believe that your work is relevant and can assist in answering a specific question, don’t hesitate to provide an answer with a link to your original post.
An RSS feed is a simple way to "subscribe" to a blog, the same way you would subscribe to a magazine. You can use a program called an RSS reader, such as Feedly, to subscribe to blogs. Once you've subscribed, you don't have to visit each site individually - just fire up your RSS reader and you'll see all of the new articles that has been created since the last time you checked.
By implementing the option for readers to subscribe to your RSS feed, users will be aware of your regular posts. These subscribers will be able to readily view your articles without having to painstakingly search for them. Having your blogs available to subscribers provides an opportunity for other interested readers to begin to follow you on their RSS feed. While RSS feeds have fallen off in popularity over the last few years, aA 2015 online marketing survey completed by Moz showed that 19.6% of marketers worldwide still used RSS reader Feedly as a content marketing tool within the past 12 months.
Content Value and Visibility
Well-written original content tells your audience that you are experienced in your field. By providing something of value, you enhance your company’s brand as well as your own personal brand. Establishing yourself as an industry expert can help build a positive reputation for your company and increase brand equity. However, creative content alone will not greatly increase visibility to your site. The combined effort of developing an informative piece along with the time spent reaching out to your audience through online media will direct traffic to your site.
Gain more visitors by taking advantage of thought leadership, social media, social news websites, blog comments, and RSS Feeds. Once you’ve attracted a wide audience, you then have the opportunity to begin marketing to and acquiring new customers. The time and effort spent writing and sharing your business’s message will be compensated by a significant ROI. Don’t limit yourself. Reach out to your target audience on these platforms – there is always a possibility that someone will take an interest in your content and share it with their network.