According to Erick Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, more content is being created every 48 hours than was produced from the beginning of time until 2003. And guess what, most of this is being published online.
That’s a lot of information and it begs the question, even if you start a content marketing program or even a blog, how can you get anybody to read it? Well, apparently even with 2 million updated blog posts every day, if you take some specific steps and develop an effective strategy, you can still have your message – and your products and services – found by end-customers.
These steps include the following:
Know your audience. One of my clients now has “how-to” videos on their website explaining how to use, assemble, and work with some of their machines. One of the newer videos starts out by saying, “We’ve been getting lots of calls to our tech line on how to ____ and so we created this video to help answer your questions.” That’s a perfect way to know what type of content – words, video, infographics, and so on – should be added to your website. Knowing what kind of challenges your end-customers are dealing with and how to address them is key to an effective content marketing program.
Frequency. According to Digiday, a division of Bloomberg News, the Huffington Post has 532 full-time editorial people producing about 1,200 pieces of content per day, along with 28 full-time bloggers generating about 400 pieces of content per day. Talk about saturating the web! No B2B company can even come close to this avalanche of content, but no worry, it is not necessary. Ten to 15 blog postings a month should start moving the search engine spiders in your direction.
Type of content. What we are beginning to find is that not all content is viewed as equal online. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and NetLine, an online advertising network, found that 65 percent of B2B buyers value research reports and studies over any other type of content. This was followed by technical guides, white papers, and articles. Also, it appears longer is better. Content that is 1,000 words or more seems to garner more search engine attention, back links, and reads.
Promotion. This is the missing element with many content marketing programs. It is important to find ways to promote your content once the program has begun. There are the usual ways, such as posting items to Facebook and tweeting about them. But don’t forget to take advantage of programs LinkedIn now has for posting content. This is especially important for B2B organizations.
Another outlet to consider is a content distribution platform such as Outbrain or Taboola. These sites make sure your content is seen and read on websites across the Internet whenever someone is interested in a specific topic related to your content. For example, say you have just visited CNN.com, reading an article on the ebola outbreak. Below the story, you see menus labeled “Promoted Stories” or “More Information on This Story.” Outbrain, Taboola, and sites like them are responsible for distributing these promoted stories. I’ve experimented with it myself. Expect your web traffic to jump significantly…and hopefully sales will also.