Content marketing is a critical component of inbound marketing. It builds links to your site, presents your brand as an industry expert and trusted resource for your targeted audience; it help develop your online presence and positions your brand so the right potential customer can find you at the right time. Great content is indispensable when it comes to SEO.
But what good is great content if no one sees it?
We might spend hours upon hours creating amazing, interesting and useful content for our clients, only to see it flat-line straight out of the gate. The simple truth is that, when it comes to content marketing, content creation is only half the battle. Without a well-planned and strategic content promotion campaign, we won’t ever see the true value of our content. That’s where social media steps in.
Social media seems like it was made for content promotion. The digital word-of-mouth, social networking sites encourage users to share opinions, experiences, thoughts and more with each other. Your content could (and needs to) be one of those things they share.
When you post a piece of content to one of your own social profiles, you’ve already gotten added value from the content — a link. In SEO, links are the bread and butter of your campaign. Not only does that link help diversify and grow your link portfolio, it also acts as the pathway to which a targeted user would find your brand. That published content then shows up in the feeds of your social connections. Not every one of them is going to bother to check it out, but even a small percentage is a good start. 1,000 unique readers may be great, but 100 are better than none. By publishing your content on your social profiles, you are giving it a fighting chance of being seen by your target audience. You can’t just hope people will find your content, no matter how amazing it is. Social networking sites are the perfect place to get the ball rolling.
Let’s say of those 100 users that bothered to check out your content, nine reposted it to their own profiles. When a user posts a piece of your content to their social profile (be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+), they are essentially telling their network it is worth checking out ; they found it interesting. Social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit follow the same principle, only content is crowd-sourced. Suddenly your content is visible to all of your social connections, plus the entire network of the user who reposted it. Now your content is being promoted to new, potential customers who may not have been aware of your brand. Your current social network is doing the heavy lifting for you! The peer-to-peer recommendation that comes from having your content republished by a user is far more powerful than even the most creative advertising campaign.
The search engines have started to incorporate social signals into their algorithms. They look at how many people have Shared, Liked, Tweeted and +1d a piece of content to decide how well it should rank in the search engines. If you’re not promoting your content on social networking sites, you are missing out on this critical ranking factor.
Since no two social networking sites are alike, they attract different audiences. This gives you the chance to promote your content without spamming your target audience, yet reach out to them on more than one platform. That kind of repetition helps solidify your brand in their online lives. The more touch points you can create for your content the better. Putting all your eggs in one basket is a risky move and you’re losing sight of the big picture. For instance, if you just rely on Facebook for your social media presence, you are essentially ignoring all of your target audience who you aren’t connected with on Facebook.
The bottom line is that you can’t rely on visitors stumbling upon your content, realizing how great it is and deciding to share it with everyone they know ; that’s just not realistic or practical. When you push your content on social networking sites as it goes live, you are giving it a fighting chance at providing real, lasting value for your brand. Great content will attract attention, but it can’t hurt to turn the spotlight on.
About the Author
Nick Stamoulis is president and founder of Boston-based SEO and social media marketing firm Brick Marketing. With over 12 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO articles to his blog the Search Engine Optimization Journal and publishes the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, which is read by over 140,000 subscribers. Read Nick Stamoulis’ full PubCon speaker biography here.
Nick Stamoulis video interview with PubCon’s Vanessa Zamora