Just a few years ago, offsite article writing was the cornerstone of every digital marketing campaign. Articles were quickly produced and placed offsite on directory pages to build links and send pages rocketing to the top of the search engine results pages. Eventually, this strategy morphed into guest blogging. Today, both of these techniques are playing smaller roles and instead companies are casting a broader net when developing content strategies that work in today’s complex SEO ecosystem. What are the most important elements to think about when crafting a content strategy that’s effective and helps position your company as a leader in your field?
An active business blog
The business blog continues to play a central role in effective SEO and thought leadership strategies. Companies that update their blogs frequently are more likely to attract leads, customers, and sales through their websites. Regularly updating your blog also allows you to add fresh content at frequent intervals with a minimum of logistical hassle. Blog posts provide a natural way to target a range of keywords, develop different articles on common topics, and address issues that are relevant to your business.
Thought leadership presence
There are numerous ways to cultivate a thought leadership presence online. Many businesses get caught up in product marketing and fail to capitalize on the potential to develop and promote industry-leading content. Thought leadership content can range from comments on current events and industry-related developments to simply being an accessible expert that produces helpful and timely how-to information for your customers and the broader public. These contributions can come in any format, from blog posts to a branded podcast.
Branded guest posts
The guest posting space is somewhat conflicted. Initially, it exploded in partnership with the rapid growth of content marketing as guest posting provided an organic way to build links back to your site. Over time, it was abused and Google made an announcement that guest posting should be done with other goals in mind besides linkbuilding. However, guest posting remains a viable strategy for many businesses, with two caveats. The first is that it’s best to look for quality opportunities to contribute articles to branded publications. Branded publications can range from trade journals to authority websites in your space to big name mainstream publications such as The Huffington Post. The second is that you should prioritize the non-linking benefits of guest posting. Rather than thinking about building links, focus on gaining exposure and building your audience. Any linking that occurs is a natural and happy byproduct of the outreach that you’re doing.
A visual content strategy
Today’s audiences are demanding more visual content. Pictures are popular thanks to social networks like Pinterest, which allows you to curate specific image collections, and Instagram, which lets you share real-time photos. Videos are also growing in importance, whether that’s a corporate explainer video or informal video blogs (also called vlogs) where you share basic content with your audience. Developing a visual content strategy not only creates another category of content to rank in for your target keywords, but it allows businesses to connect with audiences that don’t enjoy reading.
Investing in promotion
Publication is just the first step of reaching your audience, attracting customers, and generally developing a brand. One study from Altimeter revealed that just 26% of marketers invested in promoting their content. Promotion can be as simple as sharing new content through your social media channels, or as complex as utilizing paid content promotion services.
Developing a strategy to create content that connects with your audience is an important aspect of a successful publishing plan. Do you need help with your company’s content strategy? Contact Be Locally SEO today to arrange for a personalized consultation to discuss your digital marketing plans.