Securing investment for your content strategy depends on two factors to ensure success and improve content reach. First and foremost is the creation of great content that elevates the conversation. Second, the best content you can produce will only reach as far as you are willing to promote it.
Improve Content Reach to Get the Word Out
Even your most insightful article will only exist in the limbo of a forgotten company blog without proper distribution. Organic media may seem fiscally attractive until you realize your social audience is limited to your followers. Modern algorithms all but ensure that only the most optimized content hubs with significant longevity will be found. You need to employ an outreach strategy to be heard over the noise in the marketplace.
To avoid wasted investment, there are three types of content distribution proven to increase your audience reach:
- Owned media – Your organization’s channels such as a website, blog, eNewsletters, or social media accounts
- Paid media – Investment in the form of sponsored content, native advertising, boosted social posts, search engine marketing, paid blogger endorsement, or pre-roll video
- Earned media – Authentic distribution employs independent influencers sharing your content and advocating your business through guest blog posts, retweets, press releases, and reviews
A strong voice will break through ubiquitous advertising noise. Ad serving frequency and invasive retargeting create general mistrust of the pitch. Consider how you regarded the first piece of spam email you ever received, and what you do with it now.
Four Tested Strategies to Improve Content Reach
To make an impact, authenticity must be conveyed not only by the organizational culture, but by trusted third-party sources. Your content will receive the attention it deserves by employing the following outreach strategies.
1. Take Advantage of Pre-Existing Community Blog Platforms
Platform aggregators have leveraged the power of multiple content creators. Being a member of sites like Medium and Flauntt gives an organization access to articles across a variety of subjects. However, the benefit of a paid membership platform is that users are literally invested in everyone’s success. In other words, you get out of it what you put into it.
In order to be successful with community platforms, there are a few recommendations to maximize your efforts:
- Complete your user profile, making it as accessible and informative as possible.
- Resurface previously published content with new titles and refreshed links.
- Take advantage of the full suite of content executions available to enhance your content, e.g. videos, PDF downloads, and long-form infographics.
- Complete all abstracts and summaries, paying careful attention to clarity and brevity. Properly optimized descriptive copy provides the teasers necessary to incite click-throughs.
- Request others to share your content. A sincere request will most often be met with a genuine, personal share and grow into a trusted relationship.
- Always engage with those that share, showing gratitude and remaining open to re-sharing their own content where appropriate.
As you gain success and become a trusted contributor and influencer in your own right, you should refine the list of your trusted sharers. Developing that authentic relationship pays dividends. As not all influencers are created equal, the following general checklist should be applied when considering who you want to represent your content.
- Do they regard your content as a trusted source? Quickly seek those out who organically link to content on a regular basis.
- Are your interests aligned? Think about whether you would hire the influencer due to his/her passion for your industry.
- Does their audience show interest in your subject regularly? Investigate the number of influencer content pieces that are on-message with your industry.
- Are their listeners engaging with them and enriching the conversation? An engaged audience, as demonstrated through shares and comments, translates into extended reach and content consumption.
- Where has their work been published? Domain authority is a key metric to consider. The quality of the sites where the influencer has a voice is paramount to establishing you as the industry authority.
Influencer marketing works because it’s subtle and trusted. Choosing the right voice will elevate your content. An influencer management platform like Buzzstream empowers you to both identify and research partnerships. Proper discovery is imperative because although influencers are advertisers, they don’t come across to audiences as advertising; they’re seen as trusted friends.
If these individuals are experts in your field, request to interview them for your future content. Direct quotes and new perspectives will realize a higher propensity for shared content promotion.
2. Recognize that Right Now, Someone is Talking About Your Content
While it may not be your exact content, they are sharing with others who are interested in the subject. Actively enter the conversation at the right time and place, enriching it with fresh perspective. Be open to, and ask for, feedback.
There’s a plethora of forums and niche corners of the internet where your conversation is taking place. An open discussion can foster the right opportunity to educate without obvious selling agendas poking through. Yahoo Answers and Quora are two prominent examples of user-driven question and answer sites. Step in and see if you are able to use talking points from your content to help solve a problem, speaking organically with no agenda towards sales.
Social media provides many forums for you to join in and enhance your industry conversations. LinkedIn is the most professional, though do not discount Facebook and Reddit as viable outlets. The best news is that if your group is underrepresented, you have an opportunity to build a community yourself.
This occurs most frequently when you find your content being consumed by a very niche audience. In order to be most effective within these groups, the following recommendations are key:
- An open group can be made more discoverable through keyword and hashtag usage.
- A private group works well to create exclusivity and reward VIP members.
- Take advantage of every character at your disposal for descriptions and subtitles.
- Some platforms take some time to build, but if managed correctly the community members become crowdsourced contributors, reducing your time investment.
- Utilize notification functionality while sharing.
- Step outside of the social platform to promote your group. Ideally, so many active conversations will prove interesting if you can lead new members to join.
- Own the industry expertise.
3. Just Quoting Other Authors’ Content Isn’t Impactful Enough
Linking and citing will always be best practices in crafting content that receives heavy shares. As easily as plagiarism can slip through, respecting your sources earns credit towards becoming a trusted player. However, if quotes are last on your outreach task list, you will definitely need to add a few line items.
After publishing content that cites another author, you should reach out directly to let them know. While writers historically offered a feedback mechanism in the form of an email address, today faster responses come from direct messaging on social media.
Across industries, small business competitors are forming communities of support and encouragement. You can leverage these connections by showing genuine interest in social posts, commenting with positivity, and offering legitimate help in navigating the market. Establishing a good rapport with a fellow content creator in their space results in healthy network growth.
Publishing and giving proper credit onlyis selling your opportunity short, though. Instead, consider the following best practices:
Contact an original author before publishing to inform them that you’ll be using their content.
- Request an original quote providing fresh industry expert comments. This lets your target know they’ll be featured, while simultaneously strengthening your content.
- Personalize the email. Within your outreach, demonstrate your passion and awareness of shared industry interests. Reference any prior, related work the influencer has written or shared on their site.
- Avoid “me, me, me.” Constantly using “I” and referring only to yourself and your interests in an outreach email will be off-putting.
- Propose a cross-promotional partnership. Including such additional incentives can be key to getting your content shared!
- Keep it pithy! Long-winded emails may go unread.
- Include a call-to-action at the end of your email. You should clearly reiterate at the conclusion of your outreach exactly what action you’re hoping to elicit from your target.
Social media call-outs contribute further to content distribution through digital outreach across established channels. When promoting your content on your social channels, identify any source authors through their social handles to increase reach. Leveraging influencer reach shows digital awareness and creates advocates for your content.
4. Guest Posting Reduces Your Level of Effort in Favor of Reach
Having identified successful digital properties based on domain authority, you should submit your content for publication on their site. Retaining your byline and having your work cited properly is key, but this tactic done right has increased follower growth exponentially. When a trusted site showcases your content, you reap associative benefits of their positive reputation.
While subjects will vary across industries, keep in mind the most frequently accepted guest posts are:
Crafted based on your past work, leveraging your expertise
- Timely, providing perspective on a current industry or market trend
- A new solution to a common problem
- Personal experience that relates to a site’s interests
Always stick to the site guidelines. They are provided for you to color within the lines. Even the most powerful headline and insightful content will lose if the spirit of the site is not honored. A powerful pitch will earn publication if it resonates, and your success depends upon good research.
Improve Content Reach to Boost Impact and Strengthen Reputation
Ultimately, the goal is to extend the reach of your content. Your owned properties will only show off to people who already like and follow you. A paid strategy can feel like a shot in the dark without significant investment and proper execution. But outreach? It generates the earned media you need to showcase your content and become an industry expert. Remember, no matter how strong the content, its creation is only the first step.
Have great content, but need to improve content reach? What’s next on your outreach to-do list? Do reach out in the comments to share your thoughts!