Yesterday we had a nice conversation about content distribution and how to gain new readers.
The comments were alive with things such as “the Internet is over-valued,” which means comments and social shares are too, and without those things, you’re losing out on important data to help guide your content.
Two ends of the spectrum and lots of smart comments in between.
Definitely check it out when you have a few minutes to skim.
In the meantime, it’s important to talk about offsite content marketing—or promoting the content you create in other places around the web.
Offsite Content Marketing
Offsite content marketing is necessary for three reasons:
- It helps you build new audiences. From that stems new subscribers. And from that stems new leads (which can turn into sales).
- It builds your authority in the eyes of Google, which is very, very important for search engine rankings.
- It builds your expertise among those who haven’t worked with you yet.
Even if you work in a very niche, business-to-business organization, offsite content marketing is necessary. It’s like being at a trade show and talking to people about what it is that you do.
We all know sales people love trade shows because of the leads they can generate. Think about offsite content marketing in the same way…but you can do it behind your computer screen without any pants on, if you want.
Contrary to some beliefs, guest blogging is not dead. Heck, we accept two or three guest bloggers here every week.
Other sites, such as PR Daily, aggregate content, which opens your content to new audiences (particularly because they always provide the valuable link to your site).
Which is the whole point of guest blogging: Reaching new audiences.
Using this as the number one tactic for offsite content marketing will be worth your time in gold.
Create a list of the influential blogs, trade publications, and other media outlets for your industry.
Then turn on your moz toolbar and visit each of the sites. Jot down what their domain authority is so you can quickly get to work.
If I were to do this exercise, my list would look like the following.
Our domain authority is 68 so I know I want to work with The Holmes Report through Top Rank first. I’ll save the 80 and higher domain authority sites for later.
But that gives me eight bloggers and journalists to approach about writing guest content for them.
A great place to start!
Once I do this, I not only have reached new audiences, I have gained a link from a high domain authority site and I have begun to establish trust with the influencers in my industry.
Comments! Comments! Comments!
Sure, some bloggers and newssites have turned off comments so this tactic makes it hard to do offsite content marketing.
But, for those that haven’t, this is a great way to begin to build relationships with influencers and readers.
Using the same list as above, I would start commenting on MarketingProfs through MediaBistro to gain some attention from influencers such as Ann Handley, Michael Stelzner, Laura Fitton or Joe Chernov, and Patrick Coffee.
The goal here is relationship building. That’s it. Though, if you have “latest blog post published” active in your Gravatar account, you will begin to see some traffic come from the comments you leave.
Just don’t expect a ton of traffic. Expect you are building relationships so you can write contributed content later.
Traditional Media Relations
Last week, I wrote about how to use traditional or influencer media relations to extend your reach.
I won’t belabor the point here, but if you misesed it, it’s worth the read not just because I wrote it, but because it’s what I learned from the webinar Andy Crestodina hosted for us earlier this month.
The point here is that you want to find new audiences and using traditional media relations to do that will help immensely.
Unfortunately, we are at a point in the digital world’s life that we have to pay for some offsite content marketing.
Facebook sponsored content and LinkedIn ads seem to work really well.
Not only do they help you reach the people who’ve already liked or followed your pages, you gain new followers from the efforts.
With Eleanor Pierce going on maternity leave any day now, I have been charged with handling LinkedIn.
I’m testing different types of content, sure, but also using some of our free coupons for ads. We’re gaining new followers…and they’re qualified ones.
So paying for amplification isn’t so bad.
What I will warn you about, though, is to be careful if you use a tool such as Outbrain for offsite content marketing.
We did a test of it through Cision last year and, on the surface, it was fantastic! We had tons of new traffic and lots of new pageviews.
We even had a blog post on the front page of Yahoo!
Super, super exciting.
But when we dug into it, the traffic was crap.
No new subscribers, the bounce rate was incredibly high, and those visitors spent less than five seconds with our content.
Not the people we want to reach.
So be careful where you spend your money. It’d be really good for a consumer product. Not so great for anything that has a niche.
External Content Hubs
There are lots of places you can do some offsite content marketing without relying on building relationships with human beings.
- SlideShare. Built for PowerPoint or Keynote decks, SlideShare enables you to reach new audiences via the presentations you give. I’m always amazed at how many people use the decks I’ve created because they’re just images. Without the context of my speech, it’s impossible to tell what it’s about. But people love ’em and keep coming back for more.
- YouTube. Look, Google owns YouTube. Google decides your authority on a topic. Google wants you to use their products. If you create video, get them on YouTube (not Vimeo!) and then embed from there on your website or blog. Trust me. You will get an extra gold star in search engine rankings because of it.
- Scribd. Scribd is billed as a place where you can read unlimited books so don’t let that scare you. You can easily store documents there and reach new audiences. For instance, let’s say you have an eBook or a white paper that you want to bring to the world. Save it in Scribd, tag it appropriately, and watch the software go to work for you.
Though we covered social media yesterday, there are two additional things I want to say about Google+ and LinkedIn, as they pertain to offsite content marketing.
I would never advocate you use a social network as your blog. You always want your content to live on something you own. But you can most definitely repurpose some of your more popular content on Google+ and LinkedIn.
- Google+. Google+ allows up to 100,000 characters so it’s a perfect place to do offsite content marketing, build your authority in the eyes of Google, and find new audiences. For two reasons: 1) See the note above in the YouTube section about Google; and 2) I mentioned yesterday that Danny Brown is doing a test on his blog by installing Google+ comments. He said it’s driven about 3,000 new pageviews. If that’s the right traffic, I’d take those stats!
- LinkedIn. Sometime last year, LinkedIn opened its publishing platform to allow for long-form content and give people access to second and third connections without having to be connected. In the comments of yesterday’s post, Chuck Kent said he uses it and generated two new clients from it. For a business like his, that’s pretty significant.
So there you have it!
Content distribution and offsite content marketing will help you reach new audiences. They both will help you grow your domain authority. They both will help you generate new leads.
Now it’s time to stop spending time here (after you leave a comment about what works for you) and get to work!
photo credit: Shutterstock