Why You Must be Seeding Content
With such a vast amount of content being published online and organic post reach declining, unless you have a large pre-existing database or a strategy and budget for seeding content, it may struggle to cut through the clutter.
Fortunately (or unfortunately perhaps), a lot of content being produced is commercial or salesy, badly written, poorly researched, irrelevant or badly targeted.
This provides an opportunity for the publisher of quality content to shine and once your brand is defined as a supplier of valuable information and/or entertainment your content marketing efforts will snowball.
However getting to this revered position of authority usually requires setting a content seeding and amplification budget to ensure you are reaching new and relevant audiences.
There are a number of methods which can be used to achieve the fast growth which is possible with paid amplification and seeding.
Paid Social Media Amplification
The data collected by social media companies has enabled hyper-targeted message delivery. Whether Facebook, Facebook-owned Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn (or increasingly, Snapchat), you can efficiently deliver your message into the demographic and psychographic of your choosing.
Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor offer far more powerful targeting than that found in ‘Boost Post’ and you are able to easily segment and save audiences to ensure messages resonate, as well as track conversions and access detailed analytics.
Ensure you are using Facebook’s full capacity, such as lookalike audiences of existing followers or email subscribers, website visitor retargeting, interest and location targeting, or any of the other advertising tools on offer.
Search Engine Marketing
Usually best reserved for content and pages with high conversion rates, or for strategically important content, SEM such as Google Adwords puts your content solutions at the top of the box.
Targeting strategies should be deeply analysed, keywords researched and competitors analysed, and everything monitored with ongoing bid optimisation. Long-tail keywords can help bring costs down and conversions up.
Don’t forget that social media and search engines sit at different points in the conversion funnel so amplification and content must always be tailored to fit the delivery platform and where the audience sits in the funnel.
With web banners often not functioning cross-device and usually clicked upon by accident, combined with the boom of web banner / pop up blockers that strip web pages of commercial and often intrusive advertising, seeding and amplifying your content using native advertising is a solid strategy.
Native ads integrate content seamlessly and with contextual relevancy into the organic content in which they are served, often to the point where audiences don’t even know it is advertising. Controversial? Perhaps. Powerful? Absolutely.
Tools such as Outbrain and Taboola enable content to be placed on major publisher websites under the ‘You might also like’ or ‘Recommended for you’ sections.
There has been some criticism of click-bait, spammy content in native advertising however there is definitely a business case for these tools.
Communities on Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn or independent forums present an excellent opportunity to seed your content and directly engage with your target market, however beware: spam the groups with commercial or salesy information and you will likely do more harm than good.
Rarely, there is a case to ‘Seed by Stealth’, that is, using an alias and pretending to be an advocate. While this may occasionally serve a purpose, generally Kudos Media does not recommend it as it’s usually transparent and will lead to lost credibility.
Better to offer full disclosure and then add value to the community by engaging in discussion threads, presenting solutions to problems and asking thought-provoking questions.
Influencers and Outreach
By identifying and connecting with influencers in your market you can build mutually beneficial relationships with them.
Some influencers have hundreds of thousands of social media followers and will charge a flat fee for a single post. Others may be willing to engage in a sponsorship arrangement or agree to simply cross-pollinate audiences.
Consider that the influencers must be a natural fit for your brand. They and their audience should hold similar values and beliefs to your brand positioning.
There are a number of influencer agencies offering to connect brands and influencers, however, generally KM finds building relationships directly with those influencers in your market is a better strategy, if more time consuming.
Media Releases and Guest Posts
With the creation of quality content comes third party media in your industry who will be interested in publishing it. If you are truly producing high quality content, often that media will even come to you.
However if your content is overly commercial, editors won’t be interested – their audience is always more important to them than a press release listing ten reasons why your latest product is the best.
KM believes that any press release should be approached the same way as content marketing. Provide value to the intended audience and deliver a subtle commercial tie-in. That may be as simple as an image of your product or a link to your website, driving traffic and SEO.
When sharing your articles with third party publishers, consider that multiple copies of the same content online can cause duplicate content issues and it depends on how the content is placed and tagged. One way to overcome this is to ask the publisher to put a rel=canonical link pointing search engines back to you as the original publisher of the article.
By embracing all of these above content seeding and amplification strategies, your content will be read far and wide and its associated conversions and KPIs significantly easier to achieve.
For more insight into content marketing, download Kudos Media’s 2017 Complete Content Marketing Guide.