Today, 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles vs. an advertisement. The goal of many content strategists is to build thought leadership via producing original, high quality content. Sounds like a great objective, but is your content making outside the guardrails of your owned media sources to gain said thought leadership?
I recently sat in on a presentation by Matt Kamp of Influence & Co. in collaboration with the St. Louis Hubspot User Group regarding “How to get your content published on influential sites.” Following are my main takeaways regarding content strategies, and how one can go about getting original content published on influential sites.
First and foremost, content marketing is all about people. Step back: what are your content objectives?
- Do you want to build trust?
- Boost awareness?
- Enable Marketing and Sales?
Document your content strategy. Not-so-fun fact: only 32% of marketers have a true content strategy, down from 35% in 2015. Think about how you can break large content pieces like white papers into multiple pieces of gated content or blog posts to get as much usage as possible.
Your strategy should include a value proposition, a competitive content analysis, a brand voice, target personas, prospect/client pain points (hint: content topics), mediums of distribution (ALWAYS work backwards) and goals + metrics. A great tip is to document the questions your prospects and clients are asking. Those are great places to start with your content. Answer the questions that are already brewing in your net new external communications.
In Influence & Co’s The State of Contributed Content white paper, 86% of surveyed editors are planning to incrase the amount of contributed content on their sites. And, an overwhelming 92% of editors prefer contributed content from industry experts and leaders over journalists. Editors want content from the people “living in the trenches” that can actually talk-the-talk about the subject.
Choose your goal publication, and research like crazy. Is your message relevant, non-promotional, educational or unique? You may be tempted to shoot for the stars (aka Forbes, Inc), but in this case the quality of your reader > quantity. A tighter target will likely result in a closer tie to your brand proposition. Develop content for ONE publication. If it doesn’t work out, you can court others later, but don’t play the field with your content. Duplication will not go over well if it is picked up simultaneously.
Don’t be skimpy in your content creation. Actually share your expertise and get personal. It is imperative for readers to get direct content and insights from key players in the industry. Content is typically rejected for being overly promotional or using unoriginal insights. Back your points with data, and then PROOF. PROOF. PROOF.
Start reaching out. Find the Editor’s email via contact info on the publication’s website, use social handles or as a last resort, try web contact forms.
You had to ask. What’s the ROI? If at all possible (and not overly promotional) use backlinks in your content to track traffic to your website or unrelated landing pages. Then track associated apps –> sales.