What type of web content do you create more often?
Most small business owners and bloggers only have one definition for content – articles!
But the truth is, there are many different forms of content on the Internet, and yes, text is one of them.
Would you consider your podcast to be content?
What about that instructional video you have on your website?
Both of them are, and because each of the different forms of content is different, there should be a different marketing strategy (on a small scale.
And one that fits in with the overall, larger online marketing strategy) for each one.
We can break down text content into three different categories: article content, press release content, and blog content.
But for now, we’ll stick to the blog because it is the most regularly updated. Article content and press release content can also follow most of these guidelines.
A good blog shows the personality of the brand. The more personality, the better.
* But the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your blog is linked to from the homepage, product pages, or other online media pages.
Remember that content is king on the Internet and in order to get people to read the content you’ve painstakingly put together, you’ve got to drive traffic that way.
* Mention the blog in your email correspondence, your offline media or newsletters, and put it in your email signature.
* If you update your blog regularly, you’ll get better search engine results. Google and other search engines reward blogs that update regularly (usually a couple times per week is a good bet) and better search engine result can bring in better organic traffic.
* Of course, be sure to make your posts keyword-rich. By including important phrases or keywords that people are searching, you’re going to ensure that Google finds you during those searches and rewards you for it.
* Try commenting on other people’s blogs (in a related field) and include a subtle link back to your blog as part of your comment signature.
Remember, though, that this cannot be a blatant advertising scheme for you. The more good information you give people, the more they will trust you, which means more targeted traffic.
* Reach out to other bloggers and offer a link-for-link situation.
This means that, if you can agree on the relevance of each other’s topic to your blog, you’d share his/her link on your site and they’d do the same on theirs. Blogging is a community, so you’d be surprised how cooperative people can be.
Podcasts are actually available on any mobile device or mp3 player.
Originally they were designed for iPods, but that has since changed and you can buy or download them on iTunes.
We’ll skip past the point where I explain how to create a podcast because that is an entirely different article altogether.
This is about promoting the podcast you’ve already got. I’d recommend checking out David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR for more information on creating a great podcast.
* Be sure to tag the audio files. When you are labeling the audio, be sure to add text-based information to make it easier for people to find on search engines. It will also help with your placement and search-ability on iTunes.
* Get the podcast hosted and distributed. There are companies that will syndicate and distribute your podcast to the appropriate channels, such as iTunes.
This makes it a lot easier for people to get your podcasts. Check out Liberated Syndication for more information on this.
* Promote, promote, promote. If you’ve done an interview, be sure to give the interviewees the link to the audio file and ask that they promote it on their channels, websites, and other forms of online media.
Of course, you’ll also want to include a link to the podcast feed in your business email signature, on your business cards. Be sure to place the links on your website in order to make them accessible.
You may also want to network with other podcasters and see if you can work a deal to cross-promote your podcast and theirs.
This is a pretty common way (a great one) to build a bigger audience. And, of course, never forget to post the link on Twitter and Facebook, the meccas of information in the world.
* Create a companion blog. What is a companion blog? A companion blog allows the producers or hosts of the podcast to discuss the show in a text form.
This allows Google and other search engines to then index the text, which drives people to sign up for the podcast. This is also a great place to provide links back to your website or links for the guests on your show.
Creating a video doesn’t have to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Some of the most successful videos are low-budget ventures.
But they are engaging, and that’s what people want to see.
Again, we’ll assume that you have the capability to make videos. Here’s what to do with them:
* Ever heard of YouTube? YouTube is the most popular video-sharing site, but there are others, like Vimeo and blip.tv.
Once you’ve uploaded a video to YouTube, send the link to bloggers, the press, and anyone else you can think of. If you’re lucky, the video will go viral (think Psy’s “Gangam Style,” which has well over one billion views on YouTube.)
* If you’re dedicated, you can create your own online video channel. This usually carries its own URL and features videos only by your company.
* Just like with the companion blog on podcasts, you can embed a video into an article. This text part of the article gives you the opportunity to give context for each video and possibly even further discuss the ideas in the video. This is typically known as “vlogging”.
* Another way you can incorporate the podcast feel is “vodcasting”. This acts like a podcast, but it incorporates video elements, as well. Think of it like a video with a constant voice over.
* Another great way (and successful at that) to market your video content is to invite customers and users to submit their own videos for your site or YouTube feed. These are usually best received on your company website, though.
Content rules the Internet and that is especially true for content marketing.
Deciding where, when, and how to disseminate content is about understanding the content and understanding where your customer base looks for information.
Once you understand that, you’ve got a content-rich website that will be visited by many people, which means more traffic and, hopefully, sales for your company.
Lance Trebesch is the CEO of TicketPrinting.com & Ticket River which offers a variety of event products and ticketing services.