How do you amplify great blog content?
I help a lot of clients manage their blogs, and I'm always looking for innovative and powerful ways to maximize their investment in each post. What's your favorite way to amplify great blog content and get the most out of everything you publish?
Social networks are the easiest way, but there's a lot of noise. Just posting to your own Facebook/Twitter/etc. is a decent start but for better pickup:
- Send it to specific colleagues and friends you think might be interested. Not a big blast, and not every blog entry to the same list - take some time to really think about who would like it (or has their own readers who would like it).
- Link to it on message boards, LinkedIn groups, Reddit - but again, very selectively. And participate on other posts wherever you do link it so you're part of the community rather than just someone spreading their own stuff.
- One trend I've seen lately is putting blog entry titles in an image and sharing that with a link. That makes it more appealing on visually-oriented networks like Pinterest.
Like the others have said, leverage social to amplify the message. But, don't forget to revisit the content again down the line. It's pretty easy to remember to Facebook this and Tweet that when your blog post first goes live. But, don't forget to schedule it the next day, week, month, etc. after that. Some of the traction we receive isn't from recently posted blog posts, but ones that have been re-shared several months later. A strong content calendar will help them keep track of what is being shared and when.
Also, depending on the content, paid promotion can help. With long form content, or lead generated content, paid promotion can be helpful and pretty cost effective. If there are certain people you want to see your messaging, try creating a specific demographic or list of influencers you want to see your message. Then, you can target them with Promoted Posts on Twitter, Sponsored posts on Facebook, etc.
I'm not as good at doing this as others; but seeing that content gets posted on my website, Facebook, mosaicHUB, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ would be a pretty good start. Ultimately, I have it in my mind that I'm writing a book. I even have a working title: "Secrets: The Hidden Magic of Web Design, Social Media and Information Technology." - The Pragmatic Web Designer
If you chose to do a video blog you have the trifecta of offering content in a visual, audio, and written format. Break blogs into 3 independent pieces, and now you have one blog plus three additional posts available in video, audio and written format. From there you have multiple blogs to post in all social media, send to your email list, and post on your website. It's amazing how far 400-700 words can go! To your SWEET success!
There are a TON of great answers here. Ill take them all a tad further.
1) For most any business, all of their blog posts will focus in on their company in some way or another, to say that they are all "linked." Most people forget that INTERNAL linking is such a crucial thing for SEO especially in blogs because the sitemap is very bland when it comes to internally linking on blogs. Your blog should always link to one or two other blogs on your site, provided the context and link make sense.
2) "I want to do email marketing but I don't know what I would send people on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly basis" HELLO!!! I get this all the time and 80% of the time get a contract for email marketing in addition to content writing.
You LITERALLY are writing the content anyway, just write a short blurb with a "read more button" and some graphics and you have an e-blast.
3) Facebook/LinkedIn groups- i cant stress this enough. I am apart of no less than 40 "small business owner" Facebook groups and about 30 in LinkedIn. These are highly targeted groups full of either business owners or marketers. Post your articles to the niche groups in your target market.
******ONE STEP FURTHER******
The coolest thing about posting to social media is that if someone likes or shares your post, you know exactly who that person is. CONTACT THEM DIRECTLY. It blows my mind that no one takes this next step. If i post about website design and someone likes it, you can bet I am sending them a direct message asking how I can help them out.
John mentions exactly what I would...now to get the best SEO impact from a blog is to - always post an article or post on your website first, then distribute it on LinkedIn (post) and LIGroups (especially if it is business related), Google +, Twitter, Facebook, etc..
As John noted include it in a newsletter or send it directly and specifically to certain contacts...even send it to other bloggers or publications, pitching to them that your article would be great for their readership (modify it a bit as they like to have unique content)...John's other note about an image is good - expand from just using the Title and use specific lines or details from the article as status updates, tweets and images...linking to the full article. Note those images can then extend your reach to Pinterest and Instagram..
Now - before you get totally overwhelmed, make yourself a Content Distribution Grid - so you can keep yourself sane and organized, i.e.:
Article Title LinkedIn(m/w) LinkedInGroups (t/th) Twitter (m/w/f) FB Pinterest
#1 X X X X
#2 X X X
Let me know if you don't understand this...
An outstanding free service I use for helping me get 2-3 times more social shares for blog posts is Triberr.com. I cannot recommend their service enough...and it's free :)
Here's what I do.
1. Make sure you have your distribution network in place i.e. Email system, social media sites, etc.
2. Use a content schedule to organize your themes and blog topics. Hubspot offers a very good spreadsheet for this free.
3. Post to your blog and update your sitemap.
4. Send your post to your data base via email. If you post every day, don't email them this much. Once a week is plenty. If you use a newsletter, use one of your posts as a featured topic.
5. Add a sharing widegt to your blog. This way, people who find and read it can share it. 'Share-it' offers a free widget for HTML sites that provides 12 of the top social and bookmark sites to share with. Once I publish my post, I use the share widget to distribute to the lesser known sites.
6. Add 'buffer' (it's an app) to your browser. You can distribute to the big 4 in one step.
This whole process may sound time consuming but once you get the hang of it, the distribution part of blogging takes about 5 minutes.
It makes no sense to blog regularly if you don't spread your content around.
PS- make sure your blog site has an RSS feed button so people who like what you write can get it sent to them automatically.
PSS- If you don't have a Google + page, get one. Google indexes all posts immediately.
A great way to amplify great blog content is to re-purpose it for various platforms. For example, you can create FAQs out of the content, create slides for SlideShare, Create a small introductory audio for your podcast channel and direct people to read your blog from there, use the same audio and combine it with an animation video for YouTube and other video channels and direct people to your blog from there.
And there are many such ways...
Bernadette and Dr. John have covered the main points. The blogs themselves should be set up with SEO. In mind. That includes H2 and H3 headings, images with alt tags and descriptions as well as outbound links and inbound links to other pages. This ensures better SEO ranking. Your clients could also download their list of contacts from their LinkedIn profile and write a more personal note to these contacts and link the blog in the note. It seems like a more authentic way to connect rather than only posting through social media.
Please do NOT post a blog link on a Facebook business page. It will get very little exposure and clog your page with content the algorithm does not favor. If you are using social to amplify you must use social that actually favors link content. Twitter is great for this particularly if you include a native uploaded video introduction. LinkedIn groups are a hub for blog links. If your client can dedicate an Instagram page with PROFESSIONAL photos to promoting their blog that works wonders. Pinterest is the mother of all blog sharing social media sites. There are also several websites that serve as communities for bloggers who share each other's content on a regular basis. If you plan on using social to amplify please consult a social media marketing strategist first, I see a lot of great bloggers expel a lot of wasted energy on poor social media marketing decisions.
Make sure the blog is between 600 & 900 words - Add at least 2 images to each post and be sure each image as an ALT tag with the targeted keyword present - Use strategic bolding to make the post more easily "scanable" for your visitors. Use both internal links and external linking. Use a few internal links that make it easier for the reader to click that link, get forwarded to another page on your client's website. Use external links to help other, related sites promote their content. This helps in a few different ways. When they see you have provided them with an inbound link, a reputable website using best practices will reciprocate. It also offers readers additional, related content. Then, using the technique others have described in their answers, make sure that when you promote each blog on your client's social platforms, add a carbon copy of the social posts so these other websites know you are promoting their service or product. You do this simply by adding this string to the end of the social post - cc: @twitterhandle. Also make sure each post is optimized by using H1 and H2 headers appropriately, no more than 5 keywords mentions in the body of the blog and complete the title tag & description tags. I hope this helps you.
You have made a small Freudian Slip here "maximize their investment"? Oh my no. Minimize their investment and maximize their returns.
The major investment companies put into blogs is time. For any business time=money and it is countable and accountable on the bottom line. Most business seem to have a blind spot to this when it comes to doing things online. It always bamboozles me as to why.
So before we even begin to consider amplifying blog content, a proper business analysis and r.o.i. analysis should be undertaken to ensure that blogging is a profitable strategy for each individual business in the first place. Then at every step of the way a proper cost and income analysis must be undertaken. If it is found that blogging is costing a business in real terms, then it would be madness to keep flogging a dead horse. There is only a small proportion of businesses for whom blogging is the most effective use of time and resource.
Indeed, any normal business method like Lean would pretty much root out blogging very quickly for a lot of businesses. Again, it is odd that boards have such a blind spot as soon as online activities are involved.
try VCBuzz.com and MyBlogU.com
Push links out to your social media contacts and post news to social media groups that are in the relevant niche.
Probably one of the best ways is to have your blog post shared by Influencers in tha relevant industry. Obviously, for that one needs to have a fairly active social media following and the blog post needs to be compelling enough to interest the Power followers or the Influencers!
As I dabbled in consulting and gathered information from my marketing classes, there are 2 resources (which you may already utilize) that help me maximize the quality and reach of developing content.
- editorial/content schedules and calendars
- marketing automation
These two tools usually work hand in hand with each other or can be used interchangeably. The calendars help provide direction and intention with each post, and allows you to effectively manage the deployment and curation of your content. Marketing automation, on the other hand, helps you as the marketer to be more proactive and intuitive to your client's (and their customers') purchasing behaviors, and allows you to tailor highly targeted content to them and anticipate their next actions.
Hope this helps!
Great replies from everyone. I have always used Social Web 2.0 Bookmarking Sites such as Digg, Delicio.us, StumbleUpon and many others. It is also a good idea to collaborate with other bloggers for reciprocal linking/branding, and also play your cards well with Linkedin/Pulse for added exposure.
Behind the scenes on my site I've used atcontent to allow other bloggers a chance at reposting my content. Broadednet to put inexpensive credit based rewards for reposting my ads. Mostly the trick seems to be having what you need on the article itself to get the potential customer to a sales page. (If you use a similar strategy) So stylized links or on post widgets, coupled with the right incentive to click. I haven't done as much of that as I could or should but even now am seeing the value of this thinking.
The best way is to look at your client's UVP. There are countless ways to expand upon this. all of the elements, and write about them. And there's always what is in the news every day...relating your client to what is trendy and timely, is another option. If you understand your client...you will never run out of things to write about.
Check out this link for pretty cool training on content marketing. http://contentandblog.com/content-marketing-training/