No one questions the importance of content for a content brand. Without content, content brands wouldn’t exist. The critical question surrounding content revolves around how much time we should spend on content creation versus content marketing.
As the theory goes, every minute you spend creating content you’ll lose on content marketing. But what if I told you that theory was completely wrong?
You can engage in content creation and content marketing all within the same minute. No, that doesn’t mean allocating 30 seconds for each task. Certain tasks fulfill both the creation and marketing components of successful content brands.
This is what Andy Crestodina referred to as the ‘gray area’ during my Content Marketing Success Summit. Andy explained that certain tasks fit both the creation and marketing parameters, tasks that we tend to separate as if they were oil and vinegar.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the gray area so your can create and market your content at a much faster pace.
Content Creation Gives You Marketing Ammo
You can’t market content unless you create it. But you can take the same piece of content and republish it on multiple platforms. It’s commonplace to see top content creators republishing their blog posts on LinkedIn, Medium, and elsewhere.
Each time someone in your preexisting audience shares your content – regardless of where they share it – it will lead to more people viewing that content.
If your blog posts, LinkedIn posts, and Medium posts each get 500 daily visitors, then you have a total of 1,500 visitors. And it only takes 5-10 minutes to republish already written blog posts on those platforms to see a big traffic increase.
As an added bonus, republishing your content on LinkedIn and Medium creates viral potential as more people engage with your content. This will put you content in front of a larger audience that you wouldn’t have reached on your own.
And when you publish on LinkedIn and Medium, you should include calls-to-action to drive people back to your blog.
At the start of one of these posts, use the anchor text, “This post was first published on [name of your blog].”
And at the end of your post, lead people to a relevant landing page (based on the topic of the content the visitor just read) that asks for the visitor’s email address.
You can also link to older blog posts throughout these posts to lead people back to your existing blog content. Just make sure these older blog posts are relevant to the topic your visitors are currently reading.
This model supports the idea of creating as much content as possible, assuming you have at least a decent sized audience on LinkedIn and Medium.
Andy went into great detail about influencer outreach during our interview.
Basically, you contact several influencers and ask them for their opinions, recommendations, or a quote. This is content creation and marketing at its finest because you get thousands of words of content and influencers who will be happy to promote the post since they’re featured in it.
I leveraged this tactic for my blogging tools post. I asked dozens of influencers for their recommendations and 22 influencers came through. The post itself surpassed 4,000 words (and I added around 400 words at most).
Talk about an unfair advantage!
Other people basically wrote my content for me, and then more people marketed my content for me.
Granted, I did have to reach out to many people and copy and paste their content into the blog post. But many connections, combined with the power of HARO, made the mission easy to accomplish.
You don’t have to turn your entire post into other people’s opinions, quotes, and recommendations. But you can incorporate information from at least three influencers into your content.
Contact each influencer and see if they can provide 100-500 words. I typically ask for 100-250 words (unless it’s just a quote) because I want to make it as easy as possible for an influencer to provide me with free content (and share it with his or her audience).
If you can’t get the influencers to participate, you can hunt for quotes by reading their blog posts, watching their videos, listening to their podcasts, or reading interviews. You can then tell the influencer you mentioned him/her in your latest blog post and you may get a share, or at the very least some appreciation.
This strategy also allows you to build relationships with influencers so that in the future they might agree to be guests on your podcast, speakers at a virtual summit, etc.
For these relationships to work, you must get off the WIIFM Station (what’s in it for me). Only connect with influencers if you want to create a win-win atmosphere. My two favorite ways to build healthy relationships with influencers involve blog content and podcasts.
Incorporate Internal And External Links
Both internal and external links are important for SEO. Internal links lead people to your older blog posts. These links help keep people on your site longer as well as decrease your bounce rates, two metrics that are critical to your blog’s search ranking.
Internal links also drive LinkedIn and Medium readers directly to your blog, which allows you to keep these readers’ attention longer.
You can also connect certain blog posts together into a series. This requires readers to read all the posts in the series to get a complete overview of what you’re trying to achieve with your content.
External links to authority sites within your niche will allow you to piggyback on these sites’ search engine rankings. Search engines will recognize that you link to authority content. And the algorithms will assign more authority to your own site.
External linking is a long-term game. But you can immediately see the impact of internal links. And, if continued, they result in even sweeter results over the long-term.
Content creation and marketing are both critical to the success of a content brand. While both involve a significant time investment, you can tap into the gray area of creation and marketing and feed two birds with one scone.
This time-effective route, combined with delegation, will make it much easier for you to grow and sustain your content brand.
What are your thoughts about the gray area? Do took have any other content creation and marketing hacks for us? Want to ask a question? Sound off in the comments section below.