Field of Dreams lied to us. A generation of people were told that if you build it, people will come. A lie by lying liars.
Also, Iowa, while very nice, is theologically not all that close to heaven.
Similarly, we were told a better mousetrap would cause a stampede of purchasers. Yet there’s still the one that threatens to sever a digit every time I try to set it.
This is not to say that quality doesn’t matter. That’s too cynical even for me. But quality content with marketing will beat quality content without marketing just as surely as a Smith and Wesson beats four aces.
So, how do you market your content?
Search engine optimization. If you write your content, then sit down to do your search engine marketing, you’ve already lost. Ideally, you will have already looked through what people are looking for in your category, as we recommended Tuesday. You will have woven those terms and phrases into your content. Now, you have a platform from which to further optimize. Make sure your partners are linking to your content, as link popularity is still a key indicator of quality.
Similarly, I like to go to other people’s content that is related and complementary to my own and comment on the piece, complementing their content and linking to my own. Always practice good etiquette when doing this: you want to make sure you are doing as much to promote the person you are commenting on as you are getting, including linking to them from your own content.
Search engine marketing. If your content is converting well, add it to your Google Grant under all of your relevant search terms. You want to make sure that people who are looking for your type of content are able to find your specific content.
Social media. Yes, I said yesterday not to create content for social media. I meant that you shouldn’t only be posting things on Facebook or LinkedIn, where the rules and the audience are not your own. But as long as you have friends/connections on these platforms, be sure to post your content here, linking through to your own site and resources.
Other content. As you become an effective content creator, you’ll notice that your podcast promotes your blog, your blog promotes your newsletter, your newsletter has a video in it, and that video asks people to subscribe to your podcast. This is not only natural, but meritorious. If you’ve taken the idea of fractal content creation, your topics will be related to each other enough that you can legitimately say “if you liked this blog post on conflict diamonds, you might also like to download our white paper on the largest offenders.”
One of the underrated ways for getting nonprofit donations is filling a need for your potential donor. If, each day, you are only getting donations from the people who intended to give you money at the beginning of that day, you are missing out on significant opportunities.
Rather, a person will come to your site wanting to see if their spouse has the disease your cause is trying to cure. You will help diagnose the disease. You offer a brochure about dealing with that disease and the person accepts. You email them the brochure. Then, as part of your welcome, you check in with them to see if they need anything else. They look for, and find, specialists in their area. Then, after you’ve helped them get what they need, them making a donation to you seems like the most natural thing in the world.
Your content is its own journey: you want to take people through journeys one step at a time. You can try to plan them, but people will likely choose large parts of it themselves.
To the point we made yesterday, blogs of 400+ posts get more traffic because content supports content. In the publishing world, when an author has a new book (or in the case of James Patterson, ten new books), sales of their previous books increase because more people are discovering the old books. So the best part of content marketing is that your content will help your content succeed.
But we also need to make sure your content helps you reach your goal. We’ll complete our (first) content marketing journey tomorrow, with how to create content that converts. After all, it’s great that content supports content, but someone has to pay the light bill and vacuum out the Internet tubes every so often.