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How to Scale Content Marketing

By on Aug 6, 2013 in Content, Search | 25 comments

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Content marketing has grown its importance over the past couple of years in the online marketing realm. And one of the most evident factors of why brands and online marketers have started to embrace this marketing practice is the constant changes (algorithm updates) occurring in the search space.

This branch of marketing has proven its efficiency, especially in demonstrating thought-leadership and the approach’s ability to improve a business’ lead generation process.

I’ve revisited Dr. Pete Meyers’ mind blowing MozCon 2013 presentation about the future of ranking a few days ago. And I’ve come to realize that almost all of the factors (that he has mentioned on the last part of his presentation) – which a brand needs to succeed online are achievable when implementing a scalable content marketing campaign:

dr pete's factors

So below are few tips on how you can scale your content marketing efforts.

Create things that are hard to do

Creating content that’s really hard to replicate is definitely one of the best ways to standout as an authority/expert in your industry. Many of the successful content publishers on the web have taken this route – and perhaps the best sample of this is BuzzFeed’s content strategy.

Some of the core elements of a hard to implement/replicate content are:

Invest on continuous creation of evergreen content assets – that are useful, actionable and frequently searched by your target audience. It’s the best way to semi-automate your brand’s marketing and lead generation process.

Optimize content assets for search

It’s undeniable that search is still the most effective medium to constantly attract new traffic and potential customers to a website.

Make it easier for people to find the information you provide by helping search engines better understand your content (check out my comprehensive guide to content optimization).

Improve both owned and earned media

Strengthening both owned and earned media is very vital in content marketing. These channels simply allow publishers to scale the “marketing” in content marketing.

tumblr_inline_mn62nihTLW1qz4rgp

Continuously grow your brand’s readership and following by making it easy and simple for people to subscribe to your email list and feed, as well as to follow you on social networks. You can do this by making this calls-to-action very visible on your site’s high-traffic pages (or placing these CTAs highly visible areas).

You can also check these other comprehensive guides on how to effectively grow your email lists and social follower base:

Tie in these goals with your content efforts. As along the process of building a strong following on both medium (social and email) will eventually help you semi-automate your content promotion.

Scaling Content Discovery

There are many other ways to ensure that your content assets are getting found by people who’re really seeking for them, such as:

The main point is to get more visibility for your content assets from pages that have higher potentials of ranking better on search results.

Relationships

Everyone knows in this industry how impactful relationships are, specifically with the role it plays in marketing and customer acquisition.

Connect and engage with other influencers and content publishers in your online space, as well as with your own readers.

Having industry peers that will really voluntarily share your piece every time you publish a new content is one of the best ways to amplify the reach of your brand.

Pro tip: In engaging industry influencers, instead of doing an interview of them at the start of your campaign, why not just get insights from them and include them on your posts (along with your own takeaways and ideas).  That way, they’ll be more interested to share the content and connect with you further.

Every content asset is a landing page

A content is far more stronger if it has its own goals. Like landing pages, it’s important for your content assets to become helpful in achieving your business’ short and long-term goals.

Every content that you publish and promote should aim for people visiting it to take actions (subscribing to your newsletter, sharing or following you on social networks, etc…).

Use conversion-oriented approaches to make certain that your content assets will drive results, such as:

Author’s personal branding

Invest on building a strong author portfolio and brand. Having well-recognize authors on board make everything else very easy, may it be in terms of doing outreach, attracting ton of links/brand mentions, and acquiring customers.

Here are few tips on how to build a strong personal brand for authors/bloggers:

The more you set yourself as a credible author in your industry, the more natural mentions you can get to your site’s content.

Serve better content display for mobile devices

Mobile search is growing very fast, and it will never stop. It’s best to analyze how much traffic you’re getting from mobile devices.

mobile search

If it’s a substantial portion of your total traffic, then you might want to start using responsive web design or launching a mobile version/app of your site to improve site usage and user-engagement.

Optimize or create content for local search (if appropriate)

Given that search results are getting more location-based (particularly in mobile), optimizing some of your content to target geo-specific audience can perhaps be a good addition to your content strategy.

Mathew Hunt recently wrote a great piece on doing on-page optimization for local SEO, which I highly recommend for you guys to check out. That post also included a visual sample of an optimized local page:

perfectly-optimized-local-page

Turn successful evergreen blog posts into pages

Pages have higher ranking power than blog posts. Google’s Freshness filters are somehow favoring newer content on search results (on many verticals). Making a lot of older, but evergreen, blog posts become less visible on SERPs.

So if you have evergreen blog posts that have managed to attract good amount of natural links and social shares in the past, then moving them to a page might be a viable approach to sustain and increase its search rankings.

Develop a solid content team and process

People and process are the two main factors that can genuinely scale content marketing.

workflow

Kyra Kuik of Distilled wrote an amazing piece on creating and maintaining a structured content team. The post also includes tips on how to develop a solid process that a team can work around to have scalable content campaigns.

I highly suggest reading that post.

Identify what’s working and do more of them

Content helps brands shape their identities (or the way people perceive the brand – brand perception).

Identify niches, topic areas and/or content formats in which you are getting traction with. Focus on these areas by doing more of them – seeing as you’re achieving better results from them.

In gauging the types of content that have high consumption from your audience:

The more you know the topic areas that are helping you achieve your goals, the more you can establish your brand as a thought-leader in those spaces.

Bonus: Scaling Creative Content Marketing

Lee Odden’s slide deck from SES last March on scaling creative content marketing was gold. You might want to check this one out.

How to Scale Creative Content Marketing from TopRank Online Marketing

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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25 Comments

  1. John Gibb

    August 6, 2013

    Post a Reply

    hi Jason

    you’ve killed with this one here… and you’ve shared a slideshare bonus at the bottom of your article, it’s amazing!

    thank you!

    P.S. I’d have to wade through the many links and tips before I get to ask any questions, so please bear with me… I will more than probably get back with some q’s…

  2. Tariehk Geter

    August 6, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Hey Jason, great post on content marketing. I just wrote a blog post about the best 50 content marketing tools at:

    http://www.osiaffiliate.com/blog/2013/08/05/the-best-tools-to-enhance-your-content-marketing/

    I think using tools is especially important for small businesses because it can even the playing field with big businesses because having the right content marketing tools gives small businesses some of the same functionality that big business is using and what is great is today, there are a lot of saas products, so to get these tools you just have to pay a small monthly fee.

  3. Jason,

    Within two minutes of reading this post I found something extremely helpful.

    Pro tip: In engaging industry influencers, instead of doing an interview of them at the start of your campaign, why not just get insights from them and include them on your posts (along with your own takeaways and ideas). That way, they’ll be more interested to share the content and connect with you further.

    This is a great way to link bait and get some traffic. I’m going to add this idea into my blogging.

    Thanks as always for your help and inspiration!

  4. shakaib

    August 7, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Content marketing via email marketing is an old technique now, because promotional emails are normally dropped to spam by gmail, yahoo and hotmail and its time wasting to send emails to unknown people. But if the email is sent to subscriber then it would be definitely useful. Also social sharing is my favorite technique for content marketing.

  5. Spook SEO

    August 7, 2013

    Post a Reply

    More than just providing value, you also need to make sure that your valuable content is unique. There are tons of valuable content that just isn’t unique and sad to say that there are also tons of unique content that has NO VALUE AT ALL.

    You rarely find contents that are both valuable and unique at the same time. It’s these kinds of contents that rings a bell to the users.

  6. rena gamueta

    August 7, 2013

    Post a Reply

    hello Jason
    Good Day!

    Thank you for this piece of yours, such a great blog..

  7. Nimrod

    August 9, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Lots of good stuff to learn in this article! Some people are selling this kind of info as WSO’s already.. but here, we get to have them for free.

    Even though some comments above say that some of the strategies are already outdated, I think they are still applicable and useful until today – particularly email marketing. They don’t go out of style and effectivity as long as people continue to use them.

    Thanks for taking the time to share this Jason!

  8. sleeeze

    August 10, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Thank youf or this great article i am gonna bookmark this page and come back for more information related to this

  9. You don’t need to turn posts into pages. Why would you do that? You pretty much have these reasons:

    Get rid of the date in the link structure (which should not be there anyway). Slap a date on content and you kill it. You need to remove the date from your theme and permalinks if you want your content to seem evergreen. Turning a post with dates into a page will not help with this.
    Your Pages widget will get those pages linked and promoted throughout your entire blog this way giving them steady links (this is the real power of pages). Any post in WordPress will have it’s link move slowly in your archive structure so… it does not get to age well.
    … might be others.

    All these stuff can be technically fixed with plugins and theme modifications. No point in doing anything funny :) You get rid of dates, you make a new widget where you can add random posts that can be side-wide, or use a menu. And you can make a plugin to make posts sticky to the archive pages preventing their links from moving between pages. Like page 1 of any archive shows the stickies, while the actual content follows on page 2.

    Technical SEO solves anything :) Think out your theme structure properly and it’ll be smooth sail. The most important are your permalinks. Set that up right and the theme can be changed over time, based on how things pick up… and without redirections. And write plugins for what’s missing. That’s the really nice thing in WordPress… it can be extended easily.

  10. Steve Xenakis

    August 14, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I was impressed by your epic guide above; you’ve really achieved your goal of sharable, epic content.
    Thank you for summarizing everything for us.

  11. Terrific blog. Enjoyed reading it. Found you through my research on backlinks for quicksprout. Your site is sending 4,895 backlinks to QuickSprout. You must be pretty popular with Neil Patel. Good show.

  12. Steven

    August 16, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I think it will take me an entire week to digest this gigantic post.. and I’m thrilled to take it step-by-step. This gem goes straight into my VIP bookmarks.

  13. Maya

    August 16, 2013

    Post a Reply

    The basic idea of content marketing is as simple as effective. To transmit high quality, relevant and valuable information to customers and prospects. Thanks for this informative post.

  14. Ron Marek

    August 26, 2013

    Post a Reply

    The importance of revising content twice, of work delegated to other people cannot be stressed enough as this has everything to do with building a brand in terms of how people will come to know you. Content marketing should be planned for and done on a regular to keep the search engines interested.

  15. Mitch Carson

    August 26, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Hi Jason,
    Great article. Couldn’t agree with you more. Content is King! Thanks for the tips.
    Looking forward to your next post.

  16. Abhijit Gupta

    January 3, 2014

    Post a Reply

    This is absolutely brilliant and really helpful. You gave me a lot of information. Thanks. I’m learning a lot from your articles and your site.

  17. Stephen Moyers

    January 6, 2014

    Post a Reply

    Great article Jason. I truly believe that content is king and providing authority content frequently will help to contribute in the community as well as brand establishment. We should design our content marketing strategy smarty and such a way that we can get maximum exposure of our content. Check this useful article which will definitely add more knowledge for the same to users.
    http://www.spinxdigital.com/blog/online-marketing-tips-what-is-content-marketing/

    Thanks,
    Stephen

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