The days of throwing out haphazard online content are over. Search engines now separate the wheat from the chaff with increasing precision. Companies and content marketers are making over their sites and altering their tactics in order to match the demand for quality, authoritative content as opposed to the quantities of sub-par content no one ever asked for.
Content marketing isn’t just changing; it’s changing everything. It’s changing how people interact with brands. It’s changing how advertisers think of tried and true tricks, such as using intrusive, repetitive ads. In many ways, it is changing how marketers view their audiences: as people rather than stats.
This evolution has brought offsite SEO tactics to new levels. Gone are the days of mass content syndication—this is the time of uniquely tailored guest articles and creative infographics. Whether you’ve taken just the first steps toward refining your offsite content strategy or you’ve already begun seeing major results, here are a few pointers for upping your offsite game.
Change Your Approach to Guest Posts
There’s more to writing guest posts than choosing quality, high-traffic sites and writing relevant content. You have to make sure that visitors to these sites actually fall within the marketing segments you are attempting to reach. Granted, one of the advantages to guest posting is that you are able to expose your brand to a more diverse audience. But you don’t want to waste valuable time writing for a high-traffic photography blog if your market is small business owners or the elderly. Don’t write highly technical content about your industry if your core audience has no more than a basic understanding of it.
Once you choose a slew of relevant sites, follow their rules. Another quick way to waste time is to submit a well-crafted guest article that doesn’t meet explicitly-stated guidelines and preferences—or worse, to submit to a site that doesn’t even accept guest posts. Posting a successful, relevant article that follows the guidelines will help you build a rapport with the host and begin posting regularly.
Most importantly, write solid content that people want to read. Before submitting any guest post, ask yourself what qualities make it valuable and engaging to readers.
Vary Your Content
When contributing content or posting on social, don’t constrain yourself to how-to’s and informative articles. Content and copy don’t have to be synonymous. By producing varying content, you will draw in varying types of people and build interest in your brand. Consider infographics, “best of” showcases, editorials, reviews, podcasts, videos, interviews and news. When it comes to your social accounts, create a schedule that forces you to contribute different types of content every day each week.
Producing these types of content may require skills you don’t have, but it’s not difficult or terribly costly to hire the talent you need to design a professional infographic or video. If you can’t produce these types of content off the cuff, it may be best to set a goal to use them only once every month or two.
Focus on Building Relationships
In today’s marketing content world, you can’t be 100 percent about your business all the time, especially when posting offsite content. Your onsite content is a place for you to discuss your brand, your products, your services or your cause. But unless you are specifically writing a promotional post offsite, beware of your offsite copy coming across as advertorial or self-serving. Strategically-placed keywords are acceptable, but don’t sound like a keyword-spouting robot. Avoid questionable link-building practices that will prevent you from actually reaching your audience or gaining the respect of other informative sources.
Don’t focus on rankings. Focus on being an authority. Focus on providing valuable information. Create content that is interesting for real people to read. Don’t base everything on search results. If you do, you will miss out on the opportunities to build relationships and evolve with content marketing.
Give it Time (and Resources)
There’s no way around it: effective offsite content marketing these days takes time, a generous budget and true talent. Be patient as you wait for your efforts to come to fruition. It’s easy to get impatient and make mistakes, but remember that the results you want to see will take time, even if you’re getting links from authoritative sites. Quality offsite content marketing is an investment.
Do whatever you need to do to give audiences fresh, authoritative content. Hire new talent and distribute responsibilities. Integrating content across innumerable channels takes multiple people who are good at what they do, and good at different things. Consider outsourcing or hiring freelance contributors in order to save money while still producing quality content.
Embracing the new face of content marketing may be a challenge, but it’s a rewarding challenge that will allow your company to grow and your audiences to engage.