While building links is a common strategy for gaining exposure, focusing less on link building can actually earn you more links. Content marketing produces links, but it also improves your brand image and can make key connections that will net you more exposure than before.
These four content marketing advantages all naturally make links, which means less time focusing on link acquisition.
- Creating Large Amounts of Targeted Traffic: Producing great content that gets posted to popular websites gets you a large amount of traffic and exposure, but what good is exposure when it’s aimed at the wrong people? Since Google Penguin, the links of real value are those that make you visible to your market demographic. You can do this by understanding what trustable websites look like, considering audiences when evaluating a Web site, working with publishers before creating content and working with the most influential contributors to a site.
- Engaging Social Media: Sharing your content on social media sites helps you gain wide exposure as well as allowing you to fit your product to the needs of niche audiences. If you can get your content repeatedly shared, you can help establish your brand and its value. This can be achieved by optimizing your content for social media. Allow visitors to link to social media sites with appropriate but non-distracting buttons on your content. Consider how the content will look when shared, and use eye-catching images. You may even consider buying ads on social media sites where your target audiences gather.
- Create Immediate Conversion Opportunities: By distributing content with positive brand information, you can create easy opportunities for conversions. Remember, all content you create draws people closer to your brand. Be sure to make it easy to subscribe to your RSS feed or email list and collect email addresses by making users give them to receive more content.
- Encourage Brand Advocacy: All content creates an opportunity to connect with your audience. The larger the audience you get, the more people you need to share your content. By getting people to repeatedly share your content, they are improving your brand’s reputation. This leads to more potential customers, which in turn leads to more potential advocates. Create advocates by always responding to feedback – positive or negative. Make it easy for people to get involved. Allow the community to help create content. If they believe in the content on your site, they will share it.
Content marketing is a sustainable strategy with long-term rewards. You always want to stand out. Unique, valuable and exciting content helps distinguish a brand in a way linking campaigns can’t.
To read more about content marketing, look at Loren Baker’s article at Search Engine Watch