5 tips to promote online content

  1. Pay attention to SEO but don’t go overboard.

Rand Fishkin, at this year’s Be-Wizard in Italy, best summed it up by saying: “It isn’t true that you should only worry about the content. The content is king, but one must always keep in mind good SEO practices.”

Which means: one must write for human beings and not machines – but it’s the machines themselves (in particular, search engine crawlers) that filter our content and help promote it or not. Thus, the basic techniques of SEO-oriented writing should in any case be adhered to. Incidentally, as Matt Gemmell incisively explains these are common sense techniques and follow the same principles of every type of communication.

  1. Use social networks wisely.

Picking out one of your messages and posting it on fifteen of your social networks, then quickly exiting and moving on, isn’t the best strategy. Each social platform has its own specific characteristics, strategies for how it’s used, and obviously its own target audience.

Furthermore the sharing of content means there is a real willingness to start up a conversation about it. Therefore, be ready to respond to any comments and interesting replies, accept and work on any criticisms.

But even more importantly, remember that these places are live environments and should be treated accordingly. If you limit yourselves to just going in to publish new pieces without getting actively involved – failing to follow what others are up to, making comments, finding out what’s going on – your approach is completely wrong and is self limiting.

  1. Social bookmarking, announcements and aggregators.

One of the most extraordinary resources of the Web 2.0 is social bookmarking: if you’re still not using it, it’s really time to start. Basically, it involves inserting one’s own announcements – links to one’s posts – on portals such as StumbleUpon, the good old Digg, Hacker News etc.

With a piece of news or a worthwhile post it’s possible to increase traffic sharply – the strength of these sites lies in their viral force. Based on a voting system, the best and most popular news quickly climbs to the top of the ranking, increasing their level of visibility and thus receiving more attention.

  1. Guest blogging, but seriously.

Guest blogging – writing a piece, usually for free, for a newspaper or an informative website – is a sure fire way to promote one’s name or brand through a much broader platform. Our advice is nothing you haven’t heard before. Don’t do it haphazardly on just any old portal, with the sole purpose of increasing the visibility of your name. Aim to hit your target audience – if you’ve got an online shoes business, it will be of little use to you to publish an article on a web news magazine.

And, as always, don’t write gushing “marketing” statements – where you say how good you are and wonderful your product is. Tell a story instead.

  1. Finally: are you sure that your content is interesting?

Ok, you’ve already heard it repeated a thousand times, from marketers’ “be passionate”, down. But the Web continues to be cluttered with useless articles, plagiarized and with little meaning. Why? The answer is simple –coming up with something relevant isn’t easy and often time consuming. And as we all know, time and resources are rare commodities these days – especially in the corporate blogging world.

But to use this as a valid excuse would be far too easy. It’s better to write fewer pieces but increase their quality. And when necessary filling in the “gaps” between one post and another with some target oriented flash announcements.

This doesn’t mean you are expected to write about things off the cuff. Of course, it would be great, but let’s be realistic. Unless you’re a genius, it’s inevitable to recycle other useful material. But you should avoid at all costs to blatantly copy-paste.

Many can write about the given subject, by going through various materials on the site. To get in to minds of the viewers it should be more clear and accurate. Only a topic which is out of box in the way it is presented and gives a extra strength and gives a data more precisely can reach the hands of more people compared to the regularly written up stuff. Visit here to know more.

For example: if you come across something interesting – statistics about mobile marketing, the latest tech news, a new survey by Nielsen – why not take it as a starting point to flesh out the topic? Instead of simply regurgitating the raw data, try developing your opinions on how data can be viewed from a wider perspective. Link your experiences to the topic, giving examples. Do not be afraid to share ideas and hypotheses, even the most daring ones.

Google’s Panda algorithm is doing everything in its power to get rid of useless directories that aggregate content. But the heart of the issue is another – forget about article marketing as an end in itself: no one’s going to read your pieces if they’re only aimed at “promoting the brand” or “improving your ranking.”

[09/11/2011]

 

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