It’s no secret that content marketing is a strategy worth investing in, but the success of your content is dependent not only on the message but on its distribution through appropriate marketing channels. A powerful blog, white paper or case study can go unnoticed if it isn’t properly circulated to target audiences. The complicated part is knowing where you will get the biggest bang for your buck. While sharing on social media is a great start, it doesn’t always expose your company and its thought leadership to new and relevant demographics. One effective and often underutilized method of outreach is contributed content or guest posting. As editorial staffs shrink and the demand for content increases, the practice is on the rise, with 61 percent of editors increasing published contributions this year.
There are countless benefits to publishing on industry sites and publications. The first and most obvious is to increase brand awareness. Second, the posting of content on multiple web locations can result in improved SEO and inbound marketing. Third is contributed content helps build your company’s recognized expertise and thought leadership. It not only increases visibility and name recognition, but credibility as well.
How, What and Where?
Recognizing the benefits of guest posting and contributed author status is easy. Knowing how to get there is another story. Start by doing your homework. Research possible media outlets that would benefit from your expertise. Explore the type of content they publish. Check to see if they use material from outside authors. If they do, initiate contact, keeping in mind that 85 percent of editors say their top goal of publishing contributed content is to share new insights with their readers. For this reason, it is important to keep content fresh and relevant. Not every publication, news site or potential business association accepts contributed content, so be ready for some rejection. Whether you’re sending an article to an editor or suggesting a swap of a few blog posts with another firm, be creative and proactive.
Best Practices for Contributed Content
While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to guest posting, it’s important to follow a few industry-accepted guidelines to make your content more marketable. Make sure your content addresses audience pain points, solutions, industry trends or otherwise newsworthy topics. Your content should always be meaningful, informational and relevant to the targeted media outlet and its audiences. There is a fine line between increasing brand awareness and grandstanding. A good rule of thumb is to avoid content that is self-serving and self-promotional.
As you develop content, be aware of the top four reasons editors and publishers reject content and make sure your messaging doesn’t fall into these traps:
- Content isn’t professionally written or edited
- Content is too self-promotional
- Content isn’t a fit for the target audiences
- Content isn’t original or unique.
Go the Extra Mile
Guest posting may come with a few extra steps than distributing content through your own website and social media, but the payoff is worth it. Reaching new audiences, building relationships with other firms and publications, and showcasing your thought leadership result in a stronger brand presence in the marketplace. Constantly utilizing new tactics in your marketing strategy will keep ideas and outreach in a state of perpetual improvement.