The Digital Dandelion Strategy of Content Marketing
I read a great content distribution article by Jay Baer today, “Why the Key to Content Marketing is Becoming a Digital Dandelion.”
Bear notes, and I agree, “Content distribution is more important than content production.”
There is so much content available on the web, that it is foolhardy to think that people will find yours among the rubble. The content creators who are also the best content distributors will be the true successes. At last year’s SXSW, Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti advised that time be evenly split between creating the idea and planning how to share the idea.
Success Comes From Sharing Content
Along these lines, Baer champions the digital dandelion strategy, “whereby your website is the stalk where the content is planted, but versions of that content are spread far and wide, like the seeds of a dandelion.”
This means allowing your content to live on as many platforms as possible and allowing users to consume your content on their own terms.
This has taken on additional significance with the introductions of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates in the last couple of years. In the good old days of 2010, a properly optimized webpage could draw in some good traffic on its own. Now, links are the biggest factor in SEO rankings.
With a good distribution strategy, you can build more links back to your own site, which Google sees as people “vouching” for your site. The more websites who vouch for your site with links, the better your site will rank in search results. Therefore Google has made in imperative that you share your content.
Social Media Impacts SEO
Google also now gives more credit to social shares. Discussion and interaction with your brad in the social sphere has impact on your SEO rankings as well.
Baer notes, “Of all the places online that your content could conceivably live, your own website probably gets the least amount of traffic, not the most…The best way to maximize your distribution is for your content to live in many, many places where your audience is already spending time.”
So, a video that you have on YouTube may prove to be infinitely more valuable than simply posting that video on your own site.
Content Sharing Vehicles
Take a moment to evaluate all of the vehicles you can use to get your content out to audiences. Some suggestions:
Press Releases: Create new relationships with bloggers and journalists to get your content cited in articles and posts. Also, consider a service like Release-News for a broad blast to press audiences.
Social Media: Facebook, Pinterest, Vine, Google Plus, Twitter and Linked In are a few of the places to start to get content into the hands of potential readers, sharers and linkers. Make sure every piece of content you create is sent out on all applicable channels.
Video Sites: Do you have video content? Make sure it is posted on Vimeo and YouTube.
Email Newsletters: One of the best vehicles for content distribution. Use your newsletter to send out entertaining and useful content to fans who can share it and link back to it. Avoid blasting your email fans with marketing messages; keep it at a content sharing level, and you will see massive returns in web traffic.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a TON of content sharing sites out there, but focusing on these basics will get you off to a good start.
Remember to Differentiate Content
One word of warning on content distribution: When you are sending out a press release/article, make sure that the distribution copy differs somewhat from the copy on your website. That way, Google won’t penalize your site for having duplicated content.
Please read Baer’s article for some great examples of quality shared content and think about how you can improve your content distribution. As Baer says, “Of course you want to get your audience to your website, eventually. But it is far easier to do so when you build a content bridge from other popular locations leading to that site.”