Beyond the Blog: Offsite Content Marketing Channels That Perform
You’ve crafted a robust blog post, developed an engaging presentation, or compiled insightful observations on the latest news and industry trends. Armed with your valuable content, you head to your blog and publish and wait for the magic to happen.
And it may. But week over week, month over month, you will reach the limits of pushing your content out on the same platform to the same audience.
It’s tempting to be possessive with content – if it’s going to perform well, shouldn’t it be performing well on my website? Like Gollum, you keep your precious close, despite what the hobbits of the world might do for you – and as a result you may end up invisible.
Why Give Away the Precious? We Hates the Stupid Hobbitses.
As much as an article, infographic or video must rely on its own merits, it is also the product of its environment. Great content will grow your traffic and business, but if your content only has your site and its audience to work with, it will necessarily be limited in what it can do.
While offsite publication avenues should be chosen strategically, there are great benefits to be won by pushing your content out onto new channels: reaching an expanded audience, providing a different take or voice on your content, and bolstering content creation authority. Remember, the goal is buoy your business not a given blog post.
So Where Do I Publish?
There are many options for content publication beyond your own site, any number of them with better traffic and an engaged audience you aren’t currently reaching. When looking to publish content offsite, the objective should be to leverage opportunities that don’t exist on your website. Here are a few prime examples:
Tapping into a relevant industry blog is a fantastic way to extend the reach of your content. Guest blogging allows you to build relationships and establish expertise in your field.
Why Guest Blogging
- Reach a wider audience. By publishing on another established blog, you create the opportunity to tap into a readership who may not be familiar with you and cross-pollinate your primary site.
- Built-in trust. Publishing on another’s site means your content carries an inherent trust factor created by the site owner. Anyone can publish to their own blog, but if you’re on a site I already trust then I’m halfway to liking you.
- Build authority as a content creator. Expanding your authorship, implicitly and via Google Authorship, to multiple reputable sites helps elevate all the content you create.
- Inbound links. While a secondary benefit to guest blogging, linking to your author profile and relevant onsite content is a nice perk.
Google+ is a Swiss Army knife of a platform. It has social and SEO aspects, but also functions quite well as a native content publication platform in its own right.
- 100,000+ character limit. While there are benefits to posting directly to any social platform, Google+ enjoys a roomy character limit for native content posting (formally there is no limit, but many experience snafus above100,000 characters).
- Formatting options. Unlike Facebook, for example, Google+ allows for limited content formatting. Beyond the aesthetics, a post with a bolded title may rank for that title.
- Targeted sharing. Carefully manicured Circles mean content published on Google+ can be shared directly with industry thought leaders and influencers.
- Social media growth. While most social sharing relies on an endorsement or share based on users clicking through to the linked content (or on the thumbnail blurb if it’s concise and compelling), publishing natively to Google+ means readers don’t have to go anywhere to read (and endorse) your content.
- Your page will gain authority over time. Publishing and sharing content on Google+ will build authority on that platform over time. Mark Traphagen has a great piece exploring how profiles and pages can develop and rank in Google.
Slideshare, the presentation sharing site, is a fantastic channel to publish content, whether it’s a new slide deck or repurposing an existing presentation.
- Business-focused channel. Slideshare is a platform targeted to an audience expecting to learn. Users you reach here are more likely to be receptive to your narrative, provided it’s well done, so don’t rush this piece of your content marketing out the door as an afterthought.
- Bite-sized, consumable content. The ability to distill an hour-long presentation into a few dozen slides makes it an appealing prospect for content consumers.
- Alternative content formats. Slideshare relies heavily on the visual format, including slide decks and now infographics. Moving beyond wordy posts means reaching the visual learners who want the message without the wall of text.
Go Outside and Play
The options for offsite publishing include these and more. Thinking beyond your own blog and looking at ways to reach readers where they’re already hanging out is a key step to growing a relevant audience quickly. Shake free from the territorial mindset and put your content tools to work for you wherever they can take root.
About David Gould
David is the Director of Strategy at Vertical Measures, working with brands to develop successful online marketing programs that pull together business goals with customer needs. His 15 years experience in writing, design and web development have provided a perfect complement of skills for effective content marketing and strategy. +David Gould