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Technology & InternetContent Marketing – Blogging is Not the (only) Answer
You have probably been told a million times that social media, web 2.0, and all those new networks are the current and future ways for companies to generate new business.
You probably saw numbers such as these, making you ask yourself, why am I not yet doing it:
- Blogging companies get up to 55% more traffic
- Blogging companies get up to 97% more Inbound links
- Blogging companies get up to 434% more indexed pages in search engines
- Blogging companies get up to 25x times more business leads
I am a sceptical person and a mathematician. We mathematicians have a saying: statistics are always as good as the one making them up. Basically, it means, you can support any story with numbers, if you choose the numbers accordingly. Most of the time, people just want to make a statement and just look for the right numbers to support their statement. Other numbers easily tell different stories - but it always looks very professional.
Understanding this bias, reassess the numbers above. They do not tell you how long the successful companies have been blogging (before the blog inspired a ROI), or how much time, energy and money went into producing content for the blog.
The numbers also do not tell you that it is getting harder and harder for any blogger to get attention just by blogging, as more and more content is produced for almost any topic on the web. Getting noticed means to put an endless amount of energy into helping your content become discovered, as most of us are not celebrities or already established within social media.
If you do not want (or do not have the time or resources) to hire or turn yourself into a SEO-specialist, consider taking other publishing opportunities into account. Here are some suggestions for how to do so:
1. Guest Post
Many already-established blogs accept guest posts. When looking for the ‘right’ blog to feature a contributed or guest piece, choose ones that are closely related to your professional field and target group. This will ensure the readership of the blog is really interested in what you have to contribute. Even though your guest post should fit into the hosting blog, make sure the topic you write about somehow connects back to you and your business.
Make sure to communicate with your readers; answer any comments on your articles. Interaction and a fluid dialogue help to establish a connection to your audience.
If you decide to stick with your company blog, guest posts can also help you push links and establish your own readership.
The drawback to guest posting is that you will probably post on more than one site. Your readers will have a hard time finding all the content you published if it is dispersed throughout the web. Especially in business, this is a big disadvantage, as all your publications add up to an extensive professional profile.
2. Forums, Q&A, Comments
Question & Answer forums are a great opportunity to get noticed within your target group. Sites like Quora and Focus offer great search options to find exactly the questions and topics relevant for your business. You can pose questions (as well as answers), and link back to your own page when it makes sense. With intelligent answers in your professional field, you can add to your online reputation and attract a following directly to your site.
Commenting on other people’s articles is also a great way to connect and assert your point of view in a tactful way. However, your comments may or may not provide the opportunity to link back to your site.
3. Offline Opportunities
With all the talk about the tremendous opportunities in social media and the potential to connect to a large number of people – do not forget about your offline channels and their advantages. The reality is, you have probably been doing content marketing without calling it by this name. The concept is not new and not an invention of social media.
Conferences, business fairs, seminars or interviews are great offline marketing tools. And additional bonus is that the offline material can later be turned into content that can be shared and spread online.
4. Publishing Platforms
The most famous content-based publishing platform is probably YouTube. If you are planning to publish video content, see this example of a company channel that has used a host of videos to establish a thorough profile for a company.
For copywriting and publishing written content, the content-based B2B platform, exploreB2B, is a great place to share industry and company related pieces. Here, you can publish your articles within industries or categories that help to make your content much easier to be found. Since users can subscribed to your industry (or topic), they will automatically be informed when you write a new article, giving you a certain amount of visibility. As with a YouTube channel, your personal or company profile on exploreB2B will sum up your articles to create an extensive, professional profile.
As platforms like YouTube or exploreB2B do not mind duplicate content, you can even use them as an additional outlet for you content while publishing on your own blog.
After you decide how you want to expand your exposure, utilize sharing outlets (Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon) to push your content. What you produce will depend on where it is best spread, but once you understand the difference between the sites, these channels can become invaluable business tools. The more useful information you publish and share, the more people will start to listen to you in these channels, allowing your audience to grow.
Imagine, all that without a blog.