By Katie Hall
In the age of digital marketing, you probably have an onsite content strategy for your business–even if you don’t call it that. Ebooks, white papers, case studies, blog posts–all the promotional information published to your company’s website constitutes your onsite content strategy.
Marketers understand the importance of publishing informative content on your website; at the very least, it proves to potential clients you have experience and expertise in your industry. In more tech-y, complicated terms, more content equals more links and therefore could boost your website’s search engine results page (SERP) listing.
For years, marketers have been hearing about the importance of utilizing a website to its full potential. After all, in the age of inbound marketing, your company’s website is its most effective salesperson. Cold calls are dead; when your potential clients discover your website, they should be able to find information that answers their initial questions and entices them to connect further with your company. But the question lingers: how can you drive target audience members to find your website in the first place?
As Google algorithms continue to change and the web gets inundated with more and more content, it’s time to step back and consider a different approach to marketing your company’s content: an offsite contribution strategy.
Onsite vs Offsite Content
What do you do with a blog post? If your company’s content creation process is anything like ours, it probably looks something like this: brainstorm and research a topic, write a blog post, send it through several rounds of edits, add a call to action (CTA), publish to the company blog, promote it on social media for a few weeks, and make a mental note that it’s in your content repertoire for future circulation before starting the process all over again.
As a best practice, we circle back to our older content to update statistics, add new links and refresh its social message once it’s been around for a year or so but for the most part, this is how business blogs work: you provide information for your potential clients and customers utilizing your industry expertise and publish that information in an easily accessible spot on your website.
Yes, this is a valuable and highly touted inbound marketing tactic and you should absolutely continue to publish blog posts (and any other helpful content that could inform your potential audience members). But don’t stop there! An offsite content strategy can help supplement your onsite content–with a few added benefits you may not have considered.
It’s simple, really. An offsite content strategy is merely a collection of methods for distributing your expertise elsewhere on the Internet than your own site.
“Selling unrealistic expectations sets up the agency’s strategy and creative team for failure and the agency with a non-renewal.”
It’s composed of several techniques that each aim to distribute your content in different ways, with different results, all intended to do the same thing: drive potential customers to your website. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can achieve this goal.
You’ve heard a lot about influencer marketing in the past few years; everything from teen Vine stars becoming millionaires through product placements to B-list celebrities suffering copy-and-paste caption nightmares on Instagram. There’s an idea that influencer marketing is for the rich and famous, and only applies to brands that can afford to pay a public figure with millions of social followers to shill their products to potential consumers.
But this idea is wrong. Influencer marketing is built on the concept of sharing an authority’s platform–and every industry has authorities, whether it’s B2B or B2C. Identify the industry verticals you’d like to reach potential clients in and then research high-ranking experts or websites in these industries. Once you have a good idea of the site’s tone and subject matter, create an article with links to your references and, of course, your own site or content.
Having your content posted to an industry authority’s site can help you twofold: first, you’re generating high quality inbound links, utilizing this site’s domain authority to direct people to your own website and maximizing your opportunity to rank higher in search engine results. Second, your content may be promoted to the site’s social channels, giving you extra publicity to a crowd you may not have previously tapped into.
Let’s circle back to those blog posts you publish and then ignore for the next six months until Google readjusts its algorithms (again). What if there was a way the same content you published to your site could be published elsewhere on the web without incurring the negative consequences of being labeled “duplicate content?” Ask and you shall receive: enter the practice of syndication.
Syndicating your blog on another website is a great way to ensure your content is seen by interested individuals. Inbound marketing is publishing your content to your website and other social channels for information seekers to find themselves. By syndicating your blog to a larger website with more monthly visits than you generate, you can once again leverage another niche target’s domain authority to have your content rank higher in search results. Find a website or high-ranking blog in your industry vertical and submit your website’s blog to be included in its roll.
Sharing your expertise isn’t only defined as writing 800-word posts and shopping them around the Internet to reach wider audiences. If you don’t think you have the resolve to churn out longform guest posts or haven’t been accepted as a syndicated blog on any websites, try turning over a few unorthodox leaves to find opportunities to contribute.
Question-and-answer sites housing user-generated content are growing in popularity as quick, go-to resources for communities of experts to answer common questions. From industry-specific websites to general sites with a variety of focuses, like Quora, using your industry expertise to answer users’ questions with links back to your website can help promote your company and its authority within your industry. Be on the lookout for industry-specific question and answer forums, and monitor general sites for opportunities to answer questions in your wheelhouse.
Your onsite content strategy is important for reaching audience members and proving your company’s expertise, but supplementing this with an offsite content strategy can only help promote your authority across the web.