So you've published content online. Great! Not only is this the first step toward raising brand awareness, but you're also tapping into brand-new audiences.
But what happens after your content goes live? What are you really getting out of it?
One of the biggest mistakes we see is taking a "set it and forget it" approach. These companies put so much work into creating amazing content, yet they do very little to maximize that content to get as much value out of it as possible. In fact, according to a survey of B2B marketers, only 43% measure content marketing ROI.
Content marketing can affect your brand in many ways, and by putting each piece of content to work across your company, you’ll start to see a true return on your content marketing investment.
Here’s how four key departments can help stretch your content marketing ROI:
This one might sound like a no-brainer, but you shouldn't simply share a piece of content once after it’s published and call it a day. You should be continuously sharing it on your company's social media accounts, as well as your company leaders’ accounts.
How often should you share that content? Well, it depends on the audience and the platform. But after testing a few strategies, we discovered that the sweet spot is roughly three times during the first week of publishing, once a week after that for a month, and then once a month if the content is high-converting.
Whew, that’s a lot of sharing!
Remember to share at different times and days of the week and to diversify the types of social posts you’re pushing out. To keep things fresh, consider sharing a compelling quote or statistic, posing a question that sparks discussion, or visualizing aspects of the content through custom graphics. You can even share snippets as a component of any relevant email campaigns.
Above all, remember to strategically add hashtags (two to three max) that are relevant to the article and tag any influencers or companies that are mentioned in the content.
Visit LinkedIn groups, Quora, or your favorite niche industry site to comment on buzzing industry conversations. You want these posts coming from the author’s account to avoid looking spammy. That said, also be intentional with your comment. If it doesn’t add value or spark an engaging conversation, you’ll likely get the boot. Forum managers can spot self-promotion in a heartbeat, so contribute to the conversation instead of just dropping a link.
If you contribute to an external publication, you can usually republish that article on LinkedIn using your personal account or on your company blog (check each publication's guidelines to make sure it allows this). As long as you include a link back to the original source to avoid duplicate content, repurposing content can boost exposure and generate qualified leads.
You can also republish your blog content on your LinkedIn account. For example, our CEO, Kelsey (Meyer) Raymond, repurposed her blog article about shrinking the sales cycle on LinkedIn and generated an additional 848 views and 13 leads because of her republished content.
Paid distribution falls under three main categories: paid search, paid social media, and content distribution. Each platform has its own costs and benefits. Remember that every audience is different, so focus on the paid distribution platform that works best for your company.
For larger, long-form content projects, like whitepapers and proprietary research reports, creating a press release is a great way to gain earned media and organic syndication. A distribution network like PR Newswire is just one example of how you can share your news with the world.
Your sales team can use content prior to sales conversations to educate leads — making the sales calls more productive. Encourage your sales team to send over links to relevant published content. This will prime prospects for more effective and meaningful conversations.
Having a bank of published content on hand will allow your sales team to easily access your published content rather than pore over article after article in search of the perfect post for each unique sales situation.
Your sales team can also break down barriers by utilizing sales enablement content to help answer objections during sales conversations. When planning your content strategy, aim to publish content that answers common objections your salespeople hear. This way, they can talk through the objections during sales conversations and direct leads to an article with even more information on the subject.
We recommend utilizing an email marketing campaign that references relevant published content to help nurture leads throughout the sales process. Optimize your lead nurturing campaign based on where leads are in the sales funnel to deliver relevant content.
When you reach out to reengage a lead that fizzled or a former client, include a link to recently published content you think will be valuable to them. Additionally, for content that's particularly high-performing, try to facilitate other ways that leads can engage with it. This could be a livestream Q&A on Facebook or Instagram, a webinar, or even a speaking engagement. Just be sure to always provide access to your original content.
You already have a band of powerful brand advocates who can help promote and comment on your content: your team members. Rallying the team around your content is a great way to extend the reach of your content marketing, share your company’s message on a human level, strengthen your company culture, and instill your company values.
Your HR department can teach future employees about your company culture and values by linking to a few relevant articles in job postings. And as a bonus, if candidates bring up the content during the interview process, you’ll know they took the time to do their research and are invested in the company. You can also use newsy content specific to your industry to reengage qualified candidates in the pipeline who might be a fit for future opportunities.
As you continue to grow your staff, published content lends itself to the training process. Send new hires relevant content so they can get to know the company leaders and how the company positions itself. They’ll better understand how the company operates and feel more confident — at no extra cost to you.
Email is an easy way to passively share your latest piece of content. Spruce up your email signature to include a link to your favorite article or your most recent and/or most engaging content. This boosts organic visibility without being pushy. Also, update your website and social media accounts, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, to include a list of the publications you contribute to. This will direct prospects to check out your work.
Spark a conversation with people in your network by sharing your published content with them via email. For instance, if you publish an article in a niche publication, send a friendly email to connections who are in your industry or would find it valuable for overcoming a similar barrier. You’ll increase views and network at the same time.
Earned media, particularly guest-contributed articles, can provide credibility because your content has to pass the muster of impartial editors before it's published. Use this to your advantage. Make sure to share bylined content in the application process for speaking engagements, awards, or any situation where you need to highlight your expertise.
Content isn't static. The more effort you put into maximizing your content, the more long-term value you'll see from it. Putting your published content to work across your entire company is the best way to enhance content marketing ROI and ensure your investment pays off in the long run.
I'm a senior content strategist at Influence & Co. I’m a travel nerd at heart and love talking about health, the nonprofit world, CSR, and entrepreneurship. When I’m not at ICo., you’ll find me drinking copious amounts of coffee, eating chocolate, restoring furniture, and watching made-for-TV movies.