Marketing needs content – and content can be hard work to produce! In my experience, lack of content it is the single biggest reason why website projects die before completion. I have even heard of clients paying for websites that never actually get published due to a lack of content! I have written previously about website development often having too much focus on design and the look of a site. I believe at least as much focus should be on good content, and once a site is published, the focus on regular, new content marches on…. It is certainly true that good content is the heart of an effective website, but once you have created your content, there are great opportunities to leverage your hard work! The internet, and the wider world, offer numerous options to publish your content:
- Social Media
- Guest Blogs
- Magazines, both on & off-line
Social media, external blogs, magazines etc.Just like you, they all need quality content and if you are producing relevant articles, there are often opportunities to get your work published by others meaning your work is seen by a wider audience. But there is an issue; these external media are all transient. Pretty quickly, your content gets overtaken by new stuff and disappears into the depths of the archives. This is why, IMHO, it is inefficient to write your content purely to be published on a platform where you don’t have influence over the flow of new content. Don’t waste your work – always use it first to build your own, managed archive on your website. Your content is then all available for your visitors for as long as you choose. It is also a great resource when talking to prospective clients. You can link them to relevant articles, case studies etc. reinforcing your credentials and demonstrating how you can help them.
An added bonus
New content also keeps your site fresh and up to date meaning it reflects your business as it is now, not just how it was when you launched your site. Even better, search engines love new content! Many of you will know I am not a fan of too much focus on ‘classical’ search engine optimisation but there is no question that regularly adding well written, relevant content to your site can have a significant positive impact on search rankings.
No need to wait for people to find your content
Just because you publish great content on your website doesn’t mean people will see it! Let people know what you are up to and invite them to your site. E-newsletters are a great option to engage with your existing contacts. By linking to content on your website you can keep your e-newsletters short and easy to scan. When a reader links through to content on your website, they also have opportunity to take a look around and get to know you better. A limitation of e-newsletters is that you can only send them to the people you know. This is where Social Media, Guest Blogs etc come into the picture. Your can reach out beyond your own contacts and engage with a wider audience – though you should always try to find an audience where there is a ‘fit’ with your business. Simply trying to spread the word to as many people as possible starts to sound like spam!
Here are my top tips for keeping your website at the heart of your marketing
- Be proud of your website. Make sure it tells your story. Want people to visit and browse
- Regularly write/create new content and always add it to your website
- Make sure all your content is properly categorised. Make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.
- Build a network of relevant external publishers and keep delivering quality content to spread your word even wider
- As always – stick at it!
To finish off, here is a great post from professional services marketing specialist Ian Brodie which adds another angle by suggesting that published content can also be effectively integrated with ‘performed’ content such as seminars and presentations.