By Oliver Wellington, Co-Founder, nRelate
In today’s complex digital landscape a solid content strategy won’t see success without three core components: search, social, and discovery. Many companies focus on just one or two areas without considering how individual tactics can be integrated into one overarching content strategy. It won’t be enough to get your content the exposure it deserves if only one area is emphasized. Whether it’s time, resources, or budget, investments need to be made in each area, and departments need to be on the same page.
Since the inception of search engines, Internet geeks have explored innovative ways to optimize their content to be seen in expanding search engine results pages by people who were looking for it. For a long time the SEO conversation was focused on how to optimize through keywords, back links, and crawlability. While many of the basic philosophies are still valid today, most of the tactics have changed with search engines cracking down on shady SEO practices and the introduction of social media. People are still performing searches, but the results are a more complex and the users are smarter.
Today, SEO is less about keyword stuffing and more about quality unique content, less about back links and more about content placement. Translation: search engines know how differentiate smoke and mirrors from the real deal.
To be competitive at optimizing content for social media, it requires more than tweeting a link once. Posts to social platforms need to be engaging, humorous, timely, visual, and digestible. Providing quality and compelling content to accompany an attention-grabbing status is obviously a must.
Don’t be afraid to recycle content. Curation is widely accepted and necessary to stay competitive; it isn’t cheating if the same piece of content is tweeted multiple times a day or even over the span of a few weeks. Social feeds are crowded, and being noisy will get your content seen. However, it’s always a good idea to mix up the text because even if the first post didn’t prompt a user to click, a second version might. It’s also a great way to do testing to see what tag lines are the most compelling to your audience.
Content needs to be strategically put in front of the right people at the right time. Sometimes that means being strategic about platforms, timing, and repeating yourself until someone notices.
Content Discovery Through Syndication
Think of search and social as the foundation to your content strategy. They make up the nuts and bolts, but what will make your content rise to the top? Syndication completes a perfect trifecta for any successful content marketing strategy.
With more content being shared on more channels than ever before, ensuring that every piece of content produced gets its fair shot at being seen by a target audience is more important than ever. Not only does every piece of content need to be searchable and shareable, but it also needs to be discoverable. What good is any piece of content if it can’t be found?
Syndication platforms that place content in context with related pieces can increase the visibility, and therefore the discoverability among new readers. Syndicating content can also give content a longer shelf-life; it won’t be buried under a few weeks’ worth of blog posts or social feeds, so it’s more likely consumers will see it weeks after it has originally posted. This is similar to the idea of tweeting out a piece of content multiple times.
Putting The Trifecta Together
When assembling your content strategy, it’s crucial to consider all three parts and make sure they are moving together. Before putting the moving parts into place, you must commit to creating unique and fresh content on a frequent basis in order for your trio to work in your favor.
From an SEO perspective each new piece should include targeted keywords that are integrated into compelling content and headlines. The URL for this piece should be clear, include the keyword, and be easily crawlable for search engines. After the piece of SEO optimized content goes live, it needs to be shared across all relevant platforms with captivating tag lines to go with links. That link can be shared multiple times in the day or week using different creative tag lines.
The final step is deciding to put this piece of content up for syndication, giving your content that extra boost it needs to be seen by people who are looking for it. In addition to serving up your content next to relevant and like-minded articles and videos, many platforms allow for real-time performance analytics and the ability to tweak content as needed, which should be taken advantage of to test out different headlines or copy.
The result: One single piece of content that has been truly maximized
In order to remain competitive in the world of content, you can’t have a content marketing strategy with just search and social. Having a comprehensive trifecta plan that integrates discovery through syndication, and works in tandem with a solid SEO content and social media plan, will ensure that a brand’s content lives on the right sites, and is read by the target demographic.