Content marketing is the core of successful corporate communication. But content is not a guarantee for sure-fire success, however great your content is. Every successful content marketing strategy needs a sustainable content seeding plan to spread the word.
Content seeding helps corporate communications to spread the word beyond its website or blog and build an extensive network of touch-points for customers and prospects. Through seeding, marketing content and campaigns can be re-used and syndicated for various content formats and channels. This saves valuable time and resources for content creation and also boosts efficiency, sustainability, and visibility.
By positioning a corporate blog as a strategic content creation lab and resource center, as well as a central hub for social engagement, it helps to establish your company’s position as an industry thought-leader. A seeding strategy can extend the reach of all your content marketing activities and reach out to your prospects wherever they are.
Content Seeding: Publish your content where your readers are
Whenever you publish a new post on your corporate blog, only a fraction of potential readers will actually find their way directly to your website. A content seeding strategy takes the content to places where potential readers are already looking for content.
The reach of digital media helps companies to build a network of potential touch-points for customers on the internet. These are channels where potential customers are searching for information, where they ask questions or discuss specific topics with each other.
Many social media platforms are so-called owned media, where companies can publish content by themselves. The more platforms you use, the more reach and visibility you get for your corporate communication strategy. However, always make sure to select the right social media channels for your target audience and monitor your performance regularly.
4 Steps to Setting up a Content Seeding Plan
Step 1: Goals and KPIs
Consider what goals you want to achieve with your content strategy and set goals:
- More traffic
- Better reputation
- More response and engagement
- More sales
- Better reviews and ratings
Step 2: Content production and content optimization
Despite the content marketing credo, many marketers continue to share content directly connected to products and services.
A solid content marketing strategy should provide a valuable resource of helpful content for customers and prospects.
Focus on content quality: quality content is content that provides
- Answers to key questions (i.e. burning issues in your industry, issues coming up in sales and customer support)
- Solutions for common problems and challenges in your industry
- Insights, tips, trends, industry know-how, and case studies
Create content formats that your customers are particularly looking for:
- Articles (71%)
- Studies (51%)
- Background information (27%)
Develop a mix of news content and help content
- Industry news
- Background information
- How to
- GTD (Getting Things Done) templates
Help content for business basics can always serve as evergreen content. Plus, you can refresh it from time to time to save creating brand new material.
Repurposing your content for multiple content formats provides you with more options for seeding your content across multiple channels, i.e.
- Blog posts
- Articles and guest posts
- Press releases
- Presentations and slideshows
- White papers and e-Books
- Social media posts
- Images and infographics
For every piece of content you can create various other content formats, i.e.:
How to turn your content into multiple media format portfolio
- Turn your key facts and images into a slideshow
- Screencast your slideshow into a short video clip
- Add voice to your content and turn it into a podcast
- Turn long posts into a white paper or ebook
- Write a checklist
- Create an infographic
- Repurpose your content as guest posts for other industry related sites
Always make sure you made the most out of each piece of content you produce before you start creating new content.
By repurposing your content, you can re-use and multiply your content more economically. This can save you a lot of time and resources for producing new content for all your channels.
And, don’t let your evergreen content go stale. Re-fresh and re-share it on a regular basis.
How to optimize your content for the search engines
The purpose of content within a content seeding strategy is to get found by potential customers who are searching for specific topics. With a profound content marketing and content seeding strategy across various channels, your content will get closer to your potential customers. Seeding will bring your content to places where your customers and targets are actually looking for content, discussing topics or asking questions.
However, to get discovered, your content has to be turned into a searchable format so that it’s more likely to get found by your target audience. With the growing complexity of search engine algorithms, the visibility of content primarily depends on the individual search behavior and current interest of users. Only relevant content will hit the target. Optimizing content for your customers’ search behavior must play a vital role in the content production process:
- Keywords: integrate the right keywords into your content. Look out for keywords that contain relevant search terms and phrases your targets will be most likely use for searching your topics. By using keyword optimization, you can improve the ranking of your content in organic search results, and the reach and visibility of your content on the internet.Optimize your headlines and descriptions with clear statements and keywords. Also integrate your keywords into your copy and descriptions of videos, images, and infographics. Likewise, use hashtags for social media content. By optimizing your content for substantial search terms, your content will more likely show up in media search, hashtags search or keyword search in search engines and social media.
- Links: Another key factor of content optimization for the content seeding process is to integrate links to your website. Deep links on landing pages will ensure that interested readers can navigate to further information on your blog or website without the hassle of searching. Links provide a direct connection between content published on external sites or media platforms and your corporate blog or website.
Step 3: Content distribution
If you have several different content formats in place, you will be able to distribute them across various social media platforms and channels.
Select the platforms and social networks that best serve your target group
- General networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (profiles, pages and/or product pages, groups)
- For B2B communication and recruiting: LinkedIn (profiles, business pages and/or product pages, groups)
- Visual channels for images and videos: Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube
- Blog networks and industry sites for content syndication: Medium, Tumblr, Bloglovin’, LinkedIn Pulse (B2B)
- Special interest sites and communities: Reddit, Facebook, Google+, XING, LinkedIn
- Content networks: Slideshare, Scribd, Issuu
- Young targets: WhatsApp, Snapchat
On most social sites and platforms, you can set up profiles for your company or even start a group on your topic. There are also multiple free news sites, where you can set up a media kit to publish articles, press releases, documents, images or videos. On many sites and platforms, your content can be re-published, syndicated or linked to your original website content. On all sites, you can search for topic related groups, discussions or questions and link to your content.
Always publish your content on your corporate blog or site and wait a few days before you re-publish and syndicate it on other sites. This allows search engines to index the source first.
Content distribution channels
- Share your blog posts on social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, XING, LinkedIn, Reddit and more.
- Share and link your blog post in relevant social media groups and current discussions on the topic.
- Syndicate your blog post on other blogging networks such as Medium, Tumblr, Torial, LinkedIn Pulse, Facebook Instant Articles, Flipchart, Reddit, and GrowthHackers.
- Share your images and infographics on image networks such as Flickr, Pinterest, and Instagram. And also on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, XING, and LinkedIn, etc. so you can re-share your posts with different visual tags.
- Share and link your blog post in social news and social bookmarking networks, e.g. Diigo, Digg, StumbleUpon or Delicious.
- Publish your blog post and or complementary whitepapers, case studies and presentations as documents on content networks such as Slideshare, Scribd or Issuu.
- Convert your content into slideshows and videos and publish them on YouTube, but also on Facebook, Vimeo, Google+ or Slideshare.
- Read your content into a podcast and publish it on iTunes and Soundcloud.
- Publish the story of your blog post as a press release on news sites and special interest sites, and use distributors like PRWeb or PR-Gateway to get more reach.
- Turn your story into guest posts and syndicate them on special interest and industry sites in your niche.
- Search more blogs and media sites for key influencers in your industry and network with them. Curate content from them and ask them to curate yours.
- Link to your content in relevant comments and discussions on influencer sites.
Cross-promote your content across multiple sites and channels, but consider the specifics of each channel and target group, with individual comments and hashtags. Learn how to set up a social media cross-promotion for your corporate communications strategy. Use smart social media automation to help you with your distribution tasks, but always stay human behind your strategy.
Step 4: Monitoring and optimizing your seeding strategy
Depending on the goals and KPIs you defined in Step 1, monitor and measure the performance of each traffic source of your content seeding strategy regularly, and optimize your channels.
Monitor traffic sources
Analyze which seeding channels send you the best-performing traffic and traction according to your KPIs, i.e.
Monitor content performance and community engagement
The social signals on your posts are the safest way to show you which posts and content generate the best response on each channel:
- Subscribers and followers
Optimize your seeding channels
Depending on your goals and KPIs, focus on those channels driving the best-performing traffic to your website and on those triggering the most engagement from your users.
But don’t quit less-performing channels. Instead, try various types of content on each channel and see what works best. Each social media platform allows different options to present your content, and each community reacts differently towards content formats and comments.
Community behavior can change over time, and some channels need more time to develop performance and engagement. However, drive most of your energy to the best performing channels.
Content seeding across multiple channels will make your corporate communication strategy more effective and more economical. The ever-growing social web is forcing companies to be present and to provide a continuous stream of fresh content on multiple social platforms.
Re-using and seeding content with various content formats on multiple social channels will extend the lifespan of your content and build an extensive network of touch-points for your customers and prospects.
From a PR point of view, content seeding will increase visibility and public awareness for your content. From a marketing point of view, seeding can directly reach your target groups and encourage engagement. And, from an SEO perspective, content seeding will increase the number of quality backlinks to your site, which helps your ranking.