We write a lot on Beyond PR about how to create content. Jamie Heckler’s 77 Types of Content to Feed Your Audience, for instance, has been one of our most popular blog posts to date. It’s a great piece of content; however, even great content on an owned channel can’t reach new audiences without help.
Owned digital channels, like company blogs and websites, are valuable, and it is important to leverage them. They help you nurture an already engaged audience and serve as a destination for people wanting to learn about your business.
Owned media is your home base. It’s where you want to drive traffic so that calls to action can convert visitors to customers.
But you need strategic promotions to get new customers there. To reach beyond your sphere of influence you have to leverage channels you don’t own and don’t have full control over.
Let’s start with what I like to call borrowed media: social profiles. These are often lumped in with owned media, and in a way I agree, but since they are under the hospices of the social networks themselves, you don’t truly own them.
There are rules and regulations you need to adhere to. Whether your posts are seen by your followers or whether you can continue to have a presence is up to the social networks and their algorithms.
Social media channels are valuable, to be sure, but they are borrowed properties. Leverage them extensively, but don’t put all your eggs in those baskets.
Remember to use your social presence wisely. Create community and engage new audiences by sharing useful information people will want to share and participating in conversations that are not started by you.
Hashtags can be a great way to do this, whether through Twitter chats or just ongoing discussions. And, of course, part of your strategy will be to share content from your owned channels to drive audiences to where you can fully engage with them.
Guest blogging and publishing
Another great way to reach new audiences is to publish on other properties, like industry blogs or online publications.
For blogs, do your research and identify outlets that publish guest content. You should also be mindful of the content you pitch. No one is likely interested in publishing a product promotion.
Offer content that is insightful and addresses issues that matter to that blog’s audience.
The payoff will be your byline, which can help you develop authority and hopefully link back to your owned property. For example: “Author John Smith leads product development for XYZ Corp and regularly contributes to its blog, xyzcorp.com/blog.”
Writing articles for industry publications can be similar, but might take a little more effort and preparation, especially if it’s a larger publication.
You may need to demonstrate your potential by providing links to previously published work or an already finished article. Understanding the publications you’re pitching is critical to success and if you can find a niche your chances will be much better.
Syndicating content across third-party sites can be a valuable visibility tool by putting your brand’s message or thought-leadership in front of new audiences.
One way to do this is to write a content press release linking to your owned media and using a service that will distribute it to relevant websites.
This can lead to strong brand recognition and traffic back to your owned and linked properties. Press releases can also result in earned media, even press releases that are promoting a piece of content.
When distributing your release, it’s important to use a service whose network of websites and media has been vetted for relevance and credibility. The press release should also provide unique and useful information that leaves your audience wanting more.
Download our white paper PR & SEO: Still Driving Discovery to learn how to craft and distribute releases that will reach the right people and move your content’s message beyond your owned channels.