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June 22, 2011

SEO Content Marketing and Cross-Pollination – A SEO-News Exclusive Article

Everyone knows that in the world of SEO, content is king. Content can be anything published online that is public and shareable. This includes web page content, blogs, articles and whitepapers, videos, podcasts, infographics and diagrams, studies, interviews, presentations and more. A strong content marketing campaign is a critical component to any SEO and web marketing plan. Over time, great content will attract quality, natural links. But even the best content could stand to have a little promotion pushing it through the Internet pipelines.

One way to help promote your content is through cross-pollination. This involves taking the same piece of content and distributing it across a variety of networks. Each platform has its own unique audience, so while the messaging remains the same, the structure and format of the content has to be adjusted to meet the needs and expectation of each audience.

Step 1

Let’s say your company recently launched a new product. The first step is to develop a new page of web content that describes that product and publish it to your site. Now, having a new product doesn’t really help your company if nobody knows about it. So next you write and release an online press release (in addition to your offline PR campaign). Where do you get the information to write that online press release? The product page, of course. In the press release you link back to your main site and product page with the appropriate anchor text.

Step 2

On the same day the press release is scheduled to be distributed, you also have a promotional blog post go live on the company blog. While most blog posts should be educational (especially true for a B2B company), a post about the company itself every once and awhile is perfectly acceptable. Your blog post outlines the benefits of your new product, which audiences would benefit from it, what problems it solves and so forth. You can also link from the blog post back to the product page, helping drive traffic. If you sell software, for instance, you can encourage readers to download a free demo trial and push readers through to that landing page.

Step 3

To make your current customer base aware of your new product, it’s a good idea to send out a promotional email blast to all your newsletter subscribers. One way to encourage sales is to offer your current customers a discounted price for your new product. Having a special incentive only available to your repeat customers rewards them for purchasing from your company. It helps foster goodwill with your audience and encourages new customers to sign up for your newsletters.

Make it easy for others to help promote your content by making your newsletters “shareable.” By including links to social networking sites in the content itself, you are encouraging your audiences to help spread the message and push your content in front of an even wider audience.

Step 4

Don’t forget about your own social networking capabilities! You can post a preview of the blog post to your Facebook page or Tweet a link back to the product page itself. LinkedIn Groups are a great place to submit content. People have already self-identified themselves into sub-segments, so you can get very specific with what kind of people you present your content to. There are hundreds of niche social networking sites for you to get involved in as well. Make sure you abide by the unique rules and etiquette of each social network. What works for Facebook may not fly with your Twitter audience.

Step 5

Part of SEO and social media marketing is developing a blogger outreach program. This involves building relationships with influential bloggers in your industry. In the long run, a strong relationship with a blogger has much more value than just getting a link in their blog roll; promoting your content is one of those times relationships come in handy. If you have a good enough relationship with an industry blogger, you can ask them to review your product and publish their opinion on their blog.

First off, this introduces your product to their loyal readership base, which could be thousands of people every day. Secondly, a good review from an influential blogger is much more powerful than all the promotional messages you could send out. That kind of 3rd party endorsement goes a long way in convincing potential customers to buy (or at least look at) your product or services.

Step 6

If you have the budget for it, invest in a little online advertising to promote your new product. You can buy small ads on popular industry blogs or wide-reaching newsletters. You can also develop a PPC campaign, encouraging targeted traffic through to your site or designated landing page.

Each of these 6 steps took the same basic piece of content, the new product page on your website, tweaked it and spread it across a variety of platforms. This kind of cross-pollination helps drive targeted traffic through to your site, keeps them engaged for longer and increases your chance of conversion. For instance, someone who has Liked you on Facebook sees your blog post pop up in their newsfeed, so they click over to your company’s page. In order to read the full post, they have to go to your company blog. Since you have linked from the blog post to the product page, it isn’t difficult for them to delve deeper into your site. In just three clicks you took them from off-site to an internal page, thanks to cross-pollination.

Cross-pollinating your content promotion also helps reinforce your message. Someone might not bother to click from your newsletter to your site, but after seeing the newsletter, reading the review posted by another blogger and seeing your PPC ad, they are convinced to check it out. Each of those touch points worked together to get that visitor to convert.

Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing, a full-service Boston SEO company. With over 12 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his B2C and B2B SEO knowledge by
posting daily SEO articles to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal. Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-350-4365 or