First, remarkable content attracts links from other websites pointing to your website. In other words, you want your content to prompt other content producers on the Web to “remark” about your products and services and link back to your site. Every one of these links (remarks) gives you a double win: The links send you qualified visitors, and they signal to Google that your website is worthy of ranking for important keywords in your market. More links equals more traffic from relevant sites, in addition to more traffic from Google via search-double win!
Second, remarkable content is easily and quickly spread on social media sites, such as Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Reddit, Facebook, among others. If you create a remarkable blog article or whitepaper, it will spread like wild fire within your market today, relative to how quickly it would have spread just a few years ago.
Building a Content Factory
To make this double win work for your company, you need to create lots of remarkable content. The people who win really big on the Web are the media/content companies (e.g., Wikipedia, New York Times, Tech Crunch, etc.) who have a factory for creating new content. Each piece of content that has links to it can be found through those sites linking to it and through Google, and it can be spread virally through social media sites. A savvy inbound marketer learns from the media companies and is half traditional marketer and half content creation factory.
The nice thing about remarkable content with lots of links to it is that the links never go away; as you create more content, it just produces more qualified traffic on top of the traffic you are getting on your older content. Remarkable content works in the exact opposite way of paid advertising where you pay and have to keep paying to get more visitors to your site. Remarkable content is the gift that keeps on giving, so you need to become really good at creating lots of it!
Variety Is the Spice of Life
To keep things simple, create content that you can produce rapidly and that people can effectively spread online. Here are some examples:
- Blog articles- One-page articles on topics related to your industry.
- White papers- Five-to seven-page papers that educate your marketplace on an industry trend, challenge, etc. White papers shouldn’t be about products.
- Videos- Short two-to three-minute videos about your industry. Product videos are good too, but do not spread as easily.
- Webinars-Live online PowerPoint presentations on an industry topic.
- Podcasts-Ten-to twenty-minute audio programs or an interview with industry experts similar to radio shows.
- Webcasts-Live video shows viewed online.
You Gotta Give to Get
The counter-intuitive thing about remarkable content is that the more you give, the more you get. The more remarkable the content and the more transparent you are about your remarkable content, the more links to your site and the better it will rank in the searchengines. Think about the Grateful Dead from the previous post-they gave away lots of content and business came back to them in spades.
You want to move away from the mindset of hiding all of your remarkable content in your founder’s/salesperson’s/ consultant’s head and use that content to attract links to your site, which will then attract visitors and move your site up the Google ranks.
Moving Beyond the Width of Your Wallet
Ten years ago, your marketing effectiveness was a function of the width of your wallet. Today, your marketing effectiveness is a function of the width of your brain. You no longer need to spend tons of money interrupting your potential customers. Instead, you need to create remarkable content, optimize that content (for search engines, RSS readers, and social media sites), publish the content, market the con· tent through the blogosphere and social mediasphere, and measure what is working and what is not working.
You want to think of yourself as half marketer and half publisher. You might consider making your next full-time marketing hire be a writer/journalist, rather than a career marketer.
Tracking Your Progress
You need only track a few simple things to see how well you are doing at creating lots of remarkable content.
First, track the number of other websites linking to your website. Every time a new website links to yours, it is a vote for your site being remarkable. Each of these links is like a new road being built to your City and enables more people to find your products and services more easily. You will want to track the number of websites linking to you today and then track this metric over time, as it will give you a sense for whether the marketplace thinks you have increasingly remarkable things to say!
Second, track the number of times someone uses Delicious to bookmark your site. Delicious (Delicious.com) is a social bookmarking site that is very similar to the book· marking feature on your Web browser, but it is centralized. By tracking the number of people who are bookmarking your site over time, you can get a sense for how remarkable your content is. If no one is bookmarking your site, then no one finds the content remarkable, which means that you probably need to rethink your unique value proposition. If you have a nice increase in the number of people bookmarking your site or articles, it means that more and more people think your content is interesting and want to return to it.
Third, track the number of pages on your site that have been indexed by Google and are ready to be served on moment’s notice to an eager searcher. The more pages you have in Google’s index, the more words you can rank for.
An easy way to track your links, your Delicious bookmarks, and the number of pages indexed by Google is by running your website through website.grader.com, which gives all of these numbers for your website in a free report. You ought to check that early and often.
This article is an excerpt from the book “Inbound Marketing” Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.