Content Marketing – How Would You Bring the Conversation to Your Own Site?

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Listen – Image by @El Payo on Flickr

Recently we received a reply to our post Content Marketing – the New Black in SEO from Igor Schwartzman of WellWire.com that brought up some interesting ideas for content marketing. Igor posed the question “How would you bring the conversation to your own site?” While in our original post we explain that you should create and share quality content Igor posted a 3 point strategy to drive actual conversation to your website creating an interactive experience for consumers. These 3 points are LISTEN, PARTICIPATE and ASK.

  • Listen -  keep track of social media especially Twitter and Facebook to see what people are talking about and what is trending. You can then make sure that you are providing content that what people want. Provide content that people are actively talking and searching for and you’re more likely to drive people to your site. There is no point in blindly posting content without first checking people want to read it as you won’t achieve anything. There are a number of tools for keeping track of trending topics on Twitter and Facebook as well as what people are searching for on Google so use these to provide up to date interesting content that engages with the public.
  • Participate - if you want participation on your own blog/site/social media then participate on others. Respond to questions and comment on interesting material linking back to your own content where necessary. If nobody participated the internet would just be full of unread content. Don’t just aimlessly throw links around but actually get involved and try and be helpful and interesting; if you can provide an answer to a question by linking back to your website then you know that you are providing content to someone who has asked for it. Also make sure respond to comments on your own site – if people are commenting on your content then you should show that you appreciate their interest. Thank everybody who takes the time to comment as this will encourage commenting in the future and help drive debate.
  • Ask - If you ask questions in your content then you invite answers. Ask a question that has a number of different answers and you may spark a debate. A debate on your site is a great way to keep content fresh as every reply creates fresh content on your site. Asking a question at the end of a post shows readers that you value their opinion. Receiving a load of replies is great but responding to them is even better. If for all the content you create you pose a question, receive an answer and give a reply then you are increasing the appeal of the content, showing that people want to interact with you and that you are willing to engage in interesting debates.

Courting Controversy

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Image By @Scott McLeod on Flickr

In his comment Igor quoted Guy Kawasaki (former Apple chief) as saying “you’re not doing something right unless you’re pissing someone off”, suggesting that you should create content that polarises people. This is a controversial method for creating online content and you may be thinking that you want to aim to please everyone but this can often be seen as boring – people will agree and move on. If someone is drawn into a strong opinion after reading your content they are more likely to respond and share. Even negative comments can be good as long as they are not damaging to your reputation you reply in a sensible and interesting manner. If you delete all negative comments you’re just putting your head in the sand and people are likely to notice if they’re comments keep going missing. Show that you are willing to take constructive criticism and respond in a thought out manner and it will do wonders for you reputation and help you gain trust online.

Summary

To maximise the potential of content marketing you must provoke conversation. Engage with your followers and create connections. Remember that every comment on a blog or social network is extra content for your site and is likely to attract more traffic! People will take more notice if they can see something already has a lot of interest.

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