Online Strategy Using Social Media part 2

Syndicating contentIn our previous post we looked at Building a Cohesive Social Brand as part of your online marketing strategy. Today we look at the second part, Syndicating Your Content. Syndication is just a fancy word for publishing, or even better “sharing”.

When you think about social media and online marketing what really differentiates a business in the long run is the content they share. Businesses that talk about themselves constantly are eventually ignored, but those that use their content to address problems, educate, inform, and entertain potential customers and clients have a shot at earning some business. And not just any content but relevant content of quality.

Creating content is a time consuming endeavor. If you are a large company you probably have people in your marketing department whose sole job is to develop new content regardless of the medium. For smaller companies without the resources you need to utilize the concept of “re-purposing content” For this strategy everything starts with your Blog.

For every blog post that you write your goal should be to re-purpose the post content as an article, a video, a podcast, as part of a monthly email newsletter, and where possible into an online news release.

Blogs are like the Swiss Army Knife of online marketing. They allow you to easily publish content in written, motion, and audio formats so that regardless of how your audience likes to consume content you can provide it. You can use keywords, links, and tags to improve your chances of being indexed by search engines. And its a lot easier to refresh content on your site through your blog rather than trying to update pages that were designed to be static. So we start with a blog post and re-purpose and syndicate away.

Syndicating Content

Articles: Before we can even look at articles we have to recognize that on Google’s last algorithm change they severely crippled many of the top article sites. Syndicating your content is not going to have the same effect that it might have in the past in regards to search engines.

Normally I would have recommended that you find 15 to 20 sites to submit to. For now I’m going to suggest you still submit your posts as articles to 5 to 10 sites. Here are some that I plan to continue submitting to: Ezine Articles (took a big hit but I want to see how things shake out over the next couple of months), ArticlesBase, Go Articles, The Freel Library, Article Snatch, Sooper Articles, and Self Growth.

Article sites may never recover but just in case I will continue to invest 20 minutes posting each blog post as an article to these sites. If you’re crunched for time though, posting articles would be the first thing I would eliminate for now.

Video: YouTube is the number two search engine in the world so if that doesn’t convey how important videos are I don’t know what will. There are other video sites such as Revver, Kewego, and Live Video that have helped me capture front page real estate in search engines for specific keywords. Try to upload your video to five sites and use keywords in the title.

A lot of people don’t use video because its either expensive to outsource or time consuming to do it yourself. You’ll need to experiment to see what works for you but you can start with some things as simple as a flip cam, record power point presentations and add a voice over (I love my Snowball USB mic), or use sites like Animoto or Masher. If you’re going to film yourself pay attention to the sound and lighting.

Podcasts: Podcasts are simple to create with a mic or even using a phone in service. For your topic simply use each blog post, and then expand a little on the subject. You can record as long as you want but I would try to keep each under 5 minutes. If you have more to say consider breaking things up into two or more segments. Once done publish your podcast to iTunes, Podcast Alley, and some of the other podcast sites.

Social Bookmarking: Social Bookmarking simply allows you to organize, manage, and share your bookmarked sites and pages. Some sites to consider include Digg, Reddit, Stumble Upon, Delicious (although yahoo may be pulling the plug …for now they are trying to find a buyer), and Google Bookmarks (create a list to make public). During this step I also create a Squidoo lens page and a Hubpage. They’re not bookmarks per se but I try to do similar tasks at the same time.

Email Newsletters: This is a simple and fast way to further share your blog. Create an email newsletter template and then at the first of each month use your blog posts from the previous month to create your newsletter.  This will keep you in front of those on your list and drive some traffic to your blog.

Online News Releases: Online News Releases are a great way to share what you or your company are doing while also building back links and driving some traffic. I love PRlog because its free (they have a reasonably priced paid version at $150 for 3 releases which I plan to try soon), but when I have serious news to share I look to PRweb. Their Basic service is $80 but if its in the budget I would opt for their Advanced service priced at $200.

Just make sure that what you are sharing is newsworthy and that you spend some time formatting the release correctly. Not a bad time to bring in a copywriter.

Putting It All Together

So now we’ve created our cohesive social brand. We’ve re-purposed and syndicated our content. How does it all tie together?

1. First your blog post is posted to your site and then filtered to your social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter). You can automate this by posting on Twitter and feeding to Facebook and LinkedIn. You can post individually to craft a message longer than 140 characters.

2. When you create your video, podcast, and online news you’re going to also syndicate these to your social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter …plus the relevant directories). This helps with engaging your communities, plus Google is indexing content on social sites so it can lead to back links. These also have the potential to drive traffic to your site or blog.

3. Your Articles (maybe) and Bookmarks can also be indexed by Google

4. Your email newsletter should drive traffic to your site and blog.

Graphically here is how it looks.

Sydicating content to social networks and to be indexed by search engines

There are some other pieces that I don’t cover here or in the video. For instance you can advertise on the search engines, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other relevant social sites. You can join relevant forums or online communities and contribute. You can guest blog. We haven’t even touched on the subject of making sure your site is optimized for search.

There’s a lot of information above so if you are just getting your feet wet start by creating a blog. Try to post at least twice each week and over time begin the process of re-purposing your posts. It takes time to see results but if you’re in business for the long run the benefits will eventually catch up to you.

Tosee parts 1 and 2 together watch the video (full screen viewing is recommended due to the size of some of the text)



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Published by

Sean Nelson

Sean has been a Keynote speaker at Norvax University, conducts social media workshops and webinars, and has released three books on LinkedIn and written several social media guides. Sean currently runs Social Media Sonar, which in addition to providing free resources, manages social media strategies and tactics for companies. He is also a partner in Surge Labs, a conversion rate optimization company, helping companies improve conversions and profitability through scientific testing of Landing Pages, Websites, Email communications, and Shopping Carts.