It’s every content marketer’s dream to have a perfect company blog. Imagine your site filled with a variety of content that shares unique and thoughtful insights, from exceptionally written articles to interactive infographics to professional videos. It’s enough to make any marketer swoon.
Unfortunately, even this stellar blog of your dreams isn’t enough on its own to get your brand in front of your full audience. It’s unlikely that your entire target audience already visits your blog regularly, so by posting only to your own site, you miss out on reaching those potential consumers who don’t follow you yet.
Enter guest-contributed content. Guest posting is a natural and effective way to meet consumers where they already are, and it promotes your ideas, raises brand awareness, and, ultimately, increases your bottom line.
The Right Way to Contribute Guest Content
There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to get started guest posting, and many marketers stumble at first. Publication editors are looking for specific types of content to fit their guidelines, so there’s more to guest posting than simply rehashing an article you were already going to post on your site and sending it to every editor in town. A successful guest posting strategy requires you to take the time to understand exactly what editors are looking for.
That’s why my team at Influence & Co. asked them. We surveyed editors at leading online publications and studied more than four million pieces of published content to compile “The State of Digital Media,” a report all about what editors want and how marketers can create better content. Here’s a look at some of the insights we uncovered.
1. Editors Want to Publish Your Content
The majority of editors we surveyed (61 percent) said they’re planning to publish more contributed content in 2017, and 35 percent said they’ll publish the same amount. Only four percent said they were slowing down on guest posting.
Editors are eager to share contributed content. It gives their audiences fresh perspectives and ideas from thought leaders they may have never heard of before, and it relieves them of the responsibility of providing those insights entirely on their own. This also benefits marketers, because by posting content that reaches different audiences, you also expand your base of future brand advocates.
Because contributed content is already a key strategy for many leading publications, editors already have guidelines and processes in place to make it easier for you to submit content. All you have to do is craft content that fits those guidelines and speaks to the publication’s unique audience, then pitch your content to the editor. If there was ever a time to consider adding guest content to your strategy, this is it; there’s never been a better time to start contributing expert content.
There’s never been a better time to start contributing expert guest content.
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2. Guest Posting Includes More Than Just Thought Leadership Articles
When you think about contributing content to publications, you most likely think of written articles, but plenty of editors are looking for wide varieties of content to publish. Of the editors we surveyed, 57 percent said they were willing to publish informational interviews, 48 percent were looking for infographics, and 45 percent were willing to publish videos. If you’re already investing in different forms of content for your own blog and website, just extend that investment to your guest content. If your interviews, infographics, and videos fit the guidelines of another publication, you can contribute those diverse content types and keep offering value to new audiences.
3. Social Shares Are Key If You Want to Keep Contributing
Marketers and editors often have different ideas of what success looks like when it comes to content. Marketers usually look for return on investment in the terms of lead generation, sales enablement, and how well content assists internal teams like HR and account management. Editors, though, look to social media shares and page views.
Sixty-six percent of editors told us that social shares are the most important factor when gauging a piece of guest content’s success, and 62 percent cited page views as the leading metric. Editors are looking for value in your guest post, and the more consumers share your content with friends and followers, the more value you add to their lives.
And there are plenty of good reasons marketers should also care about these data points. If your content is widely shared, you’re expanding your audience. And when your content performs well, editors are more likely to invite you to publish more often than if your content flopped.
Every content marketer knows that a company blog is crucial to keep audiences engaged, but it’s no longer enough to simply post content on your own site and hope for the best. Without a way to reach new audiences, growth will be limited—and so will your ROI. Guest posting is one of the most effective ways to get your content in front of more consumers, and editors have never been more eager to help you do it.
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