Packaging your content creates an SEO-friendly library of resources that you can use and use to engage your audience and build your brand. In part one, we guided you through the planning stages. In part two, put it all into action.
To recap, in the first four steps, we had you brainstorm your content subject matter, break it down into multiple sub-topics, choose your media and your platforms, and define the key search terms you’re targeting so you can keep them consistent across each piece of the package.
The deployment phase starts out a little more labor-intensive, but we have good news for you at the end.
Decide whether your package of content will come out all at once, or over time as a series. This could depend on how many pieces of content you plan for and whether they lend themselves to a logical sequence.
Create a (realistic!) production schedule, and assign ownership to the creation of each piece. Keep communication flowing among those working on the different components to control for consistency of messaging, style, and presentation. For example, if you are creating both a video and an infographic, they should not only match your brand standards, but look like they belong together and maybe even reference each other.
If you’re going the Deluxe Package route, you can use the meantime to create buzz for the upcoming release on the platforms you intend to use. Consider releasing teasers or sneak peeks ahead of Launch Day to show your audience why this is something worth anticipating.
6. Connect the Dots.
Once everything is published (or, if you’re doing a series, as it’s being released), do the legwork to link each piece of related content to the others, making sure you can track those links to see how your viewers move between the content.
Cross-promote the different components among your distribution channels as appropriate. Go back through your existing content to look for opportunities to link to the new batch from previous articles, or from different landing pages on your website.
Many content management systems (CMS) offer a way to automatically connect related content based on keywords, and if you followed our advice from Part One and were consistent with your labeling, it’s fairly safe to let your CMS do some of the work – just know that it’s unlikely to catch every opportunity.
Warning: Depending on your business and brand, there may be a need for extra caution with automated inter-linked content. Lacking the human touch and common sense, a CMS can pair together content that is technically related, but entirely inappropriate, like these examples of unfortunate keyword-based ad placements.
7. Track, Tweak, and Test.
Use your analytics across your various platforms to evaluate the performance of each component.
- Which pieces are seeing the most traffic and engagement? How much time is being spent on each piece?
- Which platforms are attracting the most traffic and engagement? Where are people Liking, Following, linking, and commenting, and what are they saying?
- Where is your content being shared? By whom, and to whom? Are there any surprises within your audience or new segments you could target?
- Are your readers moving between the linked content, or consuming each piece a la carte? Is the content leading them back to your website or other destination touchpoints?
- Check your search engine performance on your key terms before and after deployment of the package, and continue to check it throughout the publication life of the content, since your content will be more valuable to rankings the longer it’s been up and the more attention it’s received.
Remember, not all content is created equal, so this analysis needs to be qualitative, not just quantitative. If you published a 300-word article and a 3-minute video, of course the video will rank higher on the “time spent on content” metric, but maybe the article generated its own conversation on Twitter or led people back to your homepage more than the video did. Everything must be taken in context.
Ideally, this package of content you’ve created should have a nice, long shelf life to it, especially if you intentionally planned for it to be evergreen (which you should, whenever possible).
Reuse your most popular pieces – always checking before posting to see if they need any updates – to get the most out of the effort put into creating them. Try pushing the less-popular content out on different platforms to give it another chance at views. You might even play with social media memes like “#throwbackthursday” (also seen as #TBT) to draw attention back to something you’ve created in the past that went over well.
If a particular subject really got your viewers’ attention, use that as a seed idea for other content, and consider revisiting that topic through another medium. Popular humor & news site Buzzfeed often makes videos out of its most popular articles (or other sources around the web like Tumblr and Reddit) by adding music to images to create a slideshow, or having its staffers act out the subject, like these White Lies Everybody Tells. They’ve got the cross-linking thing down, too, by embedding links to related contend directly within each video just before the credits roll.
If you’re going to invest resources in content marketing, this is how you go about it. Not only have you added to the bank of searchable content within your overall online presence, you’re presenting your brand as both an authority and a resource for its fans and followers.
Ready to get started with content marketing, or revamp your current strategy? Got more questions about search? Give us a shout in the comments or on Twitter (@Mason_Inc).