“Content marketing is 60% more affordable than paid advertising—and more effective,” says Dayana Mayfield, a digital PR expert and the founder of Pitch & Profit. “One of my clients stopped running paid ads altogether because my free strategies not only worked much better at attracting new clients but also saved him thousands of dollars.”
If you have any presence online, you are most likely doing everything you can to drive traffic to your website. Paid advertising is usually a go-to for traffic, but there are also lots of ways to drive traffic without having to pay for it – an most of it has to do with content creation.
The secret isn’t coming up with endless blog posts. It’s actually writing less content that is higher in quality. “In this sense, you’re thinking like a content producer, not like a content creator, to get a significant return on investment from offering free content,” says Mayfield, who created a blog post 5 years ago that continues to drive free trial sign ups to her client to this day. Maximize your reach with one (or all) of her five best strategies for promoting free content that translates to cash for your business.
1. Create An Infographic Or Multimedia Resource
“People in your industry will be much more likely to promote your content if it includes something valuable that they can’t find elsewhere,” notes Mayfield. “Rather than writing up ten blog posts that all lack resources, produce one high quality SEO post with a step-by-step infographic, a template, a checklist, a video tutorial, or other resource that serves your audience. Then, when you share the post on social media or with your email newsletter, you’ll be much more likely to generate organic shares from your audience and ambassadors. One of my clients created an infographic with useful statistics that yielded over one hundred shares and a top Google ranking in just a month.”
2. Write A Guest Post That Links To Your Original Content
“This is my personal favorite strategy for promoting SEO content, because it yields quality backlinks—mentions of your site on another site—while also providing more content to share on social media. Google notices when your site has a lot of backlinks and ranks you higher on their search engine because you have so many endorsements from other sites,” says Mayfield.
“After I write a blog post that targets an important keyphrase for my business, I pitch a related topic to a few online publications in my industry. In my guest post, I’ll include a link back to the original content on my website. Then, I share both posts on social media. The backlink increases my chances of ranking for the valuable keyphrase I’ve targeted. Meanwhile, my social media posts keep me top of mind with my audience.”
3. Pitch Your Own Statistics To The Media
Every year, Upwork releases its U.S. Independent Workforce Report, providing the media with fascinating insights into the rapid growth of the gig economy and how companies utilize freelancers. The statistics included get covered in the media and hundreds of blogs. Yet very few companies are taking advantage of the opportunities like this to release their own findings.
“A few years ago, I helped write a report for a major corporate client on how innovative companies travel. It transformed data from their customers into travel statistics on tech startups.” explains Mayfield. “My team got the report covered in Inc. and we also turned it into a blog post that still ranks in the top three for a valuable keyphrase.
“To execute on this idea, survey your audience to generate insights or responsibly analyze existing customer data and release it while keeping the participants anonymous. Then, pitch the stats to industry journalists. If you make this an annual tradition, you’ll optimize the process over time, and the media will be waiting to cover your insights.”
4. Promote Your SEO-Optimized Freebie On A Podcast
“Podcast guests miss out on an opportunity to get SEO traffic when they mention their website URL—instead of an SEO-optimized freebie—at the end of an interview. This means they’re only generating links back to the home page of their site—not other, more important landing pages,” explains Mayfield.
“To make the most out of your podcast interview, you should drop the name of an SEO-optimized freebie on your website instead. The podcast host will link to it in the show notes. For example, if the freebie is a list of sales email templates, then you can SEO optimize the landing page for the keyphrase “sales email templates.” When you get backlinks to this page from podcast show notes, you’ll increase your chances of ranking. Follow this strategy, and you get to access new audiences, drive backlinks to SEO pages, and generate content to share on social media all at the same time.”
5. Email Your Best Blogs To 50 Influencers
“When you’ve published a really high quality blog post that beats anything out there in terms of educational or entertainment value, let people know about it,” notes Mayfield. “Make a list of fifty people in your industry, including marketers from non-competitor companies, consultants, influencers, and more. Email them about your new post and mention what makes it special. Maybe that’s an interview with a well-known thought leader, proprietary research or one of those infographics I mentioned. By targeting top tier individuals with your best content, you increase the likelihood of it being shared with their large and influential audience—and that can translate into sales for you.”
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