Many content marketers have bought into an incorrect view that brands should be their own publishers. Why exactly does this make sense? Brands don’t usually try to be their own ad platforms…that’s what TV stations and magazines and websites are for.
In the same sense that you don’t want to host the majority of your ads on your own site (usually), you don’t want to focus your content marketing efforts on your own site.
The truth is you can’t really replace outbound efforts (i.e. paid ads) with inbound-only campaigns such as social and email. Relying on inbound efforts only is like never leaving your circle of friends. Yes, brands should be publishers….but not exclusively.
Instead, one of the most effective ways to get drive traffic to your website and create brand awareness is to have content published on other sites. Like paid ads, content published on top sites draws consumers not likely or at least not always be captured by inbound efforts.
In a Venture Beat story last week CMO’s confessed their uneasiness with the actual effectiveness of content marketing. That’s easy to understand – what exactly is the ROI of an effort to attract 10,000 Facebook fans?
What’s easier to measure is a strategic campaign that produces several million impressions from content created by brand advocates on their own sites. Measurable like advertising – more engaging because it is content created by bloggers and website owners who already love the brand.
More on this in a future post – because simply reaching out to brand fans without a specific message and target objectives wastes precious resources and while measurable…might not measure up!
Maryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Marketing, a consulting firms focused on green and sustainable industries, fresh produce, food, Hispanic marketing and marketing to Moms. See her at ExpoEast Natural Foods Expo in Baltimore, speaking on Social Media for Socially Conscious Brands, September 27, 2013 Connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin