As a marketer, one of the main objectives is to get more exposure and traffic. There a few content networks that can help you get exposure to audiences you may not have reached otherwise. This exposure can lead to more traffic, and ultimately more conversions.
Content networks are like search engines, or marketplaces, for people to find content. Different people prefer to consume content in different formats. Creating content for the networks described below allows you to engage with these different audiences where and how they like to be engaged. In the second half of the post I offer suggestions for using these networks to get exposure and drive traffic to your product or service.
1. YouTube – video
YouTube is actually the second largest search engine in the world. People go to YouTube to search for and consume video content. People love video content. In addition, because YouTube is owned by Google, YouTube videos tend to surface higher than in search than equivalent web content. For these reasons, YouTube is a channel that should not be ignored.
2. Udemy – educational video
While still not yet to the scale of YouTube, Udemy is a fast growing content network, specifically for educational video. After sharing a free discount code on a few social channels, my customer development course got about 400 signups in 24 hours! That’s way more signups than I get views on YouTube. Considering those are opted-in signups from registered users, I think it’s pretty amazing. I don’t get the email addresses of people that sign up for my courses, but I can direct message them or post announcements that also get sent as emails. In addition, I link to my book and blog within the course content and on my profile, driving traffic to other properties that I can monetize.
3. Quora – informational text
Quora is a crowd-sourced question and answer community. I’ve found that for a lot of blog posts that I write, there’s a Quora question that the post would be an appropriate answer to. Quora can also be a great way to get topics for blog posts. If someone has asked it and there are a lot of followers, it’s validation that there’s demand for content on that topic. You could answer the question on Quora, and then repurpose it as a blog post.
Quora recently launched a feature called stats to help producers analyze results. As you can see below, I’ve been getting some pretty solid exposure through Quora.
Quora also has a currency system thats granted to award certain behaviors (ie when your answers get “upvoted”). I can use that currency to promote my content. Promoting on Quora is similar to promoting on something like Twitter, except it’s free (and perhaps more targeted). I post links to my other properties, within the text of my answers, on my profile, and on my “short-bio” that gets displayed with every answer I post.
4. Amazon – text
Self-publishing a book on Amazon is like putting a thimble in-front of a firehouse of traffic. Massive amounts of people are registered on Amazon and are actively browsing for books. They already have their credit card information stored, and many products can be ordered in one click. I also read somewhere that content on Amazon tends to surface pretty high on search as well. I post links to my blog within the text of my book and in my author profile. You could also post links within the description of your book so people get exposure to you without even ordering the book. Self-publishing an ebook to Amazon is surprisingly fast and easy, and it can pay off significantly.
5. Podcasts – audio and video
I haven’t yet started a Podcast but I’d love to at some point. Podcasts are typically consumed via mobile. iTunes and the Podcasts mobile app have great search functionality. People that like Podcasts, such as myself, can search for keywords and find you that way.
6. Slideshare – presentations
I never would have guessed that there would be so many people that enjoy consuming content in PowerPoint slide format. But there are! Within a couple weeks on Slideshare I reached 1000 views. Again, more than YouTube. I’ve created presentations solely for the purpose of posting to Slideshare. I also post the slides I actually use when I speak at events, such as my Skillshare class. Slideshare you allows you to post active links within the slides, which makes it easier for a viewer to click through.
How to Get Traffic (or, how I became I content creating machine)
Repurpose your existing content to the appropriate format of each of these networks. For example, after writing blog posts on networking, I created a Udemy course on the topic. After creating the Udemy course, I repurposed the blog posts and Udemy content into an Amazon book. Then I turned the book content into more blog posts. Then I found Quora questions that the content from the blog posts or book would make for good answers to. After self-publishing the book, I got asked to speak at about five different events. I published the slides I used for each of the events to Slideshare. If a was really a rockstar, I would record the talks and post them on YouTube! I also created Slideshares based on the blog posts and used those slides as the background for YouTube videos.
Thinking through and creating the first piece of content is the hardest part. Repurposing is much easier. For example, it’s fairly easy to summarize a blog post as a Slideshare, or talk through it for a YouTube video. Or, after you’ve answered a question on Quora, you could repurpose it as a blog post.
Include a link to whatever you want to drive traffic to in the description, the content itself, and/or your profile. These networks can be an amazing way to get traffic to the top of your conversion funnel.
Create and distribute content on these networks to extend your reach and drive traffic to your properties. Include a link to the property you want to drive traffic to somewhere within the content.
Different people like to consume content in different ways. Each content network will have slightly different audience, giving you a wider reach. Creating content in these respective formats allows you to engage people where and how they like to be engaged.
A simple way to take advantage of these content networks is to simply repurpose blog posts or other content for each network.