External content marketing: why, about what and where to write

Content is king, but more than one rule: Her Majesty Queen Distribution shares the burden of power.

Content marketing includes not only creating, but also distributing content, which is not limited to announcements of new articles in social networks and newsletters. External KM involves regular work with third-party sites: blog platforms, niche media, corporate and private blogs with the possibility of guest posting.

Creating quality content is good, but it is equally important to distribute it correctly.

Why do you need external content marketing

The main objection: "We put a lot of effort, time and money into the article - why give it to a third-party site?"

On the one hand, it is logical: the article will belong to another resource, therefore, to develop it. A page with your precious content will give search traffic, improve behavioral factors and ultimately lead to a rise in price of advertising on this very site.

At the same time, you do not have access to web analytics systems, links to products / services in the text of the article can not be put down, even UTM-tags - not always. Moreover, the editors can send edits or refuse to publish them altogether. Taking into account the advice on additional paid promotion of external articles, the question arises: "Why do so suffer?"

We answer:

  • Increased coverage, increased awareness. If you do everything right, the publication will capture the attention of new audiences - those who are not familiar with the company and have never been to your site. Additional coverage is especially needed for those areas of business where demand is weak.
  • Enhance engagement. Visitors read → are interested in the brand → go to the site and subscribe to social networks. So close to sales.
  • Improved SEO performance. Buying links to dubious sites through the stock exchange is already a thing of the past, and with good sites - targeted warm traffic + high-quality backlinks.
  • Proof of expertise, reputation growth. Guides, checklists, studies, case studies with numbers and useful tips based on personal experience are interesting to both potential customers and competitors.
  • Increase loyalty. Work in this direction is necessary if the business is aimed at long-term relationships with customers. Loyalty and trust are essential when the average check (AOV) is less than the cost of customer acquisition (CAC). In this case, retargeting and mailing is not a panacea.

More about trust. I asked colleagues: many, when looking for information, prefer familiar sites. Indeed, you never know what awaits a person at an unknown site: maybe there is no adaptive layout and usability at zero. Plus, serious sites are more trusted as their editors place high demands on the materials / help in their preparation.

Who can use external content marketing?

Here are the same principles as in internal content marketing.

CM is shown if:

CM is contraindicated if:

Difficult product, customer needs to be trained

Substandard product, consumer goods

Unformed demand, B2B

Emotional purchases

Premium segment: expensive goods and services

Small average check

Long sales cycle

Situational Services

No binding to specific region

Local business

One of the possible business scenarios: there is a blog, there is a team, but there is not enough traffic to the site to achieve the goals. Here it’s time to call on external content marketing. If we are talking about a startup, in this way you can quickly get feedback from colleagues and Central Asia.

In addition, the external CM does not in the least hinder the development of the internal. "Seals" assure: nothing terrible will happen if after two weeks to re-publish an external article on your blog with an active link.

Important point: content marketing will not work if there are not enough resources, willingness to participate in the process and wait for a stable result for at least 6 months. There will also be little benefit if it is impossible to measure the same result normally: there are no analytics systems and CRM, there are problems with business processes.

At the same time, not only big players, but also freelancers can engage in external QM. Digital professionals working for themselves, it is not always advisable to maintain your own website for the sake of a personal brand. Collaboration offers can be obtained through periodic posting on industry portals and chatting in comments.

What to write on third-party resources

The main requirements of the sites to send materials: uniqueness, relevance and benefits, expertise, simple and understandable language, good structure, proper design. However, this list is applicable to any text.

Weak material (article for the sake of the article), posts in the spirit of "everything # & * @ Noas, and I am d'Artagnan," hidden advertising - all this will not work. Why:

  • First, the “Jeans”, as a rule, is wrapped up by the editorial staff - in many venues this is spelled out in the rules. If you want to post frankly advertising text, get ready to pay money.
  • Secondly, bad articles will be criticized by the site's regulars. They are experienced and spoiled with quality content, they sense hack a mile away.
  • Thirdly, competitors and haters will not pass by such material, they will surely deliver a “wagon of dislikes”.

In general, you need to sell without selling: to give useful information, to try to solve the problems of the target audience, to share valuable experience. Moreover, the story of the failure will be even more interesting than the story of dizzying success.

Remember: no company news or press releases. As we wrote above, they will thank you for the guides, cases, studies.

On the question of how to do content marketing, Pavel Fedorov answered briefly and in garlic in the “Fired” telegram channel. We quote it completely and with a little censorship:

"Dear friends and cats! If you (or your boss) decide to do content marketing, then remember a simple rule: your blog, newsletter, external articles, whatever, should not turn into a combat leaflet about what you are @ # ^ $ data.

If your director flies to the conference to speak - this is not a reason to write a press release. If he is already at the conference - this is also not a reason. If he has already returned - this is still not a reason. If he is on the basis of something useful (and not advertising) made and ready to share - then you can already think.

If you have added a small feature that does not solve any problem for the user - this is not a reason to post to the blog. If you repainted the icon - also not. But if you have implemented some kind of megabalanced feature or have figured out how to solve the problem, because of which three competitors were closed - it's time to uncover the keyboards.

Moral: content marketing must first be useful to the reader, and only then to you. This is how it works. "

How to choose a site

The main rule: go where there is a target audience. There are several ways to understand that it is present on the site:

  • Find open data by audience, if any. Basically, the administration of the resource places such information in the sections "About Us" / "Advertising".
  • Check whether direct competitors are working on the site. If they are actively published, and your target audiences overlap, you should pay attention to such a site.
  • Examine categories, topics of articles, profiles of commentators and subscribers of community sites in social networks. A typical representative of the audience in "VKontakte" can be found through the service Media-VK.
  • Try to find a site by keywords from the semantic core. If your Central Asia actively uses these requests and at the same time sees this site in the top, then, most likely, it is there.

When choosing a site is also important traffic. If the resource does not advertise the statistics, you can get approximate figures through Similarweb.

Another network service (for example, MegaIndex) is also worth checking out the trust and site reference profile. The same tool - go through the sites of competitors: on the back links will be seen on what third-party resources they are active.

Separate articles are good to check for social signals: likes / dislikes, reposts, comments. The most shared materials in social networks can be calculated using the BuzzSumo service.

For the future, it is important to note which formats and themes on this site are gaining great popularity, and which ones are ignored or cause a negative reaction.

It goes without saying that you need to study the editorial policy, the terms of publication, the requirements for materials and the possibilities of the site. For example, not everyone allows to include in the text of the table, build posts from social networks and upload gifs.

When working with private blogs, you still need to check the date of the last publication in order not to accidentally give an article to an abandoned resource.

Life hacking: if there are few sites, there is such a way - to conduct a survey of your subscribers in the spirit of "what you visit, what you read there."

List of pre-selected sites - write to Excel with all the important information: attendance, conditions, examples of articles and so on. Then it is advisable to choose no more than 5 suitable resources, and already regularly work with them. Of course, I want to publish everywhere, but it’s better a little and qualitatively, because the means are limited.

Features of working with external sites

Editorial sites do not always give a technical task and topic. If it is possible to agree on it in advance, it is better to do so in order to save time and nerves.

Priority when choosing topics:

  • potential interest of the target audience and site editing;
  • the ability to natively mention a company, product or service;
  • potential traffic.

A good option for external KM is to use newsjacking: beat news trends in the industry. But here we must act quickly.

An important difference between external content marketing and the distribution of press releases: the article can not be sent to several publications at once, otherwise there will be an unpleasant situation. We need to wait for a response from the first site and only after refusing to offer the second.

You do not need to give up easily: send edits - edit, refuse - try to suggest other material. If nothing came up, you should thank for the feedback and ask about cooperation in the future.

Tip: before you send the coveted letter, feel the "spirit" of the publication. In a relaxed atmosphere, read a dozen articles (and selected editions, and zaminusovannyh users), carefully study the comments.

The text was finally published after several cycles of revisions - it is still not a reason to relax. Distribution does not end there: you need to make an effort to plant articles in social networks, email newsletters, messengers.

Ideally, if it turns out to allocate a budget for paid promotion targeted and contextual advertising. However, it makes sense when the link to the site is not hidden in the author's profile, but in the text of the article or the liner to it.

Before you create and distribute, you need to understand: content marketing (including external marketing) requires a serious approach.

  • It is necessary to coordinate the work of copywriters, designers, content managers.
  • Authors should have access to experts and vice versa.
  • In the comments under the articles you need to constantly communicate: quickly answer questions, level the negative.
  • For all this, you must assign a responsible - for example, an internet marketer.

The main feature of this content marketing is regularity. A clear timetable for the publication of articles develops the habit of readers and, of course, disciplines the team itself. At the same time regularly - does not mean very often.

It is better to rarely produce good material than twice-a-time feedthrough articles.

Of course, before adjusting the regular delivery of content to a specific site, you need to test: publish 1-2 materials, then watch the exhaust.

Is it worth working with private blogs and trying to get into the major media

Despite the abundance of industry sites and strong corporate blogs, private ones are also quite popular. Artemy Lebedev and Ilya Varlamov argue that they are more than alive: just look at the statistics and price tags for advertising in their zhezheshechkah.

However, our article is about the possibility of publishing for free, and for this you need to look for non-star, high-quality and thematic private blogs.

A good example in SEO, analytics and search advertising: devaka.ru is Sergey Koksharov's personal site. By February Similarweb features 175,000 unique visitors. The conditions of guest publishing on Devaka are simple: uniqueness, benefits to readers and the lack of explicit advertising.

Criteria for choosing a private blog for publication:

  • traffic;
  • social activity (the number of likes, sherov, comments);
  • Last published date
  • Reputation author blog.

As an experiment, you can work with novice bloggers: most likely, they have a simpler requirement, and you can attach material that did not fit other sites.

Now about the major media.

Getting to the pages of Forbes, Vedomosti, RBC or Kommersant is cool, but it’s difficult and not always necessary for business. We believe that it is impossible to focus on such publications: of course, it is worth trying, but only when everything is ok on your blog and on industry sites. Yes, large publications have a huge reach, but this has its drawbacks: the materials are very frequent, the audience is quite wide.

For those who wish to publish there is a convenient “Heat Map of the Russian Media” from Ekaterina Inozemtseva, but the data in it is already outdated. For example, Elizaveta Osetinskaya is listed there as the chief editor of RBC, although in May 2016 she resigned from the publication.

By the way, for PR in large mass media it is not necessary to write articles - it is enough to mention the business owner or expert of the company. Contacts with journalists seeking expert opinions on a variety of topics can be established through the Pressfeed service.

How to evaluate the effectiveness of external CM

Let's repeat the idea from the first section: it is not worth assessing content marketing for sales. It is not entirely true to consider the effectiveness of a CM - and any other channel - apart from the entire marketing system.

Content marketing is a sales tool, but it does not directly affect sales. Is amazing? It turns out, no, if you know the mechanism of its work. Denis Savelyev, head of Texterra, explained on his fingers why this is happening on the fingers of the Netology blog.

What metrics should be used to assess the effectiveness of external content marketing:

  • The number of article views. Usually there are meters on all industry sites and corporate blogs.
  • The number of likes / dislikes, reposts, comments under the article. Or immediately -Engagement Rate. Formula for engagement: (number of all activities / number of views) * 100%.
  • Traffic from the sites. In Yandex.Metrica, the numbers can be found in the report: “Sources” → “Sites”.
  • The number of direct visits. If the number grows, it means that people remember the address of your site and immediately write it in the browser line. It's good.
  • The number of references to the brand on third-party sites (Mentions) and the number of net references (Net Sentiments). The second indicator is considered as the difference between positive and negative references.
  • The number of clicks on branded requests / the frequency of such requests in the Yandex.Wordstat. Indicators have grown - great: it turns out, people are increasingly looking for a website through a search by brand / company name.

It’s good if there is a possibility to use UTM tags on the site: it will be more convenient to analyze traffic from a specific article, read conversions, segment visitors to the site.

Bonus: a selection of 19 sites for free external publications

When developing a marketing strategy and content plan, take a look at our table. We hope the information is useful.

Examples of sites about digital, IT, marketing

Title, description, editorial contacts

Site attendance (Similarweb data for February 2018)

The target audience

Topics

Formats

rules publications

Must read for newbies

TexTerra - one of the most popular blogs on internet marketing in runet.

Ask a question, agree on a topic: [email protected]

1,300,000 visits.

Entrepreneurs, marketers, internet marketers, copywriters, editors, developers, programmers and everyone who is interested in the topic of Internet marketing.

Internet marketing, content marketing, website development, landing pages, contextual advertising, SMM, video marketing, business.

Manuals, instructions, cases, personal stories, videos, infographics, tests.

Yes: uniqueness, open topic, good structure, reader benefits, illustrations with captions, work with comments.

No: neglect of the requirements of the redpolitiki, referral links, copy-paste.

Become our author

Redpolicy

HABRAHABR - the largest resource for IT people.

33,700,000 visits

Everyone for whom IT is not just 2 letters of the alphabet: programmers, developers, designers, marketers, entrepreneurs, etc.

Development, administration, design, marketing, management.

Manuals, instructions, cases, personal stories.

Yes: author's text, simple and understandable language, pictures on a stable hosting (ideally -habrastorage.org).

No: clickback headers, referral links, grammar and spelling errors, copy-paste, advertising.

Site rules

Publishing Rules

Karma and rating

Сергей Абдульманов: "IMHO, как писать на Хабр"

VC - "Стартапы и бизнес" (бывший "Цукерберг позвонит") - крупнейшая в рунете площадка для предпринимателей нового поколения.

6 150 000 посещений.

Предприниматели, диджитал-специалисты, менеджеры, студенты.

Подробная информация по аудитории

Интернет-бизнес, реклама, пиар, диджитал-технологии и все, что с ними связано.

Примеры хэштэгов: маркетинг, авто, офлайн, будущее, дизайн.

Мнения, обзоры, кейсы, новости, жалобы, вопросы.

Да: понятный и цепляющий заголовок, аккуратные изображения, деление на смысловые блоки, польза читателям.

No: advertising, press releases, copy-paste.

Article by Konstantin Panfilov: "How to write a good article in blogs on vc.ru".

Rusbase (RB.RU) - an independent publication on technology and business.

UGC editor: [email protected]

2,250,000 visits.

Entrepreneurs, managers, investors, students.

Data on the interests, age, geography of the audience.

Business, technology, career, lifestyle.

Instructions, reviews, cases, selections, stories.

Yes: text size - 6-7 thousand characters, good structure with subtitles, regularity, benefits for readers.

No: copy-paste, a detailed description of the product, advertising.

"How to write on Rusbase".

"How to get on Rusbase".

"Netology" - online university.

Plan application form for an article. Send a request to the editor: [email protected]

1,350,000 visits.

Business owners, Internet marketing specialists, web designers, managers, etc.

Web development, SEO, project management, design, recruiting, HTML, UX / UI, etc.

Instructions, reviews, tips.

Yes: uniqueness, willingness to rule, good structure.

No: press releases, gift information, deadline failure, water, etc.

Terms of publication in the blog "Netology".

Spark - platform for small business communication, tusovka technological projects.

It is a member of the publishing house "Committee" as well as VC.ru

780,000 visits per month.

Entrepreneurs, startups and digital specialists: designers, marketers, developers, copywriters.

Internet marketing, video marketing, SMM, productivity, recruitment, management, etc.

Stories, cases, studies, guides, selections.

Yes: expertise, benefits, good structure, numbers, literacy.

No: press releases, direct advertising, tips "from the ceiling."

Alexander Marfitsin: "What should I write on the company's blog on Spark?"

Katerina Eroshina: "Guidelines for the design of articles."

Executive - a niche publication and a community of managers interested in professional growth.

550,000 visitors per month.

Senior and mid-level managers, consultants.

Management, marketing, career, finance, business education.

Cases, studies, guides.

Yes: uniqueness, benefit, relevance to topics. Volume: 5-14 thousand zn. without spaces.

No: advertising, a lot of links.

Executive.ru declaration.

Andrei Semerkin: "How to prepare publications for Executive.ru".

Serpstat - multifunctional platform for SEO.

To submit an application, you must fill out the form on the page with the rules of publication or write: [email protected]

970,000 visits per month.

SEO and PPC specialists, content marketers, freelancers, agencies and business owners.

Internet marketing: SEO, PPC, analytics, etc.

Studies, manuals, case studies.

Yes: uniqueness, facts, benefits, necessary illustrations, good structure. Volume - about 5 thousand zn.

No: rewrite, water, jeans.

How to post a guest post on a Serpstat blog

Cossa - a major industry publication on marketing and communications in the digital environment.

For articles and author columns: [email protected]

860,000 visits.

Entrepreneurs, managers, freelancers and staff professionals: esemeshchiki, marketers, designers, etc.

Detailed portrait of the audience

Everything about the digital market: management, tools and technology, agency business, etc.

Opinions, case studies, digital tips, industry humor, reviews (market, trends, tools).

Yes: simple and understandable language, relevance, benefit to the audience, expertise, typography.

No: cases without numbers, copy-paste, scandals and intrigues, clerks, texts about offline.

Publishing Rules

Article by Andrei Konovalov: "How to advertise for Cossa for free"

Seonews - industry publication on search engine promotion and earnings on the Internet.

Publisher: [email protected]

430,000 visits per month.

Seoshniki, webmasters, advertising agencies, business owners.

Internet marketing tools, doing business on the Internet, customer service.

Workshops, lifehacks, cases, research, opinions.

Yes: uniqueness, facts, potential interest of readers.

No: advertising, rewriting, extra links.

We invite authors

Terms of publication

"Likes" - online publication on digital, social and creative marketing.

For articles: [email protected]

230,000 visitors per month.

Marketers, advertisers, Internet agency experts, bloggers, copywriters.

SMM, video marketing, email communications, SEO, etc.

Instructions, collections, manuals, cases.

No: difficult definitions, clerical, "water".

about the project

WebPromoExperts - Agency and academy of Internet marketing.

Write a letter and send material: [email protected]

220,000 visits.

Owners of large and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, employees and managers of digital agencies, freelancers.

Comprehensive online marketing, copywriting, CPA, web design, etc.

Interviews, longrids, guides, reviews, opinions, digests, cases, trends.

Yes: uniqueness, benefit for the reader, expertise, simple and understandable language.

No: copy-paste, article for the sake of article, academic style, text in Word.

Guest Posting Terms on the WebPromoExperts Blog

PPC.WORLD - the first in RuNet information portal dedicated exclusively to ppc-marketing, contextual advertising and analytics.

Editorial: [email protected]

170,000 visits.

Entrepreneurs, specialists in contextual advertising and analytics.

Yandex.Direct, Google AdWords, analytics, market, target.

Recommendations, guidelines, cases.

Yes: uniqueness, expertise, structure, logic, relevance.

No: extra links, bad illustrations, copy-paste.

Requirements for materials

Madcats - KM agency and niche media for those interested in internet marketing.

Suggest an article, discuss the topic: [email protected]

130,000 visits.

Entrepreneurs, editors, SEOs, marketers, copywriters, etc.

Internet marketing: SEO, content marketing, copywriting, SMM, etc.

The mechanics of the tools, cases, reflections on the industry.

Yes: uniqueness, the disclosure of the theme, the benefits, the correct design.

No: denim and surface materials.

Attention: the article can be deployed commented on by the editors without approval.

Terms of publication on "Kittens"

Download the table in .docx format.

Examples of sites about fashion, politics, life, healthy lifestyles, children

Title, description, editorial contacts

Site Visits (Total Visits)

The target audience

Topics

Formats

Publishing Rules

Must read for beginners

"Yandex Market" - service for finding and buying goods.

Ask a question, ask for help in publishing: [email protected]

117,000,000 visits.

Predominantly: managers, employees, professionals who work and have a higher than average income (according to the Mediascope).

House, cottage, repair.

Personal experience, instructions "how to choose."

Yes: interest, benefit, help when choosing a product in the "Market".

No: "water", copy-paste.

Page for authors.

An example of an article with a link: "General cleaning of the apartment: instructions from the cleaning company."

"Gossip" - the leader among observers of high life in runet (owned by LookAtMe).

8 700 000 visits.

Female audience.

Detailed statistics on income, age, sex, psycho /

Fashion, beauty, cinema, music /

New clips, selection of photos, discussions of stars, etc.

No: advertising materials, violation of the legislation of the Russian Federation, etc.

An example of a post with an unobtrusive link that went to cheers

"Snob" - international news and discussion space.

Send opinion: [email protected]

5,750,000 visits.

Among the columnists: Alexander Nevzorov, Ksenia Sobchak, Yevgeny Roizman and others.

Intellectuals: politicians, journalists, businessmen, bankers, musicians, artists, scientists.

Society, politics, art.

Opinions (columns).

Yes: author photos, volume 4-8 thousand zn., Factchikeking, newsjacking.

No: anonymity, copy-paste, lack of expertise.

Important: "Snob" has the right to refuse publication and not respond at all.

"Opinions" on "Snob"

"A piece of chalk" - Media about the education and upbringing of children.

4,550,000 visits

Read more about geography, field, age of the audience.

Journalists, psychologists, teachers, educators, high school students, parents.

Methods and history of education, schools and universities, the relationship of children and parents, vocational guidance, new technologies.

Personal stories, reflections, instructions.

Yes: unique, original content; personal experience, the benefits for Central Asia.

No: mistakes, complex structures, poor structure, abuse of punctuation marks.

Editorial: "8 tips on how to make your blog popular."

Yogajournal - the leading Russian website about yoga and healthy lifestyles.

Send an article: [email protected]

400,000 visits per month (site data).

Yoga teachers, vegetarians, healthy lifestyle enthusiasts, etc.

Ayurveda, astrology, weight loss, Eastern practices, relationships, etc.

Personal stories, instructions, selections, etc.

Yes: volume 4 thousand zn. with spaces, good style, use + story about yourself, photo by 600x600.

Examples of author articles

Download the table in .docx format.

Like the selection and the article as a whole? Then we ask to repostn in the social network and share your opinion in the comments.

And - successful content marketing!

Watch the video: #FreeAdviceFriday: How Do I Use External Links in My Content? (December 2019).

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