Content marketing is like a machine. Put good content in one side and from the other side receive a loyal and engaged audience with a propensity to purchase from your company.
Remember, content marketing is the act of creating or curating content, publishing that content, and finally distributing or promoting it to attract, engage, and retain customers. Content marketing can produce long-term growth.
You do, however, have to feed the machine. Content marketing is not a one-and-done tactic. It is a commitment to creating content (or, at the very least, curating content) week in and week out. Among the biggest challenges is the topic: what to write about, what to make videos about, or what to feature in next week’s podcast.
A solution to the challenge is not to do it alone. Recruit other people to create content for you. Here is a list of five ways to do just that.
1. Pay Writers
This approach to getting people to create content for your business is clear.
Take the example of an electric bicycle maker. The company’s electric bikes sell for as much as $4,000 each. In April, 57 orders came after those customers had interacted with a weekly content newsletter.
Each edition of that newsletter featured one new article, video, or podcast, and two previously published items. This newsletter was the last touch before those 57 orders, which generated as much as $200,000 in revenue. How much was that article worth?
In 2019, a good but relatively short article can be had for a few hundred dollars. That makes paying for content a pretty good deal.
Closely related to paying writers and other content producers is the idea of trading goods for content.
Here the aim is to look for influencers or experts in your field who are not competitors. Offer them free merchandise in exchange for an article or perhaps even a review.
Imagine an online shoe store specializing in trail running shoes. This company could identify a blogger who is active on Strava (a fitness network) and who regularly writes about trail running.
The company could then reach out to this blogger and offer him a free pair of running shoes each month in exchange for an 800-word article that described a trail running experience.
In many cases, these influencers will also share the articles they write for your business on social media and on their own sites. So you get both content and promotion.
3. Accept Guest Content
Link building is an essential part of search engine optimization. Guest posting, in turn, is a popular and effective link-building tactic. With guest posting, a marketer creates good content and offers it to other sites in exchange for a link.
You could be on the receiving end of this content. Invite non-competitive businesses that share similar customers with your company to contribute guest blog posts.
For example, an online retailer specializing in kayaks and kayaking gear might invite someone from a fishing supply business to write a series of articles about the best rods, reels, and line for kayak fishing.
The same kayak merchant could also reach out to fishermen on YouTube and ask for an article or two in exchange for links back to the fishermen’s YouTube channel.
4. Interview Someone
Interviews are a good way to get other people to do the heavy lifting of content creation.
The strategy is simple. Pick someone interesting and interview her. Ask a few simple questions. Allow the interviewee to tell your audience a story.
This might be about how she got started in the industry. It could be an explanation of how to use a product. The key is that the person you are interviewing is creating the content.
Record this interview. Use Rev or a similar service to transcribe it.
You could then publish this interview as an article on your company’s blog or as an audio recording — or both.
5. Ask Your Customers
The same people who purchase from your company are often happy to contribute content, as well.
For example, a retailer based in Seattle that sells outdoor products sends post-purchase email messages to customers. In those messages, the retailer asks how the customer intends to use the product or products. One customer responded with a compelling description for an upcoming multi-week adventure in southern Utah. The retailer immediately emailed the customer and asked if he would be willing to write a short article about the trip.
With a bit of editing and the inclusion of a dozen of the customer’s favorite pictures, this story will make for good content.
An adventure article is a home run for customer-created content. Short of that, any online business can ask customers for reviews. The company could then collect the reviews into a roundup article and publish it.