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Complete Guide to Maximize and Optimize Your Marketing Digital Content

Creating effective, impactful content takes time — and lots of it. Want to launch a spectacular 1,000-word blog post? Set aside no fewer than three hours for the task of writing it. Thinking about pulling together a comprehensive whitepaper? Better block off your schedule for a far longer runway.

Complete Guide to Maximize and Optimize Your Marketing Digital Content

Content Summary

Customizable Content Map
The Ins and Outs of Content Maximization
Top Content Maximizing Strategy Tactics
Maximize the reach and value of your content marketing
Content Maximization Checklists for every type of content

So why do we spend so much time and energy developing content if it requires so much TLC? In a digital marketplace, it’s a fantastic way to accomplish an array of marketing goals, from building your brand to boosting your bottom line. Without content, you end up limiting your possibilities, and no business can afford to do that.

Yet producing content is just the tip of the iceberg. Once written, designed, and published, it shouldn’t be left to its own devices in a “set-it-and-forget-it” fashion. Instead, the content deserves to be leveraged as part of a comprehensive strategy to maximize your content marketing ROI. But what is a good marketing ROI from content, what kinds of maximizing strategies exist, and how can you track marketing ROI from your B2B content creation efforts? Below, we’ll cover what content maximization means, what maximization strategies we and our clients use, and what content marketing ROI we saw in 2021 from our maximization and optimization efforts.

Customizable Content Map

You’ll always need to think of new ideas for your content so you can stay relevant to your audience, but you don’t have to do that for every piece of content you create.

What if we told you that the hours you’ve spent brainstorming new and unique topic ideas were totally unnecessary?

Now, don’t get us wrong: You’ll always need to think of new ideas for your content so you can stay relevant with your audience, but you don’t have to do that for every piece of content you create. In fact, it’s more beneficial and strategic for you to be writing content on topics you know your audience finds useful, and sometimes that means writing content around the same topic as much as possible.

In other words, stop reinventing the wheel. Use our customizable content map to help you take a piece of valuable gated content and turn it into numerous blog posts and guest-contributed articles. Below is the customizable sample content map to guide you.

This customizable content map will help you:

  • Determine which specific audience persona a particular campaign is applicable to
  • Identify which gated content to use as inspiration
  • Create blog and guest-contributed article topic ideas based on the selected gated content
  • Streamline your content creation
  • Promote content that is most valuable to your audience and strategy

Sample Content Map

Customizable Content Map

The Ins and Outs of Content Maximization

Let’s talk about your content in terms of it being a vehicle. Your mileage depends on a lot of factors, including how wisely you drive and maintain it.

Content maximization is the umbrella process of ensuring you squeeze the most value (“mileage”) out of every piece of content you publish. Without content maximization in place, you’re less likely to break through the online clutter of competing messaging. Never forget that about 70 million WordPress posts appear monthly. To get yours seen, you need the power of content maximization.

No doubt you’re familiar with at least one of the three general marketing tactics that make up content maximization: content distribution, content repurposing, and content optimization. Content distribution involves dispersing content across multiple channels. Content repurposing is the art of recycling content into a variety of formats. Content optimization comprises all those SEO-related updates and changes you make to ensure that your content remains evergreen or relevant.

Top Content Maximizing Strategy Tactics

As you might imagine, your content maximization efforts could go in dozens of different directions. For instance, you might share your content on social media with the active groups and communities you’re a part of. This would fulfill some of your content distribution objectives and expand your reach.

Another example of content maximization is pulling snackable tidbits out of larger long-form creative like sales sheets or thought leadership pieces. The bite-sized content pieces can be delivered online, sent in newsletters, or woven into lead generation emails.

For content optimization, you can’t do better than using a tool like Moz for identifying your target keywords. Once identified, those keywords can serve as the basis for content face-lifts and new content topics.

But does content maximization really help produce an appealing ROI? Absolutely. No matter what your business objectives — keyword ranking, prospecting, sales enablement — you can give your company an edge when you see content as more than just a one-and-done experience.

Maximize the reach and value of your content marketing

It takes a lot of effort to create and publish content for your business, but if you’re letting your content strategy end at publication, your content strategy will surely fail, and all your content creation efforts will be wasted.

An effective content distribution strategy will maximize the reach and value of your content marketing efforts, ensuring your content accomplishes your goals.

This comprehensive guide will arm you with the tools that you need to create a content distribution strategy, including:

  • Unheard-of strategies that can give your content an extra boost
  • Info on how to use your content to have an impact on marketing, sales, and HR KPIs
  • Tips to ensure your content stands out on social media
  • A case study on how one company used content distribution to reach more than 21 million readers online

Content creation takes time, effort, and strategy. You start by brainstorming ideas and putting together an editorial calendar. When your topic is chosen, you research and pull together supplemental content, perhaps reaching out for expert opinions or a guest contributor. You write the content, edit the finished piece, and consider hiring an outside editor for a last read-through. This all takes time and effort, so once you finish and publish the content, it’s easy to think you’re done. Mission accomplished.

But your work is just beginning.

In this chapter, we’ll show you how to actively and strategically distribute your content once it’s published so you and your audience get the most value out of that amazing content you spent so much time, effort, and energy creating.

Creation > Blueprint > Extraction > Creation > Distribution

Why distribution is important to your content marketing strategy

Think back to why you’re creating content in the first place. If you’re like most companies using content marketing, you set out to attract and engage your audience, generate and nurture leads, build credibility, and showcase your expertise as a company leading your industry.

You worked hard to create content that helps you achieve that — but how much good will it actually do for you if your audience never sees it?

Even the most amazing, cuttingedge, and well-structured content is pretty much useless if it doesn’t reach its intended audience. You need to set yourself apart from the massive amount of content out there with a solid, actionable distribution plan that reaches your current readership — and then far beyond.

Content distribution is a crucial step in the marketing process. It’s not just another task to cross off your list, and it doesn’t just make it easy to fill your social media posting schedule. It allows you to reach your network through a variety of channels and platforms and build meaningful connections with them — and the success of your content marketing efforts depends on it.

The power of the right content at just the right time

As anyone who’s ever been sent a piece of content that was totally irrelevant to his needs can tell you, you can’t distribute every piece of content the same way and expect your audience to find it, engage with it, and decide to work with you. There’s power in sending the right content to the right people at the right stage of their online journey, and you can harness that power with strategic distribution.

You’re creating different content — content that’s formatted in different ways, highlighting different topics and ideas, and created with different goals in mind. Your job, then, is to use that different content at the right stages that make the most sense for your audience

Sharing specific details of your pricing structure and other bottomof-the-funnel content in a tweet probably isn’t going to resonate as well as content that’s suited for that audience on Twitter: lighter, shorter content that entertains, educates, and engages.

You need to ensure you’re aligning those elements of your content strategy with your distribution strategy. That’s how you’ll send the most relevant messages.

Timing is everything

An inbound funnel leads your audience to the right content at the right stages of their decision-making processes.

The Content Funnel

  1. Top of the Funnel: Audiences looking for information turn to online searches and trusted publications. Establish yourself as the expert with non-promotional guest content and educational resources.
  2. Middle of the Funnel: Audiences continue to learn and analyze their problems. Nurture them with consistent, engaging content on your blog, email, and social channels.
  3. Bottom of the Funnel: Qualified leads are preparing for their decision. Set yourself apart with salesenablement content that creates urgency and knocks down any last barriers.

7 essential forms of content distribution

Now, there are plenty of tools and tactics you can use to get your audience the right content at the right time. Here are seven of the most effective ways to do exactly that:

  • Guest-Contributed Content
  • Organic Social Media Distribution
  • Programmatic Advertising and Paid Amplification
  • Internal Distribution
  • Email Newsletters
  • Client, Partner, and Influencer Distribution
  • Sales Enablement

Guest-contributed content

This distribution method might be a little different from some more traditional forms of content distribution that involve sharing or “distributing” your already published content, but writing and distributing your content to online publications in the form of “guestcontributed articles” or “guest posts” is a powerful strategy that many companies overlook.

Contributed content is pretty selfexplanatory. It’s content that you contribute, or guest-post, at online publications. In addition to the benefits you and your brand gain by contributing to leading online publications in the first place, you also get a major distribution advantage because you’ll be reaching a new audience.

External publications are an effective place to reach your audience members where they already are as opposed to cutting through the tons of other content in their faces, interrupting them with ads, or directing them away from the platforms they’re on. Your content and your message can be delivered to exactly where your audience already is.

Plus, you benefit from the trust your audience already has in those publications. By contributing your content to those publications, your audience is more likely to trust your content — and your company.

  1. Bylined content is published to an industry or niche publication.
  2. The content leads to other bylined content or links to relevant articles on the company blog.
  3. Readers engage with the content while building trust, download the gated media, and become prospects.

Now, distributing content through these publications isn’t as simple as distributing your content through Twitter. You can’t create a piece and send it out for publication across all your audience’s favorite sites. Your content needs to be carefully crafted and targeted to specific outlets. You also need to pick the right outlet for your audience. Many people think the best publications to contribute to are the most well-known sites, and while they are certainly valuable, you shouldn’t overlook trusted niche sites that cater directly to your target audience.

Whether you’re getting your content in those publications through guestposting or through press that you’ve earned there as a part of your PR efforts, distributing your content through those targeted publications is highly effective.

Guest-contributed content helps you meet your audience members at different areas of their journey where they’re already engaged. If you effectively create a strategy that links the content that you guest-contribute back to your blog and website content, you’ll bring qualified leads back to your website, having met them while they’re consuming content rather than interrupting them with ads.

Organic social media distribution

Most audiences use some form of social media or another, and that means your social distribution is critical to hitting touchpoints with your audience.

Use your content to fuel your company’s social media feeds, from Twitter to LinkedIn to Facebook and more. Use the right content distribution tools to expand your reach and impact, and be sure to tailor your messages to your audience on each platform.

And don’t stop at your company accounts. Members of your team have networks of their own, so encourage them to share content, too — and make it as easy as possible for them to do that by giving them all the tools they need.

Select the exact content you want your team to share; include the right hashtags, links, and multimedia when necessary; and even write a few options for tweets or updates. When you remove all those barriers, your team members will be much more likely to take a few seconds out of their day to share your company’s awesome content.

LinkedIn
Test out posting on this platform in the early morning or after 5 p.m., as people could be on LinkedIn during their morning and evening commutes. We also recommend reposting your articles on LinkedIn Pulse to get even more mileage out of your content.

Twitter
Try to make sure you post more frequently here, as that allows you to stay ever-present with your audience and show that you’re involved. Don’t just post your articles here; mix it up by posting other articles related to news in your industry to prove you’re on the pulse.

Facebook
Video content performs well on this platform, so try to incorporate video into your posting strategy. These can range from fun office culture clips to tutorials.

Programmatic advertising and paid amplification

Highly targeted amplification and programmatic advertising are great ways to home in on your exact audience members and get your content directly in front of them. The key thing to remember is that paid amplification only attracts consumers for a brief period of time; your content needs to be engaging and thoughtful enough to entice them to come back for more.

That’s why we typically recommends building your audience and using organic distribution first. Wait to see the organic results from posts before paying to amplify the content on social media. If your audience loves it and you are seeing results, giving it a boost will likely be more beneficial and give you more bang for your buck.

It also allows you to test which messages resonate best with which audiences.

There are a variety of options for paid amplification — everything from promoted tweets to sponsored content on LinkedIn or Facebook — so choose wisely, and always test.

Having a wealth of organic content is like A/B testing paid amplification.

You analyze what content is working and what isn’t, and you promote what your audience is craving.

Internal distribution

If your distribution strategy starts and ends with potential clients, you’re going to miss opportunities to engage a pretty important audience: your internal team members.

Encourage your team members to read and use your company content. It keeps them informed and up-todate on industry trends, and they’ll see the exact information your audience views online, which is beneficial to almost all departments within the organization.

Your client and account services teams can use content to explain and answer questions about your processes. Human resources can use content in the hiring process to attract, hire, and onboard new employees. Leadership can use content as continued education and professional development.

It’s your content; make sure your team members know that it exists and that it can help them do their best work.

Email newsletters

Once you’ve captured leads on your website via gated content downloads and blog subscriptions, you can use email marketing to continue to deliver new content that you publish. We recommend sending out two types of emails to your subscribers: newsletters and drip campaigns.

Your weekly or monthly email newsletter should basically just contain a roundup of all of your new published content. If you don’t have enough content to fill an entire newsletter, you can also include a few relevant posts published outside of your site — your subscribers will thank you for finding and delivering helpful content, and you can use this strategy as a tool to form new relationships with partners who might help share your content.

We also recommend creating email nurture — or drip — campaigns for your qualified leads. You can develop a cadence based on your typical sales cycle.

The anatomy of a drip campaign

  1. Lay Out Your Strategy: Share your expertise and voice so you can openthe door to the kinds of conversations you and your sales team are prepared to have.
  2. Segment Your Audience: Targeted emails drive 18 times more revenue, so ditch the mass emails and start leads on an optimized path.
  3. Visualize Your End Goal: Step back and think about what action you want qualified leads to take.
  4. Select Your Content and Create the Campaigns: It all goes back to where your leads’ focus currently resides and how close they are to making a decision.
  5. Automate Your Emails: Let your email solution take care of the heavy lifting to deliver the content you’ve selected at a routine pace.

Client, partner, and influencer distribution

Speaking of audiences outside of potential clients, don’t forget your current clients, strategic partners, and industry influencers. While helping share this content is beneficial to you, these groups still benefit from your company content.

Form relationships with industry influencers, help promote and share their content when it makes sense for your audience, and ask them to return the favor. Not sure how to determine who the influencers in your industry are? A tool like Buzzsumo can help!

Consider creating drip campaigns specifically for your clients and partners.

Send them regular emails that include relevant published content, gated content pieces they’d find valuable, press mentions about your company, and content around any new services that would appeal to them or strengthen your relationship with them.

“The key is to build relationships.”

Sales enablement

As a marketer, your work isn’t over once a qualified lead is generated; you and your sales team can — and absolutely should — use content to further nurture and educate leads and enable sales for your company.

To make sure the content you’re using is the most impactful for those leads, you’ll need to get marketing and sales in the same room. Together, talk through the objections, questions, confusion, and other pain points sales is hearing from your audience.

Evaluate your current content, identify gaps, and generate ideas for content that fills those gaps.

This approach will hit two birds with one stone: Marketing creates the exact content needed to address specific barriers to sales, and sales knows it has the right content tools to help.

“Hit two birds with one stone.”

MARKETING: creates the exact content needed to address specific barriers to sales. > SALES ENABLEMENT THROUGH CONTENT > SALES: knows it has the right content tools to help.

How to maintain and grow your distribution

You can create the best content, use the best distribution tools, and pay the most money to amplify, but you still need an engaged audience and online community to make it worth your while.

Building and maintaining that network can result in a direct increase in your traffic and content engagement.

Your network can offer additional benefits, too. By building relationships with your audience of clients, prospects, influencers, industry peers, and more — and nurturing those relationships with your content — you open the door to opportunity.

That opportunity can take a lot of forms. Maybe a conference organizer comes across your CEO’s latest article she published in a leading online publication and invites her to speak on a panel. Maybe a follower retweets your content, an influencer in his network picks it up, and you find your company mentioned in that influencer’s next article.

Opportunity can take many forms and head in different directions, but they start from the same place: your company and the effort you put into nurturing your relationship with your audience.

Ways to grow your network

To start building and growing your network:

  • Publish content in external publications that your target audience loves to engage with. Follow any provided publication guidelines, and include a link back to helpful content on your site to create an inbound marketing funnel.
  • Co-create content with a partner whose audience can help you expand the reach of your messaging. Generate a co-branded whitepaper, conduct a webinar together, or swap guest posts on your sites.
  • Use a marketing automation software and CRM tool like HubSpot. Schedule and measure your social media efforts, and send emails with links back to your content.
  • Build a list of solid, high-quality followers on social. Avoid buying followers, as they seldom engage or turn into leads, but don’t overlook the value of strategic following. Find people who engage with the same topics you do, and start following them; if they’re unresponsive, just unfollow and keep trying with others.
  • Include paid amplification tactics to boost content that contains key messaging or has performed well organically.

To utilize each of these tactics — including the seven essential forms of distribution — your team needs at least one person committed to actively distributing your content and ensuring it gets into the hands of the right people. Whether that person is an internal team member or an external content partner, your company — and your audience — needs to commit to distribution to make the biggest difference to your bottom line.

Content Maximization Checklists for every type of content

Creating and publishing content is one feat content marketers work hard to accomplish, but without a solid promotion strategy, your efforts will go to waste. These content maximization checklists will help you get the most out of your content.

The Content Maximization Checklist will:

  • Provide you with an interactive and downloadable checklist for your entire team to utilize.
  • Offer specific tasks indicating what the employees in the four core areas of your company — marketing, sales, human resources, and executive branding — can do to leverage your published content.

So you’ve published a piece of content. Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step toward reaching your content marketing goals. But what happens after your content goes live?

All too often, marketers use a “set it and forget it” approach. They put so much work into creating amazing content, but then they do very little — if anything — to get as much value out of it as possible.

That’s why we’ve put together these content maximization checklists! Regardless of what type of content you’re creating — from case studies to blog posts to whitepapers — these checklists can help you see a true return on your content marketing investment.

Case Studies

  • Use to warm up cold leads and to reconnect with partners or previous clients
  • Send to referral partners as a new example of your work
  • Create a landing page on your website with additional information about the case study, then offer an ungated download.
  • Add the case study as a call-to-action in your newsletter. Highlight a different key insight each week!
  • Repurpose the case study insights into a video interview. Use when leads request to hear from current clients
  • Use for highlighting you service lines to current clients as an upsell opportunity
  • Attach to follow-up emails with sales leads
  • Write a brief blog post about the process of compiling the case study
  • Use quotes from the case study in website copy or social media campaigns
  • Provide to leads who are similar to the spotlighted client in terms of industry or problem
  • Take snippets of content to highlight during sales presentations. Take printed copies to sales meetings for further reading
  • Ask salespeople to post on LinkedIn or Twitter in their own networks
  • Ask highlighted clients to share the case study with their networks
  • Share with recruits or new hires to illustrate how you work with clients or customers

Whitepapers

  • Share with leads as a discussion point or visual example of your solutions
  • Use to demonstrate expertise on a particular topic
  • Ask leads to share it with their teams; offer it as a professional development resource
  • Write and send an email drip campaign about topics in the whitepaper to leads who have downloaded it
  • Submit a press release about your whitepaper to gain some earned media and organic syndication, furthering your reach and letting third parties handle some distribution for you
  • Write blog posts about topics discussed in the whitepaper
  • Share snippets and teasers at a regular cadence via social media and email. Create a sense of urgency or need when sharing
  • Host a webinar on your whitepaper topic and provide the document to attendees
  • Film a short video explaining what your audience can find in the whitepaper and why it’s valuable. Hint: You can do this easily with screen recording and voiceover!
  • Share through your company’s social media profiles
  • Send to cold leads to reengage with them

Infographics

  • Crop and use images within emails to illustrate sales points
  • Use infographic content as a basis for sales presentations and slides
  • Share infographics as a sales lead reengagement strategy
  • Use to explain processes, as a teaching tool while onboarding new clients or hires, or to outline what a lead or new client can expect when they start working with you
  • Add to your email newsletter as a free download
  • Promote on your website and social media accounts, highlighting why the information is helpful and why the infographic was created
  • Share on social media platforms. Generate Click-to-Tweet links to give readers a quick tweetable link, too
  • Write blog post(s) to correspond with your infographic
  • Optimize your infographic for search engine traction by taking care in naming the photo file, using SEO best practices on the page that houses it, optimizing copy on the corresponding landing page or blog post, etc.
  • Make the infographic easy to share as a link on your website for easy tracking
  • Send to industry influencers, partners, and current clients

SEO Blog Posts

  • Link to SEO blog posts within emails to partners, clients, and leads
  • Use to answer sales questions or as the basis for presentations
  • Build a database of content and repurpose content for social media, presentations, or other content projects. Repurpose blog content into larger projects such as whitepapers or infographics
  • Consistently update blog posts with new statistics and industry examples. Then, notify your audience that you’ve refreshed your content!
  • To close an email, link to two or three blog posts that address the problems or solutions that sales leads or customers have identified
  • Use blog posts as conversation starters or required reading before sales calls
  • Link to blog posts in sales proposals for a more dynamic document
  • After calls with clients or customers, send related blog posts as a follow-up touchpoint
  • Incorporate into new hire training as pre-session reading
  • Include blog posts in weekly newsletters
  • Share on social media platforms and engage in conversation with your audience
  • Remember to rotate the highlighted content on your website to show more than just the most recent posts.

Pillar Blog Posts

  • Add pillar blog posts to your nurture campaigns for more in-depth reading for leads
  • Use these to convey in-depth knowledge to C-suite decision makers (and technical or financial gatekeepers)
  • Break down the key points into an infographic or downloadable whitepaper to drive readers to the pillar blog post
  • Create a simple downloadable PDF to share for offline reading

Guest-Contributed Articles

  • Republish on your company LinkedIn. Ask individual salespeople to post to their LinkedIn or Twitter networks
  • Republish articles on your company blog, but be sure to:
    1. Give credit to the original source, and write a brief introduction paragraph to explain how you came to be mentioned/featured.
    2. Add a canonical tag to the article (super important so you don’t get dinged for duplicate content! Read more here and here).
  • Use as basis for outreach to relevant third-party websites (here’s why you should)
  • Use as an entry point for cold LinkedIn outreach and send content to industry influencers
  • Create regular social media cadence of new content for any or all of these platforms:
    • LinkedIn
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • When sharing on social media, make sure to tag the byline and the publication. Thanking the writer leaves the opportunity open to reconnect in the future.
  • Link to newly published articles in your email signature
  • Add publication logo badges and article quotes into your email signature and on your company website
  • Send before a first sales meeting to help establish your credibility, then pull applicable direct quotes to reengage sales leads
  • Use to overcome objections to philosophies or processes with clients or leads
  • Repurpose into blog content for your website. Here are some of our best tips.
  • Share in your email newsletter with related content or with content linked in the article
  • Share internally with your team in communal messaging spaces or via internal newsletter.

Press Mentions

A few notes on maximizing your press mention articles:

  • Press mentions are not necessarily ideal for use in overcoming client or lead objections

  • Use press mentions more as a credibility source to demonstrate competitive advantage

  • It is discouraged to use press mentions for use in cold outreach, as this can appear disingenuous

  • Send content to industry influencers, and be sure to share content from other thought leaders on your team!
  • Create regular social media cadence of new content for any or all of these platforms:
    • LinkedIn
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • When sharing on social media, make sure to tag the byline and the publication. Thanking the writer leaves the opportunity open to reconnect in the future.
  • Link to newly published articles in your email signature
  • Add publication logo badges and article quotes into your email signature and on your company website
  • Send before a first sales meeting to help establish your credibility, then pull applicable direct quotes to reengage sales leads
  • Use to overcome objections to philosophies or processes with clients or leads
  • Repurpose into blog content for your website. Here are some of our best tips.
  • Share in your email newsletter with related content or with content linked in the article
  • Share internally with your team in communal messaging spaces or via internal newsletter
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