Create Remarkable Content
Beyond a remarkable value proposition, you must also cre-ate remarkable content about your company and products,for two important reasons.
First,remarkable content attracts links from other web sites pointing to your web site. In other words, you want your content to prompt other content producers on the Web to“remark” about your products and services and link back to your site. Every one of these links (remarks) gives you a double win: The links send you qualified visitors, and
they signal to Google that your web site is worthy of ranking for important keywords in your market. More links equals more traffic from relevant sites, in addition to more traffic
from Google via search—double win! Second, remarkable content is easily and quickly spread on social media sites, such as Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Red-dit, Facebook, among others. If you create a remarkable blog article or white paper, it will spread like wild fire within your market today, relative to how quickly it would have spread just a few years ago.
Building a Content Factory
To make this double win work for your company, you need to create lots of remarkable content. The people who win really big on the Web are the media/content companies
(e.g., Wikipedia,New York Times, TechCrunch, etc.) who have a factory for creating new content. Each piece of con-tent that has links to it can be found through those sites
linking to it and through Google, and it can be spread virally through social media sites. A savvy inbound marketer learns from the media companies and is half traditional marketer and half content creation factory. The nice thing about remarkable content with lots of links to it is that the links never go away; as you create more content, it just produces more qualified traffic on top of the traffic you are getting on your older content. Remarkable content works in the exact opposite way of paid advertising where you pay and have to keep paying to get more visitors to your site. Remarkable content is the gift that keeps on giving, so you need to become really good at creating lots of it!
Variety Is the Spice of Life
To keep things simple, create content that you can produce rapidly and that people can effectively spread online. Here are some examples:
- Blog articles—One-page articles on topics related to your industry.
- White papers—Five- to seven-page papers that edu-cate your marketplace on an industry trend, challenge, etc. White papers shouldn’t be about products.
Create Remarkable Content
- Videos—Short two- to three-minute videos about your industry. Product videos are good too, but do not spread as easily.
- Webinars—Live online PowerPoint presentations on an industry topic.
- Podcasts—Ten- to twenty-minute audio programs or interviews with industry experts similar to radio shows.
- Webcasts—Live video shows viewed online.
You Gotta Give to Get
The counter-intuitive thing about remarkable content is that the more you give, the more you get. The more remarkable the content and the more transparent you are
about your remarkable content, the more links to your site and the better it will rank in the search engines. Think about the Grateful Dead from the previous chapter—they gave
away lots of content and business came back to them in spades.
You want to move away from them indset of hiding all of your remarkable content in your founder’s/salesperson’s/consultant’s head and use that content to attract links to
your site, which will then attract visitors and move your site up the Google ranks.
Moving Beyond the Width of Your Wallet
Ten years ago, your marketing effectiveness was a function of the width of your wallet. Today, your marketing effective-ness is a function of the width of your brain. You no longer need to spend tons of money interrupting your potential
customers. Instead, you need to create remarkable content, optimize that content (for search engines, RSS readers, and social media sites),publish the content, market the con-tent through the blogosphere and social media sphere, and measure what is working and what is not working.
You want to think of yourself as half marketer and half publisher. You might consider making your next full-time marketing hire be a writer/journalist, rather than a career
Tracking Your Progress
You need only track a few simple things to see how well you are doing at creating lots of remarkable content.
First, track the number of other web sites linking to your web site. Every time a new web site links to yours, it is a vote for your site being remarkable. Each of these links is like a new road being built to your city and enables more people to find your products and services more easily. You will want to track the number of web sites linking to you today and then track this metric over time, as it will give you a sense for whether the marketplace thinks you have increasingly remarkable things to say!
Second, track the number of times someone uses Deli-cious to bookmark your site. Delicious (Delicious.com) is a social bookmarking site that is very similar to the book-marking feature on your Web browser, but it is centralized.
By tracking the number of people who are bookmarking your site over time, you can get a sense for how remarkable your content is. If no one is bookmarking your site, then no
one finds the content remarkable, which means that you probably need to rethink your unique value proposition. If you have a nice increase in the number of people bookmark-ing your site or articles, it means that more and more people
Create Remarkable Content
think your content is interesting and want to return to it.
Third, track the number of pages on your site that have been indexed by Google and are ready to be served on moment’s notice to an eager searcher. The more pages you
have in Google’s index, the more words you can rank for.
An easy way to track your links, your Delcious book-marks, and the number of indexed by Google is by running your web site through website.grader.com, which gives all of these numbers for your web site in a free report.
You ought to check that early and often.
Inbound in Action: Wikipedia
Wikipedia was founded in 2001 on the remarkable premise that the community could collaborate and build a better encyclopedia than an old stalwart like Encyclopedia Britan-nica. How many people told them that it was a stupid idea back in 2001!?
It turns out that there are major benefits to using a collab-orative community approach to creating content.Wikipedia can access far more expertise in narrower topics than an
organization with a limited set of editors; the site does not kill acres of CO2-absorbing trees; it has far more articles; and the information is always up to date. In fact, Brian
remembers using a 1967 encyclopedia at his house while in grammar school in the late 1970s—it did not have very up-to-date coverage of the Vietnam War for his book report!
Wikipedia has over 14 million pages of content, over 250 languages, and is the fourth most visited site on the Internet, according to Jay Walsh, head of communications
for the Wikipedia Foundation. “The information is 100 per-cent volunteer created,” says Jay. Wikipedia is a remarkable project in that we have an enormous amount of informa-tion about products, services, events, people—in short, we
have everything from mundane information to Shakespeare to World History.”
According to Jay, Wikipedia has become an equalizer in that ideas and content can be made better through an editorial process. “Within Wikipedia, anyone and everyone
has a chance to design words to describe a thing.”
Because Wikipedia has become indispensable, it has over six million links from other web sites remarking about it. That is six million different pages on the Web that peo-ple can click on and find themselves on Wikipedia’s site.
Because of the sheer volume of links into Wikipedia and the fact that it’s a remarkable content factory, Google considers it an authoritative site.
What can you learn from Wikipedia? Can you get your users, customers, partners, and suppliers to create remarkable content for you? Could you set up an industry-specific wiki off of your web site moderated by your business and contributed to by your entire industry?
1.Think of your marketing function as half marketer and half publisher.
2.Start creating remarkable content on an ongoing basis.
3.Go to website.grader.com and note the number of linking sites, Delicious bookmarks to your site and number of pages Google has indexed.