Often times I hear people say things like “create great content in order to get found by your customers,” or “the more content you create, the more likely it is that you will start getting found by your target audience.” While it’s true that your primary audience personas (customers, clients, readers, etc.) are ultimately who you want to reach, it’s important not to forget an often overlooked persona you should be targeting with your content: influencers.
Many of us put a great deal of effort into creating content that targets that key audience that’s going to help us generate revenue and take our company to the next level. However, we also need a little help from the people who write blogs, edit online publications, and influence your primary audience through their own powerful social presences.
I recently stumbled upon a popular article that was written by Rand Fishkin of Moz which discusses the importance of appealing to a link-savvy audience. Rand calls this audience the “Linkerati,” which sounds more fun than “link providers” or “influencers,” which is what we call them. Whatever you call them, these are the people who will potentially provide natural links to your website – a critical factor for ranking in search engines.
Let’s take a look at who these link providers are:
- Forum posters
- Web News Writers
- Content Creators
- Resource Editors
- Social Taggers
- Viral Connectors
All of these people have the potential to be great influencers in the online world. They’re creators of news content, they control news outlets, and they generate a ton of web traffic. The most important characteristic they have in common is that they have the means to readily link to your content from an external website when they like what they see.
Now, you might be wondering how in the world you are going to get noticed by these influencers, or who the influencers are in your industry. The answer is simple, yet challenging to execute: you get noticed by engaging in and adding value to the discussions taking place in your industry through online forums and social networks.
You share not only your own great content into these networks, but the best content from other industry influencers. They really like when you do that. So much so that they make take notice of your great content and return the favor.
While this is no easy process, it is one that’s very achievable and repeatable. The key is to have a content strategy in which you allocate some percentage of your time and energy toward creating content that’s intended to target your industry influencers. The key thing to remember is this:
[Tweet “When developing audience personas for #ContentMarketing, don’t forget influencers!”]
So now you may be thinking I’m telling you to create double the content in order to reach your customers and separately your industry influencers. Not at all. Just make sure that you’re creating a mix of content that’s informative, share worthy, and which occasionally puts the emphasis on not only your primary audience personas, but influencers as well.
Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and the way they measure links. Influencers already have (or should have if you’re targeting correctly) the trust of Google, so they’re capable of helping you rank at the top of search results. They can provide high quality, editorially placed links to the great content you’ve created that deserves to get linked.
What does all of this mean to you in plain terms?
You need to have high quality content with relevant links pointing back to your website. If you set aside some portion of your efforts to create content that appeals not only to your customers, but to your industry’s influencers as well, your content is much more likely to appear in the search engine results pages.
(Stock image via BigStockPhoto.com. Used under license.)