Closed Networks Are Better For Content Marketing

Content marketing requires leads. You probably rely on your website to capture leads, and it’s proving to be hard work. Whether you’re generating organic or paid traffic, marketing methods aren’t self-sustaining – you’ve got to maintain a high level of activity to get results.

Even when you have leads, content marketing strategies require rigorous action, including efforts to maintain your website’s position in the search engines. The moment you let up your SEO efforts, including PPC campaigns, you’ll fall behind.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Although you should be capturing leads on your website, if you’re struggling, there are other sources you can tap into. Closed networks like Facebook and LinkedIn provide access to a vast pool of leads if you know how to work them. The key is to tell a compelling story and provoke a response. That’s hard to do on a website, but easy on a closed network.

Start tapping into closed social media networks

If you’re struggling to get your content in front of the right people, and your lead capturing efforts aren’t working out, shift your attention to closed networks for a while. You can market your business to specific demographics, and collect a captive audience to interact with.

Utilizing a closed network will also give you valuable feedback on what you’re doing right, and what you can improve. Marketing content on Facebook is rough since users are distracted and multi-tasking. Getting meaningful engagement is even more difficult. Good. That’s what you want – the difficulty will train you to refine your content to grab and hold attention.

On closed networks, your simplest content will be discovered

Some businesses launch a webpage to use as a simple business card, but nobody finds it in the search engines. It’s hard to get single pages with little content to rank. On the other hand, publishing a simple business card on LinkedIn, (this one by SteelMaster is a great example), will be found by people searching for specific keywords. The network is closed, and the search engine’s algorithm doesn’t use as many variables as Google. LinkedIn has a brilliantly programmed search capability where exact phrase match works and the advanced search feature is an extensive resource.

Leverage the power of user-generated content

Closed networks, like LinkedIn, already rank high in the search engines. Their 546 million users perpetually publishing content keeps them on top. Leveraging LinkedIn’s sustained rank is less effort than trying to get (and keep) your own website at the top of Google.

Stop worrying about SEO for your website (for now)

Despite algorithm changes that turned traditional SEO on its head, some SEO companies continue to tell clients they can get them on the first page of Google. That’s a misleading claim. There is no objective “first page of Google” seen by all searchers. Each user sees different results.

Getting on the first page of Google is no longer a worthwhile goal to pursue – another reason to grab leads across closed networks.

If you’re struggling with generating leads, at least for now, stop worrying about SEO for your website. You can pick it up again later. SEO has a value, but it’s not the magic elixir it’s portrayed to be. For now, turn your attention to closed networks.

Community and connection are built on closed networks

Distributing content across closed networks also does something not easily done on your website: it builds community. Years ago, communities online were created on discussion forums and bulletin boards. Today, people gather on social media.

Once you’ve generated a following of subscribers on closed networks, promote your website’s content to those followers to tell your story and grab their attention. It’s easier to go where people are already gathered than to try getting Google searchers to come to your website.

Not every website can compete with the large corporations that spend billions of dollars on marketing, including SEO. If you’re struggling, find a point of leverage and ride the coattails of established, growing closed networks.

About Larry Alton

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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