Producing content is only part of the struggle when launching a content marketing product like a blog. Gaining traction is the greatest challenge – so much so that some believe at least 50 per cent of your time should go into it.
Pareto’s 80/20 principle is frequently mentioned in context of gaining traction for a blog. So 80 per cent of the work is done up front.
Every started from nothing. BuzzFeed, one of the bigger players in the content marketing space, launched in 2006.
In its earliest incarnation it relied heavily on content taken from Reddit. This was then repackaged and issued on the site. The site in turn was heavily optimised for SEO.
Lots of content, all vouched for and verified via Reddit’s voting system. So far so good. But the next step was to push the content that was finding initial traction and share it heavily on social. The tactic depended simply on repetition.
At this point, BuzzFeed was helped by criticism in the national press over its methods. As is often the case, this drove traffic even further.
It is worth noting that BuzzFeed’s site is relatively simple in its application. It has also been helped by the rise of social media and press opposition.
In the main, it has taken already successful content pushed through other sites, repackaged it and – out of that – repackaged on social the content that was popular.
You’ve got to be in it to win it, however. Strategies don’t have to be complicated. But they do have to be consistent. Arguably BuzzFeed did two things. It produced a lot of content. And it took advantage of the opportunities that were around at the time, ie social media.
Would it work now? Probably not half as well. The key is to take advantage of new distribution opportunities.