Content comes in a number of different forms: each of these forms is designed to appeal to a different demographic of user.
However, when we create content, we do it not just for users that follow us—but for all users. The aim in creating content and getting our content seen Google is to drive more traffic to our sites.
We want to show off our content: and the best way to do so is to make ourselves known.
There are a couple ways that we can become known and build up awareness of users. Google is the most obvious option since with a potential forty-thousand searches per second, it is by far the largest source of new viewers.
That’s the basis behind our fixation on SEO and conforming to Google’s rules as to what we can and cannot do with our content. The entire idea of making our content available to more people hinges on developing high quality content that can be shared and encourages users to visit our site. Ready to learn about decentralized content marketing?
If we want to make inroads into uncharted territory, however, we’re going to have to go adventuring into new realms of social sharing.
Decentralized Content Marketing: Defining Centralized Content & Its Audience
There hasn’t ever been a post written about marketing your content that doesn’t mention knowing your audience. It is probably the most important part of building your content. You need to know who you are trying to appeal to so you can better streamline your content development. The content you develop is then held on your personal website or social media account and from there it attracts users.
The downside of centralized content is the fact that its outreach is limited.
When you look at the people that centralized content reaches, you realize that it’s all users that have already opted in to follow you. Centralized content draws eyes to your work in a few primary ways, namely:
- Direct URL’s: Usually if you have your URL on a business card or some other piece of content, then you can get users entering that URL into their browsers to directly access your site.
- Email: Opt-in email lists allow you to reach out to a target demographic easily. Although it has its detractors, we do know that a well-run email campaign gets users to visit your site.
- Social Links: Social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook allow you to share links with your subscribed users, getting them to view your owned content easily.
- Search: The big daddy of getting new views. Searches that target particular keywords that are important to your site help people to find you even if they haven’t heard of you before.
These channels are where centralized content shines, but as is obvious, these channels usually require a time commitment in order to make the site function to such an extent that it’s viable. Building an audience does take time, but as any fisherman will be able to tell you, the larger the net you have, the more likely you are to get a big catch.
Decentralizing Content & Increasing Outreach
Centralized content is fine if you already have a substantial core audience. But what if you’ve just gotten into the game and are trying to get together a set of users that fit the niche you’re writing for? Going viral is one way to do it, but anyone who has done Internet marketing for any length of time can easily tell you how difficult it is to go viral. So what other ways are there to attract eyes to your content and ensure that they come back to see more?
Decentralizing your content, known as decentralized content marketing, is one of the most effective ways to get more people to see your content. It acts as a vehicle for driving traffic to your primary page or blog and is relatively simple. Marketing blogs are masters at developing short-form content out of long-form content. Give them an article and in a few days you will have a well-designed infographic that captures the heart of the discussion while leaving out the fluff. Decentralization of your content capitalizes on your ability to précis and to develop more concise content that still keeps the feeling and spirit of long form content.
The Scatter Effect
Any student of biology can easily tell you why plants have become such a successful part of the terrestrial biome. It’s because they get their seeds everywhere.
Plants have mastered the art of seed dispersion and you can find seeds from plants that use wind, water and even animals as medium for transport. That’s why you can have plants crossing oceans and taking root on deserted islands, floating on the currents of the ocean till they find a suitable spot to put down roots. This scattering effect, the ability to spread to distant shores, is at the heart of why you should consider decentralized content.
Decentralizing content gives you access to a wider area than your traditional marketing channels. What you’re trying to do is to spread high quality content far and wide so that other people who fall into your niche but don’t necessarily use your chosen social media channel can know that you exist. You’re trying to raise awareness and spread the word that you are an entity that they should be aware of. From a marketing perspective, it can be considered a rudimentary form of branding, where the brand is actually your page or website. The more you share content that directs people to your site, the wider your reach and the further the spread of your content.
Creating Decentralized Content
We already know how to create good content. Any content that enhances the lives of our users in some way can be considered good. Now we have to combine this with our idea of decentralized content and the different media we will be using to spread these content. Some of the most common means of creating decentralized content include:
- Long Form Content
All of these have their own pros and cons when it comes to their use as decentralized content. What we’re looking at is to create content that is shareable. Decentralized content gives us a platform from which we can reach more users than those that currently follow us. But for us to appeal to users in the way we want to, the content we create must be shareable. We have to develop content that appeals to people and that they can relate to. By creating images or webinars that can easily be shared across multiple forms of social media we get indirect access to all the users on that medium. There are far more social media networks that exist than we can easily count and each one of those contain users that may be part of our target demographic. Decentralizing content marketing gives us the chance to reach out and make them into one of OUR users.
Breaking Out of the Rigid Confines of Centralized Content
Decentralized content should be a part of your marketing strategy, but it should not replace centralized content. That centralized content is what keeps your already subscribed users interested in your blog or site and it’s what will encourage new conversions from decentralized content to come back to your page and opt in to receive updates from you. Blog content that you create and own is something you are familiar with, but decentralized content is a horse of a different color. What it is, basically, is creating content that is stored on someone else’s domain.
This isn’t completely new territory: most of us have done guest blogging in the past and have received a lot of traffic from these enterprises. Decentralized content can be a bit like guest blogging, except it’s not just long-form content you’re concerned with. It’s all types of content ranging from images to infographics. All of these, when created and hosted on a separate domain, contribute to spreading the word about your existence and getting more eyes on the content you DO own.
Despite the fact that it’s not content that you own, decentralized content is still content that you benefit from, albeit indirectly. Although might be tempted to think that decentralized content is throwaway content, it’s the complete opposite. If anything, the content you develop as decentralized should be of a higher standard than the content you have on your site. The reason is that strangers or users of another site will be far more discerning about what they consider good content than your existing audience. You already have a rapport with your audience but this a chance to impress new people. Mediocrity in this endeavor will not do.
Medium and LinkedIn: New Realms of Decentralized Content Marketing?
The key area of developing decentralized content is getting people to look at it and be convinced that they want to see more of this type of content. A handy link, either a direct URL or an embedded link in the content, leads them back to your own page and allows them to have a glance at your owned content. Medium and LinkedIn are pioneers in the field of hosting decentralized content and because of their efforts we can truly appreciate how powerful this is as a strategy to get new viewers for your site.
Medium’s power lies in the fact that they are started as an invite-only service. The quality of your content has to be at a certain level for them to even consider hosting your content on their network. Because of that, you could usually count on Medium to have some of the most well-researched and carefully thought out content for any niche. By the time Medium became a channel that anyone could use, their reputation was already well known to everyone because of their strategy of having the best names in any industry publishing under their banner.
A similar situation occurred with LinkedIn. Their foray into long-form content was enhanced by the inclusion of the “Influencers” program, where the most popular entrepreneurs would create content that described in detail their struggles, inspiring readers to face challenges and be better than they thought they could be. At the end of the first year of the Influencers program, an average influencer blog post was getting 30,000 views.
These two online publishing platforms demonstrate the kind of power that decentralized content can have. What it does, though, is underline the necessity of having good quality content when creating for someone else’s platform. LinkedIn and medium didn’t get where they are today by accepting any blog post from any writer. They were specific about focusing on the best blog posts in order to generate views. This is what you should be doing when you consider decentralization of your content: focus more on quality.
Why Decentralization of Content is a Good Strategy
The takeaway from understanding how decentralized content works is that you don’t only have to depend upon your traditional channels to get views.
Although you won’t produce decentralized content as often as you would create content for your page or blog, it still has to be of a high enough quality so that a user on seeing the post will be encouraged to visit your site.
Creating good content attracts users, and the wider you spread your content, the more likely it is people will follow the threads you put out back to its source. Decentralized content is an innovative way to make yourself open to discovery. It’s about time you incorporated it into your existing content strategy.
At the end of the day it comes back to the quality of your content.
Is your content good enough to attract new users from someone else’s domain?