Content Marketing: On or Off-Site?

You can probably guess that if you’re serious about content marketing, you’ve got to make it happen on and off-site. As a refresher, here’s what marketers mean by those terms.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing

On-Site Content: All the content on your website: Web copy, resources, downloads, blogs, media

Off-Site Content: Anything by you or your brand on any website other than your own (guest blogs, press releases, interviews, etc.)

As you can see, your business won’t float without both. The tricky part is knowing when to take which approach.

The short answer is to start with your campaign goal and work backward.

Let’s look at some of the most critical digital marketing goals, and which content marketing approach works best for each.

When to Use On-Site Content Marketing

Campaign Goal Why It Works For Example
Anchor Points You’ll need a place for people who find you through your off-site content (backlinks, affiliate marketing, etc.) to land. If you’re a guest blogger, link your name or website name in that guest post to your homepage, About page, etc.
Brand Authority Having a content-rich site boosts your credibility as a thought leader/expert in your field. Informative Blogs

Interactive Media

Downloadable Resources

Conversions People can’t engage (and therefore won’t convert to customers) without content to interact/engage with CTAs (like buttons) designed to keep people moving throughout the site

Sufficient amount of content

Intuitive web design

Customer Retention Diverse, regularly updated content keeps you from being perceived as a one-trick pony (and keeps people coming back). Regular site content updates

Different types of content

Content that adds value to the site visitor

 

When serving clients, we start by making sure their onsite content is strong, evergreen, and valuable to every visitor. Telling the story of your brand is key to getting and keeping customers.

But if you’re an established business, you’d be remiss not to consider off-site content an essential part of your inbound marketing efforts.

When to Use Off-Site Content Marketing

Campaign Goal Why It Works For Example
Brand Megaphone External sites are a great platform for getting leveling up your brand reach. Influencer marketing campaigns: get a high-powered expert with an engaged following to push people toward your site (and do the same for them)
Credibility Being on other high-quality sites validates your brand reputation. An affiliate marketing campaign where another thought leader promotes your project.
Linking Credible content can improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and place you higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Being listed as a resource site, guest blogger, or thought leader by a colleague.

On-site and off-site content marketing are like airplane wings, you need both to make it work. Once you’ve laid the bedrock with strong on-site content, it’s time to branch out to make sure you’re taking advantage of the power of off-site strategies.

None of these content strategies are going to hurt you, and having a diverse approach will keep things stabilized. But you may not be able to do everything at once— and that’s OK.

To narrow it down:

  • Start with your primary goals.
  • Determine your budget (how much to allocate to on/off-site efforts, respectively).
  • Choose at least one strategy from each type of content marketing according to your budget.

Once you have some strategies in hand, commit to consistency. All the bells and whistles mean nothing if a business can’t deliver high-quality content with regularity.

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