The whisper of “If you build it, they will come” may have produced magic for Ray Kinsella, but it’s not a solid strategy for using content to serve and attract new customers.

In my experience, it’s pretty clear that nobody’s going to rush to check out yet another post. Without a promotion plan, even the best content goes nowhere. That’s why working links into all of your available channels is so important.

Ease their pain

Link building is the process of increasing the number of ways a customer can find your content, typically by providing links around the Web. If your information is just sitting and waiting to be found, it’s going to be lonely.

Remember, if something isn’t a single click away, the barrier is too high for most people. That’s why you want to base your content plan that includes understanding how people search for the kinds of products and services you offer coupled with a solid promotional strategy that targets where they’re likely to look.

Go the distance

On your primary site and each social media profile, tell people what they can expect of value from you: tips, offers, advice, helpful links from other sources, or some combination. And make a plan to direct each valued item toward a landing page designed for that particular customer.

Building engagement with your content isn’t just for social media. Think of all the points at which your customers interact with something you’ve created for them and refer to your content for more information.

  • Email: These are easy clicks for customers to follow if you create and send a newsletter. Don’t just rely on links and icons for social media though; include relevant headlines that link to posts. “5 ways to build a better credit score” is better than “Visit our website.”
  • Printed material: Keep it simple. Just use your @username Twitter handle or Facebook page name. Overly complicated Web addresses or directions are a high hurdle since they’re hard to remember and easy to type incorrectly. People who use those networks will understand how to find you. Those who don’t aren’t going to engage there anyway.
  • Mobile first: Visit any links you distribute on your own device. Are you putting your best foot forward?

Magic works in the movies, but in the real world, results online are based on having a plan, thinking through the customer journey, and providing value day in and day out.

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