Content Marketing ALERT! Paid-Organic Social Distribution Is The Future

Posted in SEO

Posted on May 20th, 2013

As we content marketers seek new distribution methods, we’re after programs that:

  • Drive targeted & scalable social psychographic traffic to content that convertsEarn real links from sites with good domain authority
  • Generate authentic social signals from real users of good authority
  • Insulate our sites from harsh search engine algorithm updates
  • Distribute PR content to journalists, bloggers, and a myriad focused media-role users

In case you haven’t noticed the buzz kill, it’s practically Armageddon out there, at least  for some last gen marketers. For SEO practitioners who don’t know what they’re doing anymore 2013 SEO is brutal man, just brutal.  Google’s veritable Jihad against link spammers and outdated link building tactics is finally working to a greater extent. Search engines in general are building better bullsh*t detectors than ever before.

Social marketers feel the same pain. It used to be pretty much free to distribute content by way of social sharing. That’s no longer the case now that social media channels have neutered and spayed free distribution in favor of organic looking ad units.  Get it? A substantial percentage of any social media page looks organic but is actually laced with paid content blocks that look very similar to what they did when formally free. Hence the moniker, “Paid organic.”

The good news is that for marketers adept in organic, paid and paid-organic distribution of awesome content the living is high baby!  Pitching for links only with email and phone calls is SO 2011! There’s plenty of good ol’ #SEO links to go around for authentic and talented content marketers who understand the current distribution paradigm.

Since so much of SEO is contingent on actual quality links and true social signals, there’s nothing to be afraid of for evolved content marketers. Great content properly distributed yields signals and links. We’ve seen this proven over and over.

To begin, the foundation of great content marketing is…well… tremendously useful content advised, tailored and tuned by the very audiences to which we expect will consume it.  All the classic caveats apply: How does the content serve users and why will they care?  How does the content demystify, serve, remove barriers to conversion and move users towards the purchase funnel in attributable steps?

This post is not about creating great content. We assume you already know how to create content that works. Content that “works” means to say that “If the right user sees the content then the user will value the content on some level and have a propensity to somehow act.”  Also “Good things will happen from content touches including users sharing, linking, and converting via content-as-the-living-landing-page. Rather, this post is all about how to get MORE, much more, out of your terrific content.

Recently Forbes magazine caught up with AIMCLEAR’s social distribution tactical successes online, and highlighted one of our client’s case studies to readers. The article by Neal Rodriguez details our team’s integrated techniques to amplify on-site content marketing winners for conversion. The attention was gratifying since we see stellar results over and over with our clients and have been evangelizing these distribution tactics for years.


The Forbes article focused on paid-organic distribution for CPA KPI conversions using content as a vessel. Content marketing conversion amplified with paid-organic social distribution is cool enough in itself.

However conversion is only half the groovy story. Paid-organic content social content distribution also spawns transformational SEO benefits. Let’s explore the (most delightful) “other side” of the paid-organic content distribution story, SEO.  Yep, we’re talking about the social signals and links you need for SEO.

Starting With Facebook
Here’s how it works. Social media distribution in Facebook used to be mostly free. Content placed on your wall was seen by many people without marketers needing to pay. Now Facebook has learned to monetize the distribution of “organic” content, even to most users who liked your page. You have to pay to play using Page Post Ads and Sponsored Stories or a relatively small amount of FB users will see your content.

The good news is that it’s relatively inexpensive to “re-enable” organic features to dominate.  The Page Post Ads look organic. Some FB users are bothered but most don’t seem to care. If your content is good enough to earn conversion, then it can be amplified.  For the most part, if you’re not amplifying content on your social walls, few focused users will see the content, relative to available psychographic audiences.

The graph below shows the conversion effect. From September to December the content was marketed by organic (not paid) search and social methods.  Take note that the content did earn organic conversions.  In January and February we dialed in paid-organic distribution to occupational psychographics. You’ll see that conversion scaled right along with the traffic lift.


Anything great about content marketing can be amplified. If you’re not doing paid-organic social content distribution, no matter how strong the organic distribution (non paid), the content is wasted compared to the exposure it could receive for relatively small money. You’re leaving money on the table from traffic, buzz, links and conversion.

Modern Link Building That Google Loves & Nearly Always Works
Well-executed organic amplification of relevant content nearly always results in links. Marketers are already learning to ditch old style link building efforts in favor of paid-organic link building to earned psychographic audiences, bloggers and journalists. We tell our clients to spend their money building more effective content and distributing it to social psychographic segments.


Let’s think it through. The best way to earn links is to ensure that “backlink ready” audiences with an affinity for your business’s wares to consume your content. Paid organic amplification gets content in front of many more targeted users. Page post and feed ads in Facebook perform nearly as corresponding organic page units sometimes even better.

Also, well-targeted content traffic from a FB page post ad performs on your site much the same as “intent” search keywords. That means users spend copious time on site, page views per visit, bounce rate and (yes) conversion.  CONTENT is what has always earned links.

Not Just Facebook
Most mainstream social platforms are going this way by creating advertising products to pimp content. For instance new DIY targeting in Twitter is making radically focused paid-organic content amplification possible. Twitter is more aggressive and transparent than Facebook when it comes letting users know that promoted tweets are paid.  Still, users accept the ads just fine and promoted Tweets perform very well.


Twitter targeting methods are hot, which we’ll cover here in AIMCLEAR Blog in coming days.  One method is to target followers of users who follow other people.


Master Social PR For SEO
Content amplification to occupational media roles is a new staple of the modern distribution and link building.  AIMCLEAR was early in evangelizing the notion of paid-organic distribution of content to publications, bloggers, journalists, editors, morning show anchors and most every other media role. It works so very well, often resulting in interviews, links and media attention.

Savvy PR pros know that they can target media players at specific publications from USA Today and the Washington Post to Conde Nast. Think of it as inbound PR. Next time you want the media to consume your content. Make sure they see it! Similar targeting is easily deployed using paid Twitter and LinkedIn.

Inbound PR

Worry Less About Google Algorithm Updates Trashing Content. Prepare your content strategy to sail through SEO updates with less stress. The techniques shared in this post will insulate you from future Google inquisitions. The social signals generated and links earned are real users consuming your content. That’s what Google wants, right?

 “Paid organic” social content distribution may be the most misunderstood and underused tactic in all of online marketing today. Distributing content that lives on your site by amplifying it to select psychographics via social walls is the greatest only-lightly contested marking opportunity since 2002, when Google AdWords was released.  Understanding and actualizing this tactic means to dominate with content marketing. Better yet, well-targeted traffic to content from social channels yields conversions, likes, follows and other good things.

Literally, SEO link building agencies that don’t use these tactics risk going out of business of losing their jobs.  Agencies that do not adapt to the new link-building paradigm may not survive. Sites bolstered by old link building methods wilted or tanked when Panda and Penguin hit. This reality has hurt many.

It should be noted that paid-organic social content distribution does not  replace good old-fashioned public relations and P2P outreach.  Human to human marketing will always work. That said, we believe the methodology outlined in this post is well on its way to becoming the defacto best practices model for most business that sell with content and a crucial element of success. For SEO most businesses need to sell with content. We believe PR companies will adopt these practices as standard fare in the future. Good ones already are.

You may be resistant to paying Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and other channels today to distribute your content. You won’t feel that way very soon because paid-organic social content distribution is most marketers new job description. It takes care of so many pieces of the puzzle, from PR and link building to traffic, loyalty and conversion. Link building is dead. Long live the new link building!


Header image © Argus – Fotolia dot com

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  • John M Weaver

    Hey Marty – I’ve been reading your material for years now and continue to agree with your thoughts. This is exactly what search marketing peeps should be doing, but not many are catching on in my area.

    • Marty Weintraub

      John, we’re glad the content resonates. I agree. Most have not caught on to this. It is part of the future of SEO.

  • A.J. Ghergich

    Great article! For LARGE clients gaining direct access to their main social media accounts can be a real pain (red tape) vs doing manual outreach on their behalf.

    Do you typically advise clients on how to distribute their content properly or are you literally running the content distribution campaigns for them from their FB account?

    • Marty Weintraub

      A.J. You raise a key point: “Do you typically advise clients on how to distribute their content properly or are you literally running the content distribution campaigns for them from their FB account?” The answer is really all over the map. When clients handle it themselves we train them to package content properly on their wall. There are intricacies between SEO title tag, description, open graph, image selection, editing text elements on the wall while posting, etc. Most of the time clients allow us to post on their behalf. Sometimes we need to get approval first. What has your experience been?

  • Jamil Blue

    I couldn’t agree more. Great contents could be anywhere. But link builders should maximize what their clients can get out of those great contents.

  • A.J. Ghergich

    Hey Marty, we usually only run into issues with larger companies and honestly I think it comes down to people wanting to protect their turf internally.

    • Marty Weintraub

      A.J. AND that’s the most important part. The “packaging” from blog post to wall to page post ad to tweet, including image, on page headlines + SEO tags + OpenGraph is really where the rubber meets the road. They can protect turf all they want but if the packaging sucks then the turf sensitive marketer sucks too :).

  • Ryan

    We just started in the whole facebook paid organic social content, also currently use google adwords, but sometimes the cost of such services can be overwhelming for a small business. Any suggestions on how to keep the cost minimal but still have success?

  • Jerry Thoreson

    As always, you’re dead on Marty. My Facebook clients with 500-3,000 fans are seeing tremendous growth on a mere $25 a month budget. Simply “boost” a post that is gaining traction and watch it explode.

  • OnDigital SEO Guy

    Great article, we have found the interesting side effect of using photo’s as a emotional connection to users when we use the paid for content strategies. the client in question shall remain nameless (excepe that they are in the medical field) but what we found works for them is animals? True but bizarre coupled with tips about healthy living it gets the likes, the comments and the shares 🙂

    Strange but true!

  • ArtAddict

    Marty, this is an eye-opener! I have a question. “Well-executed organic amplification of relevant content nearly always results in links”
    So, if I understand you correctly – if I create a great piece of content and show it to the right people via FB ads, they will link to my content?

    In that case, I guess the challenge is to define the audience that is BOTH interested in my content AND own a website.

    I recently did an experiment. I had written a great article about a particular art topic (I say great because I had positive feedback from the professional circles)

    Then I launched two ads. One was Paid Stumbles because I had noticed that people interested in my subject were on Stumbleupon. The second ad was on Facebook. Again, I tried to target people in certain age/interest/location groups where I thought I would catch the art bloggers.

    Alas, it didn’t give me any links. Having said that – I spent only $100 on the whole campaign.

    What would you say is the minimum spend to ensure a decent exposure? And how would you approach finding the right website owners on Facebook?

    • Marty Weintraub

      You have to do it day after day to get links. You can’t avoid getting links with fantastic content. Users discover it by various methods, including SEO and social. Whatever can be earned by organic tweets and organic FB posts, can be amplified. The content needs to be great enough to get links without paid organic amplification.

  • dang ky internet

    I couldn’t agree more. But i think backlinks builders should maximize what their clients can get out of those great contents. No1 is backlink , No2 là content 😀

  • Michael Bian

    Hey I found this article very helpful. I agree that the best way to earn links is to ensure that “backlink ready” audiences with an affinity for your business’s wares to consume your content.Big thanks !