Every summer, I start a vegetable garden. I purchase seeds, plant them in various places in my backyard, tend to them, and with the help of the right weather conditions, help them grow. Why am I talking about gardening on a marketing blog?
Content seeding. But instead of planting zucchini seeds, marketers plant content to grow brand awareness and leads.
Let's get into the specifics of what content seeding is and how it works.
Content seeding is a strategy in which content creators plant a brand's content across various platforms, such as partnering with an influencer to promote a product on social media, to reach their target audience and attract leads.
Content seeding allows brands to highlight their content in places target audiences will see and engage with it. Influencers are a prime choice for content seeding because they usually have large audiences. These audiences have been proven to trust influencers more than their friends.
For instance, lifestyle subscription box FabFitFun has a target audience of women "ages 18-34, who love a good deal [and] want to hear about the latest and greatest trends in beauty, fitness, nutrition, and style." When they work with influencers on content seeding, they choose platforms their target audience is interested in, like my favorite podcast, True Crime Obsessed (TCO).
When I heard ads for FabFitFun on TCO, I was immediately interested in the brand and what it offers, so I followed the link in the podcast subscription. The added bonus of hearing high praises from hosts I've come to connect with and trust solidified my interest and ultimately drove me to subscribe. That's content seeding in motion.
Part of the reason content seeding is so successful is that the content shared by influencers or partners is relevant to the target audience. Market research shows brands, like FabFitFun, where their audience is and gives them clues as to where to seed content.
Having industry leaders promote a brand through their social platforms or other networks increases the reach of the business, because they've built trust with their own audiences.
However, influencers aren't the only way to facilitate content seeding. You can also contact an agency that specializes in seeding, or reach out to thought leaders for a partnership on a blog post or email newsletter.
If you're starting to think of ways you can get into content seeding, which platforms to use, and what content to share — don't worry, we're going to look at more great examples of content seeding next.
Content Seeding Examples
1. Claire Saffitz x Coveteur
Cooking magazine Bon Appetit has a wildly popular YouTube channel (4.7 million subscribers strong) due to their charismatic test kitchen chefs who produce recipe videos. Claire Saffitz, host of series "Gourmet Makes," has become a food influencer because of how much she connects with fans of the channel. Recently, Saffitz collaborated with magazine Coveteur on her Instagram.
This is a great example of content seeding because Coveteur's partnership with Saffitz brought recognition to their magazine. Her Q/A with the lifestyle magazine could closely appeal to Saffitz's fans: people who are interested in cooking and health. The closely running avenues of the publisher’s audiences mean a potential 400,000 new readers from Saffitz's Instagram.
2. Mandy McEwen x LinkedIn Marketing
Founder of marketing company Mod Girl Marketing, Mandy McEwen, recently partnered with LinkedIn Marketing's Thought Leadership campaign. This partnership aligns with McEwen's following — professionals who are interested in working with thought leaders — and LinkedIn's audience — professionals looking for workplace connections and advancements.
McEwen also gains new engagement from the partnership, while building her credibility as a marketer. This is a great example of how content seeding can work both ways to build brand awareness.
3. Lin-Manuel Miranda x Reddit
Social platform Reddit recently had actor Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights) run an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the site. The thing about AMAs is that you must have an account to participate. Fans had to sign up for an account to ask Miranda a question, then notice social communities for Miranda's line of work, like Broadway and television.
Having Miranda post this on Twitter to three million followers is great exposure for Reddit. If the platform wanted to grow its theatre-based threads and community, this AMA was a perfect seed to plant.
4. Louis Tomlinson x Twitter
Musician Louis Tomlinson recently collaborated with Twitter to run a Q&A on YouTube. Tomlinson and Twitter each have incredibly large audiences, but most probably had no idea Twitter had a YouTube channel (myself included). However, with Tomlinson's 33 million followers, Twitter saw a way to grow their presence on the video platform.
Twitter partnering with Tomlinson to promote another channel of theirs is a smart way to attract potential subscribers. If fans find that more of their favorite artists have similar videos on Twitter's YouTube channel, they might tune in and share their finds to their own Twitter audience.
5. Sara Blakely x Masterclass
Founder and CEO of Spanx, Sara Blakely, worked with MasterClass on an entrepreneurship course. MasterClass is an online education platform offering courses in various industries. Learn tennis from 23-time title holder Serena Williams or get a crash course in fashion from Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour.
Blakely's partnership with MasterClass is an invitation for fans of the entrepreneur to get a look into how she built her empire. If 300,000 of Blakely's followers are interested in her story, the website could benefit greatly from dropping their branded content on her Instagram.
My vegetable garden thrives every year because of a combination of work from my end, the right soil, and favorable weather conditions. The same is true for content seeding. A perfect content seeding strategy is built from a combination of brands finding the right partners, a great platform, and a favorable product or service to promote.
You don't have to invest huge amounts of money into content seeding. Choosing micro-influencers or guest bloggers and podcast interviews are more cost-effective ways of content seeding as well.
Originally published Nov 25, 2019 4:00:00 AM, updated March 10 2020