Many marketers write a fantastic hard-hitting blog, blast it out across social media and then forget about it. This seems like a shame, given that the average time it takes to write even a short 500 word piece is 1-2 hours. Make sure every minute counts by proactively promoting everything you write!
The average content marketer uses 13 marketing tactics to promote their content. You too should use as many as possible to make sure you are making the most out of your content. After all, the internet is a crowded place – how can you be sure that people saw your blog article the first time around?
But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here are our top 9 tips for promoting your content.
1. Have a plan
Any Blackadder fan worth their mettle knows that you must have a “cunning plan” for anything to succeed. It’s the same with promoting your content.
Your promotion strategy, should come into your overall content strategy. However, not many marketers go to the effort of documenting their content strategies:
48% of smaller organisations have a documented content strategy, as do 41% of larger organisations. Both of these numbers are too small. A documented content strategy helps build your confidence and start a plan for promoting your content.
So, when you’re planning what you’re going to write, think of how you’re going to promote it too.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Which channels will I use?
- How many times will I repeat it on social media?
- When should I promote my blog?
- Could I do more to promote this content?
(The answer to that last one is usually YES, and our next 8 tips should give you some ideas how to do it.)
2. Build an audience
Each piece of content should be tailored to your audience and where they are in the sales funnel. That’s a given. But when you’re promoting your content, you need to consider how you’ll make them see it. Which channels will you use? Which hashtags?
There are lots of things that you can do to make sure your content is seen by the right people. Here are just a couple:
· Influencer marketing
Develop relationships with the influencers in your industry. Talk to them, tweet them, message them, quote them. If you get the influencer to actively promote your content for you, you’ll reach thousands of new people.
· Blogger outreach
Your content doesn’t have to be confined to your site. To gain exposure, seek out complementary blogs and write to the authors with details of your content. You never know – they might link to it.
3. Engage with your audience
When you’ve put so much effort into building your audience, you really need to engage with it. Develop a relationship with the people who read your content by holding conversations. Respond to any and all feedback in a friendly and professional manner – or, more specifically, in the tone laid out in your brand guidelines.
Respond to posts on social media, discuss the industry on comment pages and offer solutions to your readers’ problems. This is your chance to display your knowledge, not your product, so you can establish yourself as a thought leader.
There are lots of methods you can use to engage with your audience: customer surveys, focus groups, events, networking and more. The bottom line is, if it helps you get to know your audience better, go for it! Investing time in understanding and engaging with your audience will pay dividends in the form of more targeted content that addresses the issues they care about. Ergo, this increases the chances they’ll read and share your content.
4. Use social media
Most marketers use social media but we have a feeling that they’re not quite doing it correctly: 41.5% state that they haven’t been able to show its impact yet. When it comes to promoting your content on social media, these rules should help you gain more shares and followers:
- When sharing, mention your expert sources
- Use snippets to draw people in; variations of the title, short statements, quotes and key statistics
- Use it to build relationships, rather than promote your product
- Promote useful content from other industry leaders and engage with them too
Don’t underestimate the impact of an engaged audience on social media. According to the following chart, one great piece of content can reach 2.7 million people within 4 generations!
5. Paid promotion
Given the effectiveness of social media for content promotion, it can often be a sensible idea to pay for some additional exposure, especially if you’re a smaller brand without a large organic audience.
Not only is paid promotion on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin very cost-effective when compared with traditional Pay Per Click on Google, it’s also a great way to get around the visibility problem with the ‘free’ kind of social media promotion. Facebook in particular, has a brutal weighting in its algorithm that makes it almost impossible to get your content into users’ newsfeeds, even when they’ve ‘liked’ your page! Paid content promotion circumvents that issue, and places your content directly into the feeds of any audience you choose. The level of audience targeting can be really granular, too – another advantage over sponsoring keywords in Google.
6. Email marketing
Email is a great method for promoting your content. It’s a new way for your audience to subscribe to your content or updates and make sure they keep coming back.
Use regular serialised content to bring readers back each month, like our weekly 2 Minute Trends email that summarises our latest Content Marketing Trends blog piece. You can also use emails as springboards for landing pages or to offer a digest of recently published news pieces. These can all help you promote content, so what are you waiting for?
For it to work, you must collect the addresses of those who will be interested in the content you deliver. You can even segment your list into different categories to deliver even more targeted content.
7. Content community
There are a lot of content writers and marketers out there. Instead of seeing this as a threat, you should think of it as an advantage. Lots of people will visit community sites to look for pieces that interest them, so these can be a great place to start promoting your content.
We suggest these sites to get you started:
Warning: don’t publish your original content on these sites until Google has indexed it on your site first! Otherwise, you’re handing over credit for your original work to a larger publisher!
8. Make it easy
Our aim as marketers is to persuade people to convert, share our content or take a specific action, so why not make it easy for them?
The best way to encourage and facilitate sharing is via social media. Make sure you have social sharing tools embedded into each and every piece of content you publish, whether that’s a click-to-tweet function, a pin-it button or a panel of social buttons.
9. Repurpose and reformat
So, you’ve written a killer blog article. It’s 1,600 words – the optimum length – you’ve shared it every which way you can think of, so you’ve finished promoting your content, right? Wrong!
Repurposing your content is a fantastic way to bring new life to an article, and spice up your promotion strategy. You can transform your post into anything you want for a second (and third, and fourth …) lease of life! Why not try repurposing some of your material as the following?:
- Email series
- White papers
- Slideshare presentations
- Tips to share on social media
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Infographics saw an 800% rise in popularity last year, so why not take advantage? You’ve got the information, just lay it out visually and job done.
Even though reformatting and repurposing has been proven to be an effective use of content, the following study from Curata shows that only 22% of marketers have a specific plan in place to make this happen.
And with that, we’ve come full circle to tip #1 – have a plan! By promoting your content over and over, in the right places and in different forms, it is much more likely to succeed.