Creating great content is obviously an important part of any content marketing plan, but your job doesn’t end as soon as you hit the publish button. If that content is going to bring you any benefits, people need to actually read it, and so your content promotion strategy is just as vital as the research and content production phases.
The number of ways you can promote your content is almost unlimited, and they’re growing all the time. The key to successful content promotion is not just sticking to the same old methods that everyone else uses. Yes, by all means, post your articles on your Facebook page, but you should also do some research to find out where your audience spends their time online and investigate other not-so-obvious channels that could help you to reach a new audience.
- It’s vital to research and understand your audience to help you figure out the most effective channels for promoting your content.
- Facebook is still the social network with the widest reach, but other networks may perform better if you’re targeting a younger audience.
- Experiment with types of content other than standard articles and blog posts.
- Use a content automation platform to save time and find optimal posting times.
Understanding Your Audience
Before you start on your content promotion strategy, it’s important to do some research into your existing audience. With this research you should aim to discover:
- Their age, sex, location, and browsing device (e.g., laptop or mobile phone)
- Which social networks they use
- What times of day they read emails and use social media
- Their interests other brands they follow online
- How they found your site
- The type of content they share.
You can gather most of this information from Google Analytics, your social media analytics, and your email marketing software. This should give you a good baseline to help you understand which of your current content is performing best and exactly who you’re writing for.
You can also use tools like Buzzsumo to identify influencers in your niche and see the type of content they’re promoting. This strategy can be useful for guiding your content production as well as to find channels for free and paid promotion.
With over 3 billion active social media users worldwide, and over 40% of social media users saying they would be more likely to purchase from brands that provide useful educational content, it’s little wonder that social media makes up a large part of many content promotion strategies.
There are hundreds of social media networks, and it’s not possible or efficient for even large brands to attempt to use them all. For most businesses, it makes sense to pick a few social networks to concentrate on, and the first step in creating a social media marketing strategy is choosing which platforms make the most sense for your business.
Despite rumors of its demise for the last few years, Facebook is still the clear winner in terms of numbers. Depending on the country, Facebook accounts for around 70 – 90% of all time spent on the most popular social networks.
For this reason, most businesses choose Facebook as one of the social networks they concentrate on. However, this isn’t a definitive rule, and it’s why it’s so important to learn as much about your audience as you can.
For example, Facebook use is actually in decline in younger age groups, who prefer social networks such as YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. If your audience consists of a generally younger demographic, it makes more sense to focus on these other networks.
It’s also important to consider the types of content that work best on each platform. Thought leadership articles go down well on LinkedIn, visual content performs best on Instagram and Pinterest, and of course, YouTube is the obvious place for video.
As well as posting links to your content on your own social media channels, you should make sure your content is also easy and appealing for others to share. Include social media buttons for quick sharing, and make sure you’ve used an appropriate eye-catching image in your post.
Social media can be highly effective at reaching a large number of people but when you want to make sure people who have already shown an interest in your brand will see your posts, sending them to your email list can have a high click-through rate when done well.
When you’re promoting your content via email marketing, it’s vital to make your email subject lines compelling so that the receiver actually opens and reads the email. Keep the body text of your email concise and to the point and make sure to include a clear CTA with a link to your content.
Remember people only sign up to your list if there’s something in it for them, so don’t use your email list purely to promote your own content. You should also think about how you can add value to your followers with special offers, subscriber-only perks.
Blog and Forum Commenting
Blog and forum links have earned themselves a reputation as being low-quality links in SEO circles, but they can still be a very effective way to grow your audience. The key is in providing valuable information and growing your brand and authority, rather than treating other blogs and forums simply as a source of links.
This method of content promotion is very simple, but it can be time-consuming. You’ll need to make a list of suitable sites, forums, and online communities in your industry and actively engage in conversation, using your expertise to help the users of other sites.
As well as industry-specific sites, you can also answer questions on sites like Quora. Avoid blatant self-promotion and aim to be helpful and informative. If you provide useful information and helpful answers, there’s a high chance that other people reading your comment will click through to see what else you have to say.
It’s worth remembering that your own site isn’t the only place to publish your content. Guest posting on other high-quality sites can be a great way to reach a wider audience and boost your brand and authority.
Again, guest posting shouldn’t be treated as an SEO trick for getting another link to your site, but rather as an opportunity for more people to learn about you. The content you publish on other sites should be just a high quality, if not more so, than what you put on your own site.
Look for guest posting opportunities on high authority sites in your niche that are selective about what they publish. Once you’ve had a guest post published remember to promote it on your own social media and other promotion channels too.
While you can go a long way using free content promotion methods only, if you do have the budget available, paid methods can be very effective at getting more traffic to your site and growing your following.
Some paid methods to consider include:
Paid social media
While standard posts on your social media channels may only be shown to around 10% of your own audience, paid content promotion allows you to reach many more people.
Another big advantage of this type of paid promotion is that you can target your content at specific groups of people if you wish. For example, you could choose to show a particular post only to men aged 25-35 living in the USA who are interested in gadgets and travel.
You can also use retargeting to show specific content to people who have interacted with your brand before. This is commonly used for e-commerce advertising but can also work very well for promoting content on specific topics.
Search Engine Marketing
With search engine marketing or SEM, you pay for ads for your content to appear on search engine results pages for specific keywords.
SEM tends to be used more to encourage users to take a specific action such as buying a product or signing up to a mailing list, but it can be used for more general content promotion too.
Content Distribution Networks
Content distribution networks have become a popular type of paid content promotion and are appearing all over the web, even on major news sites. In this type of promotion, you’ll see a list of related articles at the end of a post usually labeled as something like “If you liked this you might also enjoy…”
These networks have a habit of attracting some quite low-quality content with clickbait titles, but they can also be an effective way of reaching audiences that are interested in reading specific content. Make sure to choose the sites your content is promoted on carefully and that it’s clearly labeled as sponsored content.
Automating Content Promotion
Marketing automation tools can help you to make your content promotion more efficient and more effective.
By queuing up content in advance to post on social media and other promotional channels you not only save your marketing team time, but these tools can also identify the best times to post for optimal engagement.
By analyzing content performance and engagement across your different promotion channels, automation platforms will learn and improve their scheduling over time, and some advanced platforms even use artificial intelligence to target individuals or small audience groups at different times.
Supercharge Your Content Promotion Strategy
If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s consistently published, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.