So you’ve embraced the philosophy ‘Content is King’ and you’ve delved into the world of promoting yourself, your services, or your products through online content.
That’s a great step in the right direction. However, if no one’s reading your fantastic content, it’s not going to do much for your brand; thus,
While content occasionally appears to sell itself, with one or two viewers snowballing into thousands, it is by no means to be expected – these cases are few and far between. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to work hard to earn your readers. Here are some of our tips on how best to raise awareness of your content.
The first steps should happen before you have even published your new article, video, or other form of content. Include social sharing buttons, enabling readers to pass your content on to their friends and colleagues in a simple and convenient manner.
Sujan Patel of ContentMarketer.io suggests that if you’ve written something that is particularly shareable, whether it’s emotionally inspirational, statistically interesting, or more generally of value to your industry, use a ‘click to tweet’ tool to make sharing it via Twitter a no-brainer.
A number of respected content promotion websites highlight the importance of breaking your content down into shareable, bite-size snippets. It’s worth doing this as you finish writing your content before you’ve even started posting and sharing it. Draw out the most important elements of what you have to say, and compile a list of catchy, captivating snippets that can be used during the promotion process. Some of these phrases may be interesting facts and statistics from the body copy while others may be variations of your article’s title; each phrase should be appealing and encourage people to click through to your website or blog in order to read more.
Draw out the most important elements of what you have to say, and compile a list of catchy, captivating snippets that can be used during the promotion process. Some of these phrases may be interesting facts and statistics from the body copy while others may be variations of your article’s title; each phrase should be appealing and encourage people to click through to your website or blog in order to read more.
As you’re selecting or composing each snippet, consider where you’ll be posting it. While an email can contain just about as much text as you like, a tweet is limited to 140 characters, including any links. Have several options at the ready so that you can share your article multiple times, particularly via Twitter.
Some people may find numbers off-putting, while others are drawn to articles advertised as featuring statistics; by posting a variety of promotional snippets, you’re likely to entice different members of your audience to read your content.
If you have great content, don’t just archive it and forget about it! Turn your articles and infographics into PDFs and share them on different platforms, or use text as inspiration for videos. You’ll reach different audiences by repurposing (http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/02/03/repurposing-content) your content for different media and platforms. This is ideally suited to old content that’s still relevant.
Death by hashtag is a dangerous trap and should absolutely to be avoided. However, hashtags can also be excellent marketing tools, so renouncing them entirely is not to be recommended either. The guys at Moz have set the limit at two hashtags per post – anything more is overkill.
Keep an eye on trending hashtags, and if you can see a link between what you have said, whether in a recent article or in content from the archives, be sure to jump at the opportunity. You can even research which hashtags are popular within your industry, to ensure that your reach is as wide as possible. Vary your hashtags in accordance with the above-mentioned snippets, and you’ll reach an even wider variety of people (https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-content-marketing/content-promotion).
If you have a mailing list, let them know you’ve posted new content; it’s a tried and tested method of content distribution. A short email introducing what you have to say, and linking to your website or blog is a great way of doing this – however, you can experiment with format, and see what works best for you. Your customers may respond better to a less frequent newsletter featuring links to several articles.
Be sure to keep an eye on click-through rates in order to make an informed decision about what works best with your audience. Be sure to include share buttons in your emails to make it as convenient as possible for people to share articles they find interesting. As highlighted by the gurus at moz.com, be sure that you aren’t sending people emails they haven’t asked for! Being classed as spam won’t do you any favours regarding getting people’s attention, and can even result in your domain being blacklisted by email providers.
Modern marketing is largely focused on numbers. Marketers absolutely love analytics and will jump on any chance to measure results. Consider exploring which formats work best and garner most attention through A/B testing.
Don’t underestimate social media. If you have social media accounts for both personal and business use, share your content via both in order to maximise your reach. If you feel uncomfortable sharing business posts on your own Facebook page, for example, on a frequent basis, try sharing on a less regular basis, and only post content that you feel is likely to be of interest to friends.
Unless you’ve written an opinion piece, it’s unlikely that your content is entirely without other sources. If you have referenced other people’s opinions and findings, let them know! They’re likely to be willing to share your content, which could give you access to a wider range of people. It’s also a great way to demonstrate that you care about giving credit where credit is due. The more influential your sources are, both online and offline, the more important it is that you get in touch with them. Whether you do so by a relatively formal email or let them know via Twitter or other social media is entirely up to you.
The guys at Moz define influencers as the industry experts who already have an extensive following. Social media analytics tools, such as Followerwonk, can make finding these influencers quite simple . Top tip: you should be following, and ideally engaging with, influencers in your niche for other purposes than content promotion.
Personal connections can greatly improve the likelihood of sharing; if a friend contacted you asking you to share an article, wouldn’t you be more likely to do so than if a complete stranger had asked? Influencers, as a group, are very active on Twitter – while it may not be the ideal platform for reaching your target consumer group, it will almost inevitably be the ideal platform for connecting with influencers.
Getting an influencer within your industry to share, or even endorse, your articles, videos, and brand can be a truly effective method of increasing your content circulation.
As mentioned above, getting an influential source to share your content is relatively straightforward if you have written about them, particularly if you are painting them in a positive light. If there’s an influencer you respect, with an audience similar to your target group, get in touch with them, even if you haven’t referenced their work within your content.
Pointed out by the wonderful Rand Fishkin of Whiteboard Friday (https://moz.com/blog/how-to-earn-the-amplification-of-influencers-whiteboard-friday), influencers need to post new (relevant!) content on a nearly constant basis in order to remain up to date. Of course, influencers can afford to be picky. Your content has to provide value to them in order to make a share worth their while.
If they share mediocre content, their personal brand can be negatively impacted. However, that shouldn’t be an issue; you’re already aware of the importance of posting high quality, useful content, after all!
A share by an influencer doesn’t just directly help your content reach more people; through various signals picked up on by search engines, influencer endorsement can be excellent for your SEO. While you should really be aware of who is influential within a field you’re writing about anyway, it’s worth making sure that you include influencers as sources during the writing process in order to maximise your reach.
While you should really be aware of who is influential within a field you’re writing about anyway, it’s worth making sure that you include influencers as sources during the writing process in order to maximise your reach.
All of the suggestions for how to promote your content effectively so far have been free – however, there are some great paid options out there. If you have the cash to spare, these should not to be ignored. Social media platforms and search engines both provide a range of opportunities; remember that social media providers have excellent data on their users, and can target advertisements accordingly.
Remember that no matter how good your content is, it won’t influence your conversion rates unless people are accessing and reading it. The opposite also applies if your content promotion is excellent, but the articles and videos you are publishing are poor. You’ll need to produce high-quality content, and use good promotional techniques in order to succeed.