Let’s face it, it’s 2018. These days, virtually every company utilizes content marketing in some shape or form. To stand out and give your content a fighting chance to be found by your audience, it’s critical to incorporate a promotion strategy, as well. To make it abundantly clear, promotion is not optional. It’s an absolute necessity.
Promotion is about communicating the value of your content to the people who will be able to share it with their own networks. By proactively finding ways to spread your content outside of your immediate sphere of followers, you can draw a wider audience to your site and grow your own base of followers. Developing quality content is only half the battle. The other half is all about getting maximum exposure for that content. You could have the best content in the world, but it will only be as good as your ability to make it visible.
How to Start Promoting Your Content Today
On the surface, it might sound intimidating and costly to incorporate promotion into your content strategy. However, there are countless free and low-cost options that anyone can use. The following 8 are some of the best and easy to use:
Hootsuite has been around since 2008 but continues to evolve as a one-stop shop for efficient social media management. At its core, it allows users to schedule out social media posts in advance. This is especially convenient for those who do not always have time to log in and post content on all channels for an hour each day.
When promoting content, some of the biggest obstacles are consistency and timeliness. By integrating with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and even WordPress amongst others, Hootsuite helps alleviate the pain of manual publishing and scheduling conflicts.
In addition to scheduling social posts ahead of time, this tool also provides real-time analytics to track social media engagement. With an additional fee, you can even create short URLs for more precise tracking and easy sharing.
Hootsuite offers a free version for individuals and $19/month option for smaller sized businesses, making content promotion very doable. No more excuses that you can’t keep up with your social media profiles anymore!
IFTTT is an acronym that stands for “if ‘this’, then ‘that’’. This tool makes connecting all of your apps and websites easy, and we do mean everything. As a result, you can create processes to automate sharing content (amongst its countless other uses).
Photo credit: CrackerJack Scribe
Yes, you can schedule your outdoor lights to turn on any time you order food delivery. But, more importantly, you can instruct all social media profiles to post automatically the next time you publish a new blog post or piece of content on your website.
IFTTT is compatible with the most common blog and social media platforms, such as WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr, just to name a few. The possibilities to customize your content workflows based upon your specific needs are endless.
And the best part is… it’s FREE!
Tapping into influencers to help your content reach a specific, wider audience is not a fad. It’s only going to get more common and should be made a priority for every content marketing strategy. Knowing who to reach and where to start can be difficult. BuzzStream makes it super easy to research and compile a contact list of ideal influencers.
The tool helps keep your ongoing communication organized by automatically saving all emails and tweets. It even possesses the capability to schedule follow-up reminders so you don’t lose track of your most important conversations.
One of the best features of BuzzStream is that it can help you discover influencer contact information, social media profiles, and site metrics. No more second-guessing your outreach efforts whether they are worth it or not.
You can test the waters with a free trial. If you love it, there are multiple tiered options, with the basic starter plan only costing $24/month.
Buffer is another tool that offers a convenient way to schedule and publish social media posts. It’s very focused on making the user experience as smooth and easy as possible.
One nice distinguishing feature with Buffer is that you don’t have to continuously select dates and times for each post. Instead, you can create a posting schedule and Buffer will automatically send out your posts according to the guidelines you put in place. Obviously, you can still adjust them individually, but it’s nice to know you have the option.
Buffer makes promoting your content through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, incredibly efficient. And their positive company culture really stands out with all their useful tips on social media strategy, online marketing, and product-related webinars.
Like most platforms, you can try their free version or upgrade to the first tier of their Starter plan at $15/month.
5. LinkedIn Groups
Ok, let’s pivot from all the automated social media tools for a second. When it comes to building your personal brand, extending your professional network, and increasing industry-related knowledge, LinkedIn is undoubtedly the King. However, utilizing the LinkedIn Groups feature for content promotion is often an overlooked resource.
Source: Duct Tape Marketing
When done properly, posting your content in a LinkedIn Group also allows you to reach a highly-relevant audience, while not coming across as spammy or salesy. Be sure to adopt the mindset that you’re there to spark or continue a fitting conversation, not talk at people.
LinkedIn Groups possesses helpful features that most other tools typically do not. For example, it can send the members in your group a daily or weekly digest of all the recent activities in your group. But keep in mind, this strategy is also give-and-take. You need to remain active, participate in group discussions, and show a genuine interest in the topics at hand (if you hope to have the same reciprocated toward your content).
6. Home Page
It can be pretty eye-opening when you realize how many companies are not taking advantage of this simple strategy. Your home page is almost assuredly the most highly-trafficked page on your entire website. How easy are you making it for visitors to find your recently published content on the home page?
Is it buried under one of the multiple category menu drop-downs? Or hiding way down at the bottom of the home page in 6-point font amongst dozens of other links? If so, you could be missing out on a huge, yet very simple, way to promote your content to people organically visiting your site for the first time.
According to a study by Search Engine Land, on average, 51% of your website’s total traffic is coming from organic search. With approximately half of your traffic finding your site through various ways in search engines, try to capitalize on that volume by putting your best/most recent content front and center.
Don’t worry, this recommendation is $FREE.99.
7. Your Email/Contact List
Assuming you already built a decent sized email list, are you leveraging that audience to help promote new content? Again, this sounds like an idea from Captain Obvious, but you would be surprised how often this simple step is neglected.
Don’t worry, you’re not bugging your followers by promoting fresh content through email. Your audience literally signed up to receive news and updates from you. So, give them what they want! Keep in mind, however, the end goal is to ultimately get them back to your website.
Send them a fun teaser/intro to your piece of content to spark their interest (now is your chance to use those catchy puns you’ve dreamt of using.) Then, make it easy for them to click through to the website and consume the rest of your content. Your website should be built to keep the conversation going and hopefully guide them to completing some sort of desired action – whether that’s making a purchase or consuming additional pieces of content.
8. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
What does this mean, exactly? Well, it can take on many shapes, but it essentially means informing an influencer or expert that you mentioned them (or their ideas) in your piece of content. This interaction might happen via email, direct messaging on social, or merely tagging industry experts/influencers in a social media post. You’ve already done the hard work of researching all the information you wanted to use in your piece of content. Once you’ve hit ‘publish’, don’t stop there.
Reach out to that person you mentioned in your piece of content and give them some props. Tag them in the tweet you’re using to promote the blog post. Send them a direct message via social or email informing them of the content you wrote about them. Ask them to share their thoughts on the piece and if they enjoy it, to possibly share it with their audience as well.
Use a respectful and graceful approach. Don’t make it seem like you absolutely expect something in return. You just might be surprised how many people are willing to help you out and share your content with their audience.
The Beginner’s Guide to Content Promotion
Go beyond pressing “Publish” on your content and understand how to create a strategic paid promotion plan that will get your content in the eyes of people that matter.