By Mike Dane
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
The same parallel to the old philosophical adage could be drawn when it comes to promoting your content.
It’s a jungle out there, especially when it comes to Internet. Over 14.3 Trillion webpages are live on the Internet right now! That’s twelve zeros after the numbers! If you are still not impressed, know that if you piled up the dollar bills equivalent to 14.3 trillion data, the pile will stretch to the moon and back. TWICE!
The truth is that in the lack of any promotion even the best of content would bite the dust. When it comes to content marketing, if you believe in “build it and they will come”, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Before we embark on our journey to uncover the ways to promote your content, let’s first dive into a snippet of what we would be learning in this post.
In this post, we would uncover a few things:
- Introduction on best content promotional strategies
- Go where your customers are
- Get Social!
- Try social advertising
- Take care of the timing
- Snippets for Social Media
- Create an instructographic
- Add your content in your email signature
- Create a press release
- Mention Your Expert Sources
- Email your sources
- Influence Marketing
- Make it into Video
- Convert them into slide deck
- Paid Ads
- Promote on Content Communities
- Link it to your most popular archived content
- The Takeaway
If you fail to promote your content, it may lie dormant in the obscure corner of the enormous internet world for eternity. Check out some of the eye popping statistics about content:
- According to Content Marketing Institute, more than 70% of B2C marketers are producing more content than a year ago.
- According to a research done by HubSpot, Over 70% people prefer series of articles over traditional advertisements, when it came to finding information about an organization.
- As per Facebook stats, a whopping 4.75 billion pieces of content are shared every single day!
- Collectively on Facebook, Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp, around 1.8 billion photos are uploaded each day.
- Twitter gets around 500 million posts every day.
- According to eMarketer, around 60% of marketers created at least a piece of content every week.
- According to a study by Demand Metric, content marketing produces three times more leads than traditional marketing while costing 62% less.
- Over 70% marketers believe branded content to be more effective than magazine ads and 69% believe it to be superior to PR and direct mail.
You have spent days writing the perfect content, backed by hours of research and you may feel that the post couldn’t be better! After days of agonizing over facts, figures and adding right words with a dash of humor to make it interesting, you feel, you deserve rest? After all, God too rested on the 7th Day, right?
Know that you have only won half the battle. Writing content is just one part of content marketing, the real work lies in the promotion. No matter how good your content is, if you aren’t promoting them, you would be most likely ignored by your customers in favor of those whose content are easier to find.
It may be a bit of a stretch but it won’t be completely wrong to say that without promotion, your content is of no use! For many marketers, content promotion is an afterthought.
It is simple math really, if you don’t tell people about your content, they will probably never know about it! If they don’t know about it, they wouldn’t read or share it and if no one reads, what’s the point of writing it in the first place.
Content promotion is crucial to creating awareness about your content. In fact, According to Social Triggers, you should employ the 80/20 rule, that is 80% of the time spent promoting the content, while only 20% of the time should be spent on writing.
Check out some of the best content promotion strategies.
Go Where Your Customers Are
Well, it sounds like a given but if you thought promoting on social media meant just adding the links to Facebook and Twitter, you may as well be living in the 18th century. Just broadcasting on Facebook and Twitter won’t help you engage followers. You need to know when, where and how to promote your content on social media.
Remember social media is not a place to write thesis. Keep it short and sweet and ensure that the post is simple, interesting, eye catching and shareable.
Picture is worth a thousand words! I know you have heard it like a million times but pictures do work! Dress your content with multimedia to add an appeal to it.
Adding just links would not garner you enough likes or shares, use links in such a way that it highlights your expertise. Post your link of your content with a snippet of interesting facts, figures, real-world examples, questions or thought-provoking one-liner.
You can also add the URL to the link section of Facebook and Twitter to invite people. Putting a customized web banner on your social media pages is also a good idea. If done right, it will attract all the right attention to your content.
While posting, it is also a good idea to turn your title into a question and asking for participation. You can also share few stats or quotes from your posts to titillate the readers to click on your post to check out the content.
Memes are a great way to incorporate fun elements to your content. Create a meme and share it on your social media channels for best results!
Many people think that posting the URL of their content once is enough. Actually you can always re-post it in case related news comes up.
Share it with your group on LinkedIn and promote in on all your social channels. From Google Plus, Pinterest, Flickr, to Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, sky is the limit. Bu whatever channel you choose, remember to be active on it instead of just posting sporadically.
Try Social Advertising
According to Comscore, a typical online user sees about 1,707 banner ads per month. With that many ads floating in front of our eyes, we develop a sort of banner blindness so that we could search online without getting distracted. More than 50% users don’t click on banner ads because of trust issue, according to a research done by BannerSnack.
So, instead of spending your precious dime on banner ads, try social advertisement because recommendations from friends is more trustworthy than from businesses.
Social advertising relies on social info to proactively target relevant users to identify interest and help businesses find potential customers. Social media advertising can work as a great supplement to other growth strategy.
Take Care of the Timing
Also, remember you cannot randomly post. On social media, the attention span of the users are minuscule, so you need to know the best times to post on each channel and post your content at the time when it would gain maximum exposure.
Snippets for Social Media
Have you ever been tempted to read a book by reading an excerpt? In social media setting, this is called as snippets. Turn your content irresistible by adding snippets like variations of the title, quotes, statistics, and tidbits, to share your content.
A single piece of content can offer over 20 snippets. With these snippets, your content could be presentated in a lot of different ways and capture even those who might have missed it at first.
Create an Instructographic
Instructographic is a close cousin of infographics and like the name suggests aims to instruct through how-to aspect. Make your content visual and actionable and share it on Pinterest and other relevant social media channels.
Add Content to Your Email Signature
When it comes to emails, we rarely give a thought to anything else, other than subject line and body of the email. However, email signature is a great way to stand out and can help you leave a lasting impression. Including your content link in your email is a unique way to promote your content and would definitely catch the attention of your audience.
(Check out how they do it in ProofHQ to leverage email signature to promote their whitepaper)
Keep your email signature to a maximum of three to four lines of text. Check out the above example to see how you can add in your content to your email signature.
Create a Press Release
Press releases are a great way to promote your content and spread the word about your content and what’s it all about. Understand your target market and create a pitch with 5 Ws and 1 H. Keep it interesting and engaging and cross-promote it to all your platforms.
Syndication is a great way to promote your post. You could pitch your best performing content to other blogs, companies, etc., in case they may be interested in publishing it. It not only allows you to gain new audience, it also offers great value and adds in a bit more authority to your content. It is a great advantage to drive traffic from multiple places and generate better awareness about your business in general.
Mention Your Expert Sources
Mentioning your experts will give you a tad more credibility and they even might share your content exposing you to their own audience which would extend the reach of your content.
Email Your Sources
Every time you mention experts in your posts, include their links and email them to let them know that you have shared it. And even if it may be a long shot and not every one of them might reply and share, even if one or two of them do, it would be worth the shot.
Influencers are people with influence (well, duh!) over potential buyers and finding influencers mean finding people who could validate your content. Getting influencers to validate or share your content would amplify your content and leverage the potential of word of mouth.
Get your influencer to read and share about your content by sharing the link or post through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
According to a study by McKinsey “marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth produced more than double the sales of paid advertising.” Customers acquired through word-of-mouth had a 37 percent higher retention rate.
Make It into Video
Before we discuss why it is good to include video in your content efforts, check out some stats.
- 55% of people watch videos online every day.
- The word ‘video’ in the subject line of an email boosts the open rate by 19% with an increase in click through rate of over 65%.
- 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others.
- An average internet user spend 88% more time on a website with videos.
The above stats are there to drive home the point that you absolutely need to get videos in your content marketing efforts. Convert your content into videos and get going!
Convert Them into a Slide Deck
You may have been found snoozing away to glory during a presentation and find them boring but the fact is people still do use, read and share slides proven by the fact that SlideShare is highest traffic slide presentation site with a whopping 70 million user base.
Converting your content into slides is easy work and can really double up your traffic as people who may not be interested to read through your long winding paragraphs may still be able to get the gist through presentations and help you reach audiences that are focused.
Instead of picking and choosing your medium, choose as many as possible when it comes to content methods. Repurposing content means more methods means more traffic. Convert your content into .pdfs and infographics too.
Link It to Your Most Popular Archived Content
Piggyback on your most popular content to get the traffic. Look up the most popular pages and blogs of your website and then add in links to your new content. You can add the links within the text as well as advertise on the side bar or at the bottom of the page.
Promote on Content Communities
Content Communities allow content to be shared across multiple networks. Posting your content on these sites would widen your audience reach and in case your content is really good, you would see your traffic soar.
Some of the best content communities available are: iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Picasa, SlideShare, VoiceThread, BlogEngage, Visual.ly, Dailymotion, Visualizing.org, Tumblr, etc.
When it comes to traffic, there could never be enough! And when it comes to promotions, nothing beats the paid ads. From PPC to social media ads to retargeting, you have a lot of options when it comes to promoting your content.
For Facebook, you could take care of your paid ads through Ads Manager or Facebook Power Editor but ensure that your ads are catchy and interesting.
For Twitter, you could use ‘Promoted Tweet’ feature and for Pinterest you could employ ‘promoted pins’ feature.
Promoting content on StumbleUpon’s paid service is also a great idea. You could also feature it on Tumblr.
Well for paid services, you can go as high as your pocket permits. Integrating paid ads in your promotional efforts would definitely help you grab as many eyeballs as possible.
Promoting your content should be your main priority (remember the 80/20 rule we discussed earlier?). However, as Moz’s Rand Fishkin describes, your content should meet the “10X” criteria. Unless your content is of quality, you will never be able to build a big audience base. Create amazing content and develop your promotional campaigns around it.
But above all, as John Keats would say, “Truth is beauty, beauty truth’’, authenticity and truth is what will take you forward. When you know what you are doing and enjoy it, it reflects through your posts. Promoting content is part art and part science. Create campaigns, nurture it, optimize it and measure it to understand what works and what doesn’t. With the help of above outlined methods, you would be able to promote your content successfully.
What do you think? Have we outlined all major methods to promote content? Did we leave out an important promotional strategy? Share your advice in the comments section below.
Mike Dane is a Digital Marketing professional and currently working as a PR manager at #TruConversion.com He truly loves Online marketing and anything digital. He is very focused about who he works for. Once he starts work, he is fully committed to his duties and responsibilities at that company.