By now you understand the value of creating engaging content to grow your business. Content marketing works (ask our clients!), but there’s a caveat: Your content doesn’t do you much good if no one sees it.
A crucial component of your content marketing strategy is promotion and distribution. Publishing a post to your blog or adding a form to your website to download your e-book isn’t enough.
Yes, if you build it, they will come...but only if they actually know about it.
Buckle up, because I’m coming in hot with eight ways to get the word out about your awesome content.
1. Social media
This was probably the first idea that popped into your head when you heard “content promotion.” Although everyone and their mother (literally) is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, that doesn’t mean everyone knows how to use it to effectively promote content.
Organic social media
Of course, if you write a blog post, publish a white paper or release a report, you should share it to your organization’s social media profiles — but a lot of people stop there. Promote that content on those platforms multiple times over the course a few weeks and get creative:
- Change the approach, wording and images with each post
- Create a poll that’s linked to the content
- Develop a contest to promote engagement
Spread out the posts so your followers aren’t flooded with the same message all at once, but definitely don’t quit after clicking post, publish or tweet one time.
Paid social media
Consider promoting your best content with paid social media (“best content” = high-performing blog posts, meaty e-books with lead capturing forms, etc.). These platforms allow you to boost certain posts and target certain audiences by:
- Job title
- Geographic location
Tailoring your paid promotion strategy requires some time and budgeting and, while it’s not necessary for every post you publish to social media, it can drastically boost visibility and engagement with the right audience for your top content.
The majority of today’s internet users watch videos every single day. It’s no secret that video is engaging (just count how many you scroll past in your Facebook feed right now), and it’s a great vehicle to promote another piece of content.
A short video is shareable on YouTube and other social media platforms, and it can be used to hook a viewer, give them taste of what the content is about and then direct them to the content with a link. For example, here’s a video I shared to our Facebook page to promote a blog post.
Don’t forget about the people on your email lists. Did you produce a new client testimonial video? Publish a new content offer? Your blog subscribers, prospects and clients may be interested!
This doesn’t mean you need to blast everyone in your address book, though. Consider which audience would find this particular content relevant and send it to those segmented lists. Remember: Your email should offer value and not come off as salesy and self-promotional.
Another way to get more eyeballs on your content? Promote it in your email signature. Draft a one-sentence teaser to drive people to your content and have all your employees add it to their email signature.
Here’s an example of one we recently used at Rep Ink: “Take the mystery out of thought leadership and be an influential voice online: Download our free guide, “6 Ways to Become a Real Thought Leader.”
4. Content communities and forums
Participating in an online community of professionals in your target industry is a great way to build credibility and promote your content. Do you know how many LinkedIn groups are out there? A lot. These groups can be a great channel for sharing content with relevant readers.
That said, there are some rules you should follow here:
- Don’t just self-promote. You can’t just join the group and bombard people with your content. Participate in discussions, share other articles and interact with other members’ posts.
- Share your best stuff. Don’t post about every single piece of content. That’s a quick way to annoy people and lose credibility. Like paid social media, stick to your top-performing and high-value content.
You can also participate on question-and-answer sites like Quora or Yahoo! Answers by providing helpful, quality answers. The key to success is to be genuine and provide real value — people will disregard your answers if you’re just there to be pushy and paste a link.
5. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing focuses on using key leaders to drive a brand’s message. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire/hire/pay influencers to get the word out for you.
You can utilize online influencers to share and promote your content — yes, even if you’re a B2B company. Your potential influencers may be closer than you think, for example:
Employees can share original content and start conversations on social media like the folks at IBM did recently. A CEO who is active on social media can lend a face and personality to the company while also strategically promoting content and building relationships — even if he or she needs a little help from your social and/or content team.
6. Your sales team
If your sales team isn’t utilizing your content in their emails, phone calls and meetings, then it’s time to have a chat. Inbound marketing and inbound sales go together like peanut butter and jelly. Your marketing team’s content pieces are tools that help your sales team do their job, educate prospects and close deals. Equip your organization’s business development professionals with your content and encourage them to incorporate it into their sales stories.
7. Media coverage and republishing
I’m not talking about calling The New York Times to tell them about your new infographic. (Although I’m sure it’s a very nice infographic.) But when you understand your buyer personas and target audience, you can find success targeting the niche publications they read.
If you have a big content offer on your hands (an in-depth e-book, white paper or survey report), you can utilize a press release to pitch the announcement to an online publication, blog or magazine.
Do you have a high-performing blog post? Try pitching it to relevant industry publications that may be looking for content to flesh out their editorial calendar or fill in gaps for an upcoming issue. Many publications republish content or partner with guest contributors — this can be a great way to get more mileage out of content you’ve already produced.
8. Your audience
Don’t forget one of the most important groups in this whole equation: the people who are actually consuming your content. Your readers/viewers can be some of your best evangelists, so make it easy for them to share your content by:
- Including social sharing icons on your blog post
- Adding click-to-tweet links for key, quotable points
- Spelling it out: Directly encourage readers to share the post
However, if your content sucks, your audience won’t want to share it no matter how you ask them. The more genuine, relatable, helpful and valuable your content is, the more readers will want to share it.
So keep creating amazing content and maximize its potential by developing a strategic distribution and promotion plan. It may seem like a lot of legwork, but I promise you will see an increase in views and engagement if you take advantage of these various channels.
Have something to add to this list? Need help developing a distribution and promotion strategy for your organization’s content? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat!