Effective Content Promotion Blueprint
Ever wonder about how to promote your content? The best times? Where you should be promoting to?
Writing that killer article is great, but the work does not stop there. You need to maximize your return on every single piece of content you produce.
When it comes to content marketing there are lots of things that need to be happening both simultaneously and sequentially.
Aaron Agius summed it up nicely by saying, “The process requires so much: coming up with ideas, drafting concepts, editing to perfection, designing the visuals, publishing, promoting and measuring success.”
Promoting your content is clearly only one aspect, but in many ways one of the most important. And it’s also the one place that people seem to get stuck most often. It’s the when, where, and how that they struggle with.
In this article I will simplify each to give you a basic blueprint or guideline to follow. However, don’t just leave it there.
Take the time to get to know your followers. Find out where they are spending their time online. Look at your analytics to determine high activity times and promote during those times.
Your content promotion strategy should be one that evolves and grows. It needs to be dynamic and moving.
Let’s get started with the basics.
When to Promote Content
Knowing when to promote your content can mean the difference between thousands of clicks or no traffic at all. The old adage of ‘write it and they will come’ is merely a fallacy.
You need to be active in your efforts if you want people to see your work.
1. The same day you hit “publish.”
This one’s pretty obvious. You want to start promoting your new content right away. As soon as you release a piece of content, start sharing it on your social media channels.
2. Promote again the day after.
Don’t be afraid to share your content on social media more than once. It seems like people get hung up on only sharing it one time. Go ahead and share it again the next day, as it’s unlikely that all of your readers, or even the majority, saw it the first time.
3. Share the content once more a week later.
At a minimum, you want to share a third time, one week later. Stop worrying about oversharing, especially at this level. It’s unlikely that your audience will even notice.
The basic guidelines are a great way to get you started, but let’s go even further.
Let’s talk Twitter…
When it comes to Twitter all of the rules change. The life of a tweet is very short, therefore your frequency needs to increase.
On the graph below, we present median engagement over time for Facebook posts and tweets, with a confidence interval of +/-5% (to show variance among accounts). Engagement for Tweets was measured with retweets.
Half-life of a tweet is 24 minutes vs. 90 minutes for a Facebook post, hence close to 4 times shorter.
For Facebook, a post reaches 75% of its potential engagement in 5 hours. A median tweet reaches this 75% mark in less than 3hrs.
Something else interesting came out of the comparison: Twitter starts off much faster than Facebook, but then their shelf-life crosses at 87%. The few last retweets come much later on Twitter than the last engagement for a Facebook post. This is probably due to virality which is much more prominent on Twitter than on Facebook.
With that said, we need to switch up our strategy with Twitter.
With a 7 day campaign you should tweet 3x the first day, 2x the second day, and once per day thereafter.
You can even go further my running a campaign for 2 weeks or a month. Don’t be afraid to promote your content over the long haul.
Where to Promote Content
Social Media Channels
Always start with promoting your content to your social media channels.
Announce that you have written a new blog post, created a new video, ebook, etc. whatever the content let them know about it.
I came across a great article at Kissmetrics where they suggested to create 20+ snippets to share on social media.
A piece of content should produce 20+ snippets that you can share on social media. A snippet can be any of the following:
- Variations of the title
- Short statements from the content
- Short quotes from the content
- Statistics from the content
- And much more
Go into your content and pull out at least 20 snippets. Then share the snippets on social media over the next several weeks or even months. If the content does well, continue using the snippets.
While new social media platforms emerge, and algorithms continue to change, email has remained virtually unchanged since the early 90s. More importantly, it’s still the primary form of communication for businesses.
Email lists grow over time and they give direct access to your audience.
And while organic reach on Facebook and Twitter can be lower than 5%, open rates for email marketing messages are generally in the 20-30% range.
Forums and Groups
Don’t forget about forums and groups. The key is to find where people that are interested in your niche frequent. Being active in a forum can not only get you lots of ideas for future content, but can be a great place to build your authority.
Furthermore, Facebook and LinkedIn groups are another great place where you can share your content. If you are providing quality content the members will be more than thrilled to hear what you have to say.
But a word of caution. Never spam! Also, make sure that you know and respect group rules.
How to Promote Content
There are a number of different ways you can promote your content. You can start by using mixed media, get connected with influencers, and so on.
Here are some examples from great sources to get you on the right track.
Visual and Mixed Media
I can’t stress the importance of visual media enough. If you have noticed everything online is moving to more visual stimulation. Lots of images, video, larger text broken up in shorter paragraphs. The goal is to visually please your reader.
So use lots of images and make sure to make them unique by adding some filters, text, and overlays.
Infographics are another way to communicate information and when done well get lots of shares and often go viral.
Take your content (let’s say a blog post or a guide), and turn it into a video. This will let you appeal to a totally different audience.
You can turn content into video, but don’t overlook the fact that creating videos as your original form of content is potentially the best way to go. Once you record and publish a video, you can pull out the audio to create a podcast. You can pull out the transcription from the video to create a blog post and .pdf. You also can use the video content to create slideshows for SlideShare. Start with a video, and you can repurpose the content into many different forms for various communities.
People are watching more video now than ever before. Search engines recognize this trend, and they’re giving video more space in the search engine results pages.
Keep the text part of your post short – maybe 200-250 characters (that’s characters, not words) – if you want your readers/followers to access longer text, provide a link. Post “teasers” to something great on your blog or site – not the whole message. The entire post can then be on your site or site blog, and it should be great, compelling and entertaining.
For many people just starting out paid media may not be a viable option, but if you can spare some funds it’s definitely a great way to get more eyes on your content.
While their are numerous ways to use paid media, what I want to emphasize here is social media ads that drive traffic either to a landing page or internal page of your site.
The benefit of paid media is that it can be targeted specifically to those audiences within your niche. That means that the ads will only appear in front of people who are interested in what you are offering.
You can acquire paid social media traffic through social media ads such as:
- Facebook Ads. Facebook ads are one of the most used and sought after when it comes to paid promotions. Basically what Facebook does is that it allows marketers to have easy access for both conventional posts and the typical ads. It can help you save time and effort when it comes to targeting your desired audience through different categories. When you want to promote content, you just have to simply give focus to people who shows interest in WordPress, blogging or employees of media entities.
- Twitter Ads. Twitter has invented a new way of advertising, which online marketers could easily grasp. It lets your ad meet related tweets. Meaning if your ads focus on selling cupcakes, tweets related to cupcakes will be then matched or linked to your ad. So in this manner, you will be given a bigger chance to get more clicks on your ad.
- LinkedIn Ads. This is a self- service solution for advertisers which allows users to create and place ads on top searched pages on the LinkedIn website. People can see ads and they are even able to click and visit the landing page. You can also limit the type of members who can see your ads based on your desired target market.
- StumbleUpon Ads. StumbleUpon Ads are called a content discovery engine. It is basically a search engine and bookmarking site all put together in one. Using StumbleUpon is best if you wish to give exposure to your content online. It may be your website per se, a blog post, a video, podcast or infographics. It sounds easy but the real secret here, in order to get a lot of traffic, is to have the right type of content and choosing the right type of audience. This also lets you buy the number of clicks at the lowest available price available in the market.
- YouTube Ads. There are many ways to advertise a product. But what is more effective than having video ads? YouTube ads are one of the most effective advertising strategies in the online marketing business. Aside from being able to post it anywhere within your website, it can also be seen inserted in trending videos in the YouTube website itself. Like the Twitter Ads, YouTube Ads also meet up with relevant searches. For example, your company sells shampoo and you have an online shampoo commercial, your ad will then be linked to a video in YouTube which features women, long hair, pretty girls, etc. Plus, your video advertisement will appear on related videos featured in YouTube.
- Reddit Ads. Reddit Ads are somewhat similar to Stumble Upon Ads. They have plans for the lowest prices and targets people of a certain demographic. Most targeted audiences belong to your professional class for more chances of getting conversions.
Outreach to Influencers
Direct contact with an industry influencer is priceless. Our suggestion: Create lasting, meaningful bonds with people who care and hold sway.
- Find your influencers. The Followerwonk tool is a great way to find influencers, as well as understand your followers.
- Make a connection. Whether this be interacting on social media, commenting on their posts, or referencing them in your content, you can demonstrate how much you value their work in your field.
- Formally introduce yourself. Use the natural avenues of social media to gain a personal connection. See if anyone in your networks or your company can make an introduction. Learn how to cold email a very busy person, and aim to generate a mutually beneficial relationship.
Curiosity Driven Headlines
I just want to talk for a minute about headlines. For some reason their importance is often forgotten.
Remember, your headline is the first thing the reader sees and most often it determines whether they click or not.
Take the time to create powerful headlines that invoke curiosity. And if this is not your forte then use tools like Headlinr to simplify the process.
Headlinr comes pre-loaded with tons of headlines. All you do is type in your keyword and scroll through the list. There are also swipe files to get you inspired. Headlinr is a Chrome extension. It’s always there ready as you need it.
When you are promoting your content add a unique headlines to each post. This will maximize clicks and get you a lot more traffic.
Remember promoting your content is only one part of content marketing. However, it really is the key to getting the traffic and followers you want.
Take the time to map out your strategy. Implement, review, and accommodate. Make changes when it is not working and add to your efforts as you learn more about your followers.
Comment below on strategies you’ve tried that have proven to be successful.