When it comes to blogging and content marketing, most people focus their efforts on the production side. While content creation matters, getting it in front of other people is just as important (if not more). Derek Halpern actually does an 80/20 split, with the majority of time spent on content promotion.
The Internet is a crowded place and it’s not easy to stand out. Yet, the greatest blog post ever written is not going to do you any good if you can’t get anyone to read it. Even with high-quality content, “build it and they will come” only works to a certain degree. Plus, do you really want to leave the success of your site to luck?
No? Then content promotion needs to be part of your marketing plan from the very beginning. This article will help you do so by showing several methods you can use to drive traffic to your website. It will cover SEO, email marketing, influencer marketing, social media, outreach, link building and a whole lot of other things. Strap in.
Content Promotion Strategies You Can Start Using Right Now
Below are proven methods to get eyeballs on your content.
1. Search Engine Optimization
Because organic traffic is one of the main sources of visitors for most sites, SEO has to be part of content promotion. Attracting an audience starts with making your site content attractive to search engines and in search results. Here are a number of articles that help you do so:
2. Build an Email List
When running a content-centered website, building an email newsletter should be one of your highest priorities. Email is still among the most effective forms of marketing out there.
People are also protective of their email addresses since nobody wants their inbox flooded by spam. Therefore, if you can get them to join your list, it shows a lot of trust. As a consequence, these people are most likely to read and share any content you send their way.
Your email list is also something that is entirely yours. It’s independent of any other site, service, or person, making it one of your most important content promotion tools. For in-depth tips on how to build an email list, read this article.
2. Try Influencer Marketing
In its basic form, influencer marketing very simple: Build relationships with important people in your niche and get them to share your stuff.
Doing this successfully will help you in more than one way. First of all, many influencers have great followings, which means extra exposure. At the same time, when they share your content, it’s a great vote of confidence that will help your branding tremendously.
However, how do you make that happen?
The most important thing is that you get them on board from the very beginning. Many do influencer marketing as an afterthought, however, it’s much more effective if you plan with it from the start.
One of the easiest ways is to ask for a quote. Before publishing, reach out and see if they would be willing to contribute their opinion. If they are, include the quote plus links to their website and/or social account. Then, after the post comes out, ask those who have contributed to it to share your content.
You can find email templates and details in this post.
3. Use Social Media
Of course, you know that it’s important to share your stuff on social media. Social networks have become alternative search engines that people use actively to find content. However, too many marketers and website owner simply post their content only once after publishing and leave it at that.
That’s not the way to do it at all!
First of all, depending on which platform you use, it can make a lot of sense to share your content several times.
Aside from that, there are a number of ways to make your marketing on these platforms more effective:
- Create snippets — Don’t just re-post your content with the same title. Instead, create snippets containing interesting insights, quotes, statistics, title variations, and the like. This makes it less boring for those who see your updates. Go for 20+ different variations. A scheduling tool like Buffer makes setting this up much easier.
- Mention the people you link to — If your post contains links to other websites (as it should), make sure to mention them in your social updates. This lets them know about your content and also makes it more likely that they will spread it further.
- Make your content easy to share — If you want people to post your stuff on social, it’s best to make it easy for them to do so. This means, for example, making quotes tweetable, and images pinnable. Using promotion tools like SumoMe can help with that.
By the way, you can also use social media to A/B test headlines before settling on one to send to your email subscribers.
4. Actively Reach Out
What goes for social media in terms of reaching out to people also applies to other channels. When you mention someone in your posts, be sure to let them know about it in any form. For example, you can contact them via email and invite their opinion.
If you don’t have the email address, there is LinkedIn and other professional networks. It takes a little work as you need to create a connection first but it’s worth it. Pro tip: Befriend contacts they already have first. This makes it more likely they will approve your request.
Besides that, you might also want to reach out to journalists and editors working for publications in your industry. Here, it makes a lot of sense to get in touch beforehand as they like to have the first scoop.
Furthermore, you can reach out to those who have shown interest in your type of content. For that, input the URL of a similar article into a social network of your choice. This will give you a list of people you can connect and share your content with.
The same with websites who have linked to existing content in your area. You can find them with the free tools of Ahrefs and Monitor Backlinks. Input competitor articles to find sites that have linked to them. Then, reach out and let them know about your post so that they might share it or link to it as well.
Finally, outreach can be as simple as sharing the post with your internal circle first. Friends and family are always a good place to start.
5. Re-Purpose and Re-Publish Your Content
By turning your content into another format, you can publish it on other platforms and thus reach an additional audience. It’s also a great way to attract more people to the original.
One good example of this is videos. If you turn a blog post into a video, you can share it on YouTube (the second-largest search engine in the world), Vimeo and other sites. With proper optimization, it can not only rank high on the video platform but also in organic search results.
Placement like that has excellent click-through rates and branching out to other platforms is good for your branding. Plus, with a link to the original post in the description, this is also a content promotion tool that gets people on your site.
However, it doesn’t stop there. With the research already done, you can also turn your blog post into a podcast, PDF, slideshow, infographic, ebook, and other formats, each with their own distribution channels. The possibilities are endless.
By the way, you can also simply update your old content with new data etc. to share it again. It’s less work than creating more from scratch and effective.
6. Use Content Syndication
Syndication means publishing your content in other places than your own site. This is another great way of tapping into additional audiences, however, this time you leave your posts virtually unchanged.
For example, a good general place to syndicate your content is Medium. However, it also pays to see if there are sites in your particular industry, such as:
Note, that you have to figure out how these communities work to use them effectively. For example, many shun those only in it for self-promotion.
You can also reach out to other blogs and see if they’d be interested in publishing some of your best posts again.
Whichever route you take, consider making some edits to appeal to the different audiences. Plus, don’t forget a link and call to action to visit your site and be sure to make it clear which content is the original.
7. Engage in Comment Marketing
You are probably familiar with the dark side of this technique in the form of spam comments.
Many of these aim to create backlinks for websites — at all costs. However, a) this only works on sites that don’t monitor their comment section and b) these days comments are usually set to nofollow so there is no SEO value to be gained. In short, all spammers do is ruin it for everyone else.
Comment marketing is the opposite of this. It’s about finding real and relevant content that is related to yours and leaving well-crafted, thoughtful and helpful feedback. It’s about fostering relationships with other bloggers to build a positive reputation and position yourself as a thought leader.
If done well, this will cause people to want to know more about you and your content, leading to increased traffic. Later, you can also drop links here and there (to your own and other people’s posts) if it fits the conversation. A detailed guide to comment marketing can be found here.
8. Invest in Guest Blogging
A few years ago, Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s webspam team, announced the death of guest blogging.
So, why would I advise you to use this technique for content promotion? Because while using spun and low-quality guest posts for backlink creation no longer works (which is what he was really talking about), guest posting as part of a content strategy is very much alive.
Placing blog posts on relevant, reputable websites is a great way to gain exposure. Most sites allow a byline and author box with a link back to your site. Even if it’s set to nofollow, if your content is good enough, others will happily click on it to find out more about you.
Plus, if it makes sense, you can link to other, relevant posts on your own site from your guest post.
9. Consider Paid Promotion
Of course, it’s always desirable to do content promotion without paying money. However, for those who have the budget, paid strategies are a viable possibility. Many different options exist, from ads in search engines over social media to display ads and content distribution networks.
One of the most important things to do this properly is to define your target audience. The more targeted your ads are, the more likely you will get qualified clicks. Plus, if your campaigns are super specific, it’s usually a good way to keep costs low.
If you want to go the paid route, here are a few useful posts:
Note that this type of content promotion is best to prompt specific actions. Instead of just letting people know about the existence of your blog posts, why not integrate it with a campaign to get subscribers, clients and the like?
Final Thoughts: Content Promotion
Content promotion needs to be part of any content marketing strategy. In the crowded space of the Internet, mere creation is no longer good enough to stand out.
Above, you have learned many ways to promote your content, extend your audience and drive traffic to your site. You can see many of them in action in this excellent post on Moz.
For your own site, it’s a good idea to experiment with what works best for you. Try out some new things and track the results to find the right mix for you. From there, you can always try out more.
What are your favorite content promotion strategies? Anything to add to the above (tips, resources, etc.)? Let us know in the comments section below!