You’ve optimized your website for search engines, worked with experts to write award-winning blogs, and mastered the evasive art of content writing. Now you can kick back, relax, and enjoy steady site traffic, right? Wrong.
Optimizing your content is an integral cog in the equation for website success, but it’s unfortunately not the only factor. You need to maximize your content’s visibility and introduce the world to the content you’ve worked so hard on. There’s no magic button to make your content go viral, but there are tried-and-true techniques that can go a long way toward achieving your goal of having your content seen.
Content Promotion: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Content marketing and content promotion are two entirely separate ideas, and you need to be aware of both. Marketing experts have established the importance of content marketing in growing your business, but content promoting is often pushed under the rug. It’s referred to often in business, but no one really explains how it’s done.
Content promotion describes a company’s effort to push their content to relevant areas for business, such as social media platforms, Apple podcasts, or being a guest poster for other sites. When making your list of these platforms, don’t limit yourself – include every form of social media, as well as lesser-known platforms such as Periscope or Medium.
The first step in promoting your content is to develop a smart distribution model. You need to pinpoint your target market audience and actively generate leads and sales using email distribution lists, sharing content on social channels, and paid advertisements. Understanding your audience is the critical step here – otherwise, you’ll waste your time marketing to a crowd that doesn’t exist on that platform.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
You also need to ensure your content is primed and ready for promotion. This may sound obvious, but overlooking the preparedness of your content to hit the masses could mean you sabotage your shot at widespread user engagement. Understand your own brand, and optimize your content to be attractive to your direct audience.
For example, if your site is content-heavy, you need to take into consideration how much your platform will contain (include images and videos in your estimate, as well). This will help you map out where each piece of information should be located on your layout, and set your site up for the greatest amount of engagement.
Weigh the pros and cons of different layout and menu options available, and opt for responsive web design instead of static. Consider using a dropdown menu, which can be a great way to conserve space and clean up the layout without having to lose any content. Categorize your content to situate the most important pieces at the top and bottom of the dropdown list, as this is where a user’s eye goes first.
Graduate into the Big Times
Once you’ve pushed your content across different platforms, it’s time to enter the arena with bigger publications. Using popular brands to boost awareness of your own is a great way to reach a pre-established niche of your target audience. The Young Entrepreneur’s Council is your ticket to getting onto widely seen sites, such as Forbes or Huffington Post. They’ll take care of the hard work for you – all you have to do is submit your content.
You can also build your own publication list based on sites you want your content to appear on. Once you understand your target market, you can figure out which sites it makes sense for you to appear on and go from there. Find out where your audience’s online hangout is and fill that space with your brand.
Wherever your brand can bring the most value is where you need to insert yourself. For example, if you’re an expert on product photography, market your skills to a crowd that needs your help the most. Create podcasts and “How-To” blogs that establish your expertise in the field, and the hits will come organically.
Find publication editors by investigating the site you’re interested in. Find their “About Me” and you’ll probably be able to gather some contact information for the team member you want to talk to, such as the managing editor or publicist. You can also track them on LinkedIn or use a tool like Email Hunter to find their address. Have your pitches ready, and show them you mean business with stellar titles and unique ideas.
Track Your Promotion
The only way to discover your return on investment (ROI) while promoting your content is to document your successes and failures. What gets measured gets managed. Ensure your efforts are worthwhile by tracking the number of shares from your promotion attempts, the number of outreaches, and your conversion rates.
If you’re having trouble finding your audience’s online community, you can do a simple Google search such as “[Your Niche] community” and see what comes up. Remember that all communities have different styles and rules – don’t overstay your welcome or turn the audience against you by ignoring the atmosphere of the community. For example, Reddit is notorious for being tough on its contributors. Tread lightly and stay on top of your content promotion efforts to avoid potential damages to your brand’s image.
It’s not always enough to post your content onto a larger brand’s website and hope for the best. Cultivating real relationships with brands can help your own rate of success. Bouncing your ideas off of brands that have been there and done that can help you avoid wasting time and money on a doomed venture. It can also open your brand up to new ideas and platforms you may not have thought of on your own.
Building a relationship with influential people in your niche can also provide you with worthwhile connections and situate your brand on the path for the most success. Gathering clients and reaching out to influential companies isn’t always possible without a friend on the other side or someone who can vouch for your company among the industry leaders. Become familiar with the top brands in your area of work, and see how they can help you.
Once you’ve promoted your content far and wide among your target audience, feel free to continue repurposing content you’ve already worked hard to optimize. You don’t have to crank out new content consistently, at least not in the beginning. The trick is to come up with really solid, gripping content, and then use it to gather attention. Then, once your brand’s awareness has gained some footing, establish yourself as a consistent source of new information, and focus on your content output.
Until then, re-purposing content can refresh your brand and bring it back to the top of search lists, instead of it disappearing into the archives. Look through your analytics and pull your top performing posts out. Re-post them exactly or convert the same content into a different form, such as video or podcast. Insert newer infographics, and keep the information up to date. Growth is never done when it comes to promoting your business. There are always new ways to boost engagement and spread your brand, as long as you know what to look for.