Your team spends hours crafting a content marketing strategy and creating content that’s useful to your audience. But once it’s published and out there, what then? If no one’s viewing or reading it, it’s not helping you achieve your goals.
Content promotion is an important part of successful marketing, but your strategy should go beyond the most basic steps such as search engine optimization, email promotion, and social media sharing. Those steps matter but, for most businesses, they simply won’t be enough to drive the traffic required to see ROI.
For that, you need to think strategically and get creative.
5 Creative Content Promotion Strategies
The best content promotion strategies aren’t something you do as an afterthought once the piece goes up. “The content itself should be built for promotion,” advises Andy Crestodina, Co-founder of Orbit Media.
1. Feature experts, and alert them when you publish.
When you share a piece with your followers and email list, the only people who see it are those who already know your brand.
“Content optimized for social media should be filled with faces and names,” explains Crestodina. When you feature other people in your content, “they’re very likely to share on social media,” he says.
Nicolas Straut, Senior SEO Associate at Fundera, confirmed how well this tactic can pay off. “I produced this piece for Small Business Saturday last year and I reached out via HARO and found a good amount of sources listed there. Almost all of them posted the guide on social media,” he reported.
While some marketers recommend seeking out influencers with a big audience when you use this tactic, Straut says that’s not necessary. “Even if they have a small social media audience, that’ll still be fantastic for the traffic,” he says.
2. Make social media videos.
Sharing a link on social media may help get the notice of some, but with so many other updates in a social media feed, it’s easy for people to scroll right past without seeing it. To get people’s attention on social media, you have to do something different. Creating a short video to promote your content does the trick.
Making a video to promote your content does require an additional time commitment for each post, as well as an investment in the right tools for video creation. But it goes a long way toward making your content more visible in crowded social media channels.
3. Use social advertising (with strategic targeting).
One of the easiest ways to reach a new audience with your content is to pay to promote it. Using social ads doesn’t just expand the reach of your content, it gives you a way to tailor who sees it.
“I build two kinds of tailored audiences. The first is all of my competitors’ followers. For the second, I build much more specific audiences using the Ahrefs platform,” he explains. “I’ll gather up popular articles on keyword topics or 20-30 popular articles from one site and start exporting all of the ‘who tweeted’ usernames.”
Twitter lets you import a list of the specific people you want your ads to show up for. By using this method, Thibault can reach the people most likely to click on and/or care about the content they find.
He doesn’t stop there. “Each successive campaign gets easier as I run new content promotions in front of one of the previously built audiences. My Facebook, Google, and Quora pixels are all picking up these same visitors, so I can retarget them with more elaborate campaigns on the other platforms,” he says.
4. Share in a relevant subreddit.
Most brands will automatically post every piece of content they create on the most popular social media sites. But Reddit is one that often gets overlooked, even though the specificity of subreddits makes it possible to get your content in front of a relevant audience.
Straut says identifying the right subreddit to share your piece can generate a lot of interest, especially if it gets a lot of upvotes. It may be tempting to target the big subreddits with the most people, but relevance is worth more than volume here.
When sharing your content on Reddit, choosing the right text is key.” Take note of the other articles that are posted, the text people use, and the titles or descriptions they’re adding,” he recommends. “That’s pretty important to getting engagement.”
5. Submit to regular roundup posts.
Some blogs will publish weekly or monthly posts that collect the best content for their audience from around the web. Straut recommends identifying blogs that do this and tipping the writer off when you publish a new piece.
“This will increase traffic to your article and provide you with a valuable backlink to your content that will help your rankings in search results,” says Straut. With this tactic, Fundera managed to get a piece on digital security included in the small business roundup on Invoice Berry.
To get your piece included, you need to get your pitch to the blog’s editor right.
“Keep the email short and simple. Be explicit about what you’re asking for, but also be very up front about the value that you’re offering,” he recommends.
“Usually you’ll at least get a response,” he says. Even if that response is a rejection, it presents an opportunity to ask what kind of content they do like, so you’ll have a better chance the next time you reach out.
Content Promotion Pays Off
Content marketing can only benefit your company if your audience gets the chance to see and react to it. Content promotion leads to more visibility through higher search engine rankings, more links on other websites, and more views on social. All of that adds up to more website traffic and a stronger reputation for your brand.
With each successful piece, you learn a little more about your audience and which promotion tactics are most worthwhile. You can refine your strategy and make future content go even further.