Getting your content out there isn’t easy. There’s nothing more demoralising than spending a huge amount of time, energy and resources (i.e. your hard-earned cash) on developing great content for it to just become lost in the noise of your industry.
Great content isn’t enough.
Don’t just assume that if your content is great, it will deliver a return on investment. You need to work hard to get your content visible to the right people at the right time.
Eventually your content promotion activities will become a lot easier, but until you’ve built a community around your brand and a following around your content, you need to be intelligent about the way you attract and get eyeballs to it.
Promoting Your Content
I’ve worked across all kinds of content marketing campaigns, and along the way I’ve found some techniques that can be used to dramatically increase online reach, boost social engagement, and ultimately earn links.
Here are a few ideas that you can plug directly into your campaigns:
This has been a tactic that I’ve been implementing for some time now. It involves creating an extra resource that can be bolted on to your content that readers can gain access to in exchange for some level of engagement.
The engagement could be in the form of social shares (as shown above) or it could be something like entering your email address. Either way, the important thing to remember here is that the locked content must be relevant to the original content that the user is viewing.
Here are a few ideas that I’ve used in the past:
- Discounts on products/services mentioned.
- PDF download of the content.
- Extra learning resources or ebooks.
- Product giveaways (could be in the form of a sweepstake).
- If you created a numbered list article (i.e. the top 10… ), give an extra few tips that are able to be downloaded after sharing (i.e. get these 6 extra tips on… ).
- Offer any research materials or base data used.
These are just a few ideas, but I can’t stress the importance of keeping it relevant enough. There’s no point in just offering a product discount if your post isn’t product-orientated at all.
DesignCrazed shares examples of locked content plugins you can use for WordPress.
Paid Advertising via Reddit and StumbleUpon
Reddit and StumbleUpon advertising are some of the most cost-effective paid platforms to promote your content within. Ross Hudgens wrote a great article focused all around StumbleUpon advertising, so make sure you give it a read.
One of the great things about StumbleUpon ads is that you can be very specific about who you’re going to target, plus you can pay as little as $0.12 per visit.
Similarly to StumbleUpon, Reddit’s advertising platform allows you to target your content at very specific subreddits to ensure that only relevant users will see it.
Now, I’m not saying that this should be your sole strategy because you will likely have a fairly high bounce rate from these two traffic sources, but they can be a fantastic catalyst for getting your content picked up. Another reason why I use these platforms is to test the reaction to my content – almost like a testing ground. I’ll serve the content up to a small sample of users and gauge their reaction before I promote it to a wider audience – if it doesn’t work so well then I’ll make adjustments to ensure that it has the maximum impact possible.
On the note of the high bounce rate that you can see from these traffic sources, I have a little workaround for that…
Facebook Ads Remarketing
Set up a Facebook tracking pixel on the URL of your content so that any visitors to the page will be added into a custom audience profile within Facebook ads (here’s a full tutorial on setting up Facebook ads for website visitors).
Once these visitors are added into a custom audience profile, you can remarket to them via Facebook ads at a very low price to try and get them back onto your website. This way you know that they’re within your target audience and have had some kind of exposure to your content in the past – I’ve seen fantastic results from this.
Using a Variety of Content Formats
This technique is one that I’ve found will often deliver the best results from a social sharing point of view and can really increase the overall reach of your individual pieces of content. What’s more, it’s so simple to do.
It’s worth mentioning that not all of these methods will be relevant to all of your content, but there will definitely be some takeaways.
The idea is that you create content that encompasses a multitude of different content formats that will enable the user to share content (and link to it) as easily as possible.
Here are a few ways I’ve done this in the past:
- Use a free tool like ReciteThis to pull in a quote from your content and turn it into a shareable image (this is great for encouraging sharing across visual sites like Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram).
- Summarise your content into a slide deck and upload it to SlideShare. You can then embed this into your website and give people an easy way to embed your content into their site (which really helps increase the likelihood of them linking to you).
- If you have any video content on your website, get a transcription created (you can use a service like SpeechPad). You could even get this translated into multiple languages to encourage engagement from multilingual readers.
- Create a podcast around any text-based content that you’ve created (you can also submit your podcast to these directories for an extra few links).
- Turn quotes from your content into tweetable links. Set up custom tweet buttons that allow users to easily share your content via a statement that you’ve made (this is really powerful for encouraging social engagement).
Local Community Seeding
Within any niche there are a load of online communities that you can submit your content through to that will help to get it out there and seed some initial traffic.
Reddit is always one of my go-to places to share content. There’s virtually a subreddit for every different topic possible. I mean, there a subreddit with over 70,000 subscribers dedicated to images of birds with arms…
Outside of Reddit, there are thousands of micro-communities that you can share content to. Here are a few examples:
- Style Gawker (fashion).
- Inbound.org (marketing).
- Hacker News (tech).
- Tastespotting (food).
- Blokube (marketing).
Simply sharing your content to these sites can end up bringing in a ton of targeted traffic through to your content that could lead to social shares, links or direct conversions.
One extra tip with sites like this is to spend time networking with those active within the community so that you increase the likelihood of your content being upvoted.
- Great content isn’t enough.
- Don’t just think about where you can share your content, but instead, think of how you can make it as easy to share as possible.
- Seed traffic and gauge the response of your target audience via Reddit/StumbleUpon paid ads.
- Remarket to those who have been exposed to your brand via Facebook advertising.
- Offer additional resources for download in return for extra engagement from your readers.