Content is not one of those things where if you build it, they will come. If you don’t tell people about your content, they will never probably know about it. Once you have created an awesome piece of content that includes all of the elements that can make a piece of content successful, your next goal will be to promote it to cement that success with traffic. The following are three plans you can follow for content promotion.
Bare Minimum Content Promotion
Bare minimum content promotion should be applied to essentially any piece of content you produce such as your average blog posts, press releases, etc.
- Optimize it for search. Yes, this was included as part of successful content creation, but it’s so important for promoting your content long-term that it deserves to be mentioned twice. Once the initial traffic surge has calmed down, your only bet at keeping traffic coming to your content is through search. At the very least, make sure you’ve included a good keyword phrase in your content’s title and description.
- Include social sharing buttons. Make sure that any page you have placed content upon has social sharing buttons. This way your audience can promote your content as well. If you’re guest blogging, see if you can recommend social sharing buttons on blogs that do not already have them.
- Share it on your social networks. This one should pretty much be a given, but be sure to share your new content on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. With Facebook, be sure to post the update on Facebook itself vs. a third party app for higher engagement opportunity. If an image or video is included in your content, you can add it to your Pinterest boards as well. And don’t forget about social bookmarking networks, from general ones like StumbleUpon to niche-specific ones like BizSugar.
- Share it with groups on LinkedIn. Speaking of sharing it on LinkedIn, you can go the extra mile by sharing your content in groups. Once you’ve posted an update to your LinkedIn profile, you can click the Share link beneath it. Then you can share the same update with any groups you belong to. This can quickly take your content from just being seen by your network to being seen by hundreds and maybe thousands of extra people. Just make sure the groups you share it with are open to members sharing content!
- Create a blog post about it. For any piece of content not on your blog (YouTube videos, infographics, press releases, guest posts, etc.) you should definitely create a blog post about it. This way, subscribers to your blog can learn about your new content. If you create a lot of offsite content and don’t have time to put up a new post about each piece, you can always do a roundup post at the end of the week to highlight all of the content you’ve published elsewhere.
This is assuming that every piece of content you product is something you want to share with your audience. Of course, every piece of your content should be something you would want your audience to consume – that’s always a good indicator of Panda-friendly content.
Intermediate Content Promotion
The next level of promotion includes everything above plus a few extra items to really get your content some traffic.
- Try social advertising. The simplest form of social advertising is Promoted Posts on Facebook. If your fan page has more than 400 likes, you can increase the reach of the update you posted on Facebook by using the Promote link beneath the update. If you don’t have 400 likes, you can go with Sponsored Stories. You might also want to try Twitter Advertising with Promoted Tweets.
- Include it in your email signature. Update your email signature with a link to your latest piece of content. This way you can reach someone with your content where they are most likely to see it: in their inbox.
- Send it to your mailing list. Speaking of inboxes, don’t forget your mailing list. Customers will appreciate receiving emails that are not always about sales but simply sharing valuable content.
- Use it as a reference when participating on Q&A networks. Once you’ve created a piece of content, see if it would be a good reference to add on Q&A networks. For example, if you wrote a tutorial on how to use Google Analytics, you could probably use parts of it to answer several questions about GA and add a link to the tutorial with your answer as additional reference.
- Reach out to bloggers. There are lots of bloggers that do regular content roundup lists to highlight great content in their industry throughout the week. Searchcap is one example in the SEO industry. Get to know the bloggers who create lists like these and see if they would be interested in your latest piece of content – you can suggest via email or even by a tweet!
Thorough Content Promotion
This level of promotion includes everything above plus some more time consuming but effective strategies to drive a higher volume traffic to your top pieces of content. You should probably reserve this promotion plan for your best content such as extraordinarily huge blog posts, infographics, videos you want to go viral, etc.
- Comment on blogs with CommentLuv. I know you might scoff at blog commenting, but this particular form of blog commenting really works at attracting traffic to your latest piece of on-site content, especially if it happens to be a blog post. CommentLuv enabled blogs allow you to have two links with your comment – one to your main website, and another to your latest blog post (or the latest item on the RSS feed linked to your website). Simply do a Google search for keyword “commentluv enabled” and then use the search tools to show posts within the last month. Then start leaving valuable comments using your real name, email address (preferably linked to a Gravatar), and website link.
- Create a press release. Free press releases do not have the same effect they used to thanks to Penguin, Panda, and all of the other Google updates. If you have an outstanding pieces of content to promote, create a press release on quality sites – I’ve heard MarketWire and PRWeb are pretty good. They’re pricey, but they get the job done.
- Guest post. Guest posts (on quality sites) can help drive a good bit of traffic to your website, especially if you write a guest post that is highly relevant to the piece of content you are trying to promote. Many people use their author bio to promote a piece of content, such as a free whitepaper or ebook that will lead visitors to an opt-in page to their mailing list in exchange for the free content. This is a great way to generate leads via your content and guest posting.
- Create complimentary content. Do you have a blog post that you could turn into slides? Or a video that you could extract audio from to create a podcast? Think about the various ways you could repurpose your content, create them, and share them on popular networks like SlideShare, YouTube, etc.
- Build additional links. Depending on the type of content you create, there may be some great linking opportunities available to you. For starters, infographics can be submitted to multiple infographics directories (sometimes for free, sometimes free). Submit videos hosted on your website to YouTube and other video networks linking back to the video page on your website. Look for any opportunities to create quality links to your content for additional SEO power and rankings to lead to even more direct and organic search traffic.
The Bottom Line
when it comes to social promotion, you have to do a lot of experimentation to see what strategies drive the most traffic to your content. Be sure to document your results so you can mix and max strategies for the best results with the least amount of effort.
Now it’s your turn. What other promotion methods do you use to generate traffic to your content?
Image credit: @davestone