But in the content marketing world, creating and publishing content are only the first steps toward a successful campaign. Often, the most important piece is also the most overlooked: content promotion.
Content promotion is the process of sharing your content across multiple online channels to maximize the visibility of your work, and in many cases, repeating that distribution on regular intervals to increase your effectiveness even further.
Many content marketers fail to promote their content in any way, and end up missing a huge chunk of ROI because of it. But why is this the case? And what’s the right way to promote your content?
Why Content Promotion Is Necessary (and Three Main Goals)
It seems a bit paradoxical, but you’ve got to market the content that is, in itself, designed to market your business. First, you need to know why it’s important, and how it’s going to help your campaign. Distributing your content on a regular basis should lead you to three main objectives:
1. Maximize visibility. Distributing your content maximizes its potential visibility. If your content sits without being promoted, it’s unlikely that people will find it on their own. Promoting it means more people will see it, and repeating that distribution will ensure that people who didn’t see it the first time get a chance to view it.
2. Self-sustain a content feed. When sharing a mix of newer and older material, you’ll have a self-sustaining “feed” of content updates that you can use to keep your social channels active with content. That way, even if you go a few weeks without producing new content, you’ll have something to share with your social audience.
3. Rejuvenate interest in older works. You can also use your ongoing distribution efforts to attract attention for your older pieces of content. This allows your best content to keep getting attention.
Everything starts with an initial distribution. After creating and publishing a piece of content on your site (serving as the main hub of operations), you’ll want to draw attention to that piece by sharing it on as many external channels as possible. For most brands, that will mean introducing the content (with a link) on all your main social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, shortly after its publication.
Assuming you have at least a few dozen followers on each platform, this will instantly draw people to your site — and could spark some initial social sharing, which would draw even more people in. If you don’t have much of a following yet, don’t worry — here are 101 ways to get more followers — and with enough sharing and engagement, your efforts will become even more effective.
After the initial distribution, you’ll want to invest time in ongoing distribution, which unfolds for up to several years after the initial publication date:
· Initial follow-ups. Let’s say you’ve initially distributed your new piece on Monday at 1 pm. By the time the majority of your audience gets done with work and logs onto social media at 6 pm, it might be buried at the bottom of their newsfeeds. And what about people who only check in on social media once a week? Or those who saw your post but didn’t click it? A couple days after your initial distribution, you should follow up with an alternatively timed, alternatively titled post that introduces the same content — think of it as an “in case you missed it” opportunity.
· Inbound links. You’ll also want to build traffic and visibility for your on-site work by building links pointing to those pages. The best way to do that is creating similar, related content for external publishers via your personal brand. For example, if you’re written a post about how to make the perfect apple pie, you can write an article about hosting a dinner party, and reference your article on making an apple pie. This is going to increase visibility for your article directly (by attracting referral traffic) and indirectly (by boosting your page authority and increasing its likelihood of appearing in online searches).
· Alternative references. Next, consider using alternative points of distribution to improve visibility of your work even further. For example, you can build up an email list and send your subscribers regular round-ups of your most popular content, or submit your content to social bookmarking sites. You can also rely on PR and niche content submission sites to generate quick traffic for your top posts.
· Ongoing distribution lists. After your initial rounds of promotion, make sure to add your published material to an ongoing distribution list (which should cover, if possible, every piece of evergreen content you’ve created). You should pull from this distribution list randomly and cyclically, gradually reintroducing your audience members to older content you’ve created and filling up your social media queues. This will keep your audience interested and engaged, and will breathe new life into even your oldest material.
Content promotion is one of the best tools you have to maximize the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign, and because it doesn’t cost much time or money, there’s no real excuse not to have a strategy in place.
Take two hours to come up with a defined promotion strategy for your work, and spend an extra 15 minutes per piece promoting it. Your results, on average, will markedly improve.
For more content like this, be sure to check out my podcast, The Entrepreneur Cast!