Content promotion, or lack thereof, is probably one of the primary reasons your content isn’t driving results.
Anyone who does content marketing has heard or been told that they answer to better results from your content is simply to create “more content.”
I guess if you can produce mass quantities of quality content that might work, but what if there were an easier and smarter way?
What typically happens when people create content is they do the bare minimum (and FYI: no judgment here, I’m guilty as charged too). They create the content, cue it up through a tool that shares and promotes to all their social media channels, ideally they email their audience that they’ve created a new piece of content, and then it’s back to the drawing board.
Jodi and I are on a mission to help remove the overwhelm from content marketing.
Content marketing and content promotion are part of what I do for a living and it can overwhelming. I can only imagine what it must feel like when you’re business has nothing to do with online marketing yet you have to get good at that too (or at least know what to look for when you hire someone to do it for you).
What if you could create one really great piece of content a month, then focus on promoting it (instead of creating more)?
For the sake of this article, I’m going to be referring to a blog post that is written on your own site (as opposed to a platform like Medium or one of the social platforms). The goal of our blog post is to convert readers to email subscribers.
We’re also going to strip this back to the basics so you don’t need to be an SEO expert or have been doing this for a long time in order to get started.
Low hanging fruit
The easiest place to start with your content promotion is your low hanging fruit, in other words, where you already have an audience.
Before you can promote your content to your audience you want to make sure that your blog post is optimized for the search engines. I know I said you don’t need to be an SEO expert, but there are a few things you can do that will give your blog post a better chance of being picked up if you do them correctly.
We’ve created a great blog post checklist that walks you through each element of optimizing your blog post, you can read that post and download the blog post checklist here.
The first two pieces of “low hanging fruit” for your content promotion are:
- Social media
- Your email list
If you’re not using a social media scheduling tool for your content, this is the first thing you should do every time you publish a blog post.
We use CoSchedule and Missingletter, but there’s also a great tool called Socialit.io that is 100% free and is a great place to start while you’re creating your processes.
The reason we use both CoSchedule and Missingletter is because they perform in two very different ways.
CoSchedule integrates a calendar and scheduling tool directly inside of WordPress (making it much easier to get your initial sharing scheduled when you hit publish).
Missingletter pulls your content into the site via your RSS feed and allows you to create a 12-month (shorter and longer campaigns are available) campaign with different images and text pulled directly from your content.
Regardless of what tool(s) you use, make sure you’re doing you’re initial content promotion when you publish your post.
Email Your List
I completely understand that emailing your list, especially when you haven’t been consistent with it (or done it at all), feels a little big scary.
Do it anyway.
It’s the one thing I wish I had started much earlier on in my online journey.
Every single time you publish a piece of content you should send a solo broadcast email with one call to action: read the post (or listen or view, depending on the type of content you’ve created).
The likelihood that people on your list are going to see your social posts is pretty minimal.
Don’t make it hard for people to consume your content.
Both of these activities should happen the day of and within a couple days of publishing your post.
How to make the next step easy
The harder something is the less likely it’s going to get done, particularly when it doesn’t “have” to be done.
You do NOT need to be on every social platform.
OR… if you are, start with the two you prefer spending time on and engaging with people and get those running like a well-oiled machine before you start adding more platforms.
So, as an example:
I’ve recently started spending more time on Twitter. I’ve been on the platform since 2008, and can honestly say I never really got into the platform the way some other people did.
I used it, I shared my content (i.e., pushed it out), and responded to people when I saw they had engaged (or remembered to log into the platform). Not really very “social” is it?
I’ve jumped back in and am starting to have fun again.
My other current obsessions is newsletters (like this one).
A great content promotion strategy I want to implement on Twitter is to create a Twitter thread of each issue of the newsletter.
I’ll tag the people and products I mention, and see how it performs. I’ll pull in a few sentences with each thread and link, include an image where it makes sense, and give it a few months to see if it gains traction.
The other platform I enjoy and would like to test for content promotion of our newsletter is carousel posts on the Instagram feed (and stories) with the same strategy. Create an individual image for each segment, upload it as a carousel, and tag the relevant people and products.
Both of these strategies are somewhat time intensive the first few times I do them, but then I’ll have a process down where I can assign it to someone else or at least use previous templates.
Both platforms will require smart use of hashtags to help with search on the right topics.
Once we’ve been consistent with these two additional strategies and see that they’re working, then we can add another platform.
While we’re focusing on these strategies we can have campaigns scheduled and promoting the same content through CoSchedule and Missingletter.
If you take the above strategy and go deeper with it (as opposed to wide and just repeating the process with every newsletter, which we do recommend), you can also take ONE piece of content and focus promoting that in as many ways as possible.
- Repurposing it (turning a blog post into an audio or video)
- Creating an image/infographic that tells the story of the post
- Articles on Medium (or any of the social platforms that allow publishing of articles, not just in the feed)
- Reaching out for a link in a relevant piece of content from someone else
- Running paid traffic to your content
- Linking to the content from additional blog posts from within your site (this is internal linking and is part of the blog post checklist post)
- Natively posting to your business social profiles to see if you get higher engagement/response
You also want to make it as easy as possible for people who like your content to share it!
If they’ve taken the time to read your content, include a ‘click to tweet’ and use a sharing plugin so all people have to do is click the share button to share with their audience.
Lastly, be sure to check your analytics and traffic stats before you start your content promotion and then check it after you’ve dedicated 30 days to promoting one piece of content.
We think you’ll be surprised at how well this works (and how much more fun it is when you step off the content machine hamster wheel).