20 Best Content Promotion Strategies
I’ve got the attention span of a goldfish!
It’s the common complaint with regards to keeping one’s focus. However, data from 2015 shows that gold fish fare better when it comes to attention span. Theirs is at 9 seconds while we humans are struggling at 8.25 seconds.
Put that into marketing context and you’re left with thousands of marketers vying for 8 seconds of a person’s time.
This year, 64% of PR and marketing firms will increase their content marketing efforts. Aside from producing an undoubtedly good content similar to what Netflix did for the current season of House of Cards, how does one compete?
Creating a great content is the first part of the plan but to get the word out about it, content promotion should be the next part of your strategy.
Here are 20 content promotion strategies that you can use for your next campaign:
Want to learn more about content marketing? Download Neil Patel's free ebook: The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing.
1. Reach out to your mailing list
Start with your followers – the people who are subscribed to your mailing list. If your followers resonate with the content, expect them to share it on social media and spread the word for you.
59% of marketing professionals agree that email is still one of the most effective forms of increasing revenue. Open rates vary depending on the industry you’re in.
The chart above shows the following email email metrics in different industries: open rates: the number of users who opened the mail divided by the total number of emails sent CTRs: the number of users who clicked on the mail divided by the total number of emails sent CTORs: the number of users who clicked on the mail divided by the total number of opened mails
But how do you ensure subscribers open your email and click on your call-to-actions?
To increase your open, click-through, and click-to-open ratios, try the following tips from Entrepreneur:
- Create a compelling subject. Shorter subject lines lead to higher open rate.
- Take time to personalize your email. CTR and conversion rates improve by 14% and 10% respectively when emails are personalized.
- Make sure your emails don’t end up in the Spam Folder. Be careful with using spammy words in your email (such as ‘sale’ and ‘deal’) and excessive use of capital letters and exclamation points.
2. Time your social media posts
78% of the US population has a social media account. It makes sense to promote content on social media but knowing when to post makes this strategy more effective rather than posting at different times of day.
Check when most of your followers are online and schedule your posts during this period. Facebook provides this service via the insights tab on your Page Admin dashboard. Browsing behavior varies daily (especially on weekends).
The sample photo below shows that the best time when most users are online is at 9PM.
To keep track of your Instagram engagement, use the Analytics service from Iconosquare. The graph below shows historical data of the times you posted versus the most interactions from your followers. Use this data to find out the best time to upload that Instagram photo. To schedule your Instagram posts, use free services such as Latergram.
For Twitter, Tweriod gets the job done. Tweriod finds out when most of your followers engage in Twitter activity and translates this to a neat graph. Twitter offers scheduled tweets when you’re running Twitter for Business ads but for us with regular twitter accounts, free sites like FutureTweets offer the service.
Download this free ebook about the benefits of using social media for business.
3. Optimize sharing snippets
You have probably had the experience before when sharing links on social media: the right photos don’t show and the text that appears under the URL is completely wrong.
Ideally, when we share on social media, we want to provide readers with a photo related to the topic and a description that provides a quick engaging preview of the content.
In this article on Moz, author Dana Lookadoo shares with us what a good snippet looks like.
Use Open Graph meta tags to optimize snippets and help increase social media engagement. Use the following tags in thesection of your website’s code:
OG: Title – Use engaging titles
OG: Description – Provide a summary of the post and what benefits it will provide the reader
OG: Image – Put the URL of the image thumbnail. Facebook and Google+ work best with square 150 x150 size.
OG: Type – Describe the type of post that you are sharing (eg. website, blog). Visit the official documentation for a complete list of Open Graph types
OG: URL – Put your content’s URL
If you’re using WordPress for your content platform, you can opt not to modify your site’s code. Use the plugin YoastSEO by Yoast to implement OG tags.
4. Reach out to influencers
Influencers, as defined in a Forbes article referencing Malcolm Gladwell, are people who are considered as subject matter experts and whose voice is heard and listened to.
Take for example YouTube’s highest paid star in 2015, PewDiePie. His subscribers have grown to 43 million as of writing. Gaming companies and advertisers pay him for a mention on his videos or for videogame reviews. Videogames that he talks about report an increase in purchases.
When publishing about specific content, reach out to influencers in that field and ask if you could get their opinion and quote them on your piece.
So how do you find the right influencer for your content? KISSmetrics gives us tips on how we can choose and partner with influencers:
- First, identify your influencer persona. Define the personality, his expertise/genre, reach and audience type, and the topics that he/she talks about in his social media accounts or blogs.
- Next, find your influencer. Do this by researching hashtags and finding social media mentions. Look into this well as you might already have an influencer right in your circle. Remember, when influencers love your product, they’ll tell their followers about it.
- Last, craft an email and contact them. KISSmetrics gives us a template that you can send out to multiple influencers. Include their quote on your post along with their website link and social media accounts.
5. Get in touch with bloggers to help share your content
Based on Technorati’s 2013 report on Digital Influence, 86% of influencers maintain at least one blog.
In a 2015 study conducted by The Abbi Agency, 81% of US consumers trust advice from blogs and 61% made a purchase based on blog recommendations.
Not all bloggers have the same wide reach as big social media influencers but they have a good reach and a targeted audience. Bloggers and your brand’s social media fans are what we refer to as mid-level influencers.
To involve bloggers in sharing your content, Problogger suggests the following ways:
- Create a roundup post (top blogs that you should read, best resources, etc) and include links to their websites and social media handles.
- Use a blogger’s recommendation and post about the results. Next, let the blogger know about the success you’ve had when you followed his advice.
- If your topic directly relates with a blogger, request for an interview. This will work both ways as the blogger can share his story in your channel while you can also gain a new market once the blogger shares the interview link to his followers.
6. Mention Or Email Your Sources About Your Post
Once you’ve got the post up, send your sources an email informing them about your post. You can also do this by mentioning them on your tweet or tagging their pages on Facebook and their Instagram handles.
Here’s an email template from KISSmetrics that we can use:
The Internet reciprocates and bloggers who are also looking to expand their readership will likely return the favor. While this technique does not ensure that you will get all their attention here, one or two shares and retweets will still do your content good.
7. Create guest posts
Because content marketing on the internet is based on relationship building, contributing guest posts are one way to increase your readership.
Jeff Goins from Goins, Writer, discusses why guest posting is a great strategy for promoting online content:
- When you guest post, you add good content and value to someone else’s blog. This helps you cultivate a relationship with other bloggers.
- The post will include links to your website. These backlinks will give you a good search engine standing boost especially when coming from an authority website.
- Expand your readership over time. Guest posting will not affect your reach immediately but this is the type of strategy that reaps benefits over a period of time.
So when you contribute a guest post for a certain blog, thank the blogger, promote the post on your own network as well, and check the post from time to time to respond to comments.
8. Learn your hashtags
How do you reach a bigger audience who doesn’t know your brand? Through hashtags.
Here are some fascinating hashtags statistics posted on Buffer:
- Get twice the engagement when you tweet with a hashtag
- In Instagram, posts with more than 11 hashtags get the most interaction
- Excessive use of hashtags in Twitter can lower number of interaction. Using more than 2 hashtags on your tweets will cause your engagement to drop by 17%. In a study of using hashtags on Facebook, using more than 2 hashtags in Facebook posts decreases interaction.
Next, how do you find the right hashtags to use? Kevan Lee teaches us how to do this. First, find influencers and see which hashtags they use. Next, cover all related hashtags that you might have missed out. Sites such as Hashtagify and Hashtags.org provide latest information on trending hashtags and popular hashtags.
It’s best to stick by the rule of using 1-3 tags in all social media platforms.
Here are popular hashtags from Hashtags.org:
9. Release content exclusive only for followers who shared/retweeted/favorited your post
Like the first item (reaching out to your mailing list), start with engaging followers who have shown interest in your content.
While it is recommended to interact with followers through returning favorites, retweets, and replies, give them the bonus of getting access to exclusive content or an early before-everyone-else-can access. This helps foster a community for your brand and will help draw interest from a wider audience.
SnapBird is a nifty tool that you can use to search for mentions, retweets, and favorites on Twitter. Get their Twitter handles, add them to a list, and then send them a direct message or an email.
Here’s a sample template that you can use:
10. Find people who are interested in the same topic
How do you find your tribe?
Sign up for a Buzzsumo account to start.
PR 20/20 teaches how marketers can effectively use Buzzsumo for content marketing. Type the topic in the search box and find the links most shared in that category. Click on View Sharers and find the individuals who have shared that particular link. Chances are, these people are interested in similar articles. Reach out to them via Twitter or email and let them know about your post.
Another way to do this is to find URLs in Twitter. Get the URL of a popular content discussing the same topic as your post and search for it on Twitter.
From the search results, you will see who has tweeted (or retweeted) about the post. In the photo below, searching for a particular KISSmetrics link will show up all related tweets. Add them on a Twitter list and tweet them or send a DM with the link to your related post.
11. Get your content on Quora
Sharing on social media platforms work but you might forget how effective Quora is too. Quora is a Q&A site where the community can throw questions and get answers.
Users turn to Quora to ask questions from industry experts or those who have had similar experiences. For marketers, Quora is the best venue to build your authority and expertise. Find questions about topics related to your content and include post links in your answer. The way Quora works is that the most helpful answer voted by the community is shown at the top of the question feed.
So how do you make sure that you provide the community with the most relevant answer? This article on Buffer suggests that marketers do the following on Quora:
- Write an excellent profile to make a good impression
- Give good short and focused answers
- Add external links pointing to your reference (you can include your post here) to prove expertise
- Create a Quora page for your company or business
- Make a Quora board to share content. You can either add links to external content or a link to your favorite Quora answers.
- Interact with topic followers and those who have provided the top answers (as they can also be your key influencers)
12. Tweet several times within the week you published the content
The advice is to not go overboard with promoting your own content on social media but on Twitter, it’s best to spread out tweets about the latest content throughout the week.
Write unique tweets and make sure you don’t retweet the same lines everyday. Here are some creative suggestions from Quick Sprout:
- Tweet a line from your post
- Tweet an opinion/reaction for your post
- Tweet how the post will benefit the readers
- Tweet about the post reception
Be sure to tweet at different times of the day. To create scheduled tweets, use Tweriod as explained in tip #2.
After the first week, check your statistics for content engagement. If this particular content has made significant impact, take note of this and retweet it in the next months. You can tweet about old posts using plugins such as Revive Old Post from Wordpress.
13. Share on content on LinkedIn
LinkedIn works wonders for B2B marketing as statistics from 2015 show that 80.33% of B2B leads came from LinkedIn.
Standard Marketing gives tips on how to use LinkedIn to increase engagement:
- Complete your LinkedIn profile
- If you have a company page, complete all information on the profile as well
- Add more connections. You can also use the People You May Know feature
- Find LinkedIn groups that are related to your topic. Join in the discussions, answer questions, and share content.
- Post content during office hours. Unlike other social media platforms, the use of LinkedIn during business hours is deemed acceptable.
To get to know more about the ins and outs of marketing on this platform, check out The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn from the company itself.
14. Comment on other people’s blogs
This will help you get the attention of the blogger (especially helpful if you think he is an influencer) as well as get noticed by other commenters.
Do this to add value to the original post and to help out in contributing information; otherwise, your comment will come off as spam.
Posting a comment is a way of building interactions as shown in the example above.
Remember to stay authentic and within topic. Here are some suggestions on how you can do it the proper way from item 7 of Quick Sprout’s guide on content marketing:
First, make sure that you fully understand what the article is about. Next, pick one point that you find interesting which you can ask a related question or you can help expand on. Then, create a good comment that is both direct and engaging. If you would like to add your own ideas or disagree with the author on some points, be respectful of the writer and choose your words wisely.
15. Post your content link on niche forums and community sites
If your brand or business is about photography, it might help to join forums such as Digital Photography Review forum. We have been repeating the importance of building a community in this post and joining forums is a great way of helping out through interaction that will eventually lead to increased engagement.
One sort of forum (although a lot will argue that it’s not a forum) is reddit. Users on reddit are particularly fond of interesting information that are oftentimes funny and quirky.
To explain more about marketing on reddit, KISSmetrics shares the following information:
- Find the subreddit matching your niche. If the particular subreddit is not getting a substantial amount of traffic, consider posting on subreddits covering broader topics such as /r/todayilearned, /r/askreddit, or /r/IAMA.
- Share content that appeal to reddit users. These posts are usually of personal in nature, historical facts, political, and covers unique topics on science, food, music, and fitness.
- If you want to market on reddit, you must take criticisms well.
16. Use Facebook groups
Take social media marketing to the next level.
While promoting on your Facebook page works well in marketing content to your existing followers, joining specific groups related to your brand will help extend your reach to those who may not know your brand yet.
In this example, the original poster turned to the group to ask a question where he got interesting answers. On the last comment, he added the link to his own content.
This article on Post Planner discusses the benefits of marketing on Facebook groups:
- Provides added value to members who are your potential clients
- Use it a channel to discuss news and current developments related to your field
- Build a community
- Strengthen relationships with your influencers
- Promote your events to a larger audience
This form of engagement needs time to build. Be sincere when posting and keep in mind that the intention is to provide value to members.
17. Add content links to your email signature
Have you ever counted the number of emails you get each day? If you’re getting dozens of email that you reply to daily, then you must not miss using this channel to market your content.
Your email contacts might be interested in your latest content so the best way to make it easy for them to access it is by adding the links to your email signature.
Taking them directly to your post will save them time too.
In the example above, Calin from Inbound Interactive adds the links to his content and a link to his video (with a matching photo snippet).
18. Use Facebook Ads
Paid advertising can get your content delivered to your target audience. The bonus is: it comes at a relatively cheap price.
Content Marketing Institute shows us the comparison for the average cost to reach out to 1000 people. Facebook Ads tops the list when it comes the cheapest rate.
CMI suggests the following ways of targeting your audience:
- Demographics: choose the age, gender, or location. If your business is catering to your location community, using the location is a good place to start.
- Precise: Reach out to users who have already expressed interest in a similar topic. If your content goes beyond location, precise targeting is more applicable. Facebook will base the audience reach on the user’s interests and “likes”.
- Broad: Facebook has specific categories set for users. Here are sample categories for Parents with children.
You can use these strategies separately or use them together to create a more defined targeted ad.
19. Make your content shareable
Help make it easy for your brand ambassadors!
Your followers are your first line of marketers. Instead of readers manually copy and pasting your link, make it easier for them to share your content by adding share buttons.
Coschedule discusses the best practices when it comes to social media buttons. Other websites, like TechCrunch, places the buttons at the top of the post while others choose to place it at the left, right, or bottom of the post.
The general guidelines when using social share buttons is to make sure the buttons pop out and can be prominently seen on the page. Also take into consideration the fact that readers usually looks at the top left side of a site. Finally, limit the number of buttons as these can impact your page load speed.
You may ask just how much traffic can social sharing buttons bring? Here’s a study on news organizations which shows that 20% of Twitter traffic came from tweet share buttons.
To get started, check out Social Share Button Plus, a WordPress plugin that you can use to incorporate and customize share buttons.
20. Ask readers to share your content
Lastly, move your followers into action!
This post on Copyblogger shows how much marketers are missing out just because they are not asking their readers for shares.
To be more effective in getting shares from your followers, Neil Patel on this article on Quick Sprout, discusses some of the main points that you should also consider:
Study what moves people to share content. People have 5 top motivations when sharing content: to entertain, to show who they are, to cultivate relationships, to get a sense of purpose, and to show their support for the brand or the cause. Use images because readers are more drawn to share posts with photos. Write effective headlines that trigger readers’ curiosity.
Did you know that specifically asking your followers to Please Retweet can get you 4x the number of retweets?
Neil also suggests ways to get more shares and one thing that he mentions is to end your email or post with a suggestion:
Yes, all you have to do is ask your followers nicely.
What content promotion strategies do you use that are not yet in this list? Let us know in the comments!
Want to get a different view on how to do content marketing? Download this free ebook about data driven content marketing.
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