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There are two types of people in the content marketing world: those who believe in content marketing wholeheartedly and make it a success, and those who gave up because they never saw results.
But guess what?
Unbelieving skeptics who doubt the power of content marketing — aka increasing your visitors, subscribers, social media followers, and customers through helpful and interesting content — probably just never learned how to promote their content effectively.
See, even though creating fresh posts is a ton of work for you and your team (especially if you’re posting on a consistent basis — which you definitely should be!), it’s only half the equation of your content marketing strategy.
Fail to promote your content the right way and those insightful blog posts or hilarious videos your team so diligently created will never gain the traction you’re hoping for.
Because You Can’t Rely on Organic Traffic
Using niche and content specific keywords is a great way to capture organic traffic from search engines and social media, but if this is the only way you’re hoping to drive traffic, you’re going to be waiting around a loooong time for conversions.
You can’t just create content and expect your ideal buyer to luckily stumble upon it. If only! You need to put your content in front of as many potential followers as possible.
Organic traffic is not your goal. We’re aiming for a much more deliberate outcome.
Let’s jump in the fast lane of content promotion with the easiest outreach method in your toolkit: social media.
Content Promotion is All About Maximizing Your Social Media Outreach
There are 7.4 billion people in the world and 2.3 billion of them are active social media users.
Considering that there are only 10 major social media sites customers frequent, there are not too many places for your audience to hide.
In fact, if you’ve been promoting your content on every social media site, you’re probably wasting a lot of time.
The truth is, there will always be a handful of your tribe members on new social media sites and ones that have fallen out of the spotlight. Concentrate your promotion efforts on the platforms that the bulk of your audience members check frequently and engage best on.
When you learn which specific social media sites your audience uses most, it’s easier to predict the behavior of your visitors (and drive them to your site).
Learn What Makes Your Chosen Social Media Platform Tick
Pinterest and Instagram both rely heavily on graphic or photographic content to drive traffic. On the other hand, well-written white papers by respected thought leaders get way more attention on LinkedIn.
So if you’re trying to post funny cat memes on LinkedIn and links to your articles on Instagram, it’s no wonder you’re seeing a disconnect.
Your content should start conversations with visitors. Even though that meme is funny, it won’t add to the type of dialogue taking place on LinkedIn.
Like Cory Doctorow says, content is great, but conversations build connections and strengthen engagement rates. Play to your chosen social media platform’s strengths and you’ll get noticed and shared more in those realms.
Post Often and Frequently
Did you know that the highest average Facebook click-throughs occur between 1:00–4:00p.m.? Or that posting anything on Twitter after 8:00p.m. may as well disappear into a black hole?
Check out this infographic from Fast Company to see what we mean:
You should have a general idea of where your target audience (and existing customer base) lives. If you’re only posting during Eastern Standard Time, but the majority of your customers live on the West Coast, they may be sleeping through your social media updates and missing your content entirely.
This doesn’t mean you need to post new content every hour (and annoy your current followers). Experiment to see if posting throughout the day at various times improves your engagement.
Space out your updates and don’t be scared to repost content written in a different way. Tom Tunguz discovered that reposted content on Twitter got 75% as many retweets as the previous time it was posted.
Find a Social Media Influencer in Your Niche
You’ll aspire to be a social media influencer in the future, but you’ll do better off identifying one to help you out in the beginning.
A social media influencer is someone your current audience already follows. Their content aligns well with your brand and your niche and vice versa.
Influencers have established audience numbers. If you influence an influencer, they’ll share your content with their huge network and spread awareness for your brand.Influence an influencer, they’ll share your content with their huge network and spread awareness for your brand. Click To Tweet
What should you look for in a social media influencer? Brands, people, or entities in your niche with large numbers of:
- Social media followers
- Comments on their content
- Replies to comments and questions
- Topics/categories/interests that overlap yours
Just because someone has a million followers doesn’t mean that person or brand has an engaged audience.
You want influencers with quality over quantity; place the emphasis on genuine interactions with followers instead of lots of random follow-back bots.
If it seems like someone has way too many followers and very little interaction other than posting their own content, move on to someone who frequently replies back to their fans, shares content from other sources, and seems to align well with your brand’s message.
The best way to interact with an influencer?
Give them something they can use.
Social media influencers post at all times of the day. Going through all this content means they’re always on the hunt for new posts that keep them interesting to their followers.
Provide genuine comments and add to the conversations your influencers are starting. Eventually, you can start sharing your content with them and hope they find it so valuable they pass it on to their tribe.
Try Guest Hosting
Have you developed any (digital or social) business relationships as a result of your new content marketing strategy? Get chummy with any social media influencers?
When you guest host, another brand will allow you to post content for their site, or they may give you free reign of their social media account, for a specific period of time.
To get in this position, you’ll need to develop a very strong one-on-one relationship with the brand you’ll be hosting for. You should almost always return the offer. This is exactly why it’s so important to find other brands that align with yours and work well together.
Always get a byline and make options for following your brand visible on your host’s site.
Create content that will not only appeal and attract new audience members for yourself, but that actually benefit your host, too. The more traffic you attract to their site, the higher their conversions as well.
This has the potential to be a lucrative win-win partnership for everyone.
Questions and Comments
Reply with personal answers and agree with the comments from other experts by adding your points to back up their statements.
Network here to get your name out and show visitors that you’re not only knowledgeable about your field, but that you’re willing to reach out and help those who aren’t.
Strengthen Your Calls to Action (CTAs)
Using boring social media updates like: “New blog post is live! Check it out here:”; will not grab your visitors’ or followers’ attention.
Step up your game and be enticing. Don’t let your CTAs be ignored. Think:
“Don’t miss today’s post: 10 Streaming Music Apps Worth Spending Money On (+10 That Aren’t Worth Jack). Because we hate annoying commercials more than you do:”
You should be able to tell visitors what your content’s about and why they need to check it out. Throw in a couple of CTA buzzwords to compel click overs and you’re set.
The beauty of content marketing is that it works to attract visitors around the clock. Lead your target audience members by writing compelling CTAs on their most visited social media platforms and then convert them with your stellar content.Lead your target audience members by writing compelling CTAs on their most visited social media platforms and then convert them with your stellar content. Click To Tweet
Even though your content may be attracting a small audience, you must spend the time to promote it thoughtfully if you want to build a dedicated following of loyal customers for your brand.
Dive deeper into content promotion with this Slideshare of 13 Non-Obvious Content Promotion Tricks shared at ContentJam: