If you’re a content creator, it’s a forgone conclusion that you have some writing chops to go along with your knowledge of your particular industry. But writing well-reasoned and compelling inbound content is just one part of a marketing strategy recipe for success.
Effective content creators are also strategists — because all that great creative work might just stagnate on the internet if it’s not positioned, promoted, and distributed to reach your target audiences and generate leads.
Digital content promotion tactics are essentially divided into two complementary approaches: active marketing and passive marketing.
Passive Marketing Builds Your Base
While passive marketing tactics are far from lazy, they typically involve lower-effort means toward building an online presence. Setting up online directory profiles for your company would be a tactic on the lower-effort end of the spectrum, while higher-effort tactics might involve writing keyword-rich blog posts that rank highly in search engine results and serve as an authoritative resource for online researchers.
All that’s not to say content creators don’t put effort into passive marketing. It takes know-how to select topics, identify pain points, research keywords, and create useful content that helps solve real-life challenges. But without active promotion, even if you’ve created the right content in the right place at the right time, someone still has to come looking for it.
That’s where content promotion strategies come in.
Active Marketing Reaches Out
Active marketing takes your online presence to the next level to engage readers, build trust, and establish company-prospect relationships — so content must be written accordingly. Think of it as the voice of authority, or your business providing the information and demonstrating the expertise required to convince prospects within your target audience that your product or service solves their problem.
Materials for active marketing like eBooks, white papers, infographics, and case studies should offer enough value to convince prospects to submit their contact information. These longer-format pieces require greater writing resources, because content creators need to amass, understand, organize, and boil down sometimes sweeping industry information and your expertise into digestible and persuasive materials.
What’s more, content transcends the individual marketing pieces and touches every part of the buying journey. Content creators need to be aware of the buyer’s pace and process to create the tools that reach, speak to, and engage with the intended audience. That’s how the work of promoting that content kicks in.
Active Marketing Content Promotion: A Checklist
So, you’ve created great content that checks all the boxes — it’s relevant to your buyer personas, their journeys, and optimized for search engines. Great. Now, sticking solely to passive marketing would mean you’d rely on organic search for your audiences to find it.
There’s a better way. Develop a content promotion strategy to get the right eyes on your content, and to get more mileage out of all that important work. There are many ways to promote content, but the following proven tactics should be part of your coordinated active marketing activities:
Support a new content piece such as an eBook, white paper, or other long-form tool, with a blog post — and add backlinks to the new work in your older content
Share on social media, and ask staff to share, too. People want to hear from people, not just from your brand (and the social algorithms favor individuals over company content)
Make it easy for readers to share your content with quick and easy “click to tweet” quotes
Make paid marketing work. Retarget visitors by showing them ads that are linked to key conversion content after they leave your site using Google Display Network; also consider paid social media ads, or use search ads to promote key content
Send an email to your subscribers showcasing and linking to the new content (or, if you gate the content, a landing page for it)
Consider sending outreach emails to services, tools, or companies that are featured in your piece, thanking them for their contribution and asking them to share the content with their audience as well. This Blogger Outreach Checklist has examples of outreach emails and guest post pitches to get you started
Share your content on industry communities. Talk to your sales and customer service teams to see what industry community sites they follow and look at your best sources of referral traffic to inspire ideas. Post your content in helpful ways that answer your buyer personas’ questions
Repurpose old content. Those old blog posts filled with relevant information can serve as the basis for new social posts or in your digital marketing strategy; don’t just promote them once and forget about them
Create a tactical checklist, post it somewhere you’ll see it, and promote every content piece you create. HubSpot has a terrific checklist that breaks content promotion down into strategic and tactical areas, and includes some fresh, actionable ideas
Content Creators: Writer-Strategist Hybrids
Your content marketing success boils down to two main elements: value and visibility. Content writers need to be writer-strategist hybrids who can help you make the most of your effort to produce and promote valuable marketing pieces that reach target audiences, engage their interest, and convert them into customers.
You can learn more about how to audit your existing passive marketing content and repurpose it for your active marketing plan with our How-To Guide to Repurpose Content.
Posted by Kelly Wilhelme
Kelly Wilhelme currently manages all of Weidert Group's marketing efforts. Through her past experience as an inbound marketing consultant on our client service team and, prior to that in financial services communication, she has a deep understanding of complex businesses and a desire to help them grow. Kelly has a passion for communication strategy, layout and design, as well as writing and content creation.