“You had my curiosity. But, now, you have my attention.”
Leonardo DiCaprio’s famous line in Django Unchained is an example of stepping up interest, and it can be applied to content marketing. Creating content may raise some curiosity. Promoting it properly, however, grabs attention.
Modern best practices for content promotion have changed. Organic search is harder and harder to rank for, so it’s now the norm to spend 4X more time promoting than creating content. This article shares content marketing tips that will crank up content promotion strategies in 2022 and well beyond.
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Everyone Wants Your Customers’ Eyeballs
Never before has the competition for your — and your prospects’ and customers’ — attention been more fierce than it is now. It used to be so easy. Content marketers would publish a blog post that answers a question about a high-volume search term, and the traffic would come flooding in. It was glorious.
Today, things are different. You can publish research results that are truly groundbreaking and insightful, but end up with little traffic and engagement on that content. However, re-publish that on LinkedIn as a native article, or alongside a powerful graphic on Facebook, or with a photo on Instagram… and watch the interactions stack up. The best content needs some promotion help to win the battle.
Why? The content marketing landscape isn’t the same, and it takes much more promotion to get the same impact from your content. The hard fact is, content marketers need to improve their games when it comes to creating, distributing, and amplifying content.
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How Has The Playing Field Changed?
The big social and search platforms have diminished published content’s value. For instance, Google now favors paid advertisements, dropping the visibility of organic links.
Here’s an example: 64.82% of searches on Google (desktop and mobile combined) ended in the search results without clicking to another web property (thank you, Sparktoro).
Social platforms have a message for content creators, too: “Create content specifically for our platform.” That is native content — which could be videos, photos, texts, etc. — without any links whatsoever.
For the platforms, it’s all about engagement and keeping visitors on their app. Algorithms are optimized for engagement, and content creators have to follow the incentives (“You will produce this, you will share that, you will do things the way we want you to …”) the social platforms demand of you.
So, instead of “generate traffic” being the holy grail, you accept that the platforms allow you to build awareness, create a following, and enjoy some engagement on a platform that your company does not own.
Tap Into Digital Networks
What about using a marketing automation system that knows when new content is published and immediately sends an email to subscribers to promote it? These automated protocols do help to boost contents’ visibility, but they’re not enough these days to get the eyeballs you want.
In addition to your current distribution strategy, focus on other digital promotion options. Increase visibility by being on other companies’ YouTube channels and podcasts or within industry publications.
Content marketers are now building networks that promote each other’s content.
How? Approach professional business organizations, business customers, vendors — anyone that is an excellent content creator — and ask if they’d like to boost their marketing by promoting each other’s content. It could be as simple as offering a quote, sharing some interesting industry information, or being a guest post.
Connect with Digital Industry Communities
Pro content marketing tip: brainstorm a list of groups that mirror your content and share it with them. This isn’t about getting 1,000,000 eyeballs on your content — it’s about the 1,000 best eyes.
Think of industry, trade, and peer groups for which your content would truly make a difference. Share some key insights from a particular content piece in that arena and link to it. Also, search any sites that have Q&A or advice sections and see if any of your content pieces could answer them. Digital conversations are quick, easy and, often, very effective.
Related to that, mention and tag businesses you include in your social posts or within content. Not only is that a quick shoutout of respect, it encourages them to share your posts and content with their followers.
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More visibility and increased reach are good, right? It’s easier than you think to repurpose content by converting it to a different format. A blog post that’s loaded with info can be turned into a webinar, a video, and an infographic. Boom, you now have four pieces of content.
How about posting bits and pieces of a blog post or video into a social thread (a series which could total a dozen executions). Each post includes a main point of the post and, of course, a link each time. It feels like an inviting way to keep people engaged and connected, and more likely to click to read more. Tricky and effective.
This is always a good reminder: provide as much free, high-quality content as possible. Not only does that open up possibilities for repurposing, it builds authority and trust. Now, your content is seen as credible, and perhaps what you’re offering is more worthy of a purchase.
Paying to Promote Your Content
So far, we’ve discussed organic content promotion, which is increasing visibility for content without paying to do so. Social media, emails, webinars, SEO optimization — these are all classic examples of increasing brand authority across various platforms to promote quality content. The key is publishing content regularly.
Paid content promotion targets your content and messaging to a specific audience, but you have to spend money for them to see it. Search engine ads on Google or Yahoo! and paid social media ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. — these are aimed at people who will find your content most relevant and helpful.
Select well-performing content to promote with paid ads, create a content promotion calendar, and then use segmentation to select what audience will receive your promotions. Messaging is vital, too. You want to clearly communicate the value of your content and also customize the message to match the distribution channel. Insightful messages, entertaining GIFs, and brief videos may be better for certain social media channels.
Need help promoting content across social channels? Try the HubSpot social media publishing tool. Another “tool” to consider: expert influencers. Just about every industry has visible experts who carry significant respect. If possible, develop relationships with these relevant influencers, share your content, and ask for feedback. Another powerful possibility: ask them to contribute to an article, so they’re even more likely to share it.
Yes, content is king! Yet, think of promotion as a very involved queen. Shoot for spending 20% of your time creating content, and 80% promoting it to attract attention, engage your best prospects, and delight your audiences with your helpful, relevant content.