Imagine this…

You work hard producing your best piece of marketing content ever. It’s educational. It’s persuasive. It’s both engaging and compelling. You put it on your website, available for download. You wait, and you wait, but nothing happens. Your remarkable content might as well be invisible.

It looks like you’ve fallen for a common misconception in the content marketing world. You’ve done a wonderful job of creating your content, but you haven’t promoted it effectively.

Unless you have an established track record of producing the kind of content readers crave, you probably won’t have a flood of website visitors anxiously looking for your latest white paper or case study without promotion on your part.

In the wild and crazy world of content marketing, where your audience is bombarded with a barrage of content offerings even before they visit a company’s website, you have to do something to stand out and get noticed.

If you don’t, you’ll be like the poor guy who drives deep into the desert, fifty miles from the closest human, stands on a hill, waves his arms and shouts in a vain effort to get attention.

Content promotion is as much a part of content marketing success as content creation is. But how should you actually go about promoting your content?

The Prerequisite: Stellar Content

The first step is to create content worth promoting. Why would you go to the time, effort and expense to promote junk?

The next step is to repeatedly create solid, valuable content- content so good you could charge for it. Your content should give your reader valuable information he can use even if he never buys your product or service.

If you successfully promote great content, your “content brand” will grow stronger and stronger. Eventually, people will visit your site because your content has a great reputation.

Step One: Commit to the Strategy

You can’t view content promotion as a one-time activity or short-term strategy. It has to be something you consistently do for the long haul.

Driving traffic back to your site is an integral part of a successful content promotion strategy, so do it. When visitors arrive at your site, make sure it’s optimized to persuade them on accepting your content offer.

Place your email address capture form in a “cant miss” location on your homepage. Do the same thing for your latest white paper or case study notification button. Write snippets of persuasive copy that tell the reader why he would want to join your email list or download your latest content piece.

Use a well-designed landing page with relevant images and strong copy to do the final part of the conversion process. A website homepage can be a confusing, distracting environment when you are trying to convert a website visitor, so harness the power of landing pages to help him convert.

Step Two: Email Your Captive Audience

One of the single most effective ways to promote content is by email. It’s not as “glamorous” or “cool” as some of the newest marketing technologies, but it’s proven. People still check their email. If you’ve built up a fruitful relationship with your email list members, they are likely to be interested in what you have to offer them.

The likelihood they will open your email is largely based on a couple of factors:

  • Do they know you or recognize whom the email is from?
  • Is your subject line compelling enough to make them want to open it?

Here’s an email marketing secret: keep your message relatively short. Don’t try to do your entire sales presentation in the email. Instead, “Sell the click”. Persuade readers to click through to your landing page and do your sales “heavy lifting” there.

One of the benefits of email marketing is that you can use it to drive traffic back to your website. You can do this while also giving your content marketing efforts a boost by emailing your audience every time you post a new content piece. Don’t include the entire article in the email – just a juicy tidbit to grab their attention and entice click-through.

Step Three: Go Public

Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.

– Jay Baer

Another proven way to promote content is through social media. Content marketing and social media seem to be suited for each other. But if you are going to enjoy success using social media to promote your content, you need to be on the right channel. A white paper on industrial solvents won’t resonate with many people on Pinterest or Instagram; LinkedIn, and perhaps an industry-specific social channel, would work better in that instance.

Be sure you are offering the right content to the right audience in the right place at the right time. Give your content a compelling title and include a snippet of copy that ratchets up readers’ curiosity when they see it in their social media feeds.

Contrary to what some marketers think, SEO is far from being a total content promotion solution. Yes, traffic matters. If driving traffic to your website is an integral part of your content promotion goals, SEO can be quite useful.

But sometimes you can also have a lot of traffic with a high bounce rate or low engagement. SEO without conversion optimization, including taking steps to increase opt-ins into your content funnel, is of little use.

So by all means, use SEO to bring traffic to your site. But don’t view it as a turnkey content promotion solution. Add proven promotion methods like email and social media to the mix as well.

Remember that content creation is only part of the content marketing success equation. To enjoy the highest degree of content marketing success possible, you’ll need to actively promote your content.