You’ve written or commissioned a great piece of content. The hard work is over – or so you think. Many businesses post content on their websites and then call the campaign a done deal. If you want to get the most out of your content, the real work begins before and ends long after the content production process.
The secret ingredient in marketing your new work is – drum roll – more content! You may need teasers, trailers, mailers, and more to spread the word about your new white paper, ebook, or blog post. Highlight your offering across social media, paid advertising spaces, and on your own website to attract readers and get the most bang for your buck.
Create a Timeline for Your Promotion
Think about promotional opportunities when you start producing any new piece of content. For a thought leadership piece, you may want to draw out your content promotion period. For a blog post or common content piece, a standard promotion process may work well.
As with most marketing strategies, content promotion begins with the audience. Who are your readers and where are they spending time? You may already have an exclusive audience that subscribes to your monthly newsletter or you may need to expand your reach into new areas with some paid advertising.
Consider a standard promotion process as your baseline for marketing your content. Always order a set of social media teasers with your content. Keep them short and engaging to draw your readers to your content, and post them when you upload your content. Use keywords and tags to optimize the effort over the next several days. Then, select additional marketing outlets based on the expected impact of your content and budget constraints.
For high-worth pieces of content, including specialty blog posts, reports, studies, and white papers, extend the promotional period to before and after publication. Over a period of weeks, use several strategies to build interest and secure a larger readership.
Choose the Right Promotions and Venues
Finding the right promotional venues can take time. You don’t want your promotional efforts to go to waste, and each diversified announcement has the potential to increase your audience exponentially. Here are some new and tried-and-true methods for making sure your content investment pays off:
- Teaser emails. Always send out an update about your content if you have a mailing list. Schedule your teasers one week apart for two to three weeks before publication. Instead of simply informing your readers about the content offering, however, I always like to add something of value to the email. Give the reader a taste of the content with a summary, insights, or an additional offering. If your readers trust you with their email addresses, they deserve to receive something slightly better than public promotional content.
- Utilize newsletters wisely. Do you send out a newsletter on a regular basis? Dedicate a section of it to new blog posts and links to original content. For high-impact content pieces, consider adding an exclusive section, including actionable accessibility instructions (e.g., Download now! or Get your exclusive copy).
- Reach out to your network. Businesses of all sizes often forget they have access to some of the most valuable marketers around – their employees. Don’t leave your marketing efforts in the hands of a marketing agency or select group of people. Announce the publication to the company, create a shareable email, and then invite everyone to send the content to their own networks. Your employees’ connections bring more than a fresh set of eyes. They also bring individuals who may feel a certain sense of loyalty based on their relationships to your employees.
- Keep pushing the social media While you don’t want your newsfeed to feature the same post again and again, you should promote each piece multiple times. Diversify the promotional content and encourage views at least once a week. Remember that social media content has a shorter lifespan than other content, so continue posting teasers for as long as you see activity on the piece.
- Recreate your content in new forms. A white paper may not always strike interest during the first promotional period. To increase interest in the written content, consider creating a customized graph, infographic, soundbite, or video to ramp up views. If your audience sees value in the secondary piece of content, readers are more likely to view your original piece as well. Plus, you’ll receive all the attention associated with your new content offering.
- Take advantage of your existing success. Do you have certain webpages that do really well on an ongoing basis? Check out your analytics and choose a few pages of older content that receive regular views. Add links or advertisements to your new content on these top-performing pages to see better results.
- Create a go-to outreach list. Companies reach out to publications on a regular basis to submit press releases about major business news. Treat your digital content the same way. Develop a set of digital and print influencers interested in your brand offering. Look at trade magazine sections, social media industry experts, and bloggers focused in your area. Make personal connections with the individuals who align most with your mission, then ask them to share your content. Quick Sprout offers an excellent guide on when and how to approach the right people.
- Explore guest post opportunities. Instead of relying on readers to find content posted on your website, consider building thought leadership with a strong third-party post. Many websites offer clear guidelines on what they publish. Post on websites your readers regularly access, and focus on adding content the publisher will find valuable. If your content is published, use the aforementioned techniques to make sure your audience finds your guest post. Guest posts can improve search engine optimization, build brand credibility/thought leadership, and expand your audience. If you’re not already investing in third-party content, consider adding it to your overall strategy soon.
If your content isn’t performing as well as you want, think about your promotion techniques. The content may offer a goldmine of information for your audience, but it can’t live up to expectations without exposure. Invest in content promotion, and see how far your content can go.