As a company that fully embraces digital marketing, we dedicate quite a lot of resources to creating content. Like most companies, we care about the content we create and want it to be meaningful, original, and entertaining. This takes a certain level of investment, which is why once the content exists, we want to do everything we can to get people to actually read it.
Most companies are promoting their content in one way or another. I know very few who write a blog and then don’t immediately share it on their social media sites or send it out in their newsletter. This kind of content marketing is only the beginning. Your goal should be to break out of the echo chamber and reach people beyond your current followers. That means you need to be creating stuff that people actually want to share.
If you want to get serious about digital marketing, you need to make sure that you are getting a return on your investment in all of your content creation. This means you have to get serious about content promotion to new audiences.
I wish we lived in an ideal world where the right people would find your stuff, read it, love it, and share it. But that rarely happens. So here are three things I think are worth the time to get your content seen by the right people.
1 // Create a trustworthy industry community over time
OK, this is not the quick tip you were looking for. But I think it is by far the most important way to successfully promote your content in the long run. People are constantly emailing out "asks" to influencers wanting them to share or feature their blog or article. While this is fine (if you do it right), it's not half as powerful as reaching out to people who already know and trust you. No matter where you are in your business, start authentically building your network now. Ask questions, make friends, build relationships. Then, when you need an ask, you will actually get a response.
2 // Return the favor
If you do need to essentially "cold call" someone for a back link or mention, do it in a way that benefits them somehow. If it's a well-known influencer, ask them to share an article in which they are prominently mentioned. Again you'll be much more likely to get a response this way, and you'll build your community in the process.
3 // Start conversations
When you write a piece of content, try to somehow open it up for discussion, either through the way that you share it or directly in the article. For example, you could create a piece that serves as a critique of a popular piece of content in your industry. By its nature, people will want to read it because it contradicts a popular piece of work and offers a new perspective. Controversy makes people curious, or even a bit mad. This increases engagement.
4 // Recycle old content
When you do share your content on your social media and email tools, don't only share it once. Make a landing page full of "most popular blogs' that you send out to all new subscribers so that your blogs get more exposure, and share relevant blogs multiple times along with descriptions of why you are sharing them. But isn’t that spammy? Yes, if you write the same exact thing for every post and use the same imagery every time. Let’s be more creative and put a little effort into it! Here is how you will add some variety next time you write a new blog post and want to promote it on Twitter 10-15 times over the next 30 days:
- Blog post title + link
- Variation on the headline
- Questions from the post
- Controversial statement about the topic
- Humor (if you can think of something, please don’t force it.)
- Statistic from the post
- Headline 1 again
- Headline 2 again
Let’s be honest.
We are all doing this partly because of our desire to be seen as “thought leaders” or to simply stroke our ego. That’s what’s in it for us. But, what’s in it for our audience? Let’s sit back and think about what they will get out our content. If you’re writing for yourself, then just stick with a personal journal.
Content marketing is a tricky balancing act between getting your stuff out there and not being interpreted as spamming your industry leaders and partners in the process. However, it is a necessary component of content creation, and it's worth the time it takes to figure it out.
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