Research shows that creating new content is the hardest part of content marketing for most marketers. (Not for our clients, obviously. Get in touch if you want a steady flow of high quality content with minimal effort.) Once you’ve gone to the trouble to create a fine piece of content, you want to make sure that it gets in front of your target market. That means you need to promote your content.
Obviously, a well-optimized item will show up when people search for it. A good website’s top source of traffic will be organic search, and people will find your content when they use search engines to look for information they want. You should also have subscribers and fans who visit your site directly.
But you want to get the word out to new people, so use these methods to promote your content:
- Post your stuff on social media. If you have a WordPress website, hook up Publicize for auto-posting of everything you publish at your social media platforms. Take it a step further and use Yoast SEO to set your social excerpts and images. Or do the very best by hand-crafting social media posts with links to your awesome content.
- Use Share or Click to Tweet buttons to encourage readers to share. Life is brief and everyone is busy. The easier you make sharing, the more likely it is that people will share.
- Send out an email. People who subscribe to your blog will get notifications anyway. However, you can take it further by sending a newsletter with your newest posts. One step more: send emails with links to individuals you really think will benefit from (or share) your new post, video, or infographic.
- Reach out to influencers. Ask for their point of view on your topic, then send the link to your content… which quotes them. Chances are good that they’ll share it. You can also point out how well your content supports a specific post or page on their website and simply ask them to share it.
- Email journalists. We love it when the Atlantic or Rolling Stone links to our clients’ blog posts. Write excellent, newsworthy stuff, and then send it to a journalist who writes about news in your field. Use HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to find people who need your expertise. Don’t expect to get responses from everyone you contact, but keep at it.
- Repurpose your content. Turn that blog post into a video, that blog series into an ebook, or that PowerPoint into an infographic. When you’ve gone to the trouble to do the research and create the graphics, you can share your information in multiple formats to reach multiple audiences.
- Advertise. You’re not going to set up ads for every piece of content you produce, but Adwords can be great for bringing people to your lead magnet downloads. At least put an ad on your own website. Also consider boosting carefully-chosen posts at Facebook and Twitter. You can get an economical spike in traffic that way.
- Brag a little. Link to a recent post in your email signature. Show URLs in your presentation slides. Mention a post in a conversation and offer to send a link (occasionally). This can get obnoxious, but our hero Guy Kawasaki says push until people start to object, then back off just a little. That’s the sweet spot.