I am one of those people who swears by research. I never use an appliance before I read the complete manual and I never do anything at work before I research the tried and tested best practices. So trust me when I say I did a lot of research to come up with this list of content promotion and I tested it out too.
Some people say you have to spend as much time promoting your content as you do writing. Others go further and say you have to spend 20% of your time writing and 80% promoting. Well, you get it—you can get better results with fewer pieces of content if you back them up with a solid promotion plan.
So here’s the content amplification list we use at Progress to make sure we never miss a content promotion opportunity. It lists owned, earned and paid channels to help build holistic promotion plans more quickly. Dig in and I hope you find it useful.
I know some of you might be thinking “Thank you, Captain Obvious!” but there’s a reason for me to put this on the list. I’ve seen many marketers severely underestimate the power of their company website. Skim down the list to see if you won’t find something interesting despite the obviousness of this tip:
- Landing page: Create a landing page for substantial assets, e.g. whitepapers, ebooks and webinars. Landing pages are different than other pages on your website, because they are usually focused on one main call to action, helping you channel your visitors to what you’d like them to do most.
- Resource sections of the website: Some companies build sections on their website listing all the assets they have to help visitors navigate them more easily. At Progress, for example, we have a section for webinars and whitepapers. If your website doesn’t have such sections, consider building them to facilitate the user journey and also provide additional exposure for your assets.
- “Thank you” pages of other assets: Once someone has downloaded an asset from your website, make sure to include other relevant assets on the thank you page. Better yet, personalize those suggestions based on the information the person provided when filling out the form or on the topic they showed interest in with the first asset.
- Website pages with topical relevance: Link your new asset from pages that have topical relevance, e.g. product overview page, demos, etc. This is important for SEO because you’re telling the search engines that all those pages are on the same topic and you are building topic authority.
- Other website promotional opportunities: Talk to your UX people and find out if other promotional opportunities are available to you. For example, on our websites we have a yellow ribbon that can show at the top of the page for important announcements. It can be personalized too.
Social Media Channels
As my marketing experience is in the B2B sector, I’ve mostly worked with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. I feel like these social media channels are a must for every business and are a great way for you to share content and reach your audience.
I’m hearing success stories on using Instagram and Snapchat for business, but by no means am I an expert on this topic. This is why I prefer to refer you to this podcast discussing Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories and how brands and people are using the platforms in unique ways.
Some companies could do better in regards to their social media channels by making sure they have a long-term dedication to every asset they create. Don’t just share an asset once. If it’s an evergreen piece, make sure you constantly share it in social media with different perspectives, quotes, images, etc. For specific recommendations, check out the article Why You Should Share Your Blog Post More Than Once on Social Media: The Case for Reposting Content.
Writing up a blog post on a relevant topic and linking to your main, preferably gated, asset is one of my favorite promotional tactics. Why? Because if you provide valuable information, your fans and third-party media will help spread the word about it. This way you get a lot of free additional exposure for your main asset and if it’s gated, this means free leads! Here are some ideas on content you can create for your blogs:
- Promotional blog post: Create a blog post announcing the asset and share information that would intrigue people to download/view/read it
- Repurposed main asset blog post: Repurpose sections of the main content into long-form blog posts to intrigue people to download the gated asset to learn more
- Guest blog: You can invite an influencer to create an article on a relevant topic and you can ask him to include a link to your asset within the copy or at the end of the blog post. The bonus is he’ll be sharing this content throughout his network, earning more exposure.
- Curated blog post: If you have other assets on the same topic, put them together in a new blog post and link your new asset
- Cross-link from old assets: Link the blog post or directly link to the page of the gated asset at the bottom of other relevant blog posts as a related resource
By definition newsletters exist to share content with your audience. If your company doesn’t have one and you create a lot of valuable content, think about putting one in place.
- Email relevant segments of your existing database: If the asset is relevant to an audience you already have in the database, and could serve to “resurrect” or further educate while moving them down the funnel, try using email in your channel mix
- Relevant email nurtures: If the asset could serve as a logical continuation of an existing email nurture that you have going out, you can add it as an educational resource as part of that nurture
Another channel to reach your audience is YouTube. This is resource-intensive, but if you have a video producer in-house, you can put together a video teaser for your main asset’s topic to spark the interest of people to download/view/read it. Add a link to the asset in the video itself and in the video description.
PR/Media Relations Colleagues
If you have a valuable piece of content, which is going to generate a lot of industry interest, you can ask for the help of the PR expert on your team to reach out to media and pitch the topic. If your topic is approved, you can publish content on a third-party website and link to your main asset (if accepted by the media).
As the forefront of your company, they can include information about current valuable assets in their signatures or direct customers and prospects to the assets, if it addresses their questions/concerns.
All Your Other Colleagues
Draft social media messages and reach out to your colleagues asking them to share in their networks if they find the content interesting. For large companies, underestimating the total workforce might result in a lot of untapped potential.
Identify where people talk about the topics you cover in your content and make sure you participate with your point of view. If it’s relevant and will be considered helpful from the community, post a link to your asset. Do an extensive research for conversations happening in industry forums, LinkedIn groups, Quora, etc.
Research people who create content on the same topic as your asset and identify opportunities for collaboration. If you can build a relationship with them, perhaps somewhere down the road they could:
- Mention your piece of content in something they wrote or will write
- Share your asset in their social media accounts
- Guest blog on the topic on your web properties
- Give you a quote for our asset to make your point stronger
- Have you speak at their podcast, etc.
Cross-Posting Blogs to LinkedIn and Medium
These two booming content channels can do miracles for the right type of content, because they give enormous exposure. I really liked this example on what cross-posting can do for you: Why Every Blog Post Should Be Cross-Posted to LinkedIn and Medium.
You can repurpose your main asset into a presentation and post it on SlideShare. While SlideShare doesn’t allow live links to your website, you can add clickable URLs within the presentation itself. Adding a visual and written cue can help too. Here’s an example of a recent SlideShare we posted:
Native Advertising on Publishing Sites
Companies like Outbrain, Taboola and ContentGain are becoming increasingly popular with content marketers, because they enable you to promote your articles on premium publishing sites in a native-like manner for their user experience. Let’s say I am reading one of these publishing websites. If I am the right target for your article, I will see it as recommended alongside other recommended articles from this site. And although your article will be labeled as “Sponsored,” users don’t seem to mind the ad, since the content is valuable.
Partner with media who will host and promote your asset on their properties and provide you with the list of leads they generate for you.
Sponsored Articles in External Media
This is pretty self-explanatory—talk to media to either create content or post your content on their properties. Use this content to promote your main assets.
Other Traditional Paid Options
- Search engine marketing: You can launch AdWords and Bing text ads to appear in search for specific terms related to your content
- Display advertising: You can buy banner ads on third-party sites to promote your gated content. Gmail ads in AdWords offer an interesting targeting method you might want to try—target people receiving emails with specific keywords relevant to your topic
- Social media advertising: Depending on your budget, use boosted posts/sponsored updates across all channels. Test out what works for you. In my experience Facebook offers wide reach and good cost per lead; Twitter offers a smaller audience (at least for B2B topics), but the cost per lead is still good; LinkedIn offers an even smaller reach at a high price, but they claim to offer the most targeted way to reach people.
- Third-party newsletters or mailshots to purchased lists: If your budget allows, definitely give them both a try and see if they work for your company.
What Are Your Tried and Tested Content Promotion Tactics?
I hope my blog gave you an interesting perspective into how to go about promoting your content. What do you do for content promotion that I left off my list? Please contribute to my ever-developing research on the topic in the comments below. Happy promotion!