July 24, 2015
Content Promotion Strategies
Imagine you’ve just published an epic new blog post. You did your due research beforehand, so you know that your target audience is searching for the information you just posted on your blog. Not only that, but you ensured your content is significantly better than everything that currently appears on the first page of Google. The post is visually appealing too and easily digestible. It also links to influencers’ articles, which you read is a good content marketing tactic for getting more traffic. Finally, you shared it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn - Pinterest too. But when you login to Google Analytics, the reports are terrible. You’re dumbfounded. Why aren’t people reading this new, epic piece of content you spent five hours carefully crafting? It could be that your post (no matter how remarkable) got lost in the massive sea of content online.
Think like a marketer, less like a writer
According to Mashable, 347 WordPress blog posts are published, 48 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded and 571 websites are launched every minute of every day… And that was back in 2012. It’s more pertinent than ever to think more like a marketer and less like a writer. It’s time to change your mindset from content marketing to marketing content because what good is writing really epic stuff if no one ever even scans it? Whether you are new to content marketing or a seasoned veteran who wants even more traffic to your blog, this post is for you. In this article, you’ll learn four blog post promotion strategies that no one is talking about.
1. Voting websites with niche audience segments
If you really want to know how epic your piece of content is then submit it to a voting website. A source of entertainment for Internet browsers, voting websites are half social network, half news site, where registered members submit content, such as articles, images and/or original posts. Think of them as online bulletin boards. A few of the most popular ones include: Quora, GrowthHackers, HackerNews and Reddit. These websites are so valuable to your distribution strategy because they receive a lot of traffic from very dedicated, niche audience segments. According to Neil Patel, back in December Reddit served over 2 billion page views alone. Pro Tip: If you want to get to the front page (and above the fold) on your first shot, then reach out to a moderator. Ask them to review your piece of content before you submit it then they’ll be more willing to “boost” your article once you do submit it.
2. Scoop.it, a platform for curated content
Wouldn’t it be nice to not only get traffic to your new blog post, but also build some quality backlinks too? Securing quality backlinks is not only valuable because it builds domain authority, but also because it increases your chances of not just showing up on the first page of Google but that you own the first page of Google. The more links you have, the more chances you have to appear multiple times on the front page. Kill two birds with one stone by using Scoop.it, which is a content curation platform where users collect their favorite content from across the web and publish it in a magazine-like format similar to Flipboard.
How to win with Scoop.it (assuming you’ve already created an account)
First, go to the top right-hand corner, and search for “content marketing.” I decided to search for “content marketing” because it’s a popular topic right now for my target audience. Plus, we have this amazing post on - you guessed it - content marketing. Next, click on the first option that pops up: Content Marketing and Curation for Small Business. For optimal results, target pages that have ~5,000 views per month and are up-to-date. As you can see in the screenshot below, this is a good page to submit our blog post on content marketing to because:
- It has well over 5,000 monthly views
- It is regularly updated
- And it relates to our post
Now, “suggest” your content from your main dashboard. Then select the appropriate “Scoop” page from your dropdown, and click “Suggest.” The Scoop moderator will then approve or disapprove your Scoop for their page. If they like it, then you’ll have a link that will send targeted traffic to your site. Pro Tip: Follow the moderators on Twitter, and provide massive value to them by sharing relevant and helpful articles, answering their questions, favoriting and sharing their tweets and adding them to your Twitter lists.
3. Social media snippets that extend the life of your content
Are you suffering from “set it – forget it” syndrome? This is when you publish a post, schedule the “optimal” times to post the content (only once) right after it goes live. As we already said in the introduction, this is a huge waste of perfectly amazing content. KISSmetrics suggests creating 20+ snippets (different promotional copy) to share on your social media channels. To show what this looks like, let’s come up with a variety of snippets for a post called “5 Steps to Blogging for Busy Business Owners” using six proven strategies:
- Test different headlines: “The Step-By-Step Guide to Blogging for Busy Business Owners”
- Pull statistics from the post: “Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads”
- Pull “Tweetables,” i.e. really good quotes: “Writing one epic post per week is a better long-term strategy than writing mediocre content every day.”
- Write different post descriptions: “Your schedule is already packed - managing employees, dealing with vendors, landing the next client. In the midst of all this craziness, blogging is doable.”
- Ask different questions: “Have you ever wondered how to start blogging as a busy business owner?”
- Mention different influencers the post includes: “Learn from Scott Stratten, expert marketer, about how you can use blogging to pull people toward you and stay in front of them, whether it’s via newsletter, blog, or Twitter.”
Another strategy with snippets is to tweet influencers. For example, if you cite an influencer in a tweet and it catches their attention, it could create a domino effect of retweet after retweet. Use a free design tool, such as Canva, to design a “Tweetable” (see the image below) quoting influencers in your space. While sharing schedules for your social media snippets will vary by business, here’s what KISSmetrics says a “well-executed schedule” may look like:
- On publish: Social message sent when blog post goes live
- Same day: Initial social messages trickle out to your accounts over the next 2-3 hours
- Next day: Messages are shared again on the appropriate social channels
- Next week: Another series of messages are pre-scheduled and sent the following week
- Next month: Even more social messages are pre-scheduled for the following month
- Next _____: Optionally, additional messages can be scheduled for the three-month mark or beyond
Pro Tip: To optimize this process, you could hire a copywriter to write 20+ social media snippets for each blog post and then schedule them into a queue system, using a tool like Buffer.
4. Slack groups with like-minded contacts
But wait, isn’t Slack for chatting with your team?! Yes, but it’s also become so much more than that now. There is a wide variety of Slack groups you can join to network with like-minded professionals. Are you a Maker on Product Hunt? Then join the Maker Hunt Slack chat. Since you’re in marketing, why not join the Online Geniuses’ Slack group? In most of these groups, there will be a “content” or “traction” channel, where members share their content and promote each other’s links. While this strategy can be effective, Slack groups are not primarily a channel for promoting your content. Your best bet is to add massive value for group members by following these few rules for Slack distribution:
- Do not share every post you write on Slack. Pick and choose your best content.
- Share other valuable content besides your own.
- Engage with other members when they post content.
- Ask for feedback or edits on your post before you hit publish.
Pro Tip: For your company Slack group, add a “content” channel as well then set up notify.ly to allow your team to easily share your blog posts.
Promote your blog posts
To recap, the four above promotion strategies no one is talking about are:
- Voting websites: Reddit, Quora, HackerNews, GrowthHackers
- Scoop.it: Think museum curation. Everything should not be curated - only the best posts.
- Social media snippets: Create 20 different shareable snippets.
- Slack: Share your posts in channels when it’s relevant and helpful, such as the “content” or “traction” channels.
It’s time to put as much, if not more effort, into distributing your content because even though “content is king, distribution is queen, and she wears the pants.” What content promotion strategies have worked best for your business? Let us know in the comments.