It’s all well and good creating content - but how do you promote it? And how do you promote it well?
Promoting content means distributing it through various different media channels; whether it be social media, email marketing, through SEO, and more. The common principle of content is to create less, but promote more. It is a pointless exercise creating constant content, if it’s not gaining results.
The difference between content and content marketing is the destination
Content promotion allows you to get your message to those who need it or those you want it to reach. Alongside this, it encourages audiences to begin building relationships with you - if they enjoy the content. Before you even begin thinking about promoting your content, you first have to create content that you know your audience or potential audience will actually enjoy. This also increases the possibility of engagement and it reaching more people.
Promoting the content you create will drive website traffic, increase engagement, assist buyers in making decisions and so much more.
So, how do you actually promote content effectively?
Organic and Direct Promotion
If you’re creating content, you are more than likely aware of the difference between organic promotion and paid promotion. Here’s a little recap if not…
Organic promotion is promoting your content and increasing the effectiveness of said content, but without spending money. Organic promotion can include SEO, email marketing, social media, live promotions, influencer networks, word of mouth and more.
With organic promotion, you have to ensure you are consistently developing and updating your content and media channels. Utilising organic promotion means you’re not limited by a budget; you can use as much content as you wish across as many platforms as you wish.
Direct promotion is using money to reach a much more targeted, wider audience. Direct promotion avenues include SEO ads - on Google, Bing, etc. - and social media ads - on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Paying for these sorts of adverts automatically increases the reach of your content, attracts a new audience and more. Direct promotion content will be delivered to a highly specific target audience, who will find the content most relevant.
Focussing on promoting content may be a new avenue for your team; if so, it can be difficult to come to terms with content promotion and how to go about it. There are a few definitive best content promotion practices that you should try and stick to.
1. Create a content promotion calendar
This is so all your team are aware of the schedule and what should be happening, when. This calendar will act as an overall game plan for how and when communications will be published.
2. Use segmentation
Segment your target audience into smaller chunks based on criteria you set. You need to ensure you’re targeting the right people. Always try to keep your buyer persona in mind. Segmenting also means you’re avoiding the risk of your content reaching the wrong people.
3. Make sure you customise your message for each channel
Every channel will have different audiences and different ways in which audiences consume content.
4. Be sure to experiment with what you do
Figure out what works best. Try to experiment with the message used, channels used, time posted, day posted, paid promotion, organic promotion, and more.
5. Analyse your results
Analysing your results ensures you know what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to optimise your future efforts.
Optimising your future efforts allows you to, essentially, achieve the best possible outcome. There are some key areas to optimise; reach, engagement and conversions. If you’re wanting to optimise your content promotion efforts, these are the three key areas to focus on. Unsure on how to optimise them?
Optimising for reach means making attempts on reaching a larger audience; it helps you get the most potential eyes on your content. To do this, you need to share more content on your most popular platform, connect with well known industry influencers and always tell new people about the content you create and what you do.
Increasing engagement simply means increasing the amount people engage with your content; whether it be liking, commenting, replying, sharing, etc. You will need to consider how people will engage with certain pieces of content - if it’s possible and how they will go about it. It’s also important to include relevant action words and call to actions. Engagement differs from platform to platform and so you will need to make changes for each platform.
In terms of business, conversions are the most important outcome. Conversions allow your business to grow and flourish. You will need to link a landing page for all of your content promotions, a landing page that audiences can click through to and enjoy. As well as this, you should use strong calls to action; telling your audience what to do next.
Once you’re happy with all your optimised content; you have to consistently analyse your efforts and performance. Analysing the performance of content allows you to identify what content works best, what content your audience engage with more and what message is most popular.
Promoting Content on Social Media
Social media may be a platform you’re hoping to grow on, but finding it difficult to get started. There are a multitude of ways to effectively and successfully promote your content on your social media channels, and here they are!
As previously mentioned, you will need to customise your message for each channel. Social media channels all differ a lot; you cannot use the exact same message across all platforms.
Your Facebook existing audience, and potential audience, are looking for entertainment as well as value. Try and think what sort of post your audience will want to share, or just simply engage with. With Facebook posts, you will need to aim for emotion and interest.
A usual Twitter audience will be looking for recent news, tips, best practices, interesting articles, things that are trending, and more. Twitter is very much a place for sharing eye-catching and witty content. It is also a place where you can utilise much more creative visuals such as gifs.
As just mentioned, Twitter is a place for creative visuals - but Instagram is a place for beautiful visuals. People are looking for innovative and creative accounts to follow, with good imagery and a style that interests them.
An audience on LinkedIn is a professional audience. LinkedIn is much less about entertaining and inducing emotion, it’s about adding professional value to yourself and your audience’s lives. It’s obvious that your message on Twitter will massively differ from your message on LinkedIn.
Much like Instagram, an audience on Pinterest are looking for beautiful visuals and content that could potentially help them. Infographics work well on Pinterest as they can be beautiful looking while providing help to those seeing it.
Optimising Post Times and Frequency
Another way to successfully promote your content is optimising posting times and frequency. Until you experiment with posting times and frequency, you’re not going to know and understand what works best for your company and audience.
Every social media account, due to the type of business running it, will have a different posting time that gains them the most engagement or that reaches the most people, etc. It’s completely susceptible to who your audience are and how they consume your content.
It’s important to experiment with times and frequency and see what schedule will improve your social media efforts the most. Perhaps create a timed experiment to collect data and optimise your posting efforts from this data collected. From the data you collect you’ll be able to see when to post for the highest engagements, what posts work the best, and more.
Calls to actions are the way to encourage audiences to complete a conversion or task you want them to complete.
Even if it’s to just get an audience member to like or share a piece of content and they do; that call to action could work and hopefully get you one step closer to gaining a larger audience. When it comes to CTAs, you need to ensure you’re not asking for too much. Start small and gradually increase the action you’re asking your audience to take; be genuine about it.
Obviously, there are probably a lot more actions to take that will work for your brand but these are the simplest and most basic actions to take to successfully promote your content on social media.
It’s easy to get lost in a sea of promoters on social media nowadays, and it may seem impossible to promote your content successfully. However, hopefully, these few steps to take will help you get started on your journey of growing your audience.
You simply always need to remember who you’re writing for, what they want, how they will engage with that post, what time is peak time for you; and more.
Effective Email Marketing
Email marketing can be such an incredible tool for sending messages directly to clients, potential clients, an interested audience, and more. Email marketing is a way to remind these people of you. However, a lot of the time emails could go unread, deleted or marked as spam, etc. Here are just a few ways you can avoid this happening…
1. Building your subscriber list
You should never stop making efforts to increase your existing subscriber list. One way to ensure you can always get more subscribers is having a subscription form on your website somewhere; whether it be your homepage, a separate link off your website, on your blogs, etc. Always provide an easy way for new people to subscribe to your newsletter.
Make sure you conform to the new GDPR regulations. The subscriber must give their consent to receive emails from you.
2. Encourage your subscribers to reply to you
If your email marketing efforts are consistently one sided and your audience don’t gain anything from the emails you send; it can have a negative impact. It can be good to try and spark conversation and encourage your audience to actually talk to you.
One way to do this is to have subject lines that speak to your audience directly, as individuals - if possible. You need to stand out and offer them something no other email is offering them. This way, that individual will feel special and feel positively about your email; potentially contacting you for further information. Make sure your email actually sounds like your audience can respond to you. Ensure you define your voice and project this voice in your email; showing the readers of your email that you are actually human and do care about what they’re reading.
Another way to encourage readers to reply is optimising and customising content for different target audiences. It’s important you segment your subscriber list into smaller, more specific lists. This way, you can send messages to the specific lists that are more suited and customised that will interest them a lot more.
3. One of the most obvious but most important steps, be sure to make your emails look clean
Your email newsletter needs to look clean, modern and tidy. It needs to be easy to read and the overall message of the newsletter needs to be evident.
Ways to ensure this include using only short paragraphs. If your newsletter is full of long paragraphs and huge amounts of text, readers will be put off and won’t read it all. Short paragraphs full of relevant information and keywords is essential in ensuring your audience actually read the content.
Another aspect is only using images when absolutely necessary. If your newsletter doesn’t necessarily need a large banner image, don’t include one. Use images when they add value to the newsletter and when they will mean something to the reader.
4. Be sure to include CTAs that encourage readers to take that action
You need to remember that the aim of your newsletter is not just simply to send out an email. The aim, from your point of view, will be to increase traffic and engagement. To your audience, the aim will be about them gaining from the email what they want and/or need.
Your CTAs need to be eye-catching; it needs to be obvious what the reader will get from it if they click through. You need to create excitement and entice them into clicking the button just because it’s there and the offer is too good not to take.
5. Consistently test your emails and track your data
Before sending out any email, whether it be a newsletter or just to an individual, you need to double check that the email is displaying the way you want it to, that everything is correct and more. Testing just ensures everything is ready for audiences to be reading it.
It’s also extremely important to track and analyse the data you receive from your newsletters. You need to keep up-to-date with clicks, opens, deletes, unsubscribes, bounces, and so much more. Without tracking this data you won’t be able to see where you’re going wrong, what you’re doing right, what works the best, and so on. All of this data will then help you improve your newsletters in the future.
You may think that promoting your content is a no brainer and that it’s ridiculously easy, when, in reality, it’s far from it. There are a lot of things you have to get right and even then you will have to analyse and improve your approach.
It’s always important to simply remember that every single channel is different. The audience, the message, the way messages are portrayed, etc. Everything is different on every channel and it’s extremely important to remember that, in order to optimise your performance, you must first learn how to approach the channels differently and how you’re going to promote your content across different channels.
And Be Consistent!