If you're not an experienced marketing professional, trying to promote content can feel like a fruitless endeavor. Small businesses, especially small businesses that are new to digital marketing, typically don't have large followings, making it harder for content to get distributed. Large sites, on the other hand, already have massive followings, so as soon as a piece of content is created, it's almost instantaneously picked up and shared by hundreds of followers.
But how is a small business supposed to promote content without a large following? It seems like a chicken and the egg type of scenario, but there are some simple actions and techniques that can be taken to boost content marketing performance. Believe it or not, there's a lot more you can do to drive traffic to new content that surpasses simply sharing it on Facebook.
Before we dig into some of the lesser used techniques, let's start by listing the most basic forms of content marketing promotion that small businesses most often employ:
- Posting new content on a website's blog
- Linking and sharing blog content through Facebook
- Tweeting links to new content
- Using keywords within content with the hopes of obtaining relevant Google rankings
These content promotion techniques are less than the bare minimum of what needs to be done to achieve content marketing efficacy, but too many small business owners stop at these four strategies. Instead of satisfying the bare minimum, use the following techniques to further promote content for increased marketing influence.
Create Multiple Snippets from the Same Content
Social media headlines and Twitter often restrict the number of characters that a title or snippet can consist of. However, chances are that there are many variations of snippets and taglines can be produced from the same piece of content, and each variation might appeal to different segments of your market. For that reason, it's beneficial to create multiple snippets for each individual piece of content, depending upon it's length.
For instance, if you produced short-form content that's only 500 words in length, you probably won't be able to get more than five unique and high quality snippets. But longer content can easily produce higher numbers of variations. These variations will allow you to share the same content, though perhaps not at the same time, with different taglines to avoid sounding like a broken record.
Transform the Content Into Different Mediums
Web pages are only one way to convey a message to your audience, though they aren't necessarily the most effective way. These days, there are a million and one different mediums through which to send a message. For instance, in addition to text and photographic content, such as what we commonly find on web pages and WordPress posts, you can also create video content that contains the same message. The video content can reach a whole new audience via YouTube and Facebook, but why stop there?
I'm not overly fond of infographics, but they are still a relative and useful way to spruce up content and differentiate a post from competitors. In addition, you may want to consider taking advantage of SlideShare. Some posts may be appropriate for a slideshow type of format. Lastly, consider that some content might lend itself well to a .pdf format. This format is a great lead generation tool, and can be used to capture visitors' email addresses in exchange for your downloadable PDF content.
Inform Sources of New Content
It's fairly common to see blogs that interview others or use a direct quote to bolster credibility. If this applies to your blog, niche, or industry, then remember to send an email to contacts that you directly quoted or interviewed within the article. Your email should aim to inform the source that your content is now published.
Why? Well, not only does it open communication for further dialogue (and potentially other interviews), it also opens the door for your source to promote your content. Your source might set up an organic back-link to your content, spread news of the content by word of mouth, or cause them to engage with the content on social media via shares and likes. In fact, as long as you deem it appropriate, I would even go as far as to encourage asking your source for social media comments, shares, and likes.
Add Links to New Content on Popular Old Pages
A lot of folks seek evergreen content and high organic rankings to keep a continual (and free!) stream of traffic pouring into old pages. If you have an older piece of content that has decent rankings or back-links that send it some significant quantity of regular monthly visitors, capitalize it!
Where appropriate, you can inject on-site links to your new content to encourage new users to visit your latest post. You will need analytics tools, though, if you don't use them already. Otherwise, it won't be apparent which content is performing the best. Also, make sure your on-site links are as natural and organic as possible; otherwise, you'll come off a little pushy or confusing.
Network on Linked-In
Linked-In may not be appropriate for every website, niche, and industry. But I'd imagine that it's a good fit for most businesses, whether small business owners know it or not. On Linked-In, not only can you share and promote content, but you can even network with others.
Because of its networking opportunities, Linked-In can help you reach out to key influencers in your industry. Perhaps the influencer is a blogger in a related niche, or perhaps the influencer has a more journalistic role. Whatever the case may be, you can find others to contact for content engagement (further promotion via likes, shares, etc.) or the opportunity for a back-link.
It's extremely rare for a post to go viral at all, even if someone is promoting the content behind the scenes. As such, you really need to do everything in your power to promote your content...without being intrusive and annoying, of course. If you're just throwing posts up on social media and hoping something sticks, the survival of your marketing campaign may be in peril.
Most small business owners don't have the time required to actively promote content. If that's your case, then it's time to reach out to us to help you build an audience.