You’ve likely done it hundreds of times. You just finished a new article or blog post for your website. You’ve optimized it for SEO. Then you hit publish. You’re done, right?
Of course not. What’s missing? Well, since the “build it and they will come” concept has not been a thing for at least a decade, you obviously need to start your content promotion process. You have a strategy and process in place for that, right?
No? Well then here’s a quick guide to learn how to promote content effectively so that you’ll increase traffic, reach and conversions.
But before we start talking about tactics, it’s important to start with promotion strategy. And that starts with understanding everything we can about your target audiences. If you don’t have a way to define them, learn what channels they frequent, and identify when is the best time to reach them, even your best work will play to an empty audience.
You also need to look at the tools you use to distribute your content. Effective content distribution, as I’ve pointed out in the past, is digital marketing’s hand-delivered certified mail.
It gets the right content, into the right hands, at the right time. That’s a content strategy that can take your marketing to a whole new level.
Use Analytics to Discover More Effective Ways to Promote Your Content
Effective content promotion begins before you write a single word. The first tools you need to reach for are your analytics programs. Give your content analytics a careful look to see how your current content has performed with various audiences. Reach, conversions, and shares, all provide deep insights into your content’s performance.
Next, look at your social media and Google Analytics to see if you can identify potential new markets. Look at those who have interacted with your content to identify common demographics, social likes, and location.
Review social comments and conversations to uncover potential customers’ pain points and needs. Timing is also a critical ingredient in content promotion. When you study your audience’s online behavior, you can discover the best times and channels to publish and promote your content for each segment.
Look at the types of content that move each customer segment to action. Do they respond better to video content, or do they prefer written information? This data provides key information that can impact your choice of channels on which to promote your content.
Have Your Automation Tools in Place
Once you’ve identified the most effective channels to reach your audience, you can set your content automation program to publish your content on those channels. Time your publication to occur at the optimum days and time to reach your target audience.
Use a Template to Streamline the Process
Your content strategy documents your promotion strategy, as well as the entire process; from setting your goals, to publishing, to promotion, to analyzing the results. When it’s time to promote your content, having a social media post template provides an efficient framework for drafting, reviewing and approving all your social posts for the promotion of individual content assets and campaigns.
With a content marketing platform, you can keep all your templates and other content planning tools in a single place. Doing so will simplify collaboration, scheduling, and distribution. All are essential ingredients for creating and promoting content that converts.
Create Audience-Focused Content
Now that you’ve discovered all you can about your target audience, documented your plan, and have the tools to automate publication on all the channels where your customers are, it’s time to create content that will solve the kinds of problems that keep your audience up at night.
As you plan and create your content, think about the channels on which you’ll promote it. For example, if you plan to promote a piece of content on Twitter, be sure to include some short but memorable sections that read well as standalone quotes. If, on the other hand, you plan to promote it on Instagram, put your time into dazzling visuals that grab your audience’s attention.
Audience-focused content must also reflect the point at which your target audience is on their customer journey, as Arnie Kuenn points out.
Consider Your Audience’s Stage Within the Customer Journey
- Awareness stage: When you’re building awareness of your brand, boosted social posts and paid search are effective in getting people’s attention. Employee-shared and customer-shared content, too, go a long way toward building trust. Depending on your industry, influencers who have made their mark in related niches can also be effective. Sharing your expertise on Quora and other forums, along with a link to a blog post on the same topic as the question, can also build awareness quickly. Offline, live events and media coverage can help bring people to your doors.
- Consideration stage: At this stage, focus on education. Now’s not the time for blatant self-promotion. Build trust through your expertise. Boost informative blog posts on your audience’s preferred social media channels, offer an ebook or white paper in exchange for signing up for your email list, and publish content in your email newsletters that showcases your expertise in solving the problems they face. Webinars, podcasts, and in-person classes are also useful at this stage.
- Decision stage: Account marketing, personalized content created specifically for each decision-maker in a prospect’s company, is an effective strategy for B2B companies. In-depth white papers and case studies that position your product or service as the tool prospects can use to solve a problem, are highly effective at this stage. B2C companies often find success with email promotions or coupon offers, as well as retargeting.
- Advocacy stage: Once a person or business becomes a customer, turn them into an advocate by partnering with customer service to build satisfaction. Follow-up email newsletter articles that help your customers maximize the benefits of the product or service they purchased, are an effective way to create goodwill among customers. Make it easy for customers to post reviews and recommendations on social media and elsewhere. Also, keep an open line of communication with your customer service team, encouraging them to share customer questions and feedback. Turn those questions and feedback into content for your FAQ page. Promote the new content on your customers’ preferred social media channels. That way, new customers can have answers to many of their questions without the need to contact customer service.
Finally, repurpose content that you originally created for one stage of the customer journey, for other stages. For instance, distill the main points out of a white paper that you aimed at people in the late consideration stage, and create an infographic or video for those in the awareness or early consideration stages. When you promote your repurposed material on these prospects’ favorite channels, you can effectively double the impact of all the research you did for the original piece.
DivvyHQ is a platform that can simplify the entire content lifecycle. With everything you need for content marketing in one place, it becomes easier to concentrate on what’s most important, creating great content that gets in front of the right eyeballs. For a closer look at how we can help, request a demo today!