Along with justifying ROI for your content marketing efforts, a serious content promotion strategy should be an important element to consider. All too often I hear people say they are really not seeing the benefits and the desired outcomes they expect, even though the business is investing heavily in creating great content.
You could benefit from a well thought out strategy which focuses on actions items and tactics for getting results.
Of course, strategy is and always will be purpose specific for the unique business needs. To help you create and assess yours, I will outline some of the most important considerations of a content marketing strategy so you can start seeing a much higher ROI.
The Other Side of the Marketing Coin
You create great content, miss the ROI for your efforts creating that content. You wonder why people are not coming to your blog, even with all that content you keep creating. You need more reach and engagement for your articles to bring the audience to your pages.
To do this you need to strategize how to promote in a way that engages more people so your content drives more traffic. This can enable increased leads, signups, sales and conversions for your business.
Create the Strategy
When was the last time you got a load of free traffic to your site and a bunch of sales without really planning it? Sure it can happen sometimes as a fluke. But do you really want to really on people coming across your content by chance? So it is time well spent when planning this all out. A good strategy helps you to stay on track and keep focused on the elements of promoting that you have considered important and planned.
Why Does Content Promotion Strategy Get Overlooked?
Such an important aspect really does get overlooked and underappreciated. We are often so focused on producing all that great content, getting guest authors, guest blogging, finding topics, etc. that we run out of time to really put the proper thought into how you will promote your article. You might post it on your Facebook and Twitter and then hope it is good enough that people will want to share it. Of course this can be a great start, but do not overlook the importance of proper planning.
Organize Your Sharing Platform
Spend some time planning and making a list of all the places you intend to promote your content. Any and all where you may have a relevant audience who want your content. You may want to categorize this list into networking sites, forums, bookmarks, etc. as it should grow quite long.
You will want plenty of good platforms to post on, but do avoid spammy platforms. You would not want to undo all the good work you have done because you started sending spammy traffic to your site.
Ensure Your Content is Multiscreen
An important part of your content promotion strategy should be to see that all your content can be consumed on multiple platforms. It’s no secret that we all use a variety of devices now days so we can’t just make our content for desktops or laptops. Mobiles and tablets, smart TVs etc. need to be considered. If your content is not consumable on these platforms you could be missing out on a significant audience segment. They might bounce off that great article you created and you may miss your opportunity to maximise your engagement further.
Use the relevant social share buttons for your audience
Not much point placing share buttons on your content that your audience will never use. It is just a distraction for them, and takes up valuable screen real estate. Your strategy should encompass and understanding of your audience. Which social platforms your audience uses and are likely to share on. Think about the placement of those social share buttons and benefit from more engagement when done properly.
Timing and Frequency of publishing an article
Make sure you know what time of day best suits your audience for maximum engagement. Consider how your strategy will choose the best time of day, and day of the week or a business focused audience compared to an entertainment related focus for example. Use the tools available to do the research. Google Analytics traffic data can give specific details on user behavior. Also people love the regularity of you publishing at a certain time and day, use this to your advantage.
Sanity check the article before publishing
Your strategy may want to include a last minute check of the content before you hit the publish button. It is really worth giving your article a once over and running it through a checklist. We are often rushing to complete tasks and it is in the moment of haste that we can forget things. It can be quite difficult to retract and article after it is published, even if only briefly. Particularly if your article was crawled and shared soon after publishing. So a sanity checklist before you publish is a good idea.
How are your headlines and subheadlines?
One of the determining factors for the success of your content is the headlines and subheadlines you use throughout your article. As people ready they are often seeking answers to questions they may have in mind. So consider the question you are trying to answer. Also, does it sound exciting and make them want to read on? Will it encourage social sharing? You should develop your strategy to include ways to to maximise your headlines and subheadlines.
Some useful tools to help with your headlines:
Readability and the Tone of your Content
Avoid using too much jargon and language which may be hard for your audience to understand. Instead spend time making your content conversational so that it speaks to your audience in a way that is easy to read. Check your readability, it is a key factor If you're using WordPress you can consider the plugin by Yoast for readability score. Readability and Tone could mean the difference between the article actually getting read, or just getting a quick skim and then bouncing.
Concluding and summing up your article
A good conclusion to the post should also be well thought out as it is another key strategic element to consider. When summing up your article be sure to spend the time to craft it so that it reflects nicely the major points in a clear and concise way. We also want to encourage the conversion to continue once the article has been read, but stimulating discussion and asking for engagement. Often a pleasant and polite approach works well by simply asking the readers for their thoughts on the topic.
How Share Worthy is your article?
Your strategy needs to place a high importance on the need for your articles to be highly sharable. How share worthy your articles are will make a huge difference on not only how many shares you get but also on reach and engagement. People will be more likely to share it if there has been attention placed on formatting the article so it is easy to read. Spend the time to source great images and consider getting your graphic artist to create custom images for the article. Super visually appealing content can drive traffic and a great first visual impression will stimulate sharing.
Now your Strategy for Marketing and promoting
You now need to start the getting into the good stuff, the strategy of how you will actually promote your content once it is published. There could be a temptation to skip straight to this section and just dive into all this fun stuff. But again, without really planning this out, you results will be inconsistent and you may not be able to easily identify areas for improvement.
A solid Content promotion process will serve you well to ensure all goes smoothly while executing your promotion actions. Place all the steps into it, and all the instructions on which platforms you need to share on, and how to do it. You may be inclined to skip over this process a little, particularly if you are the one who is going to execute it. However, the advantages of a strong and detailed process do have well renowned advantages.
You will want to create a template that would use each time you go through the process. This template is referred to during the process for the important elements of your content. You will want to include your headline, summary, shareable images, topics,urls and tags etc. Basically all the reusable sections of your content that will be put out there on those other platforms.
Here are some great resources for content promotion checklists:
- SEMRush: https://www.semrush.com/blog/content-distribution-strategies-that-work/
- Traffic Generation Cafe: http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/how-to-promote-your-blog/
- WPCurve http://wpcurve.com/content-promotion-strategy/
Don’t be afraid to pay for targeted social traffic
Consider paying for targeted social traffic to promote your article and get people to read and engage. What you say, pay for social traffic? I know a lot of businesses are adverse to paying for traffic when they cannot see a direct ROI on the spend. Often the thinking is to only pay for traffic when there are direct conversion metrics involved. While many may consider this kind of paid traffic to be mere speculation, it is important to consider the platforms and how they are designed. Many social site are now geared around ads and promoted posts. So to get the best leverage your strategy may include paid targeted social traffic.
Spend time to Repurpose your content
Your content may be part of a broader campaign, one which may have multi part articles and variations on a theme. You are now thinking beyond the short blog publishing lifecycle where you publish and promote and move on. You you can build on a theme and publish with a variety of content types. Repurposing your content is a great way to take an article and adapt it to further audiences. You could convert your article into a PDF, and use it to create a slideshow, then turn it into a video, then use the audio to create a podcast.
Once you start thinking about repurposing your content, I am sure you will come up with many ways it can be done. Of course, the real benefits come from the repurposing via the huge variety of platforms you can then publish on. Once you have created your slideshow you can publish it on Slideshare.net just for example. So your strategy would do well to consider repurposing your content along with target platforms to publish on.
Here are some more ideas for repurposing your content:
- Foundr: https://foundrmag.com/supercharge-your-content-marketing-12-ways-to-repurpose-1-piece-of-content/
- SEJ: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/7-effective-ways-repurpose-blog-content-social-media/134352/
Put your strategy together now
Don't wait, spend the time now to start improving the returns from all your investment in Content Marketing. You will need a strategy if you want to see ROI and drive more traffic and sales. So it is worth getting organized and thinking about a list of sites you will share on. Make sure your content is multiscreen so you don't miss out on a potential audience. Consider relevancy of share buttons, the timing of when you publish, and make sure you give a sanity check.
Implement headlines that grab the reader and answer their questions. Put effort into making the article highly readable. There should be a major focus on steps to ensure your content is share worthy. A highly shareable article will go a long way with less effort on your part.
Consider how you will benefit from a strong procedure with templates and checklists to give consistency and completeness to your execution. You can consider paid targeted social traffic which might reach further than you expect. You can also reach numerous new audiences by repurposing your content into different types and publishing specific content platforms. Via PDFs, slideshows, videos, podcasts and many more content variations you will reach further.
With a renewed focus on your content promotion strategy you can put into place a plan and a system. Putting this into motion will surely see better results, and higher ROI. Hopefully you will benefit from this article. Please comment below and share if you do. I am sure folks would find it particularly helpful to keep this conversation and ideas going.