It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a directory, vacation rental or eCommerce website, content will play a key role in your ability to attract new visitors. The objective could be one of many things — boosting product sales, enticing advertisers or establishing yourself as an authoritative source in your niche.
Since you’re here reading this, let’s assume that you already understand all that. But unfortunately, creation is only one-half of the battle. The other half involves promotion. You need to make sure that your target audience actually sees what you’re publishing, or really, what’s the point?
In this post, we’re going to cover five ways to promote what you publish. Making sure that the time and effort you’re putting into creating valuable content does not go to waste.
Share Your Content on Social Media
I know this seems to be an obvious choice. Doesn’t everyone promote their content on social media already? Well, yes and no. Most of the time promoting content on social media involves copying a URL and pasting it into a social media update with a little snippet of additional text.
It’s a great start but there is so much more you could be doing:
- Make it easy for visitors to share content via social media. If your blog doesn’t have social sharing buttons you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to have other people promote your content. You should also think about making it easy for visitors to share images and tweet valuable quotes directly from within your content. Use a free plugin like Tweet This.
- You’ve probably noticed how much your organic social reach has dropped over the past 2-3 years. To counter this declining reach, consider running paid campaigns on Facebook or Twitter to promote your most popular content. You can target new visitors or use retargeting to get in front of people who have already visited your site in the past. Also, don’t forget to promote evergreen content that you published a few months ago.
- Another strategy you’re probably not taking full advantage of is participating in groups. Facebook has no shortage of communities that you can get involved in. As long as the audience is relevant and you’re contributing to the greater good of the community, you’ll probably find that nobody minds if you promote content. And if you can’t find a group that meets your needs, create one!
Not every post you write will result in a home run. In fact, only a small percentage are likely to see any decent level of traction — and that’s completely normal. The thing is, when you have a piece of content that is doing well organically, it makes sense that you’d want to help it along. If your post has legs, help it run as far and wide as possible.
Technically, content syndication is the process of publishing content to more than one site at the same time. As simple as the process is, it’s also time-consuming which is why you’ll want to save this strategy for your top performing posts.
Since you don’t own the additional sites you’ll be publishing to, you’ll need to pitch or submit your content to them. Some sites come with more restrictive guidelines than others so it’s important to pitch the right kind of content to the right website. At the same time, make sure you remember that your objective in this whole process is to build you reputation and qualified traffic. That means you want to be pitching websites that meet your criteria as well. Here’s a great post that will help you get started with content syndication.
Promote to Your Email List
You have an email list, right? Your website visitors subscribe to your email list because they want to hear what you have to say. If you’re not sending new content to your subscribers each time you click publish, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity.
People are busy and that means they probably won’t remember to visit your website on a regular basis. Email helps them to keep in touch.
If you’re going to use this strategy, you need to place an emphasis on building your email list. The easiest way to accomplish this is by placing opt-in forms in key places on your website. Your home page, about page and the end or middle of each post, is a great place to start. Well, have a more in-depth post on this topic coming soon.
Link to Influencers
Nobody can be an expert on every topic or the “go to” source for every piece of important information. One way to increase the reach of your content is by linking to other relevant sources and influencers in your industry or who are also relevant to your target market.
If you cite an article written by an influencer or include a direct quote in your post, consider sending a friendly tweet to let them know. You don’t have to do this with every piece of content or every time you link to someone. But when it’s highly relevant and likely to benefit their audience as well, it a strategy worth using.
As a brief side note, linking out to other relevant content is also beneficial for your SEO and demonstrates to your audience that you spent time researching your topic before publishing. Backlinking is an all-around positive strategy worth utilizing.
Write a Guest Post
For a while there, Google made it seem like the idea of guest posting would go the way of dinosaurs — the strategy was being abused to the point where it began to draw some negative attention. In fact, from my perspective, Google accomplished exactly what they intended.
Over the past few years, the quality of guest posting seems to have increased exponentially. Many websites and bloggers use guest posting as a way to get in front of a relevant audience. All you need to do is be willing to write content that provides value — and of course, pitch the website where you’d like to see your content featured.
If you’re interested in guest posting, take a look at this post that Sean Ogle recently featured on his blog — not only is it a guest post in itself, it’s also a valuable guide on how to turn guest posting into an effective promotion strategy (be prepared, it’s almost 8000 words long).
Promoting Your Content is Half the Battle
Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours researching and writing a piece of content, clicking publish and then — nothing — well, maybe the sound of a few crickets.
Consistent and effective promotion of your content is a critical part of growing your audience. If you spend just a few minutes looking at the influencers in your space, you’ll probably notice that they are relentless in the promotion of their content as well as other people’s content that is relevant to their audience.
If you’re not spending considerable time each week promoting your content, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
Although we’ve covered 5 potential strategies in this post, don’t feel like you need to employ them all at once. Pick one or two that you think will work well for your website and get started. Measure your results and make adjustments as necessary. If you feel like something isn’t working, switch it up and try something else — the perfect combination of strategies is within your reach