With Content Marketing, content creation is just half of the battle. The other half is getting your content right in front of your target audience. Other marketers even say it's supposed to be 20% content creation, 80% content promotion.
The fact is, there are millions of content being published each day and the challenge is to have your content rise above that noise. Hence, the need to get into the habit of content promotion.
There are a thousand and one strategies to do this. To start with, here are some of proven effective ways you can do everyday to reach your target audience.
1. Take advantage of owned media and resources
This is something companies often fail to leverage on, its army of content promoters right within its own office. Often, companies leave it to their marketing agency to do the whole Content Marketing for them--from strategy to content creation to promotion--and yes, that's what hiring professionals is for.
But an agency's work is only as good as its client's support and cooperation. In all our years working with companies from different industries, we find that the best performing projects are ones where clients actively participate in the process. This includes providing us ideas and data to help us create valuable content, as well as promoting the content that we do for them.
In the same way, it's easy to "leave it to the Content Marketing Department" to brainstorm, create and promote content; after all, everyone else has other things to do, right? Big. Mistake.
I like pointing out that Content Marketing is not a department, it's the collective effort of the entire company in delivering its message to its target audience. And when everyone involves himself in the content strategy, the community effort increases the company's reach, strengthens thought leadership, and builds up the brand.
Get your employees (or your client's employees) to promote content. Alert them when a new content is up, push them to get involved in the process and establish a company culture where content creation, idea generation and content promotion is a way of life.
2. Reach out to influencers
At this point we’ve established that an effective content strategy involves a lot of things beyond creating content. You engage with your readers, connect with them through social media, take part in discussions. You can’t just drop the link to your blog anywhere, leave, and expect people to read. You want to give them a reason to check your website out.
So when you find thought leaders and influencers in your industry, begin building relationship with them. Comment on their blog posts, follow them in social media, introduce yourself, email them with a warm, personalized outreach email. When they see that your content is relevant, chances are, they will promote your content in their own social media feeds too.
3. Find (or build!) your tribe
“Tribe” is a fancy term used to describe a group of like-minded individuals learning from each other and helping each other in their ventures.
You want like-minded followers and influencers in your “tribe”. As we repeatedly mention, it’s okay to not have a lot of readers, you only need targeted ones. In other words, you’d rather have 100 close friends than 1000 random acquaintances. These are the people whom you know can learn from and benefit from your content at the same time.
One practical way to find your tribe is to search key phrases, say, in Twitter, and see who are talking about the key phrases you searched for. Connect and engage with these people, and help promote their content as well.
4. "Hang out" where your buyer personas are.
This is why it's very important to establish from the get-go who your buyer personas are, what type of content they need, and where to find them.
Not only do you need to create content that will answer their questions and help them with their challenges, you also want to hang out where they are, join in their discussions, and promote your content right there.
5. Promote and engage in social media
Social media remains to be one of the most effective ways to promote blog content and interact with your audience. There are various social media channels that you can use. Take note—you don’t have to be in ALL of them. Invest time and effort in social media channels that fit your goals and reader personas.
LINKEDIN is good place to find job-seekers and employers, business partners, collaborators. They also have a publishing platform for thought leaders, allowing you to share your thoughts about your industry, work ethics, world views.
TWITTER is good for real time updates. We see a lot of businesses using Twitter as a customer support channel. TV stations use it to engage with viewers. Many B2B organizations use it to connect with industry leaders and subject matter experts too.
PINTEREST & INSTAGRAM are image heavy and therefore ideal for creative industries. It’s a good place to showcase web and graphic design, interior design and architecture, fashion and retail, photography, real estate, etc.
FACEBOOK is still the biggest social media channel, so whatever industry you’re in, you want to establish presence in Facebook. Practically any niche has a place in FB. It has a comprehensive platform and an e-commerce functionality especially for businesses.
Consider investing in sponsored posts. As competition gets toughter, content promotion should also get smarter. Putting in a little budget to get your content out there will return your investment in no time. The key is to make sure your content is aligned with your business goals, and ushers first time visitors right into your marketing funnel.