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Hitting publish shouldn't be the end of the process. In fact, you're not even halfway there yet. Discover how to extend your reach via content amplification platforms.
It's easy to think that all you need to do is press publish on your new article and the sheer power of your genius will result in thousands of reads, likes and shares, right?
Well, yes, sometimes. But the odds are against you.
The thing is, even for great content, you need a content strategy for promoting and sharing it in the right places. Not only will this boost the number of target readers it reaches, it will also improve the longevity of your content, enabling you to reach new audiences, and ultimately generate more leads that actually go on to close.
Content promotion: it rhymes with locomotion. But what does it mean?
I like this snappy definition of content promotion because it cuts straight to the chase:
'Finding places online frequented by your target readers so you can share your content with them.'
Promotion isn't spamming. What it is, however, is sharing relevant stories and conversations with the right people. What this entails is identifying who those people are, thinking about what information (content) they are interested in, and making a point of only providing that information.
Then—and this is key—look for places online where these people already spend their time and set about sharing useful content with them. This doesn't mean spamming them with all your content, just sharing the most relevant stuff.
You can find these places by searching for them (not just via Google, but also through Reddit, Google+, Facebook, Quora and LinkedIn). You might like to ask questions in specialist web forums. Other options where your audience might be found include online magazines, blogs, or forums.
Learn the locals’ customs
When you’ve found the digital dive bars where your people hang out, the next step is to get down with their lingo and customs.
Don’t just share your content and leave it at that. Your efforts will be much more effective if you spend some time understanding the ‘etiquette’ of groups, add your own insight and analysis on other’s content, pose questions to others and make use of influencers.
Unleash the raw power of influencers
Find and reach out to industry experts and influencers, then ask for their opinions and encourage them to share your article with their peers if they found it useful.
B2C is the obvious example of this kind of marketing, but an equally strong story exists for the case of influencer marketing in the B2B space. 'Think about it: as business buyers, we are far more likely to look for referrals from peers and even competitors than we are to go in blind', said Thomas Brown, our Content Marketing Manager.
'If your target buyer is looking to make a significant investment in an inbound marketing strategy, CRM, new phone system, or even book a team night out, they are going to be wanting to reduce risk by seeking recommendations from others who have done the same before them.'
Whichever side of the fence you’re on, asking experts for their thoughts on your soon-to-be-published articles is a solid starting point. With their (hopefully insightful) quotes added in, there is a good chance they will then share the finished product, handily exposing your article and wider blog to their audience.
If your target buyer is looking to make a significant investment in a marketing platform, CRM, new phone system, or even book a team night out, they are going to be wanting to reduce risk by seeking recommendations from others who have done the same before them.
Make the most of content sharing and amplification platforms
Content amplification platforms will extend the reach of your content, as a paid tactic. They allow you to put your content (still retaining your branding) in front of your target audience across multiple channels, including websites, social media platforms, and other properties.
- StumbleUpon—A discovery engine that finds and recommends content to its users. It allows people to discover and rate content that is personalised to their interests.
- Flipboard—A content aggregation platform that allows you to create a custom ‘magazine’ that users can find, share and subscribe to. Include a mixture of your own content and articles from external sources.
- Outbrain—A content amplification platform. Articles are promoted to relevant websites based on the topic of the article. Outbrain’s algorithm finds the best sites to position your content to ensure the maximum number of conversions.
- Perfect Audience—A content retargeting platform. Use Perfect Audience to build adverts that appear on other sites once your visitors have left your website. As part of your blog strategy, you should aim to create an advert that relates to the original article but contains a relevant content offer.
- Inbound.org—An online hub bringing together content and ideas on inbound marketing from all over the world. A great place to get feedback on what you’re doing.
Syndication, the drug of a nation
Actually, syndicated content has no narcotic qualities as such. But who doesn’t enjoy a good rhyme in an article subhead?
Syndicated content, which is another paid service, can be seen at the bottom of website pages under headings such as ‘from around the web’. Basically, syndicating your content means that you are paying to form alliances with partners who have high traffic, therefore hopefully putting your content in front of relevant audiences and extending your reach.
Repurpose with purpose
Tweak your blog posts to make them suitable for LinkedIn, Medium or other relevant sites and you can squeeze a few more miles out of them. You don’t have to do a total rewrite—just adjust to fit. For example, if you are posting to LinkedIn Pulse, you may want to shorten your post and provide a link to the original. Some other good tips about writing for Pulse can be found here.
Social media promotion ideas
The secret of worthwhile content promotion on social media is to make sure that you take the time to understand what works best on the various platforms. You could just use them to share all your content, but you will get better results if you take a more strategic approach.
Here's some social media promotion ideas to get you started.
Instagram has high rates of user engagement with brands, but 90% of users are under 35, so this platform is probably only worthwhile if your target audience fits into this demographic. You can pay to promote your content, and there are lots of targeting options, including by job title. An obvious but-still-worth-mentioning-point is that Instagram works best when your company has a well-defined visual identity, because it will bring some coherence to your posts.
Facebook also allows narrow targeting, but is not always effective for B2B marketing; do some research first to check whether it could be of use in your sector.
LinkedIn There is a lot to know about getting content promotion right on LinkedIn, and it is worthwhile reading an entire blog about it, such as this one. One feature that needs a special mention here though is the site’s SlideShare tool, which is great for packaging up content in an easy-to-digest format.
Twitter is a competitive platform, because of its high-volume low-value traffic. Your posts disappear fast—with a median lifespan of 18 minutes according to Moz. That might make you want to re-use each tweet multiple times, but your audience will pay more attention if you keep them fresh.
Starting conversations to generate leads that close
If you spend 30% of your time creating content, you should look to be spending the remaining 70% promoting it. That might sound like a lot, but BabelQuest’s own experience is that promotion works. You need budget to play with in order to test what works and optimise your social strategy to grow your readership. Today's readers in your target audience could well be tomorrow's leads and next year's customers, depending on the length of your buying cycle.
So there's no shortage of options available for promoting your content. But it's also true that there are no hard and fast rules for making this promotion successful. Unless you are awash with team members and cash, you probably won’t want to try all the options at the same time—it will more likely be a case of taking the iterative approach described above.
The cardinal rule, though, is to do some persona research and focus on the platforms which your audience are most likely to actually use. Narrowing your focus in this way will maximise your chance of success, and also give you more time to do content promotion properly.
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