6 Great Ways to Promote Content in 2018
Each year, Content Marketing Institute releases their comprehensive report of Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends for content marketing. This year, a whopping 91 percent of B2B survey respondents indicated they'd be using content marketing in 2018.
But while most B2B companies understand the importance of content production, many still undervalue the marketing aspect of the process. Simply put, even the best content can go unnoticed if it's not effectively promoted. And while unnoticed content can still provide SEO value, it's not going to do much for lead generation. So what are the winning strategies for this year?
#1 - Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is an increasingly popular technique that involves leveraging individuals or businesses that already have a large audience. Don't have any social followers? No problem - create excellent content and get people who do have followers to promote it. Perhaps the most infamous examples of influencer marketing include endorsements by members of the Kardashsian family, who regularly promote all sorts of beauty products on Instagram.
You don't have to be a fashion brand or go after super-famous celebrities for influencer marketing to be effective for you, though. You can get a similar effect on a smaller scale by identifying influencers in your niche, contacting them through email or social media, and asking them to either share or provide commentary on your content. The best influencers in your particular niche will have plenty of active social followers and an established presence on multiple platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and their own site. Obviously, it may take many tries before an influencer will respond to a promotional request, but getting the occasional nod from someone with a large audience has the potential to generate many, many new leads.
#2 - Utilize Your Sources
If you're following content optimization trends, you know that longer, thoroughly-researched content that delves deep into a topic and provides excellent value for a reader currently performs better than anything else. If you're creating this type of content, you're likely linking to many different sources, so why not use those sources to your advantage?
Once your content is published, email your sources and let them know you've linked to them. Politely ask them for their thoughts and, if they reply, kindly ask them to share or link to your content. Also, try tagging your sources on social media when sharing your content, just like we did with Salesforce here:
— Content Customs (@ContentCustoms) June 22, 2017
Your source may then be inclined to retweet or otherwise bring attention to your post.
#3 - Improve Upon Linked-To Content
With so many businesses getting into content marketing, the amount of content being produced on a daily basis is staggering - but it also means there's plenty of under-researched and outdated content out there. Instead of wracking your brain to develop a wholly unique idea every time you create content, simply try improving upon content that's already out there.
Find a piece of content in your niche that you know you can improve on. Use a tool like Moz's Open Site Explorer to see every page that's linked to that content. Then, write the best possible version of that content and contact those webmasters to see if they'd be interested in switching their link to point to your content.
#4 - Repurpose Your Content
Repurposing content is a technique that's been around for years, and isn't always considered a method of content promotion necessarily. However, in 2018 and beyond, media platforms will continue to evolve and change - and changing the format of your content can allow you to market to all sorts of new audiences. For example, turning a blog post into a video can get YouTube and social media exposure that you've never had before. Content that could be repurposed into a slide deck has huge potential on SlideShare. Other options include compiling blog posts into an ebook and starting a Podcast based on topics you regularly cover.
#5 - Smart Sharing on Social
You likely already know that social media is essential for content promotion. However, there are many factors that may be limiting the amount of attention your content gets. This year, consider maximizing your social efforts by:
- Using well-designed images - Stock images, images that are incorrectly sized, or otherwise boring imagery is not doing you any favors. Consider getting the help of a graphic designer to create well-designed, properly proportioned, original and engaging images to accompany your content on social media.
- Increase your ad spend if possible - This is a no-brainer, but if you feel confident that a piece of content will generate leads and sales for your business, you might as well spend as much as you can to promote it on social and get it in front of more people.
- Smart hashtagging - Don't underestimate the power of hashtags, especially on Instagram and Twitter. Choosing the right hashtags, along with using some humor and creativity, can help your content get more exposure while also helping you build your brand.
- Reassess your targeting - The new year is a great time to re-think your audience targeting options. Making your targeting as focused as possible on people who are most likely to do business with you is the best way to maximize your social ad spend.
- A/B testing - This year, strive to optimize your posts using real data. A/B test your posts with different images, hashtags, targeting options and post content to see what gets you the best results.
- Post to social media consistently - People may be less likely to follow if your social media postings are infrequent or inconsistently timed. You can smooth out dips in your publishing pipeline by scheduling Instagram posts on a regular basis, for example.
#6 - Email Marketing
Ten years ago, many marketers probably would have claimed that email marketing would essentially be dead by 2018. But nothing could be farther from the truth - email marketing was one of the biggest trends last year, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Developing an email list and emailing your content to readers who find it valuable is still an extremely effective content promotion strategy - the only thing that's changing is the technology.
More advanced list segmentation and interactive email content options now allow you to send more personalized emails to your recipients than ever before, potentially making your emails much more valuable than all the other promotional emails your readers receive on a daily basis.
Of course, there are many more ways to promote your content. How does your business plan to get more exposure for their content this year?