Is your content, even the high quality stuff, failing to attract traffic or generate business for you?

The solution to your problem is most likely some much needed, but often ignored content promotion.

In this article I am going to provide 18 content promotion tactics that you should not be skipping. These tactics, although not incredibly advanced, are crucial to making sure that your content gets seen.

Content Promotion

What is Content Promotion?

You’ve heard the term content promotion before. The phrase itself is self-explanatory, but there are some misconceptions that need clarification.

Content promotion is NOT…

Just paying for advertising to drive traffic to content.

Content promotion IS…

Using a comprehensive, well-executed strategy to diversify and maximize the exposure of a piece of content across the web.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different ways to promote content. I’m not going to overwhelm you with every single one of those though. That would be overwhelming for you and for me.

Instead I want to focus on the 18 fundamental content promotion tactics that should be performed every single time you publish content. Most of these require very little time, have a low level of difficulty and are relatively affordable, but they often get skipped or ignored anyways.

Our content promotion checklist below will give you the exact steps needed to properly promote your content.

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Your [Mandatory] Content Promotion Checklist

Content Promotion Breakdown (image courtesy of HubSpot)

Content marketing, one of the most effective ways to build your brand, drive relevant traffic and generate / nurture web leads, is more than just content creation. It involves just as much, if not more, effort to make sure that the right people find and see your content at all.

There are myriad ways to accomplish this. Let’s focus on the fundamentals first though (outlined in our checklist below).

If you find that these have already become part of your process, then I encourage you to subscribe to our exclusive newsletter as I will be sharing some very advanced, unique content promotion tactics that you won’t find on this blog.

Until then, here’s where to start…

The following content promotion tactics have been listed in order of difficulty, time and return. The easiest, least time consuming tactics are listed first. As the list progresses towards the bottom you can expect to spend more time and effort, but also see more significant results.

Optimization

Perform keyword research to find the best phrase to target your content around. You typically want to aim for long-tail key phrases that have good search demand, but less than high competition. Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool to use to start this process.

Optimize your title tag and meta description to integrate your selected phrase using clean, simple and actionable messaging. Make sure to follow best practices to yield the highest possible click through rates.

Optimize your assets (e.g. images) by using proper title attributes and alt attributes. Using assets like images can be extremely powerful, not just for SEO, but also for conversion rate optimization.

TIP:
Deep link to your new content from other pages and posts already published on your website. Specifically start by linking from some of your higher trafficked content. This will pass traffic and value to your new content and will also help search engines find and crawl your content faster.

 

Email

Update your email signature to include a link to your newly published content. Make sure to use a tracking URL for better reporting. Google’s URL builder is all you need for this.

Send an email to your existing email lists notifying them of your new content. These messages should be short and sweet, but be enticing enough to get your recipients to click through.

Send personalized emails to influencers you already have a relationship with asking them to share your content to their audiences. Leave out the small talk and get right to the point. None of us need more email to sift through so maximize these asks.

TIP:
Give your existing recipients a little something extra when you notify them about your new content. Remember that they’re already on your list so roll out the red carpet whenever you can to make them feel extra special. Something as simple as notifying them of a link or social update of theirs that you shared can often be very effective.

 

Social Media

Post social updates on your primary networks to introduce and bring followers to your content. Don’t ignore groups and community pages (e.g. Facebook Groups, Google+ Communities, LinkedIn Groups) as these are often times far more targeted and have higher engagement rates.

Schedule variations of your original update to go out at future times and at future dates for continued exposure. Test different days and times to learn what works best with your audience.

Send personalized updates / requests to influencers you’re already connected with asking them to share your update with their audiences. It’s often helpful to write the update for them so they can just copy and paste.

TIP:
Don’t abuse your existing relationships by asking connections to share every piece of content you publish. Leverage these relationships conservatively, saving the requests for your biggest and best content. And try to reciprocate every once in awhile as well.

 

Paid Promotion

Boost social media updates with paid promotion to extend the reach and life of your content promotion related updates. These online advertising options are usually the quickest and most sure-fire way to get eyes on your content.

Run targeted ads to your new content using ad platforms like Google AdWords or Bing Ads. It’s tough to ignore these search giants so if you’re looking for big traffic, then it doesn’t hurt to incorporate these ad platforms.

Pay for ad space and retargeting opportunities on relevant websites to drive targeted traffic to your new content. Build relationships with webmasters that serve a similar audience through their websites. One advertisement on sites like that can easily become your biggest and best source of quality traffic.

TIP:
Use your ad spend budget wisely by reserving paid campaigns for select pieces of content that are more likely to affect your bottom line. If the purpose of your content piece is not to drive leads, signups or sales, then it may be wise to hold back on big ad spends so you can promote other content that meets those objectives.

 

Outreach

Poach links from websites that have linked to similar content already. Tools like AHrefs, OpenSiteExplorer and MajesticSEO can help you find these opportunities. Reach out to these site owners to negotiate links from their websites to your content.

Find influencers on social channels and engage them to spread your content to their audiences. Tools like Followerwonk are great for pinpointing which influencers to approach.

Reach out to authoritative online publications to pitch your content, or different versions of it, to them. These editorial links can be very difficult to get, but the few you might be able to grab can be very powerful.

TIP:
If you don’t have any authority, clout or existing relationships with the people you reach out to, then your initial touches (calls, emails, social messages) need to be very polished and personalized. Do some homework on your outreach targets before contacting them. Again, leave out the fluff in these communications. Just get to the point and explain how your request benefits them – not vice versa.

 

Re-purposing

Turn your content into a slideshow presentation and submit it to SlideShare. Spend the extra time to customize each slide in the deck so it flows naturally as a slideshow presentation. You need to follow presentation best practices if you want to see results.

Convert your content into a whitepaper or eBook and use it as a call to action to generate email signups on your website. Prominently display this call to action throughout relevant articles on your site and include it in email campaigns to drive conversions up.

Make a video version of your content that can be shared on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Don’t forget to optimize these videos to ensure that they get picked up just like you’d want written content to be.

TIP:
These re-purposed versions of your content are great for outreach efforts mentioned above or as additional blog posts on your own website. Just remember to always include links in these recycled versions back to the original piece that you publish on your own website or blog.

If You [Just] Build It, They Will [Probably Not] Come

Content Marketing Effectiveness (courtesy of CMI and Marketing Profs)

Content should continue to be the backbone of your online marketing strategy.

It won’t be effective on its own though (see chart above). This is why your content promotion efforts should match, if not surpass, the time and resources you spend putting into creating new content.

There are many different ways to promote content – far more than I could ever cover or educate you on. Start by making the 18 content promotion tactics listed above second nature for every piece of content you create and you’ll be on your way to better results.

A great way to get comfortable with these steps is to use them on content that you’ve already published. More than likely that content did not get the promotional efforts it may have deserved so give it some new life by practicing the tactics above. Once you’ve nailed the process then it should be more fluid for each new piece you publish.

Good luck. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or question below. Or, if you need some personal attention on this topic to get your free consultation scheduled when you’re ready.

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Vinny La Barbera

I’ve been working in online marketing since 2000 and have helped thousands of companies improve their online presence and grow their business through better web / mobile design, development and online marketing.Learn more about me or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.