So you’ve written a unique, thought-provoking, exciting piece of online content.
Unfortunately, it’s wasted because no one can find it! If that’s a familiar scenario or a scenario that keeps you up at night wondering how you’re going to be able to share your content with the masses, rest easy because we’re going to review nine online content promotion strategies to drive traffic.
In the world of marketing, promotion starts way before you publish your content.
An Olympic track star doesn’t start working when he or she heads to the start line.
There’s a whole lot of prep work that goes in before they even tie their laces on race day.
That said, we’re going to break our nine strategies out into two sections – before and after publishing.
Let’s First Talk About Before You Publish…
#1. Build a Foundation for Organic Reach
Let’s be honest, we all know that you can pay to promote, but the goal is always to get as much reach organically as possible.
This starts with ensuring your content is optimized for SEO.
For your content to show up higher on the search page, you’ll not only want to focus on a specific keyword phrase – phrases are easier to rank in than single word searches – but you’ll also want to ensure that you use the keyword phrase in the title, at least one subheading and a few times in the body of your content.
There’s also something called semantic SEO, which consists of related keywords and phrases.
How do you find these semantically associated phrases?
There are definitely tools out there – UberSuggest comes to mind – but if you’re on a budget, this can also be done “old-school.”
Do a Google search of your keyword phrase and look at the “people also ask” questions.
You can also start to type the search and see what related searches people are looking for. This will help you drive organic traffic to your content.
#2. Tap Influencers and Experts
When writing your content, reach out to influencers and experts on your topic for quotes you can include in your content.
It doesn’t have to be an influencer with a million followers, even a local professor at the community college has friends and followers on their social media.
By adding quotes from players outside of your organization, you lend credibility to your post, but you also give yourself the opportunity to capitalize on their following via social media.
Even if you’re quoting from another article, you should reach out to the expert or influencer to let them know you’ve quoted them.
In either case, if you give them a heads up before publishing, you may even get some teaser posts along the lines of “Stay tuned – in just a few weeks, I’ll be featured in Company XYZ’s blog!”
#3. Stalk Your Competition
When we look at our competitors, we tend to look at how their core purpose is different from ours and how their services and products are different, but there’s more to be gained.
Take a look at who they partner with, what backlinks they have, and who is mentioning and sharing their content.
This isn’t solely reserved for your competition. You can practice this exercise with businesses or influencers that have the traffic that you aspire to achieve.
Then, reach out to similar entities to see if you can get in on the backlinking too, or even mention them when you eventually share your content on social media – more to come on social later.
Backlinking gives your site authority in the eyes of SEO, which again helps you rank higher and get more traffic without having to spend a dime.
#4. Be Your Best Resource
While we’re on the subject of links, it’s also important to plan which of your old, evergreen content you’ll update to include links to your new article.
You’ll want to choose the highest-traffic articles and make sure to use the keyword phrase as a part of the link.
Again, it’s all about convincing the search engine that your content is trustworthy and what the searcher is looking for.
Most website themes allow you to add a “related articles” block at the bottom of your site pretty easily.
#5. Remember – Email is Not Dead
Anyone who tells you that you should just forget about email obviously hasn’t done their research.
Email marketing is far from dead, my friend, and it’s a great way to promote your online content.
However, one of the problematic parts of email marketing is growing your subscriber list.
If they’re already a subscriber, they’re probably already seeing your content, so how can you use email marketing to drive new visitors to your page?
Try finding a content partner.
When you work with a content partner, you don’t share your list with them, which is a huge “No-No,” by the way.
Instead, you promise to promote their content to your list, and they do the same for you.
It doesn’t need to be complicated, a simple “check out this blog by one of our favorite partners,” will do the trick, but it can drive massive traffic to your page and help you grow your own list.
You want to reach out to potential partners ahead of publishing your content so that they can include the content in their drip campaigns.
#6. Ask and Answer Questions
Before you publish your content, start creating a buzz around it in your social feeds.
Ask questions related to the topic. For example, if you’re writing a blog on creating a great employee culture, start asking questions like “What is the biggest detriment to the culture at your organization” a few weeks before publishing your post.
Essentially, you want to create demand for your article. That’s what marketing is all about, creating demand.
You don’t have to limit this to your feed. If you’re reading articles on related subjects, say an article about “The Top 10 Reasons Your Employees Are Leaving,” then that’s an excellent opportunity to leave a comment about your thoughts.
Keep commenting, and when your post is ready to be published, you can add it in.
One thing to keep in mind when using this strategy is the emotional bank account.
You don’t want to leave a single spammy comment about why someone should read your blog.
You have to build a relationship and build trust before promoting your content.
Now let’s talk about after you’ve published…
#7. Social, Social, Social
I get real Brady Bunch vibes when I talk about social media.
It’s constantly discussed in every niche of every industry, but it’s also a cornerstone of every good marketing and promotion strategy.
It’s a whammy of a topic to cover, and I could probably do a hundred videos on the subject and still have more to share because it’s ALWAYS changing.
That said, there are a few crucial steps that are as evergreen as your stellar content.
First and foremost, it’s vital that you make it easy for visitors to share your content.
Place share buttons on your blog that are easy to see and easy to use.
As you see folks share your content, make a list and when you share to another network, tag those users and thank them for being among the first to like your post.
Often, a little appreciation goes a long way in having others promote your content.
Don’t forget to include mentions for any influencers and experts who offered quotes for your content!
One of my favorite speakers, authors, and all-around rock stars is Brendan Bouchard.
I was lucky enough to join one of his challenges, and he spoke about repurposing content.
Don’t be afraid of repurposing. It’s not lazy. It’s making your content work for your audience.
None of your visitors are exactly the same, and they’ll all respond to different types of posts in different ways.
One person may be an avid scroller that’s drawn in by images with short quotes.
Another may be more interested in your content if you turn a summary into a quick video.
Now, as you’re writing your promotional social posts, don’t just copy and paste your headline into the body of your post.
Regardless of what you’re promoting, it is never about the features you have to offer and is always about the benefits to your potential visitor.
Try to capture what they can gain from reading your content, and you’ll find your traffic increase dramatically.
Don’t let your post get lost in your feed. Make sure to pin it to the top so that it gets the most coverage.
One way social media experts stay sane is by scheduling posts.
If you’re scheduling your promotional posts, space out three to four posts over the next several weeks to keep your content a topic of conversation.
It’s a good idea to schedule some posts at high traffic times and some at lower traffic times where you may not have as many posts to compete with.
Also, try scheduling your posts a little off the hour, like 1:06pm or 12:56pm, for example.
Many organizations schedule on the hour, so that may give you a small head start.
As I mentioned, there’s so much we could cover in the social media realm of promotion, but these foundations are a great start!
#8. Think Past Social
I know we just spent a big chunk of our time with you on social media, and it truly is a pillar in any marketing effort, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only source for promoting your content online.
It pays to think past social and share your piece within content communities.
Think places like Medium, GrowthHackers, or even small associations that you’re a part of.
This process not only gets you in the eyes of potential visitors you haven’t seen before but can lead to great partnerships and networking as authors are constantly contributing and engaging with others’ content.
#9. Analyze and Revise
The key to any effective promotional strategy is to remember that nothing is final.
You may start by using one or two of these strategies and then pivot to another method.
If you find that your video content isn’t getting engagement, you may choose to edit your future scheduled posts to a different format.
Or maybe you’re getting great engagement from your email marketing, but not your social posts, so you double down with another content partner.
This process of revising is not only okay but completely normal. It’s one of the significant benefits of marketing in a digital age – the ability to be flexible and fish where the fish lie.
Before we finish up, I want to take a quick second to introduce you to the 80:20 rule for marketing.
In an age where content is everywhere, creating a smaller quantity of quality content is far more valuable.
In this case, the 80:20 rule simply relies on spending 20% of your time creating great content and 80% of your time promoting it.
You’ll find that your visitors will be more likely to convert to revenue-generating customers if you don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of high traffic.
So What’s Next?
Social media remains an important way to drive traffic to your website and promote your content and business. Be sure to check out this social media tool tat puts your social media campaigns on autopilot.