Have you ever gotten into your car, put your seatbelt on eager to drive somewhere, and oops… the engine wouldn’t start?…
You remembered to do the car service on time, you changed the oil, you had it vacuumed, you had it polished with the most expensive wax—everything looked in place. So what’s wrong?
Well, the same thing happens in content marketing.
You see, most digital marketers fail after they’ve created their content that’s guaranteed to attract and convert. This is because they ignore what comes next.
A car isn’t just a shiny object to have parked in your garage. It’s meant to take you wherever you want to go. Your content isn’t just an article or post in your blog waiting to be read. It’s meant to be shared with as many people as possible.
So you might want to think of your content as the fuel for your sales engine. And content promotion is the… IGNITION switch!
So, even if you put gas in your car, it’ll never start if you don’t push the start button.
And that’s exactly why I created this tutorial for you because I know it’ll help you stop wondering “what should I do next?” This article will show you exactly how to push the ignition switch in your sales engine so you can get anywhere you want.
If you’re looking to think strategically to maximize promotion in your content marketing journey in 2020, you came to the right place.
With this ultimate tutorial, you’ll learn why generating great content is only 50% of the equation. Because the real difference between the content that gets a few shares and a few thousand shares isn’t simply an issue of quality. It’s an issue of promotion.
Now let’s turn your sales engine ON!
If Content Is Only Half of the Equation, Then What’s the Other 50%?
You’re here because you‘re stuck in second gear and need help with your content. You don’t know what to do with it. It’s ready, now what?
Well, you came to the right place my friend!
At this point in your content marketing journey, you know the most sustainable, cost-effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website. You also know how to avoid guessing, how to generate great content that educates and adds value to the reader, and you already selected the perfect topic for your article.
In a few words: you know how to write content that’s guaranteed to attract and convert. But what comes next is exactly what most digital marketers like you simply fail at.
You’ve got the greatest writers, you’ve got the best editors, and you’ve got the perfect content. But where’s the traffic? Where are the sales?
Well, even with all that, you’re still missing one of the most important steps in content marketing: content promotion.
Or did you really think that content marketing just ends right after you publish your articles?
Well, most marketers think that way and that’s why they fail. But remember, content is the coffee addiction of internet users. They can’t get enough of it. So why not give them what they want?
You might want to see your content as the fuel for your sales engine. And content promotion is the… IGNITION switch!
Now, let’s execute each step of the guide and turn that ignition switch on.
1. Send a Newsletter to Your Email List
This one’s a common one and you’ve probably heard of it. This is one of the best ways to promote your content—sending an email newsletter to your existing list of subscribers.
Research by Hubspot shows that 46% of people prefer looking at the content of the brands they like in the form of newsletters.
For sending a newsletter, what you’ll do is very simple. Once your blog post or article is ready, create an email draft and choose the design you like. For instance, we at AutoGrow use ActiveCampaign as our email automation platform and send out a very simple email design.
Then, take a fragment from your article’s introduction (or the full intro), paste it in the email draft, and voilà! You’ve got your email newsletter.
But hold on for a sec because we’re not done yet. Your newsletter will tease people to read the full article because obviously, you won’t send to your audience 3,000+ words in one email. You want to keep it simple but powerful enough to catch their attention.
Your goal here is for people to click and read the article. And for this, you’ll add a call-to-action button with a color that makes it stand out. Also, include some text inviting the prospect to read the full article.
At AutoGrow, we use our full introduction from the article as our newsletter. Then, we add a powerful, yellow CTA button with “Click here to read today’s article”, the signature or name of the person sending the email, and a compelling subject line that makes the reader open the email and read what’s inside.
But let’s analyze for a second how we, at AutoGrow, do our content promotion by sending a newsletter to our email list.
- We include a personalized greeting for the prospect to feel connected to our brand
- We add compelling subject lines with a hook, and most of the time include a number for the tips or steps
- For the newsletter content, we follow an internal formula that makes the introduction of every article more interesting. We start with a short and personal story (200-300 words). Then we include an agreeable statement and a promise of what benefit(s) the reader will get from reading the article, and a preview or brief overview of how we’ll give them the promised benefit(s) and/or what information we’ll be covering in the article
- CTA at the beginning and end of the email
- PS message
For instance, that’s our best performing email newsletters sent out so far with over 15% open rate and over 1% click rate. And it follows our winning formula to the T.
2. Email Companies & People You Mentioned in Your Article or Post
If you’re looking to triple your traffic with a social media post or with AutoGrow’s rocket content formula for articles, reaching out to people you mention in your posts to let them know that you mentioned them is one of the most efficient ways to promote your content.
You see, well-written articles include third-party research, quotes from entrepreneurs, stats from trusted sources, and other facts that help your article be credible and support claims.
When you do that, other companies, entrepreneurs, founders, and/or sites are mentioned. You can add a quote from someone, an interview, or research by a trustworthy company. With this tactic, you’re actually promoting your own content.
How? Simple. In your post, you’re adding a link to another site. When your readers go through your article, they can click on that link and visit the website you linked them to. You’re promoting that other site.
So this step in content promotion is nothing but sending an email to the sites you mentioned in your blog. Let them know that you’re promoting them on your website and that you’re looking for nothing in exchange.
Just think for a second, who’s not going to appreciate free promotion? No one. And who’d like to be promoted in exchange for something? That’s right, everyone.
Keep it simple and focused on the fact that you’re doing free promotion to them. And perhaps, they may even be interested in reposting your article (or post) and promoting your content.
That way, their writers may keep your business at the top of their minds when they’re creating new content too.
For instance, BuzzStream is a useful tool for writing email templates and sending outreach emails. See how easy that is?
And here’s the template we use at AutoGrow for reaching out to people we mention in our articles for your reference.
3. Add Links to Related Articles from Your Blog
What an easy tip to follow!
When you generate content for your blog, besides adding external links, include links to older posts from your blog.
At AutoGrow, we actually follow a rule of including at least one internal link back to AutoGrow.co. This makes our readers navigate through our articles without having to leave our blog page.
So you might want to consider including links to other articles from your blog to promote your content.
Here’s an example of how we include internal links in our blogs.
We just write relevant text to any of our past articles and link the text with the url.
4. Do Guest Posting
Doing guest posting introduces your content to a whole new audience who may not (yet) know you.
As a result, those posts led to more referral traffic for AutoGrow.
One of the highest converting articles he wrote was “7 Laws of Sales Funnel Physics Every SaaS Business Needs to Know” for KissMetrics.com.
This guest post skyrocketed AutoGrow’s traffic and made the article earned some powerful comments too.
5. Share Your Content on Social Media
Social Media is on the rise.
- Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world, has 2.4 billion users. (Our World in Data)
- Youtube has more than one billion users. (Our World in Data)
- More than 1 billion Instagram accounts worldwide are active every single month.
- Whatsapp has more than 1.6 billion users. (Statista)
- There’s a total of 275 million accounts on Twitter. (Statista)
- Over 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily. (Instagram)
- ⅓ of the most viewed stories are from businesses. (Instagram)
Social media platforms are used by ⅓ of all the people in the world and more than ⅔ of all internet users.
The rapid growth of these platforms has changed how we access information from the news, how we’re educated, and how we enjoy entertainment.
So when it comes to content promotion, posting on social media is a must and the statistics are proof of it.
That’s why another easy way to promote your content is by posting it on the most popular social media channels. Remember that social media is more about relationship building than straight-up promotion, so don’t be overly aggressive when promoting.
For posting on social media, all you need to do is sign up, open a profile, and start posting content.
Research by Hubspot shows that 48% of the people surveyed plans on using Youtube as their marketing distribution channel next year. 39% says Facebook videos and 33% say Instagram.
Posting on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, or Pinterest can get new people looking at your social channels. And as a matter of fact, research by Orbit Media shows that in 2019, 97% of the traffic of blog posts came from social media.
And when you decide to post on social media, remember to use relevant hashtags. According to a study by Statista, 23.1% of Instagram posts in 2019 had 4 to 10 hashtags. And 28.7% of posts did not feature any hashtags at all.
6. Share Instagram Stories
Instagram beat the Snapchat-like stories feature in 2017. So if you’re looking to do some effective content promotion, then adding a simple Instagram story can do wonders for your business.
Here are a few stats to show you why.
- 500 million people use Instagram stories every day.
- In 2020, 75.3% of U.S. businesses will use Instagram. (SocialMediaToday)
- Over 400 million Instagram users sharing Instagram stories every day. (Statista)
- Instagram stories get almost 10% of all ad spending on Facebook in 2019. (Bloomberg)
- Brands on Instagram create an average of 2.5 stories on the platform every week. (Conviva)
- Top brands on Instagram are seeing a 4.21% per-follower engagement rate. This is 58X higher than on Facebook and 120X higher than on Twitter (Hootsuite)
If you’re looking to upload an Instagram Story but you don’t know how to do so, here are some easy steps that’ll help you promote your content through this important platform…
1. Open the Instagram app.
2. Tap the camera icon in the top left corner.
3. Tap the white circle at the bottom of the screen to take a picture, or press and hold the circle to record a video.
4. Click “Send to” to share it with your followers.
5. If you’d rather use a photo or video you already have saved in your phone, tap the square gallery icon on the bottom left of the screen.
7. Post Videos With Your Content
This one’s pretty easy too. Research by Hubspot shows that video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than in the form of text.
And the same study shows that by including a video in your post, organic traffic can increase by 157% from search results.
As you already know, most of the social media platforms that we currently use, have shifted significantly in what they offer to their users.
Twitter, for example, at first didn’t allow users to upload videos or images. Almost a decade ago they made this possible and today more than 50% of the content viewed on Twitter includes images and videos.
So if you’re looking at how to promote content right, then post a video. That’s actually what we do at AutoGrow. Almost every single piece of content we post includes a walk-thru video of the article for people who prefer watching rather than reading.
8. Promote Via LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn is one of the most professional social media marketing sites that’s on the rise. And these stats support that statement.
- 39% of the 500 million LinkedIn users are paying for a premium account. (Omnicore)
- LinkedIn has 670 million members worldwide and over 167 million users in the U.S.
- Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
- 40% of members visit the professional social network each day. (Omnicore)
LinkedIn Groups is a great venue for connecting with professionals in similar industries and share content with like-minded individuals. It’s also great for posting jobs and general employee networking.
So if you want to promote your content, open a Linkedin group by:
1. Clicking on the “work” option at the top right corner
2. Click on the “Groups” widget
3. Click the “Create a new group” button
4. Fill out the form
If you’re already a group owner or manager, you can promote your group by:
- Optimizing and editing your group information to include keywords that prospective members are likely to search for.
- Encouraging group members to invite people.
- Share the Group URL with your connections through an update in your feed or through LinkedIn Messaging. Members can request to join by clicking on the link.
- Advertise your group with LinkedIn Ads by clicking the Advertising link at the bottom of any LinkedIn page.
Once you get approved to join a group, you can share your content or network with people in your niche for more content exposure.
If the group includes some high-value connections, start a relevant conversation with people in that group before you publish and promote the content. Also, you can ask questions to trigger some discussion. Plus, promoting great blog content will help you build more followers.
9. Optimize Your Content for SEO and Promote with Link Building As An Option
Research by HubSpot shows that 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. And a different study by the same company says that organic SEO is about 5.66X better than paid search ads.
If you want to know how to promote content in 2020, optimizing your content for SEO and doing link building is a must. In fact, a study by Orbit Media shows that over 78% of the people surveyed get traffic from SEO.
And when promoting content with SEO, keep in mind the following factors:
- How much competition is there for the keyword you picked?
- Your on-site SEO (i.e., does your title tag in the HTML of the page have the keyword you’re trying to rank for in search engines embedded in it?)
- How great is your content that Google naturally wants to put you on the first page of search results and other people want to link to it?
Remember, from Google’s point of view, it’s always trying to give its users the best possible result based on what they’re searching for. And if Google determines that your content best answers the needs of the searcher, you will move up in the rankings quickly.
When you’re considering multiple keywords to choose from and if you’re not sure how to pick, here are a few tips:
- Focus on ones that are most relevant directly or indirectly to your business.
- Focus on keywords with research intent (you’re not looking to sell visitors yet).
- Focus on keywords relevant to the rough draft title of your article.
- Focus on keywords that are 3-5 words total and have at least 300 searches per month on average.
Once you choose your target keyword with a clear understanding of the competitive SEO landscape, you’ll promote your content online in a more efficient way.
On the other hand, link building can bring significant results to your business. At AutoGrow, we’ve actually seen conversion rates (from emails sent, to links gained) from 5-10%. So depending on the search volume for the keyword you’re targeting, it can dramatically boost your rankings in the search results, your traffic, and the number of inbound leads you collect.
And more importantly, with link building, your site and page will be ranked higher in Google search results, which is likely to send you a steadier stream of traffic than the link itself.
And here are some tips to follow to get links and continuously get traffic from people who click on them.
1. Create a spreadsheet with your top 10 highest ranked articles around your target SEO keyword.
2. Compile contact information for the articles’ authors. Remember to reach out to people effectively, we don’t want to write a generic impersonal email or that in any way can be interpreted as spam.
3. After you have that information compiled, it’s time to send the outreach email message. Here’s the template we use at AutoGrow (note that this is also a two-step email outreach process).
4. When you get responses to the emails that you send out, respond by being helpful and direct.
5. You’ll typically see responses almost immediately. After you get some link-backs, you’ll start to see traffic results within 1-2 weeks. So make sure to make a note with the dates you sent the emails so you can track the results. Keep in mind that results will vary from industry to industry and it’ll depend too on the quality of your content.
Simple enough, right?
Relevant content that‘s useful to your target market is the fuel that goes into your engine. And promoting your content, well, that’s the ignition switch. And when you hit the ignition switch by publishing and promoting your content, you’ll get more site visitors and followers.
Some of those visitors will sign up for your email list, other free offers, and convert immediately into client leads and sales if done right.
But the real difference between the content that gets a few shares and thousands isn’t simply an issue of quality. It’s an issue of marketing—that is, promotion.
The key advantages of doing content promotion are that anyone can do it regardless of the budget. Its effects grow over time, builds an asset, it’s sustainable, and even if you start and stop doing it, the results—traffic—wouldn’t stop immediately, like with ads.
And if you’re still wondering “what if I don’t have a business profile in any of these social media websites?”
The answer is, set up a profile on each social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter). Start following other people and invite your contacts to join your groups so you aren’t starting from scratch. And if you already have an email list, you can boost your likes or follows in 1 day simply by promoting these channels to your existing audience.
And remember, when it comes to posting on social media, what you post is almost as important as in what format you post. Videos will attract more interest from users than social media posts with just plain text.
Go through each of the steps of this ultimate guide, execute them and see how easy it is to do content promotion.
Now tell me something, which of the tactics of this ultimate guide will make you think more strategically? Are you eager to try any of these steps?
Let me know in your comments below.
Keep funnelin’, stay focused.