What do you do after you hit “publish”?
Head on to your social channels and promote your latest blog post, white paper or e-book, right? Maybe even schedule your post to repeat a few times. You know, to make sure everyone in your network sees it.
That’s great, but not enough.
In the era when the Facebook organic reach for business pages is close to zero and the other social networks are suffocated by thousands of posts in every conceivable industry every day, you need more.
A lot more.
What if your content is a pinnacle of SEO-friendliness, you ask?
Well, that’s amazing and kudos to you! If you’re in an incredibly low-competition industry, acing your optimization and social sharing might be enough.
But if you’re not, then…it’s not!
Luckily, there are ways to promote content that don’t involve social shares. Yes, tons of them.
10 Ways to Promote Content besides Social Sharing
Most content creators have a secret hope: that each blog post they write will be so good that it will immediately be shared and retweeted by thousands, nay, tens of thousands of people. Wouldn’t that be great?
Here’s the thing, though, there are A LOT of blog posts published every day. I know that “a lot” (ironically) doesn’t mean much, so I went to Worldometers and got an exact number for you. [The almost 4 million blog posts were published in a regular Tuesday afternoon – the day I checked.]
This means that even if you write amazingly good content, there’s a good chance that no one will discover it unless you help them do so.
This is actually a question I receive quite often from the Idunn copywriting clients: “How do I promote content?”
You see, for some of our clients, we take care of their end-to-end content marketing (content promotion included). For others, we just take care of the writing part. Naturally, the latter type of clients are left with what they know to be great content on their hands, but with no idea about how to promote it effectively.
So I put together this (not even close to complete) list of ways to promote content efficiently. We have successfully used them either for ourselves or for our customers, so we can vouch for each of them:
Share it with Your Email List
This may be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people delve into complicated ways to promote content and forget about the one at their fingertips: sharing every new piece of content with their email contacts.
Bonus: if you really want to attract the right readers, try personalized emails. They have a 6.2% higher open rate than non-personalized ones. This means going beyond your usual list segmentation and send a custom email to a few valuable contacts on your list. Make a short summary of the piece of content you are promoting and explain why you think they may like or need it.
And if you don’t have a good email list yet, check out this article on 19 ways to build one.
Use Your Email Signature
Yes, your email signature may often get overlooked. But not always.
When I added an email signature, I had the great surprise of having old clients tell me they didn’t even know I blogged regularly. Talk about an oversight!
Through my signature, they found out about my blog and subscribed to it. Plus, every new person I email gets to see it.
My email signature promotes the Idunn blog. But if you’re extra proud of one of your recent pieces of content, you can add a link to it, instead of a generic blog one. Rinse and repeat whenever you have a new killer blog post!
Use Inbound Linking as Much as Possible
See what I did above – linked to the article about building an email list? That’s a great way to promote content, even if it’s not your newest blog post.
In fact, I would urge you not to forget about your older blog posts. They can be a true treasure trove for your traffic. According to HubSpot, compounding blog posts’ value increases over time. They may end up accounting for up to 38% of your entire blog traffic.
Image via HubSpot
In other words, a compounding blog post can be as valuable to you as 10 fresh ones. Take a look at your analytics tool – you’ll easily discover your compounding blog posts. And, even if they are older, dust them off a bit and then show them off to the world again. You could update (add new text and refresh the links and research you used) and then start linking to them in your new blog posts again and sharing them via social media or email.
Guest posting isn’t just a great way to promote content, but also to boost your influencer reach and brand awareness. But since most platforms that accept guest bloggers demand original content, how can you promote your own website or blog?
Well, there’s the super easy way – in your piece for the third-party platform, link to one or more of your blog posts, depending on the platform’s guidelines. You can also promote your own blog and website in the by-line if linking is not allowed.
When it comes to promotional content, you can actually write an entire article about your amazing piece for the platform you are guest blogging on. However, please note that you shouldn’t take the words “premium content” lightly.
If you put together an amazing research report or conducted a study that is of interest for a lot of people, then go ahead and promote it in a dedicated article. Otherwise, refrain from it.
You will look desperate and, most likely, your submission will not be accepted. Make sure that your content truly brings something to the table and it’s not just a highly-promotional white paper.
One last thing here: guest blogging is literally building your home on someone else’s land. Yes, you can promote content with it and gain more traction in your industry, but don’t expect results after a single published post. Much like everything related to content and content marketing, you have to be consistent to get results.
Ask for a Quote from an Influencer (or Several)
There’s no better way to promote content than to have more than one person or company push it forward on its internet journey. For your next blog post, ask for a quote from someone well-respected in your industry. You can reach out via social media or email.
The best thing about this is that you will be shooting two birds with one stone. Every expert loves to be treated as such (this doesn’t mean that all of them have the time to answer, so cast a wide net). Plus, you can be sure they’ll also share your post mentioning them with their audience.
Reach Out to an Influencer
…but don’t ask for a quote this time.
If you read an article mentioning something you’ve also tackled in one of your posts, reach out to the author and ask them if they would like to include a link to your article.
Also, if you prepare industry statistics and reports, be sure to spread the word as soon as they come out. Reach out to influencers who might quote them in their content. In your email or message, give them a short overview of your findings and a link to download or read the entire version.
Again, only promote content that is truly useful this way. If you write an average blog post, it won’t even be read, let alone linked to.
However, if you have a great piece of content, it will definitely spread. Just take a look at how this goes for HubSpot’s State of Inbound or the research reports Content Marketing Institute releases regularly.
Mention a Brand, then Mention You Mentioned it
I recently wrote two blog posts with lists of excellent tools that we tried at Idunn: a list of tools to help you generate blog titles and another list of social listening tools. I have already started reaching out to the companies responsible for these tools to let them know they made my list.
In the past, this strategy yielded great success for us. Everyone is happy to see their work appreciated. And of course they will share the article and even link to it on their website on occasion. You won’t just promote content and your hard work this way, you’ll also create new connections and possibly even new friends!
Every time you mention an influencer or a brand, give them a heads up. It’s very easy to miss links to your website, so be sure yours doesn’t get looked over.
Submit Your Post to a Relevant Community
Here’s the catch: when you promote content on such platforms, make sure they are relevant. You don’t have to submit every single thing you write (although it may be tempting).
Also, note that such communities have rules and standards. Try to be active and a valuable member of the community instead of using it as a dumping ground for your articles.
Engage with other posts, leave comments and be sure to link to websites other than your own. Again, you don’t want to look desperate (or have your account shut down!).
Use Paid Ads
We all know that the era of organic reach for Facebook pages is gone. So you might consider using even a smidge of budget to promote your articles there.
Even more, you can also use remarketing ads to promote content or get leads.
And you don’t need to stop at Facebook ads. AdWords are also a great way to bring in some new leads and qualified readers. Outbrain and Taboola can also be great options if you have the budget for them.
I don’t recommend spending a fortune on this. Gaining links and social shares through quality content is always preferable. But a $10 budget for each new article you write can be a great way to see what’s working and what’s not from the get go.
Use Content Syndication
Once again, only do this for your top articles: submit them to platforms that accept syndicated content. Yes, it can be that easy. But only if the content is good enough, mind you.
Promote content that is relevant to their readers, not every single article you churn out. Trying to get in through the door by any means necessary will most likely get you labeled as a spammer.
Bonus content promotion trick: Repurpose Content
You can always reach new audiences with different types of content. A blog post can turn into an infographic, a webinar into a series of blog posts, a white paper into a slide deck and so on.
Repurposing content entails minimal content, but can yield great results. For instance, those who don’t have time to read long-form blog posts will gladly scan infographics. Or they may listen to a podcast.
Check out my guide on content repurposing. Then look above to see how you can promote your brand-new piece of content!
I encourage you to experiment as much as possible with this. When you repurpose content frequently, you will also find it easy to come up with new ways of promoting is. Plus, nothing beats working less and getting more results, am I right?
Content promotion isn’t just nice to have, it’s mandatory. Even if your social channels bring you enough readers [does such a thing as “enough readers” exist?] and leads, why not experiment with new ways to promote content. When you reach new audiences, the potential of gaining new customers and life-long readers is immense!