Content Promotion is the game that everyone plays when they have produced a piece of content and they want it to be read in the big wide world.
You can search for how to promote your content and there are thousands of articles that you can read online as you can see in the screenshot below.
I expect there are a great many books and gorge yourself on. Content Promotion has become a topic in its own right!
The reason being is that, in today’s congested online world, how you promote your content can make all the difference. But, and I say but, with all of these strategies and promotion tactics, how do you stand out? How do you reach your target audience?
If you follow the core principals laid out in the articles, described content promotion becomes a bit like chucking mud against a wall and hoping that some of it sticks. My belief is that whilst that approach might work to some extent, it’s becoming harder to find a clear bit of wall and that means that your content isn’t going to go as far as you want it too.
If that is your approach to content promotion, then I would seriously ask you to stop and ask yourself the following questions.
Who are you trying to reach?
Within your content marketing strategy, you should already understand what your target customer looks like. You may have considered some demographics within that definition along with other aspects such as sex, income and interests.
It might be that your target customer is a business, consider the industry and size of the business. Take the time to write this out and have it clearly defined.
Once you know who you are trying to reach, you ask yourself the next question.
Where will I find them?
So, you have now got your target in mind, where are they? Are they local? Do you need them to be local and not nationally based for example? Is your target customer a business or a consumer? I ask all these questions because all these factors come into play when considering where your customers can be found both physically and online.
Consider the following examples: -
Target — Large business with high turnover to the size of a blue-chip organisation
Online — associated online industry websites, forums, LinkedIn
Target — Consumer, within 25 miles, homeowner
Online — Local news websites, google my business, Facebook regional & local groups
Target — B2B, national & international small business owners
Online — associated online industry websites, Facebook small business groups, Twitter
These are very basic examples. You are likely to have a broader selection of channels to consider and you should also factor in physical aspects. You might think this isn’t practical with content promotion but if you have a shop, for example, you might consider leaflet distribution to help share your content.
Through all of this, the point I am making is work smart. The mud chucking brigade are sending tweets out all the time, posting to every social media platform all day long in the hope they get some traction. Yes, sometimes it works, but I can assure you the effort it takes is huge and often the returns are just not there.
How & when are you going to reach them?
Okay, you have clarified who and where your audience is located. It’s time to put that into an article distribution plan.
An article distribution plan is essentially a workflow that maps out the flow of how and when you will distribute the content.
Why do you need an article distribution plan?
Work smarter, not harder! I will assume that you are building an email list, and logically email subscribers should be treated as customer gold. The reason is that they have made a commitment to you, yes it is only an email address but it’s still a commitment. Do they want to read about your latest content via a tweet or Facebook post? How would feel if you read about the new content via a tweet, only to get an email a day later!
So, an article distribution plan enables you to define a flow, and that ensures you prioritize who gets the first communication on the content and so on.
In the example above, you have a flow that not only details the initial distribution, but also the ongoing promotion of the post. With the scale of social media today you need to be prepared to play the long game.
What Is A Marketing Pack?
A marketing pack is where you prepare and pull together all the additional elements you will need when it comes to promoting your content.
I would focus on the following aspects within the marketing pack.
Every time you publish a new article, your email subscribers should be the first to know about it. There are lots of articles on what this should look like, what works and doesn’t work. But in my experience, this email should be as personable as you can make it.
No glossy images. Just a simple text email that talks to the person about why they should follow the link to the article. Take the time to draft it, review it and write it again to get it right.
The meta description is important to your readers for a couple of reasons.
1. The meta description is the text that appears in the snippet when someone conducts a Google search.
2. The description is also used within a social media post when you post a link to the article.
On both occasions, these words are the words that the can persuade the reader to click the link and read the article. So, the words are very important. The text needs to tease the reader with a taste of how reading this article will help them and it also needs to include a call to action. The call to action prompts the customer to read the article. This might be as simple as Learn more.
The length of this is difficult to give a straight answer to now. Google has recently changed the snippet length for 160 characters to 320 characters. However, this doesn’t appear to be universal, so I would work on the short character count for now.
Social Media Text
When you start to share your post within social media, you will be given the opportunity to offer an additional comment above the article. Rather than just repeat the headline, offer an additional point that teases the reader.
In addition, if you are posting to multiple groups or tweets consider writing alternative headlines. This gives variation to your posts and possibly offer you a second bite at hooking that reader.
Off You Go And Don’t Forget To Measure!
Article ready, distribution plan ready, go for it. One last point though, measure what happens. Every point of the distribution plan should be measured to assess its impact. We produced a helpful infographic on this recently. Multiple posts with different headlines might offer you some insights as to type of headlines work better.
What time you post is another metric to assess. Every audience is different and what suits your mindset might not agree with your audience. Measure and learn.
Mudslinging can work, it can. But your competitors are fighting for your audience as well.
This means you need to work smart.
Taking the time to step back, consider who your target audience is, identify where they are likely to be found will give you the foundations to build a article distribution plan that works.
If you don’t measure it, how can you manage it. Change is taking place rapidly in the online world and if you don’t validate and check your metrics you will miss this and the end result will be content won’t be read.
How do you promote your content and what do you do differently?
Originally published at www.influence-media.co.uk.