Friday, 30 October 2015

6 Actionable Content Promotion Strategies You Can Use Today

This is a guest contribution from Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard.
Have you ever published a piece of content and watched it flat-line?
Putting all of your effort into content which can help others, but you just can’t seem to drive enough traffic to it.
We’ve all been there.
So what’s the solution?
It all comes down to effective content promotion and in this post you’ll find some highly actionable tips that you can use to promote any piece of content more effectively.
Let’s dive in!

Identify hot topics in your niche

Content promotion starts right at the beginning, when you’re planning your piece of content.
This ensures that when your content is published, it has a solid foundation.
The reality is that there are certain topics that people just aren’t interested in, and others that are hot button topics that spark engagement, sharing and all of the traffic that follows.
So how can you identify these hot topics?
1) Identify which content people are sharing the most
Start off by making a list of your biggest competitors, then use BuzzSumo to find which of their blog posts are being shared the most.
Now pull out a small list of the most shared topics from your different competitors and you’ll have a good idea of which top level topics to cover.
2) Identify which content people are linking to the most
Looking at the most shared content is one avenue, but the one most people forget is figuring out which pieces of content are being linked to the most.
This is a significant indicator of topics popularity, providing your competitors are not engaging in any shady link building practices.
To do this, you’ll need to use a backlink analyser. I prefer to use Ahrefs, it is a paid tool but you can still get some actionable data from their free version.
Just type in the website in question, click “Top Content” on the left hand side and then click the “RD” column and you’ll find a list of the websites pages/posts ranked in order of which has the most referring domains.
Once you’ve collected the topics which are being linked to most, you can combine them with the list of most shared topics to create a more detailed list of ideas for your content plan.

Invite influencers to contribute to your content

There are people who have influence over your target audience.
You can put together a strategy to build relationships with these key influencers. And in time, that relationship will help you to expand your readership.
But, the key here is to focus on building mutually beneficial relationships – helping is essential to creating good will.
So how can you get started?
  • Identify who you want to build a relationship with – You may have a good idea who to connect with already, if you don’t tools like Inkybee and Ninja Outreach can help you (they’ll also help you throughout the process).
  • Connect with them – Follow them on Twitter, share their content, comment on their blog or even send them an email without asking them to do anything for you (hint: It works even better if you help them out with something).
  • Ask them for a quote or answer to a question – This will give your content some added social proof and the influencer will be far more likely to share your post with their audience as they’ve contributed to it directly.
  • Let them know when the post is live – If they don’t know the post is live, they probably won’t share it. So let them know and make it easy for them to share but don’t hassle them to share (that’s a sure-fire way to burn a relationship before it’s had chance to develop).
When you put the time and effort into creating a smart strategy to leverage the influence of others, you can see some impressive results. Groove used a similar approach to get 1,000+ subscribers from a single blog post in 24 hours.

Leverage online communities in your niche

The holy grail of content promotion is finding exactly where your target audience hangs out in large groups.
But, the idea isn’t that you find a great online community and start dropping your links everywhere – that’ll do more harm than good.
Instead, focus on becoming part of the community. Help others by sharing their content and answering their questions.
Focus on networking with others in that community and then you can start thinking about promotion (just without dropping links to your content all over the place).
This works best when the people you’ve built relationships with share your content without you having to ask – help enough people and publish the right content and this will happen.
How to get started with online communities
The web is full of online communities, which includes everything from Facebook and Google+ groups to online forums.
Below are a few to get you started:
  • org – Marketing
  • com – Growth Hacking
  • com – Business
  • com – Films
  • com – Gaming

Share to social networks at the right time

Sharing your content to social networks should be done no matter what, but aside from growing your followers on a network like Twitter, how can you get more traction from the following you have right now?
Here’s the answer:
Share to your followers at the right times.
So how can you do this?
First of all, forget about every infographic that you’ve seen which tells you when the best time to share is.
It’s someone else’s data – not yours.
If you want to figure out the best time to share on social networks, you need to use the right tools to help you.
This will ensure that your data is used instead of someone else’s.
The great news is that there are some free tools which can help you here such as Timing+ for Google+ and Tweriod for Twitter.

Repurpose your content for a different audience

We all have different preferences when it comes to content consumption.
Some people prefer written content, some like videos and others prefer podcasts.
If you’re just publishing one type of content, you can easily expand your audience by repurposing your existing content into something else.
Let’s say you’re publishing blog posts, you could turn a blog post into an infographic.
For example, last year I published a group interview which was detailed and while it performed extremely well (it got over 2K social shares), the information was difficult to consume as it took so long to read.
With the help of 24 Slides and TweakYourBiz, we published an infographic which featured trimmed down responses from each expert.
What about the results?
Just by repurposing an existing post, we were able to expose it to 30,000+ more people. Not bad right?
Here are a few other content types you could use:
  • Slideshare presentation
  • Audio/Podcast
  • Video
  • Instructographic
  • Emails
  • Ebooks
  • Courses
The possibilities are endless.

Use paid traffic to give your content a boost

“Free traffic” does not exist.
This is because even if you aren’t investing money, you’re investing your time.
And that’s valuable!
There’s only so much time you have to spare so more often than not, buying cheap (but targeted) traffic can be a great way of seeding your content and driving more eye-balls to your blog.
If you only have time to invest then you might want to avoid paid traffic for a while.
However, when you have some budget to play with, it’s an option worth considering.
Especially when you can use the likes of Outbrain and StumbleUpon to get highly targeted traffic without breaking the bank.
It requires testing and you might find traffic prices change from one niche to another, but don’t discount it because it can be immensely effective.

Putting it all together

We’ve talked through some specific content promotion strategies and all of them can have a significant impact on the success of your next piece of content.
The key is to take one strategy, try it out and see how well it works for you.
The truth is that certain strategies will work better in different niches but it’s essential that if one doesn’t work for you, you ask yourself the important question – WHY doesn’t it work?
Most people quickly try out something and give up too soon.
It may be that you need to approach the strategy in a different way or give it more time to reap the rewards.
So, now I have a question for you – which content promotion strategies have been most successful for you?
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