In the previous post I wrote about how ‘content is king’ but the honest truth is that even if you create the best content in the world, you’ll rule over a kingdom of no one and nothing if you don’t promote that content the right way.
We live in a world that is saturated with content, and the ones whose businesses will succeed online are those who know how to play (and win) the battle for eyeballs.
And that’s exactly why I’ve created this post – to help you discover some of the most effective ways of promoting your content online so it’s found by all the right people.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Content Promotion Strategies: Optimizing Blog Posts
Setting up your content to be seen organically, and shared, is some of the best promotion work that you can do.
When you optimize your posts properly from the beginning, you give your content a better chance of getting shared from each new eyeball that lands on your blog.
Tip #1: Put More Focus On Practical Topics
According to recent studies, showing people how to do something they want to achieve is a reliable way of getting shares.
This means that your content has to be helpful and give practical advice that is backed either by research or examples that prove what you are suggesting works.
Use statistics, numbers, case studies, and so on.
Tip #2: Determine The Best Times For Publishing Your Content
This type of information is widely available online in various case studies, white papers, and all sorts of other articles, but in addition to conducting that research, you will have to test for yourself which times are the best for your particular business.
Use your analytics suite to determine when your audience is at their most engaged.
Your reports will show you when your site has the most users, and you can also check your engagement on social media to find out when your ideal audience is at their most active online.
Then, use that information to schedule your blog posts to be published during peak hours.
Tip #3: Create Comprehensive Content
This is one of the best tactics to get shares. When your work is better than the other stuff out there, it’s easy to get shares.
Create evergreen, in-depth content that never goes out of style and you’ll be able to get traffic from it for years or decades to come.
This is not to say that your content should simply be longer than that of your competition, but you do need to approach your chosen topics with a fresh perspective and ensure that you cover information in a unique and comprehensive way.
Tip #4: Craft Magnetic Headlines
Every marketer knows just how important headlines are to the success of any blog post.
Upworthy writes a lot of headlines (at least 25) for each and every post that they publish, and then they test the headlines against each other to find the winner.
Of course, most bloggers don’t have the resources to do this on such a scale, but you can still give your content the best chance of getting seen by using some of the best practices for writing powerful headlines.
The most effective headline formulas typically include lists, questions, and how to topics.
This is something that you cannot ignore because headlines have the power to make or break your article. If you need help crafting headlines, check out this post on How To Write Powerful, Compelling Headlines That Increase Blog Traffic.
Tip #5: Come Up With An Engaging Introduction To Your Article
Most people who read your headline won’t click on it, and of those that do, not many will read past that first paragraph.
This is a sad but true fact that shows just how attention-starved our digital economy has become.
It’s also the reason why you need to ensure that your headlines and introductions are as attention-grabbing as possible so that you hook your readers early on and get them to become invested in your content.
The topic of writing introductions that are captivating is one that probably needs its own dedicated article to cover fully, but here are some ideas that you can test:
- Get right to the point:
Or as the journalists say, get right to the meat of the matter.
This means you should cut out the fat – all the fluff and other unnecessary bits and just get right to the heart of the post and make good on your headline’s promise.
- Empathize with your reader:
If your post is about a common issue or challenge in your industry, you yourself may have suffered from it, so put yourself in your readers’ shoes and replay that time while you were living out the problem.
- Begin with a fact:
If there is some new or interesting information that you can share about the topic, then the introduction is a great place to do it.
Find something that your reader isn’t likely to have read before and add it in to hook them and get them to read the rest of the article.
Tip #6: Ask Your Audience To Share Your Article
Data shows that simply asking your readers to share your post with any of their friends who could benefit from the content is actually a very effective way of promoting your posts and increases share rates by almost double.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
Just add something simple at the end of your article such as:
‘If you enjoyed reading this article, please share it with a friend who could benefit from ‘.
Tip #7: Add Image-Sharing Buttons
In addition to the direct CTA (call-to-action) at the end of your post, make sure your images are easy to share.
If you’re going to take all that time to source, resize, and upload high-quality images to complement your content, then why not encourage as many shares as possible? There are a lot of free plugins like Sumo and Social Warfare that can take care of all this for you.
Those are the top 7 tips for optimizing blog posts. Now let’s take a look at some of the email strategies that you can use to effectively promote your blog posts.
Tip #8: Build A List Of Subscribers
Focusing on your list is one of the most important things to do, particularly when you’re first getting started with your site.
A list of email subscribers is basically the only source of traffic that you’re always going to have total control over.
Tip #9: Email Your Subscribers Each Time You Publish Awesome Content
There are those who believe that you should only send out weekly newsletters as opposed to sending out one for each and every post you publish. One option isn’t necessarily better than the other.
It all depends on your particular audience.
If you publish posts on your blog infrequently, then it’s obviously a great idea to email your contacts every time a new article is released to let them know that there’s something fresh on your site that they should check out.
On the other hand, if you publish regularly on a fixed schedule, then you may want to opt for the weekly newsletter update as opposed to emailing out each post you publish.
But, as with everything else when it comes to creating content, the only way that you’ll know for sure what your audience responds to is by conducting rigorous tests.
Tip #10: Plain Text or HTML Emails?
Research has shown that in almost all types of industries, plain text emails outperform HTML-enhanced emails.
Adding a visual into new post emails decreases the open rates by up to 3.5% while the CTR (click-through rate) increases by 2.12%.
Given the small percentage of people who actually open emails, it may be better to go with the higher opens and slightly fewer clickthroughs.
Tip #11: Re-send Email To People Who Didn’t Open The First One
Even for those (lucky) marketers whose open rates are as high as 50% or more, it still means that at least half the people on your list aren’t opening your emails.
Focus on the people who didn’t open the email you sent so that you can increase your chances of getting them engaged. Your email marketing software will allow you to isolate those people and send them another email.
Just be sure to use a different subject line this time.
It’s an unavoidable fact that some people on your list just aren’t going to read your emails. But, for some of those who didn’t open the first email, their reason may simply be that they didn’t resonate with your original title.
This means that by sending out the same email with a different subject line, you might be able to hook them.
Tip #12: Email Automation
These days email marketing providers heavily leverage automation, and you should, too.
For instance, you can keep tabs on which content on your website is the most popular with your audience by installing a tracker.
You can then use email automation for sending targeted content to readers to increase engagement. This sort of intelligent automation is very effective for increasing your open rates, shares, and overall engagement from your audience.
Tip #13: Put Links To Your Blog In Your Email Signature
The little things really add up over time when it comes to promoting your content.
Something simple such as keeping your email signature updated with your latest blog content can go a very long way – particularly if an influencer sees your content and shares it.
Use a tool like WiseStamp to help you keep your email signature updated easily.
That brings us to the end of our promotion strategies to help you get the word out using email.
In the next section, we look at how you can promote your content based on community engagement.
Tip #14: Join Communities That Are Related To Your Industry
This is one of the quickest ways to get the momentum going on a new piece of content.
Share your content in communities that are related to your industry:
- Niche Forums
- Upvote Communities
- And so on
The only issue with this type of strategy is that it requires you to put in some work before you can even share your first piece of content. These types of communities are very sensitive to opportunistic sharers and spammers.
They tend to sniff them out like bloodhounds, which means that you need to be an actual member, and take part in the discussions long before you even think about sharing content on those platforms.
This is not a bad thing as it helps to build your reputation in that community as well as position you as an authority on your subject.
Tip #15: Use The Forums In Your Niche
If you don’t think that you have enough patience to carry out the strategy outlined above, then you could try to answer questions on general sites like Quora or niche-specific forums instead.
The trick here is simply to answer questions that are related to whatever your new piece of published content is about.
You could drive tons of traffic to your site without spamming.
Don’t just throw in quick answers and sloppily paste a link to your article. Instead, take the time to answer the question as fully as possible, then mention you have a post covering the question in more depth.
Tip #16: Make Powerful Friends
In all industries, there are those major players who can make or break content just by sharing it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that those people are unreachable, and so never try to do so.
Cultivate relationships with as many power players in your niche as you can over time.
Re-share their articles, respond to their email newsletters with in-depth, value-packed emails, and engage with them on social media.
Over time, they will recognize your name, and value your ideas, which will ultimately lead to them sharing your content. You could then line up opportunities for guest posts, cross-promotion, and much more.
This brings us to the end of our post.
In future posts, we’ll continue with the other strategies that use Social Media, Outreach, and Partnerships, as well as other miscellaneous strategies for content promotion. So Stay Tuned!
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Updated: Originally published November 5th 2018