Content promotion is damned hard work.
There is more content being published than ever before so naturally; it’s more challenging than ever to get noticed.
But there are a bunch of other factors that can cause content to gather dust in some distant corner of the web.
In this post, I’ll show you 5 of the biggest content promotion mistakes and exactly how to fix them.
And, towards the end of this post, you’ll find a list of ideas you can use to help get more eyeballs on your content.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
#5. Using the publish and pray approach
When it comes to getting more eyeballs on your content, the ‘build it and they will come’ approach doesn’t work.
Think about it like this:
You’ve spent hours, days, maybe even weeks on a piece of content.
However long you’ve spent creating it, doesn’t that piece deserve the same amount of time being spent on promoting it?
Otherwise, you’re wasting your time. Sure, you’ll have a stellar piece of content but it just won’t gain traction.
Action point: Divide your time equally between content creation and content promotion.
There’s no doubt that social media is one of the most popular promotional tactics used by content marketers.
But for a lot of websites, it appears to be the only tactic used.
Here’s the problem:
Unless you are an influencer, or you’re using native advertising on platforms like Facebook, the chance of generating worthwhile traffic is incredibly challenging.
Action point: Expand your go-to list of promotional tactics and get as creative as possible (note: towards the end of this post you’ll find a list of ideas you can use).
Considering the significance of promoting content on social media networks, I wanted to share another common problem that ties into what I mentioned previously …
… only sharing content once on your social profiles.
This just isn’t enough and here’s why:
Let’s take Twitter as an example. The ‘half-life’ of a tweet can range between 5-10 minutes for some sites and 15-20 minutes for others.
That means that reaching your followers can be incredibly difficult. And with one tweet, the majority of them will likely miss it.
It’s important to remember that the ‘half-life’ of a social media update will vary depending on which platform you’re using. For example, Instagram posts could be 2-3x longer than tweets and Pins could still have traction after 3+ months.
So, it’s worth considering this when you plan out your social media schedule.
Now, it’s also worth looking at social media management tools with scheduling functionality. Particularly those that offer the option to recycle your social updates – this can save you a lot of time. Although, it’s best to only recycle updates for evergreen content.
Action point: Plan out a set social sharing schedule to use for each post you publish. Share more frequently on networks that have a shorter half-life. This post by CoSchedule is a good reference point.
#2. Leaving content promotion till last
Crafting high-quality content takes a lot of time and effort. So, it’s easy to see why most people leave content promotion till after the content has been created.
It’s one less complication.
But, the harsh truth is that when you bake promotion right into content as you cook it up, the end result will be far sweeter.
Now, let me be clear:
There are times when it makes sense to leave promotion to last. For example, if it’s a short post, you have an effective promotional strategy in place already, or a significant audience you can tap into easily.
But, if you’re working on long-form content that you’ve spent days or weeks on – it really needs to be considered at the beginning.
That way, you can do awesome things like involve influencers in your content. Either from contributing sections of a post or quotes to various other types of collaborations.
So how will this help your content gain more traction?
When other people are invested in the creation of your content, they’ll be more likely to help you make it a success.
And more often than not, you won’t have to ask them to help promote it if your post shows them in a favorable light. They’ll likely do this of their own volition.
The answer is simple. Their audience will perceive them as being more authoritative.
And if they don’t share, at the very least you’ll make your content more engaging and you’ll have expert quotes to back up your key points.
Now, it’s important to mention that influencer marketing can be as simple as saying cool stuff about influencers and letting them know about it. But you’ll get better results if they’ve contributed to your content in some way.
Action point: Map out some ideas on how you can involve influencers in the creation of your next blog post and make the magic happen! A great post on this strategy as a whole is this post on Sumo.com by Jason Quey.
#1. You don’t have a content promotion process (yet)
Have you ever published a blog post and thought ‘ok, now what?’
If the answers yes, then you need a clearly defined process to power your promotional efforts.
It doesn’t have to be too complicated – a simple checklist can work wonders here.
For example, your checklist may start off with quick wins like:
- Email your subscribers.
- Schedule social media updates (multiple updates).
- Submit to StumbleUpon, Scoop.it, Flipboard and other platforms.
- Submit to Quuu.
- Submit to popular social bookmarking sites in your niche (e.g. N4G for gaming or Hacker News for startups/tech).
- Buy native ads on social networks (Facebook and StumbleUpon can work well but ensure you have a sales funnel in place to claw back your ad spend).
Then there’ll be more time-consuming tactics such as:
- Create plenty of snippets to share on social media.
- Emailing influencers that contributed or were mentioned/linked to.
- Reach out to bloggers in your niche that publish roundups and recommend your post.
- Answer relevant questions on Quora and link back to your post.
- Repurpose your content into another format, such as a Slideshare presentation or video.
- Add links to your new content within old blog posts.
Action point: Use the ideas above to start formulating your own content promotion checklist. This will give you a quick and easy process to follow for your next piece of content.
We’ve talked through some of the main mistakes most folks make when promoting content. And we’ve talked through how to avoid them.
I’ll leave you with this:
Successful content promotion requires a robust process that starts before you’ve created your content.
Sure, you need a solid strategy. But you also need the right mix of tactics that will enable you to put your content in front of the people that’ll want to read it.
Now, the big question is:
How will you promote your next piece of content? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!