How to Promote Your Content Beyond Simple Sharing

content sharingHey, you! Yes, you! Are you getting the attention your content deserves?

If you are a business owner, you’d want the best ROI that you invested in your content. Whether that’s a blog post, an ebook, or a case study that you are so proud of, nothing markets itself.  Without promotion, your blog post is just a bunch of text floating around the internet, waiting to be read.

However, we don’t call ourselves digital marketers by just sitting in front of computer screens wishing and praying, right? We are highly strategic individuals and we are all about plans and processes. We love to experiment. We maximize our resources. We are relentless.  We are awesome like that.

So, how does a good marketer promote content?

Few weeks ago, I was given a chance to share my knowledge on this particular topic at PeepCon, which was held at The Heritage Hotel, Manila. PeepCon is a non-profit digital marketing conference organized by Glen Dimaandal, Inc., a fast-rising SEO Company based in Pasig City, Philippines. (A massive shout out to Glen for this humbling opportunity to speak in front of the greatest marketing minds in the country! Thank you!)

If you missed it, you’re in for a treat. I’m going to spill all the goods right here.

Did you know that whenever you post your content on social media, only 5% of your audience sees it? Question is, how are you going to get the word out to the remaining 95%?

Let’s start by identifying your target audience. Think about the people you wrote that piece of content for. What specific group of people will benefit from it? This is the preliminary step. Once you figured this out, it’s time to pour yourself a good cup of coffee because this is where the real work comes in.

There are three ways your audience discovers your content.

  • Owned Media
  • Paid Media
  • Earned Media

Owned Media

In social media marketing, owned media simply refers to your company’s social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.

In order for you to effectively acquire readers through your owned social media, you need to create a strong social media promotion plan.

Here’s a sample social media promotion schedule from CoSchedule:

Social Media Time Line

As you can see, they’ve come up with a few trigger points on when to post your content. This means your content will not only be promoted on the day it was published.

This one’s simple. People spend too much on writing and then forget to promote their written content properly. Most of them think that once you’ve published it on your website, it will automatically (or magically!) drive traffic or get the audience’s attention. But that’s a big no, no. No matter how beautiful and meaningful your content is, if you fail to promote it properly, well, your efforts will just go to waste.

Let us take a look at this example:

Social Media Promotion

This was a blog post that was published last February and it garnered around 2,000 views, but looking at 2 days after it was posted,  it only got 1-10 views. Since it’s an evergreen content, I tried promoting it again every 2 weeks and it gained at least 1,000+ views every single time. Just imagine what re-promoting does to your audience reach?

A blog post  can’t advertise on its own, remember that.

Paid Media

Now, time to integrate your paid media to your content marketing.

Paid social media traffic allows you to target a specific audience and increase your social media reach, or the estimated number of people exposed to your content.

By allocating a portion of your marketing dollars for paid social media traffic, you are sure that the content you’re promoting will reach the right people at the right time.

You can acquire paid social media traffic through social media ads such as:

  • Facebook Ads. Facebook ads are one of the most used and sought after when it comes to paid promotions. Basically what Facebook does is that it allows marketers to have easy access for both conventional posts and the typical ads. It can help you save time and effort when it comes to targeting your desired audience through different categories. When you want to promote content, you just have to simply give focus to people who shows interest in WordPress, blogging or employees of media entities.
  • Twitter Ads. Twitter has invented a new way of advertising, which online marketers could easily grasp. It lets your ad meet related tweets. Meaning if your ads focus on selling cupcakes, tweets related to cupcakes will be then matched or linked to your ad. So in this manner, you will be given a bigger chance to get more clicks on your ad.
  • LinkedIn Ads. This is a self- service solution for advertisers which allows users to create and place ads on top searched pages on the LinkedIn website. People can see ads and they are even able to click and visit the landing page. You can also limit the type of members who can see your ads based on your desired target market.
  • StumbleUpon Ads. StumbleUpon Ads are called a content discovery engine. It is basically a search engine and bookmarking site all put together in one. Using StumbleUpon is best if you wish to give exposure to your content online. It may be your website per se, a blog post, a video, podcast or infographics. It sounds easy but the real secret here, in order to get a lot of traffic, is to have the right type of content and choosing the right type of audience. This also lets you buy the number of clicks at the lowest available price available in the market.
  • YouTube Ads.  There are many ways to advertise a product. But what is more effective than having video ads? YouTube ads are one of the most effective advertising strategies in the online marketing business. Aside from being able to post it anywhere within your website, it can also be seen inserted in trending videos in the YouTube website itself. Like the Twitter Ads, YouTube Ads also meet up with relevant searches. For example, your company sells shampoo and you have an online shampoo commercial, your ad will then be linked to a video in YouTube which features women, long hair, pretty girls, etc. Plus, your video advertisement will appear on related videos featured in YouTube.
  • Reddit Ads. Reddit Ads are somewhat similar to Stumble Upon Ads. They have plans for the lowest prices and targets people of a certain demographic. Most targeted audiences belong to your professional class for more chances of getting conversions.

It’s important to note that each social network has its own advertising guidelines, so make sure you abide by their specific guidelines to achieve ROI.

Another lesser known paid advertisement that will surely add up to your content’s exposure is to reach out to influencers to tweet or share your links, impacting the reach and recognition your pieces receive.

Earned Media

Similar to word of mouth, earned media is acquired by creating content that is worth sharing. However, it doesn’t stop there. To gain more exposure, you have to create a community and build beneficial relationships around you.

The power of friendships

Your connections are as valuable as your time and money. If there is something I’ve learned in marketing and in business that I wish I’ve learned earlier, it is the importance of having great connections. We marketers are so focused on getting a lot of reach, followers and other “vanity metrics” that we forget to create a solid network of people we can rely on.

Let me ask you this, if I ask you now to name 5 people who would be happy to share your post, would you be able to name 5? How about 10? 30?

Can you? A few years back my answer was NO. I can’t and I felt bad about it. I mean I already have what 10,000+ followers back then but I can’t even name 30. I don’t know anyone in the local scene. I know a few but we were not that close for me to approach them confidently. I learned it the hard way. I realize that it’s not about the quantity; it is about quality of people that you associate yourself or your brand with. Thousands of followers mean nothing if they won’t even care who you are.

More than just networking I want you to build relationships. I want you to get to know the people around you. I want you to constantly get in touch and stay in touch with them.

Why it matters?

I heard this from Noah Kagan once and I totally agree with him – relationships are like gardens. If you don’t water the flowers, they’ll wither and die.

Take note, a few weeks ago, I talked about this to a little less than 200 people. There were familiar faces, people I’ve met from different events in the previous years. But, you know what, more than a year ago, I was just one of them, sitting there watching different speakers talk in front. I didn’t know most of them except for my friend I was with.

PeepCon Heritage Manila

I tried my best to keep in touch with all the people I’ve met in every possible way from these conferences (especially MorCon 2013). I get in touch with them every time I have a chance. I comment on their posts, share their articles, meet them on other events. You’ll be surprised how people can be generous by sharing your content because of the appreciation you have for their work.

In a nutshell, the quality of your relationships with peers in the industry you belong has a significant impact in your earned media. Make sure that you make genuine connections with the right people and make it a point to nurture  these new-found relationships.

And remember this – great things come to those who hustle.

Thank you!

Grab My Presentation on Slideshare:

7 thoughts on “How to Promote Your Content Beyond Simple Sharing”

  1. Hey Valerie,

    I couldn’t agree more with your statements. I made the mistake myself of not promoting content I’ve written weeks or even months ago, and since I started doing so, I see solid traffic increases.

    Your post reminds me of a discussion with Brian Dean from Backlinko. He spends roughly 30% time creating his content and 70% promoting it. I think too many people make the mistake to flip that equation upside down.

    Keep up the great work!

    • I totally agree – too many people make the mistake to flip that equation upside down. 🙁

      Brian Dean reminds me of Derek Halpern’s 80/20 rule. Create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you created. 🙂

      Thanks, Jan.

  2. Hi Valerie,

    You’re right – we need to spend more time promoting existing content and new content than we spend creating more posts. There are other ways besides social media advertising. They still cost money, but you pay once to get content well established instead of paying for as long as you want to promote. If you’re curious connect with me and I’ll elaborate. We can always use more collaborators – especially with analytical skills.


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