6 Common Content Promotion Mistakes To Avoid

Published 16/02/2024
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Learn how to avoid the top 6 content promotion mistakes that can derail your content marketing efforts. From lack of strategy to not fully understanding your audience and promotion channels - read on.
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We all know that content marketing can be transformative for your business if done right. A well researched and robust content marketing strategy helps you engage your audience, increase brand awareness, build trust and much more. 

But it only works when people actually see the content you’re creating. And that’s where content promotion comes in.

Content promotion is a key part of any content marketing strategy. Promoting your content is how you make sure it gets in front of your ideal audience in the places they hang out and in the formats they engage with the most. 

Without it, your content has little chance of ever being seen.

Unfortunately, many businesses still get this step wrong and often put more emphasis on creating content than promoting it. 

Look, we totally understand that you might be under a lot of pressure to keep churning out more and more content, but that needs to change if you want to see better results. 

Content promotion needs to find a permanent place in your weekly schedule.

So, from not doing it enough (or at all), to not knowing your audience, here’s a short list of the most common content promotion mistakes.

1. Promoting Your Content Without A Strategy

You need to have a solid plan in place to make sure your content promotion efforts are as effective as possible. Promoting your content only when you “find the time” here and there won’t yield the results you're after (“Lack of time” was the number 1 reason content marketers didn’t promote their content enough in 2023).

So, before promoting your content, ask yourself (and answer in as much detail) these questions:

  • What goals do you want to achieve by promoting this content? Eg. Do you want to increase conversions or boost brand awareness?
  • Where are you going to promote the content? Decide on what distribution channels you want to use. For example, depending on the content or campaign, you could post on social media, share with your email list, promote through influencer marketing, use in paid ads, etc. 
  • Who exactly do you want your content to reach? (More on this in the next section)
  • When do you want to distribute the content? Create a timeline for different pieces of content. 

These questions will help you establish goals for your content promotion and set a timeline with KPIs to monitor progress. They will also cushion you when you need support later on. You can always look back at them to remind you of your aims so you make the right decisions.

2. Not Knowing Your Audience (and we mean really knowing them)

Your audience are the target consumers of your content. If you don’t consider what content they want from you, as well as how and where they want it, you can never be successful in your content promotion goals. 

The best way to ensure that anything you create is going to hit the mark is to always keep your audience top of mind. This begins at the content creation step and filters through to the distribution of your content. 

Knowing exactly who you want to reach will inform where you promote your content, as well as when and how.

To get to know your audience, investigate your existing customers' behaviours, preferences, and more. Segment your audience into demographics, psychographics, geographical locations, and other markers. 

Audience intelligence tools like SparkToro and Audiense are super helpful here. Use them to understand how your audience describes themselves, how they search for content, what sources of information and influence they trust and how they like to consume content.

Deeply understanding your audience is a non-negotiable and absolutely key to building strong foundations for your content marketing efforts. 

3. Avoiding Paid Promotion

Yes you can promote your content for free on many channels like social media, and in your newsletter (if you have one - see the next mistake) and you should. But avoiding any paid promotion is a mistake - it can really boost the effectiveness of your efforts and your reach and is particularly worthwhile on those really premium content assets you’ve created (like original research, reports etc.).

There are many paid options open to you from social media/search engine advertising and email sponsorship, to content promotion tools and influencer marketing. So, how do you know which ones will work best for you?

Well, that comes down to how much research you did in the audience research phase. The deeper you went, the more you’ll know which options are likely to work. Of course, there’s always the element of “you won’t know until you try”, but you’ll at least be giving yourself a better chance at picking the right channels if you’ve done the research. 

We cover content promotion platforms specifically in another article, so feel free to pop over there and give that one a read, too. 

There’s way too much to talk about when it comes to each of these paid channels, so we’ll leave that for another article, but just remember - the more you know where your audience hangs out and the kind of content they like to consume, the more effective your paid content promotion will be.

4. Forgetting The Power Of Email

Here’s a big one – don’t make the mistake of leaving email out of your content strategy. Building a newsletter and email list for your ideal audience is never a bad idea. 

It has a direct reach to an owned audience (no more relying on other platforms). And people who have signed up to your newsletter are far more likely to want to read or view your content - they signed up for a reason, right? 

Just remember that when using email to distribute your content, you only provide your audience with content they expect to see - don’t tell them they’re going to get weekly legal advice and then send them monthly cat memes (an extreme example, we know). 

It really can’t be overstated just how powerful a newsletter can be for content promotion. You have direct access to your recipient’s inboxes. You know they’re getting your content, you just need to make sure it’s worth opening and engaging with.

5. Sharing Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everyone’s on Instagram, so you need to be too, right? And what about Threads? X? LinkedIn? Snapchat - the list goes on!

If you think sharing all your content to all the platforms available is the best way to approach content promotion, think again…

We know it’s tempting to be everywhere, and it’s quick and easy to repost the same content across all your social media platforms, your website, and other online spaces and hope for the best. 

The thing is, though, that as much as content promotion is all about getting more eyes on what you have to share, it’s also very much about nailing your target audience. Ask yourself where your audience is and what content formats they prefer or that work well on that specific channel. 

If your audience is on LinkedIn and not really anywhere else, then stick to LinkedIn. Focus on the channels that are worth focusing on and leave everything else. You’ll save time, money and your sanity. 

And don’t try to create all types of content either. You don’t need to share written, audio and video content on one channel if they aren’t going to make a difference. If you find your written stuff is smashing it but your video clips are dying, why bother doing the latter? “Because other companies are doing it” is not an acceptable response or reason! 

6. Not Treating It As Important As Content Creation

The last mistake, and the biggest one businesses are making is that they don’t do any content promotion at all, or very little. Way too many content marketers tell us this every year in our content promotion report

This is because, in most companies, content creation is seen as more important than content promotion. Often, the solution for content that performs poorly is to just create more. 

But that’s a bad strategy to have. 

If businesses shift their perspective, and treat content promotion as something that’s just as important as creation, some great things happen. 

First of all, businesses actually promote their content. They make time for it in their schedule and it gets done consistently and, over time, effectively. 

Secondly, because of that, content starts to get seen. This is the minimum thing that needs to happen for content to have any chance of impacting your business. 

Thirdly, you get answers to important questions such as; does our audience like this content? Do they find it valuable? What content is creating opportunities or leads? What content is getting amplified by our audience? And more… 

How will you know the answers to those questions if no-one sees your content? You won’t.

So, what’s the point in creating more content that won’t get seen? There isn’t any. 

There you have it - the six most common things you need to avoid doing when it comes to content promotion. 

If you’re going to spend the time, effort and cash to create content, then you want to make sure you’re going to promote it, otherwise it’s likely to remain unseen and unappreciated. 

By making content promotion a part of your schedule and dedicating time and resources to it, your content will have a much better chance at doing whatever it is you wanted it to do in the first place.

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