This imbalance often stems from an overemphasis on content creation - the process of crafting compelling, valuable content that resonates with your audience.
Because of this, content promotion - the art of getting your content in front of the right people, at the right time, and in the right places - often takes a backseat.
I think a major reason for this is the pressure many companies feel to meet a certain content quota. You know, the old “we must publish X articles per week” approach to content marketing. It might have worked 10-15 years ago, but it’s well past its sell-by date now.
Aside from being an outdated and terrible content strategy to begin with, it also leaves little to no time for content promotion. And, as a result, valuable content goes unnoticed, and the effort put into creating it goes to waste.
And by effort we mean effort. According to Orbit Media’s latest blogging report we’re spending, on average, nearly FOUR hours writing blogs. That seems like a lot of time to spend doing something that will likely go totally unnoticed, unappreciated and unloved. And imagine if you’re doing that twice a week, every month. You’re looking at 32 hours down the drain. Sheesh.
And we’re not just saying that. The following stats clearly prove it:
91% of All Content Gets ZERO Google Traffic (Ahrefs)
94% of Blog Content Gets 0 links. ZERO (Backlinko)
That is… painful to read. Especially for anyone spending four or more hours creating content. And this clearly shows without any doubt whatsoever that, while quality is, of course, crucial, even the most compelling content needs promotion to have any chance of being seen.
And to really hammer the point home, 88% of Content Marketers told us in our 2023 Content Promotion Report that when they do promote their content, it has a positive impact on their content marketing results (shocker).
But, and this is a big but, we know that it’s not always as simple as just “do more content promotion”. There have to be some pretty hefty roadblocks stopping you (at least we hope there are, otherwise what’s your excuse?).
So, today we’re going to take a look at a few of the more common ones and share some practical solutions so you can make sure that content promotion always gets done.
Time Constraints: In the fast-paced world of content marketing, time is always of the essence. Content creators often find themselves racing against the clock to meet deadlines and quotas, leaving little room for promotion. For instance, consider the scenario where a content team is tasked with publishing a new blog post every day. The time it takes to research, write, edit, and publish can easily consume the entire workday, leaving no time for promotion.
Resource Allocation: Resources - be it manpower, budget, or tools - are often skewed towards content creation. As a result, promotion may not receive the resources it needs to be effective. For example, a small marketing team might have dedicated writers and designers but lack a person who specialises in content promotion, or simply don’t have enough bodies to be able to allocate that task to anyone.
Pressure to Meet Content Quotas: As mentioned in the introduction, the pressure to meet content quotas can lead to an overemphasis on content creation.
Lack of Understanding or Skills: Content promotion is not content creation. While you or your colleagues might be superstars at designing infographics, creating video or writing articles, that doesn’t translate to being able to promote it effectively. So it might be a lack of understanding or skill that’s holding your promotion efforts back.
Lack of Stakeholder Buy-In: Oh, stakeholders, forever the arrow in the marketer’s achilles heel. Every year we hear that a lack of buy-in from stakeholders when it comes to content promotion is one of the biggest reasons that it doesn’t get done. They’re often stuck on the content creation hamster wheel. Content not working? Create more!
Educate your stakeholders:
Poor communication between marketers and stakeholders has killed off more than one promising marketing strategy. But it’s not because stakeholders hate marketing - they hired you, right? It’s because they don’t understand a lot of it. And why should they? It’s rarely their area of expertise.
So, with that in mind, it’s not unreasonable to assume that your stakeholders might not know about the various tactics you can deploy in your content marketing strategy, including why you need to devote more of your time to content promotion over creation.
Educating your stakeholders isn't about bombarding them with jargon or acronyms that obfuscate the conversation. It's about articulating the 'why' behind your decisions, providing clear, business-oriented reasoning for each choice you propose. It's about demystifying your strategy and illuminating the tangible benefits it brings to the table.
Effective communication involves them in the decision-making process, fostering a sense of ownership and inclusion. It's about helping them grasp not just what you're proposing, but precisely how it contributes positively to the business's broader goals.
By consistently keeping stakeholders informed and engaged, you're not just seeking approval; you're building trust and paving the way for smoother, more receptive acceptance of your innovative ideas and strategies.
So keep them in the loop. Make them feel part of the decision making and help them understand what you’re trying to achieve and why it will make a positive difference to the business. Then you’ll get your buy in.
Focus on quality over quantity:
Less content created to a higher standard and promoted more effectively is always going to outperform loads of content. Makes sense, right?
So, instead of adhering to an arbitrary content quota - essentially manufacturing content because "more is better" - consider adopting a more mindful approach.
Do more research
The more time you spend finding out what it is your target audience wants from you in relation to content, the better your content will be for them and the better it will perform for you (when properly promoted).
That means finding out who your audience is, where they hang out, who influences them, what content they like and how they like to consume it. This isn’t something to “get out of the way”. Spend some quality time doing this and you’ll see the impact further down the line.
Quality content often means providing your audience with a richer, more comprehensive exploration of topics they care about. It's about diving deeper where others skim the surface, offering unique insights, and delivering real value that enhances your credibility and authority.
Have a purpose
Every piece of content should have a clear purpose beyond just filling a slot in your content calendar. Whether it's to educate, inspire, convert, or retain, quality content is crafted with precision around definite goals, ensuring it's not only beneficial to your audience but also aligned with your business objectives.
Find time, or change priorities?
One of the most common reasons content promotion gets overlooked is a perceived lack of time. With so much focus on content creation, it can feel like there's just no time left for promotion. But the truth is, it's not about finding time—it's about changing your priorities.
When content promotion is baked into your plan from the start, and it’s considered as important as content creation, then it becomes part of your schedule. Finding time is a short term solution, the gaffer tape over a serious leak. Prioritising content promotion is the long term fix.
But how can we do that?
Re-evaluate your content quota:
If you're constantly rushing to meet an arbitrary content quota, it might be time to reassess. Remember, quality trumps quantity. It's better to produce one high-quality, well-promoted piece of content than several pieces that don't get the attention they deserve. By reducing your content quota, you can free up more time for promotion.
For instance, if your current quota is four articles per week, consider reducing it to two or even one. This will give you more time to focus on creating high-quality content and promoting it effectively. It might seem counterintuitive, but remember that one well-promoted piece of content can have a far greater impact than several pieces that go unnoticed.
Incorporate promotion into your content plan:
Content promotion shouldn't be an afterthought - it should be an integral part of your content plan from the start. When planning your content, consider how and where you'll promote it. Which channels will you use? When will you share it? Who will you target? By incorporating promotion into your content plan, you can ensure it gets the attention it deserves.
For example, if you're planning to write a blog post about a new product, don't just plan the post -plan the promotion too. This could include sharing the post on social media, sending it to your email list, or even reaching out to influencers in your niche who might be interested in sharing your content.
Leverage automation tools:
Automation can be a lifesaver when it comes to content promotion. Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Mailchimp can automate social media posts and email campaigns, freeing up more time for you to focus on other aspects of content promotion.
For example, you could use Buffer to schedule social media posts promoting your content throughout the week. This way, you're not constantly having to remember to post—you can set it and forget it, knowing your content is being promoted even when you're focusing on other tasks.
Delegate and collaborate:
You don't have to do it all alone. If you have a team, delegate promotion tasks. If you're a one-person show, consider collaborating with influencers or other businesses in your niche. Not only can this lighten your workload, but it can also extend the reach of your content.
For instance, you could delegate the task of social media promotion to a team member who excels at social media engagement. Or, you could reach out to an influencer in your niche and propose a content collaboration, where you both promote each other's content to your respective audiences.
Batch your tasks:
Batching is a time management technique that involves dedicating blocks of time to similar tasks. Instead of jumping from task to task, you focus on one type of task for a set amount of time. This can be particularly effective for content promotion tasks.
For example, you could dedicate a few hours each week to scheduling social media posts, or a couple of hours to reaching out to influencers or other potential promotional partners. By batching these tasks, you can get into a 'flow' state, which can make you more efficient and productive.
Track, Measure and use your gut to guide your efforts:
Not all content promotion efforts are created equal. Some will yield better results than others. Use analytics to understand which promotional channels and strategies are most effective for your content, and focus your time and efforts there.
For instance, if your analytics show that most of your traffic comes from LinkedIn, it makes sense to spend more of your promotional time on that platform. Or, if a particular type of content (like infographics or video) tends to get more engagement, consider creating more of that type of content.
I do need to caveat this point and say that trusting your gut is just as important as tracking your efforts. It’s rare to be able to 100% attribute an action to some marketing initiative, and that’s especially true for content marketing.
Customers do not follow a linear, trackable path. It’s not;
- Customer reads content
- Customer clicks link and visits website
- Customer requests demo
That would be easily trackable. In reality, it’s more like;
- Customer reads content, enjoys it, goes back to work
- Customer scrolls through LinkedIn and sees something you wrote (cos recency bias)
- Customer goes back to work
- Customer sees you again on LinkedIn, maybe “likes” something you said
- Customer sees more content from you, enjoys it, goes back to work
- Customer sees a relevant, gated report you shared, leaves email and accesses it because they trust you more
Right? Way more likely. And I’ve shortened that journey by several steps most likely.
But now they’re in your system and maybe you have a way to take them from email sub to customer from this point on.
Just think that if the latter happens (which is more than likely), it would be impossible to track that person becoming a customer back to the first bit of content they read and enjoyed from you.
But without that content, it's unlikely the rest of the journey happens.
So, yes, track and measure and keep an eye on your metrics and analytics - they’re important. But also trust your gut. If you’re creating content you know your audience finds valuable, and you’re promoting it effectively and consistently, and the numbers are all going in the right direction, it’s very likely that it’s having an impact even if you can't attribute it in Google Analytics.
Create a Promotion Checklist:
To ensure you don't miss any promotional opportunities, create a checklist of promotional activities for each piece of content you create. This could include posting on social media, sending an email to your list, reaching out to influencers, submitting the content to relevant content aggregators, and so on.
Each time you publish a new piece of content, simply work your way through the checklist. This ensures that each piece of content gets a consistent level of promotion, and it helps you remember all the promotional activities you need to do.
Making time for content promotion isn't about stretching yourself thin or working longer hours. It's about working smarter, not harder. By reevaluating your content quota, incorporating promotion into your content plan, leveraging automation tools, and delegating or collaborating, you can make content promotion a priority without adding more to your plate.
The current state of content marketing often sees a significant imbalance, with an overemphasis on content creation and not enough attention given to content promotion.
This not only undermines the effectiveness of high-quality content but also results in wasted resources and missed opportunities for business growth.
The most common challenges that contribute to this issue are time constraints (thanks to a lack of priority), insufficient resource allocation, pressure to meet content quotas, a lack of specific skills, and insufficient stakeholder buy-in.
So, to overcome these challenges, businesses should:
- Educate stakeholders about the importance of content promotion and its direct impact on business goals.
- Emphasise quality over quantity in content production, focusing on creating fewer, high-value pieces.
- Reassess content quotas, allowing for more time and resources to be allocated to content promotion.
- Integrate content promotion strategies right from the planning stage.
- Utilise automation tools to streamline and schedule promotional activities.
- Delegate promotional tasks among team members or collaborate with influencers and peers.
- Use analytics to focus promotional efforts more effectively, understanding which content types and channels perform best (but understand that trusting your gut is a part of the process).
- Develop a systematic promotion checklist to ensure consistent, comprehensive promotion for every content piece.
Look, if there’s just one thing I want you to take away from this article, it’s this:
If you don’t promote your content, it’s very likely that it will be seen by no-one, nevermind actually make an impact on your business.
You’re actively stacking the deck against yourself whenever content promotion gets put aside in favour of another task, so make sure it gets done. Otherwise you’re wasting your time creating any content in the first place.
But hey, if you simply cannot find the time at all. If there’s no way you can change your schedule and you need some help, or if you need an additional boost to supplement your content promotion, there’s always Converge. We’re ready to help get your content in front of significantly more of your target audience.
Click the button below to get started with a 30-day free trial. No credit card required.