Here's where the doubts start creeping in. Was my content even any good? Why isn’t my audience finding it? Shouldn't more people be reading it?
Before you start panicking, remember that you're not the first person to struggle with generating traffic for their content. According to Ahrefs, over 91% of content gets no organic traffic from Google. And, with over 4.4 million blog posts published across all platforms every day, the competition for attention is fierce.
Yet, there is one aspect of content marketing that very few companies are doing well, or in some cases at all - actually promoting your blog posts. 75% of content marketers admit they’re falling short here, even though it can have a huge and positive impact.
What Is Content Promotion?
Content promotion (sometimes referred to as content amplification) is a marketing approach that improves the reach and impact of your content, leading to a better ROI.
A robust content promotion strategy often includes several channels and tactics (and plenty of planning), but you've probably been doing some already if you realised it or not.
But, to get the most out of promoting your blog content, especially when your blog content is underperforming, the likelihood is you'll need to do more of it, more consistently.
The aim of blog post promotion is to drive more traffic to your content, grow your readership and increase engagement. It's all about broadening the channels and strategies you use while staying focused on reaching more of your ideal audience (not all audiences - this is key).
It involves a lot more than sharing a link to your post on social media (although that’s a good start). In order to get your content seen by as many people as possible, you need to be strategic about how and where you share it.
Quick Content Strategy Tip Before We Get Started
As Andy Crestodina says, “An ally in creation is an ally in promotion.”
Collaborative content is one of our favourite types of content to create, and Andy’s point above is the reason why. Working with others to create relevant content often leads to it being more valuable for your target audience (thanks to combined knowledge and different points of view), AND more valuable for you when it comes to promoting it.
Why? Because those involved in creating it likely want to make sure people see it. So, before you even start creating your next piece of content, the first question you should ask yourself is - who can I collaborate on this content with?
That way you’ll have a head start when it comes to promoting your next blog.
Where Can You Promote Your Blog Content For Free?
If you publish content and don't tell anyone about it, was it even worth publishing? The first thing you need to do is tell your audience that you've published some great content for them to sink their teeth into.
The good news is there are plenty of simple, free and effective ways that you can start promoting your blog content right away, without having to splash out on paid ads or hiring a PR agency.
In fact, you’re probably already using a bunch of free tools, channels and options already. that you could be using more often to promote your blog content.
Let’s take a look at some.
Promote Your Blog on Your Social Media Channels
Your social media channels already have audiences to which you can promote your blog content. So, let them know about it.
Keep them up to date with what you're publishing, and, most importantly, engage with your community when they engage with you.
And don’t worry about “over-promotion”, either. Sure, sending the same tired message or update over and over won’t do you any favours (so change it up), but the likelihood of anyone seeing multiple tweets, or LinkedIn updates from you is slim because the feeds are filling up with so much new content all the time.
Sharing the link to your content is one way to promote it, but don’t forget that you can use the content itself too…
Adapt and Reuse Your Blog Content
Once published, your blog content can be repurposed in many different ways. For example, you can take snippets of information from the blog to be shared on social media in bitesize chunks, or you can create a podcast episode or video on the same topic to be shared on other platforms. What about an infographic that highlights the top stats or facts from within your blog?
Taking parts from your blog, adapting them, and sharing them on other platforms and with other audiences can drive people to the content you're looking to promote. This is also a great way to get more out of all the work you put into creating the content for your blog in the first place.
Work smarter, not harder!
Promote Your Content Through Your Email List
One of the biggest benefits of having a mailing list is that you can promote your content to them without relying on a social media algorithm. You send it, they get it.
So, if you have a mailing list, promote your blog content there. Emails usually perform better than social media posts and can be one of the most effective content promotion channels at your disposal.
And if you don't have an email list - build one.
Before you say anything, no, we're not advocating buying data here.
To build an engaged email list you'll have to give people a reason to subscribe in the first place. Maybe you can share exclusive content to your subscribers as well as the content you're publishing on your blog? What about a weekly news roundup for people in your industry? Interesting facts and stats? Whatever your angle, you can always add your latest blogs to your email to encourage your subscribers to check them out.
Hit Up Your Network
This can happen naturally through your socials as the key people in your industry read and engage with the content on your blog, but there's no reason you can't push the content directly to them.
You can reach out to people on LinkedIn and point them in the direction of your content. Or you can ask them to share it. Tread carefully here, though as it's usually a good idea build and nurture relationships with key influencers before you “sell” to them.
Leaning on your network to help promote your blogs can yield fantastic results, creating a snowball effect that gets your content in front of other people's networks, too. Just make sure you stop short at spamming anyone. No-one appreciates that.
Where can you pay to promote your blog?
Even when you've exhausted all your owned (and free) digital content channels, you can continue to promote your content. Often, the best promotion usually happens on these channels for the very reason that they’re not owned (or free). because now you’re reaching audiences above and beyond your own (and by paying, you're being heard above the noise). Money always greases the wheel and it's no different with content promotion.
With digital content (especially blogs) there are a lot of options available to you. For example, you can target specific audiences through search engines, social media platforms, and publishing platforms.
Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Promote Your Blog Content on Search Engines
Even if your piece of content is SEO-friendly, paid advertising helps your content to jump the queue and drive traffic to it. This increased traffic can subsequently improve your blog's performance on search engines. Win-win, right? Well, sure, as long as you keep paying.
There are a few different approaches to search engine advertising (SEA) and it's a bit too complex to fully explain here, but be aware of its existence when doing your research for your content amplification strategies as it could be part of the solution.
Promote Your Blog with Social Media Ads
You can also pay to promote your blog content on social media. In addition to targeting audiences through keywords, you can target specific demographics, interests, locales, and almost any metric you can think of.
You have a lot of flexibility with social media advertising and you can use it to either drive traffic to your socials or directly to your blog content. How much you choose to do of each approach will likely depend on the content distribution plan for your blog.
With both social media advertising and search engine advertising, bigger budgets will perform better as that's how both of these approaches make their money - that’s just the nature of pay-to-play.
Targeting the right audiences and those most receptive to your blog content can ensure that your budget goes further if you're willing to take the time to do your research.
Speaking of the right places to share your content, here at Converge, our goal is to grow the readership of every blog published on our site, to ensure great business content is seen and engaged with, and to grow your company’s brand and authority.
So, if you create content for your business, but you'd like more of the right people to see it, publish it here and we'll make sure that that happens, so your content earns a better ROI.
How Else Can I Promote My Blog Content?
What falls into the "it could be free or could be paid promotion" category? We're glad you asked. Here's a couple more ideas for you.
Cross-Promote with Other Blogs
The more places the right audience can find your content, the better. If you're creating content that's valuable to readers of other, relevant blogs, there might be ways to promote your content there.
An article swap is a common practice and often a fair deal for blogs of similar sizes or popularity. Some content is published on your blog in exchange for some content on theirs. It's a great way to get your content into more spaces, but just make sure that you're getting a fair deal. You don't want to be offering up space on your great blog just to have your article hosted on a blog that nobody reads!
Publish Your Blog Content Elsewhere (Guest Posting)
Which is more important, what your blog says or where it is? The content in your blog posts should be doing a lot of the heavy lifting to get your message across and, while having your post on your site is helpful for SEO and engagement, it doesn't mean that you shouldn’t look to create blog posts for other websites, too.
It’s unlikely another platform will take something you’ve already published as a free guest post, so creating related content based on your original blog is a good idea and can serve as an amuse-bouche for (or a funnel to) the main course; your main blog post.
Where your content lives matters. And having your blog content promoted in the right places, via the right channels is as important as creating great content in the first place.
If you never promote your content, then you're going to struggle to grow your readership. And you're not engaging with more of the right people beyond your current networks and circles of influence.
That means you're missing out on all the fantastic benefits that come from content promotion such as a boost to brand awareness, more authority among industry peers, and greater trust among your target audience and potential customers.
So, don’t rely on search engines and social media algorithms to help grow your readership. Instead, take control of your content promotion, bake it into your overall content strategy and improve your content ROI, today.