Tired of creating great content that doesn't seem to get the visibility and impact it deserves? You're not alone. The competition for attention is fierce and it's harder than ever to get your content seen by the right people.
And content that’s not getting seen or engaged with is hardly going to make the impact you want it to.
But there is a solution: content promotion.
In this guide, we're going to show you everything you need to know about content promotion and how to use it effectively to boost your content’s visibility and impact.
From social media promotion to influencer marketing, and from paid advertising to content optimisation, we'll cover all the tactics you need to know to make your content strategy succeed.
We'll also show you how to measure the success of your own efforts so that, by the end of this guide, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of what content promotion is and how to use it to improve your overall content marketing efforts.
So, whether you're a marketer, a business owner, or a content creator, this guide will be useful. Keep reading to learn how to make your content stand out and reach more of the right people.
What is content promotion?
Content promotion refers to the practice of increasing the reach and visibility of your content through the promotion of it via various channels and tactics. It's a powerful way to ensure that your content is seen by as many of the right people as possible, and have the impact you want it to have on your target audience.
Think about it, when an author writes a book, they promote it. When HBO makes a show, they promote it. When Sony makes a movie, they promote it.
Content creation is always followed by content promotion.
These companies spend crazy money and crazy time creating content they're truly proud of. Then they spend even more time and money purely on the promotion of it.
And if a globally recognised brand and business juggernaut like HBO feels the need to relentlessly promote the content they're creating to give it the best chance of being successful, then, let's face it, we definitely need to do the same.
Content promotion is now more important than ever. With the proliferation of content on the internet, it's becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out and be heard, and for their content to be seen at all. The average person is exposed to hundreds of pieces of content every day, and the competition for their attention is fierce.
RELATED: The Content Promotion Report 2023
Content promotion can help businesses overcome this challenge by increasing the reach and visibility of their content. By using a variety of channels and tactics to promote their content, businesses can reach a larger audience and increase their chances of generating leads, sales, and revenue.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to promote your content online, today.
Before we start - you need to find time:
The very first tip we’re going to share with you is that you need to make content promotion a part of your content marketing strategy. It cannot be something you do “when you find the time”. That approach means your content isn’t being promoted as much as it should be, and when it is, it’s probably promoted poorly.
Getting your content seen is just as important as having content to promote in the first place, so put it in your schedule, add time for it in every campaign, and treat it with the respect it needs to help you get the results you’re after from your content.
Crafting promotable content
While there's definitely a balance to be struck when it comes to creating and promoting content (don't just prioritise the former over the latter - this doesn't work), it's obvious that if you create truly promotable content, your promotion efforts will yield better results.
But how can we do that?
Understand Your Audience:
Understanding your audience is the cornerstone of creating promotable content. It's not just about who they are, but diving deep into their challenges, preferences, and behaviours.
Engage in market research, persona building, and analytics to unravel what resonates with your audience. Monitor social media conversations, industry forums, and competitor content to gauge what topics are sparking interest.
The more you align your content with your audience's interests and needs, the higher the chances it will be shared and promoted, amplifying its reach.
Optimize your content for SEO:
Saying this feels so weird these days because of all the negative connotations that come with a sentence like that, but optimizing your content for SEO doesn’t have to mean “write for robots” or “keyword stuffing”. It just means you need to ensure that your content references the talking points, topics and keywords that people are searching for, so they can find your content more easily (and also makes your content easier to share).
Does this work right away? No. Is it guaranteed to work at all? Well, that depends what you mean by work.
If you are gunning for top spot on the Google Search Results Page (SRP), then it very much depends on how competitive the topics and keywords you’re targeting are.
If you are looking to make your content more visible to a targeted audience looking for specific answers to questions, then it will have an impact. How much depends on the quality of your content and how well it addresses the problems people are having around it. It’s not a categorical yes or no because there are so many variables.
You can optimize your content for SEO by using relevant keywords in your post title, meta description, and throughout the post. Also, include internal links to other relevant pieces of content you’ve created to help increase visibility and engagement.
SEO is such a complex topic that it would be impossible to address it fully in this article, but what you need to understand is that if you create fantastic content that’s full of value for your target audience, AND you optimize it for the search engines as well, it’ll help with your content promotion efforts.
Create visual appeal:
Captivating visuals are the hook that draws readers into your content.
Incorporate images, infographics, videos, or even interactive elements to enhance engagement. A well-designed infographic or a short, insightful video can convey your message effectively and memorably.
Visuals not only break the monotony of text but also communicate complex ideas simply, making your content more shareable and promotable.
Determine your value proposition:
Your content should offer a unique value proposition that addresses your audience’s pain points or challenges.
Whether it’s providing solutions, offering insights, or presenting a new perspective, ensure your content stands out in a crowded digital landscape. The more value you provide, the more likely your audience will promote your content on your behalf.
Add calls to action:
A compelling call to action (CTA) guides your readers on what to do next.
Whether it’s subscribing to your newsletter, downloading a whitepaper, or sharing your content on social media, a clear and persuasive CTA can significantly boost engagement and promote further interaction with your brand.
Consider all content formats:
Diversify your content formats to cater to different audience preferences.
From blog posts and infographics to webinars and podcasts, varying your content format can help reach a broader audience and provide multiple promotion channels. Each format offers a unique way to present information and engage your audience.
Include shareable elements:
Incorporate shareable elements like notable quotes, surprising facts, or tweetable snippets within your content.
The Content Marketing Institute does a fantastic job with this in their content. Here's an example from an article I wrote for them on personalized content.
These elements encourage readers to share your content on social media, thereby increasing its reach and potential for promotion. Make sharing easy with social share buttons and clickable tweet links to facilitate promotion across various platforms.
What are the 7 types of promotion?
Now we know how to create content that's worth promoting, let's take a look at the 7 types of promotion - the benefits and considerations for each, and examples of how you can use them to promote your content.
- Benefits: Precise targeting, immediate traffic, and brand visibility.
- Things to consider: Cost, ad creation, and platform selection.
Example: Running sponsored posts on LinkedIn targeting industry professionals, or using Google Ads to promote your latest whitepaper to searchers seeking solutions you provide.
2. Sales promotion:
- Benefits: Immediate incentive for engagement, increased urgency, and potential for wider sharing.
- Things to consider: Offer value, timing, and promotion channels.
Example: Offering a limited-time discount on a new product launch, shared through a blog post or an informative video.
3. Personal Selling:
- Benefits: Direct interaction, relationship building, and immediate feedback.
- Things to consider: Training, messaging, and timing.
Example: Sales teams sharing tailored content with prospects during meetings or follow-ups to address specific pain points.
4. Public Relations:
- Benefits: Enhanced brand reputation, credibility, and non-paid exposure.
- Things to consider: Messaging, media relationships, and news worthiness.
Example: Crafting press releases or opinion articles on industry trends or company milestones, and distributing them to relevant media outlets.
5. Direct Marketing:
- Benefits: Direct communication, targeted, and measurable.
- Things to consider: List quality, content relevance, and delivery timing.
Example: Sending a series of educational emails promoting a range of your insightful blog posts to segmented lists.
- Benefits: Increased brand exposure, audience engagement, and community goodwill.
- Things to consider: Relevance, audience alignment, and ROI measurement.
Example: Sponsoring an industry webinar or event and promoting your thought leadership content to attendees.
7. Digital Promotion:
- Benefits: Wide reach, cost-effective, and multi-channel engagement.
- Things to consider: Platform selection, content adaptation, and measurement.
Example: Utilizing SEO for organic reach, social media for engagement, and influencer partnerships for trust-building, while promoting your content across different digital platforms.
Content Promotion Tactics
You know what content promotion is, you know why it's important, you've created compelling, genuinely valuable content to promote and you know the 7 types of promotion you can do to get your content in front of more of your target audience, but what about specific tactics? Let's take a look at a few of our favourites and some of the most effective ways to promote your content.
Promote your content on social media:
There’s no excuse for not doing this one, but it comes with an asterisk.
Why? Because yes, you can share content on your social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, but we’d suggest that you avoid publishing links to your blog as most social media platforms bury content that tries to take people away from their platform.
Instead, think native content when it comes to these platforms - what sort of content do they want you to share? You can always incorporate what you’ve written on your blog into anything shared on these platforms to build an audience there.
For example, you could create an Instagram story that highlights key points from your blog post, or a tweet thread that expands on a specific aspect of your article.
Here's a step-by-step example of how you can implement this tactic:
- Identify your target audience: This is so important. You need to identify your target audience and the social media platforms they use. For example, if your target audience is gamers, you may want to focus on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Reddit.
- Engage with your audience: Engage with your audience on social media. Respond to comments, answer questions, and participate in conversations related to your content. This will help you build your audience there
- Publish native content: Find out what content works well on the social media platforms of your choice, and start publishing regularly. Include snippets from your content but avoid sharing links to it as every social media platform buries this type of content.
- Track and measure the results: To know if what you’re doing is having an effect, you’ll need to track and measure the results of your social media efforts. Analyze metrics such as likes, shares, and click-through rates to make data-driven decisions on how to improve your social media strategy.
Consistency is key when it comes to building an audience on social media, and time. So, be patient and don't be discouraged if you don't see results right away.
Collaborate with others:
This is one of the most effective ways to create better content, and to increase the reach and impact of your content, as it allows you to tap into new audiences and gain exposure through the networks of your collaborators, to turbocharge the effectiveness of your content promotion, compared to relying solely on your own efforts.
After all, “an ally in creation is an ally in promotion”.
But how do you find and work with your allies? We’ve got some advice below:
- Identify potential collaborators: Start by identifying potential collaborators who have a similar audience or a complementary audience to yours. For example, if you are creating content for a marketing audience, you may want to collaborate with other marketers who have influence with that audience.
- Get in touch with potential collaborators: Email, DM, message or call your potential collaborators to propose your ideas. You must be clear about your goals and what you can offer in return (see below for our dos and don’ts of collaboration outreach).
- Agree on the collaboration details: Agree on the collaboration details such as the format, topic, and promotion plan.Essentially, set the expectations so that everyone knows what they’re committing to.
At this point you’re ready to create and promote your content, and enjoy all the benefits that come with having “allies in creation and promotion”.
With that in mind, there are some dos and don'ts to be aware of when it comes to collaborations:
DO: Personalise your outreach. Sending a template message isn't going to help, nor is being fake. Make it clear that you know this person and their work, you appreciate the value they bring, and that you'd love to work with them. Everyone loves to hear from genuine fans.
DO: Make it obvious how the collaboration benefits them. It might not (should not) cost them any money to collaborate with you, but it will cost time. So, you need to make it very clear why they will benefit from helping you out.
DO: Offer to reciprocate. I see so many messages from people asking for help, but rarely do I see someone offering to return the favour. I make sure to do it with every request, because it's the right thing to do, and, more importantly, I'd be happy to do it.
DON'T: Lead with a sales message. Your goal here is to create great content and build a meaningful relationship with this person. It's not to sell your products or services to them.
DON'T: Be pushy. Following up (with a light and respectful touch) is an important part of any outreach, but stop short at being relentless. No-one appreciates that and being a pest is hardly going to endear you to the person you've sent 15 emails in a week to.
DON'T: Make excessive demands. This person is doing you a favour. Yes, you've told them how that favour can benefit them too, but you got in touch with them, not the other way around. So, don't ask too much. And be very clear about your expectations up front, so the other person is fully aware of what they're committing to if they say yes.
Participate in online communities:
Finding communities where your target audience hangs out that are related to your industry and niche, and becoming a valuable part of them, can be a powerful way to increase the visibility of your content, build relationships and gain exposure through the networks of the community members.
However, this is a tactic that requires caution and restraint.
Most, if not all communities have a strict “no spam” policy, and many won’t allow links back to your content. You must genuinely take part by sharing value within the platforms where those communities are hosted - whether that be Facebook groups, Subreddits, LinkedIn groups or forums.
Your activity must always be to the benefit of the community, not to yourself. Members will quickly see through anything that is self-serving.
So, why are they worth joining?
Well, building your reputation and brand within these communities can and will lead to a growth in readership of your content, because those that see and appreciate the value you’re offering will find you elsewhere (your website, social media channels etc.).
- First you'll need to find online communities: Start by identifying online communities that are related to your niche or industry. Make a list and join them. It’s probably worth spending some time as a “lurker”, to see how other members engage, what sort of content works well, and to better understand the rules.
- Then you must engage with the community members: Engage with the community members by asking questions, answering questions, participating in discussions, and providing genuine value.
- Once you feel comfortable, you can contribute your own content: Once you’ve been a part of the community for a while, you’ll probably feel comfortable enough to share your own content. Just make sure it's relevant and adds value to the discussion.
- And repeat: Keep going. Consistent engagement and participation will grow your reputation and brand among community members and benefit your content promotion efforts over time.
This tactic is definitely one of the longer term ones, and requires plenty of genuine, consistent participation to see the results, but they are there to be had. And, finally, very, very few businesses put the effort in here, so there's a big opportunity for you to grab.
Use email marketing:
Despite people constantly dooming Email to a premature grave, it’s still one of the best ways to communicate with your desired audience and, therefore, one of the best ways to promote your content.
Why? Because email marketing has higher engagement rates compared to social media, making it more likely that your content will be seen by your target audience. In addition, the results of email marketing campaigns are easily measurable, allowing you to track the success of your content promotion efforts and make data and engagement-driven decisions moving forward.
It is also a cost-effective marketing channel, as building and maintaining an email list is relatively low-cost compared to other options. And, finally, email lists are an owned audience, giving you complete control of the data you acquire and a secure channel for content promotion, unlike social media where algorithms and platform policies can limit visibility, or be taken down indefinitely.
Here's a specific example of how you can implement this tactic:
- Build an email list: Start by building an email list of people who are interested in your content. You can use tools like OptinMonster or Sumo to create sign-up forms on your website and encourage visitors to subscribe to your list.
- Segment your list: Once you've built your list, segment it based on the interests of your subscribers. This will help you to send targeted and relevant messages to different groups of people.
- Create an email newsletter: Create an email newsletter that features your latest content. Use engaging images, videos, and text to entice people to read your post.
- Send regular emails: Set a schedule for sending regular emails to your subscribers. For example, you can send a weekly or monthly newsletter that features your latest content.
- Use a call-to-action: Include a call-to-action in your emails that encourages subscribers to visit your website and read your latest content.
- Track and measure the results: Track and measure the results of your email marketing efforts. Analyze metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, to make data-driven decisions on how to improve your email marketing strategy.
Building and owning an email list is an effective way to promote your content. It allows for direct and personal communication with your audience, resulting in increased engagement and stronger relationships.
Repurpose your content:
This is one of the easiest ways to make whatever bit of content you’ve created go further and earn more visibility. All you do is take your content and adapt it for different formats and platforms.
For example, you can take snippets of information from a blog to be shared on social media, or use it as the basis for a webinar. You can also create a video or podcast based on that post, or turn it into a slide deck and share it on platforms like Slideshare.
The important thing to do ahead of any repurposing, is to research where your audience hangs out, and what type of content format they prefer. Then you can go to those places and share your repurposed content in a way that will engage them.
Here’s way you can repurpose some content today:
- Pick your content: We’d recommend choosing content that will resonate with your target audience. This could be a video you’ve created, or a blog post, or a newsletter.
- Pick your platform: Which platforms do your target audiences use regularly? Are they active on YouTube? Facebook groups? What about Twitter or LinkedIn? Reddit? Quora? Find out.
- Choose a format to repurpose your content into: Decide on the format you want to repurpose your content into. As mentioned previously, base this decision on the formats that your audience likes to engage with.
- Create the new format: There are various tools you can use to create the new format. Make sure to keep the key messages and insights from the original content, but adapt them to the new format.
- Publish: Pretty self explanatory, we think
- Track and measure the results: Track and measure the results of your repurposing efforts. Analyze metrics such as views, shares, and engagement, to make data-driven decisions on how to improve your repurposing strategy.
It might take a bit of testing and experimentation to find out what format best resonates with your target audience, and which platforms generate the best results, but stick with it and you’ll get there.
Use paid advertising:
We touched on this earlier, but paid advertising is a tactic that involves using paid platforms and options such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter Ads, email advertising, or sponsored content to promote your content and drive traffic to your website.
Paid advertising can be a powerful way to reach new audiences and increase the visibility of your content very quickly, but it can also be costly if not used correctly. Beyond that, most paid advertising platforms typically offer advanced targeting options, allowing you to target your ads to specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. This makes it easier to reach the right people with your content and measure the results in detail, so you can track the performance of your campaigns and find out what works and what doesn’t.
Paid advertising is a fairly broad term, and there’s a lot to unpack, so below we’ve shared links to our favourite articles on the various options and tactics available to you.
- Here’s a great article on PPC advertising by the folks at HubSpot.
- Here’s one on Native advertising by the folks at the Native Advertising Institute.
- Want to know more about email advertising? Click here.
- Interested in sponsoring content? The folks at SEMrush have a great guide here.
Use content syndication or content distribution platforms:
Content syndication, also known as content distribution, is a tactic that involves publishing your content on other websites or platforms in order to leverage their reach, influence and authority with your target audience, so you can quickly and effectively increase the readership and impact of your content.
Here's a specific example of how you can implement this tactic:
- Identify relevant websites and publications in your niche: Start by researching websites and publications that are relevant to your niche and have influence with your target audience. Look for websites that accept guest posts, syndicate content, or have a content distribution program. There are free options, but paid options tend to be more impactful.
- Get in touch with potential websites and platforms: Once you have your list of possible sites, platforms and publications, get in touch with them with a personalized message. Let them know that you have a great piece of content that would be relevant to their audience and ask if they would be interested in publishing it, and what they would expect in return.
- Syndicate your content: Once you've secured an agreement, share your content with your partner and work together to ensure it is properly formatted and edited to match their style guidelines.
- Track and measure the results: Track and measure the results of your content syndication efforts. Analyze metrics such as traffic, engagement, and conversions, to make data-driven decisions on how to improve your content syndication strategy.
If you’d like to see a list of some of the tools and websites you can use to better promote your content, then click here.
Measure your results:
Thanks to all that amazing audience research you did earlier on, you now have much more confidence that the content you're promoting is going to have the impact you want it to.
But you still need to measure your results to make sure you're on the right path.
What you measure will depend entirely on what it is you want your content to do - generate awareness? Traffic? Engagement, downloads, subscribers, customers etc? Knowing this will mean you're looking at the right KPIs (kind of important).
But it's worth mentioning here that content has a roundabout way of delivering on its goals and it can be difficult to directly attribute a person's actions to any piece of content you're promoting. This isn't bad, though, as 100% attribution in marketing is a myth, anyway.
Hear me out - does anyone ever read an article and then directly become a customer?
Maybe, in a tiny minority of cases, but the journey is far more scenic for the vast majority and therefore difficult to follow from one step to the next.
Maybe they read an article from you, then noticed you on LinkedIn (recency bias). Maybe a couple of months later they read another article from you and watch a video on YouTube. Maybe a couple of months after that, now they know and trust you and your content, they subscribe to your email. And maybe a few months or years after that, they become a customer.
Did your content and your promotion of that content get them there? Yes.
Is it possible to attribute that person becoming a customer back to that first article that started the journey? No.
What you need to do is trust your gut and understand that when you're producing great content and doing great promotion, and the numbers are all going in the right direction, that it's having an impact, whether you can attribute it or not.
So, yes, have your KPIs and track them - it's great for an overall picture. But also understand there's probably a lot more going on that you can't attribute that's having an impact, too.
BONUS TACTIC - Keep an eye on new trends and technologies:
This one can be a difference maker when it comes to your content promotion efforts. By staying up-to-date with the latest developments in your niche or industry, and with the latest content promotion tools and tech you can identify new opportunities and find a competitive advantage.
You can stay updated by following industry-leading blogs and newsletters, attending webinars and events, participating in online communities and by talking to your audience and customers.
Just remember to stay focused on what works and avoid getting too distracted by every new option that emerges - they won’t all be worth your time and money.
If nothing else, here’s five things we want you to take away from having read this article:
- Bake content promotion into your content marketing strategy and schedule. It’s essential. It’s not good enough to only do it “when you find the time”. Without it, your content will struggle to have the impact you want it to. Seriously.
- Do your research. Find out where your target audience hangs out, find out the content types and formats they love best.
- Create content worth promoting. Sure, content promotion will help any content get better results that not doing any promotion, but the best results come when we promote content that truly resonates with our audience.
- No-one knows which content promotion tactics work before giving them a go. In content marketing, we always learn best by doing. So, now it’s time to stop reading about tactics and go try some.
- Keep an eye on things. Make sure you’re tracking your efforts and measuring results so you can do more of what works and cut out anything that’s not.
We hope you enjoyed this one and found it valuable. If you have any comments to share with us, or any questions about content promotion, please let us know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.