3 Components for Successful Content Promotion

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You’ve heard the saying “content is king” – and, to some extent, this is true. We have a tendency to believe that content drives results. But what is your content without distribution?

Mashable reports that every minute of every day, 571 websites are launched, 350,000 tweets are sent and 48 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded.. The Internet is oversaturated with content, and it’s our job as content marketers to find a way to break through that noise.

Organic efforts and crossing your fingers isn’t always going to work. Your content needs a promotion strategy.

Here are three necessary steps (and tools for each) from gathered from content marketing experts and social media influencers to help promote your content:

1. Target your audience.

Before promoting content, we need to be sure we’re researching and targeting the right niche. If you don’t develop a thorough understanding of the audiences you wish to target, how can you plan for successful community building?

Tools like QuantcastFollowerWonk and Feedly allow marketers to discover who is interested in topics their brands wish to explore, where these people hang out online and what retail-based problems they are trying to solve.

  • Quantcast: Offers public access to traffic and demographic data for millions of web sites and detailed user insights. As of 2013, it was said to be one of the world’s top five big data processing organizations.
  • FollowerWonk: This allows organizations to dig deeper into Twitter analytics. Who are your followers, where are they located and when do they tweet? Expand your audience and connect with new influencers in your niche.
  • Feedly: Find and follow the sources of information that matter to you, while also having the capability to save and share content – all in one place.

2. Distribute your content. 

It’s not surprising that more than 90% of companies say they are pursuing a content marketing strategy — brands search for any edge to get noticed.

Since content distribution can take a few different paths, I broke this section into three components – paid promotion, content broadcasting and influencer outreach.

1). Paid promotion tools and native advertising.

According to Ryan Skinner’s Forrester Report, native distribution is more conducive to content marketers than banner ads and lacks the pervasiveness of “banner blindness.” Content distribution networks like Outbrain and nRelate enable publishers to recommend related articles to their readers in a nonintrusive way on existing content pages.

  • nRelate: Instead of relating content by tags or categories, this content system analyzes each post and finds other pages on your site with similar content. Publishers can give their readers an easy way to find more content from within their site, and marketers get their content in front of highly engaged readers.
  • OutBrain: As the world’s largest and most trusted content discovery platform, Outbrain offers a personalized experience for your audience. You can use the platform to distribute your content on other sites where people are already content-engaged and looking for something new, or install Outbrain’s technology to offer recommendations and help your audience discover more content on your site that they find interesting.

2). Content broadcasting.

Services like Hootsuite and Buffer help to schedule and share your content to a mass audience. Granted, this can actually be one of the least effective ways of promotion for brands that do not have a significant social following. On the other hand, it is a fast, efficient way to pump out your content and interact with your followers.

  • Hootsuite: This social media management system monitors multiple streams in one place. You can cross-post, manage customer service and engage with your audience while promoting and scheduling your content in an efficient manner.
  • Buffer: Very similar to Hootsuite, Buffer allows you to manage multiple social media accounts, schedule posts and collaborate with team members.

LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest are also ways you can broadcast your content, but I assume you’ve heard of those platforms.

3). Influencer outreach and sharing with sources.

The result of outreach can be something as simple as a social share or a direct endorsement on a blog. Outreach can also lead to full-on collaboration for your organization.

Take, for example, my post last week. I shared my Hubspot takeaways with Chad Pollitt, who then personally thanked me – and shared our blog to his followers.


We immediately saw a profound traffic spike, and the post performed above average for the remainder of the day.

Whether it’s a follow-up email, a mention on Twitter or a message on LinkedIn, you never know who might find value in your content — or, actually, you do. Do your audience research and connect with your fans, followers and targets. Share with your influencers as often as you can.

3. Monitor metrics and analytics.

We’ve targeted the right audience, created quality content, buddied up to our influencers and distributed our work over several channels, but all of this means nothing if we don’t know what success looks like. Services like Optimizely and BuzzSumo help keep an eye on metrics and performance.

  • Optimizely: This software tracks engagement, clicks (or anything else that matters to you) in a few simple steps. Optimizely aims to improve conversions through A/B testing and has custom-goal tracking to help monitor measurable actions.
  • BuzzSumo: Find out what content is working well and which topics in your industry receive the most attention. This tool has the capability to alert you when any new content mentions your specific keyword, and can also track your competitor’s content performance.

Sixty-two percent of content marketers find their content to be ineffective. Are you content to be part of the miserable majority? Or will you break through the online noise and drive traffic through all necessary steps of promotion?

I’d love to hear your content promotion practices and favorite tools. Feel free to connect with me on Twitter @KristnSullivan, or with the team @QuinlanCompany.

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