Brands that develop great content often spend a lot of time crafting the content itself but then forget about making sure it’s seeded properly.
Once they've created their masterpiece, they simply push it off into the vast oceans of the internet, like a Viking funeral boat, expecting it to rise to the heavens all by itself.
Creating exceptionally high quality content takes a lot of thought, creativity and time. Unfortunately, none of this matters if your content never sees the light of day. Creating good content is just half the battle. Without a clear strategy that has been devised at the point you are working on your creative, you will struggle to gain good results – traffic, links, likes and shares.
Before creating your content you should be questioning who you are targeting and how your creative will engage them. You should also be thinking about how you can reach the influencers you need to endorse and share your creative.
Nowadays, with the explosion of content marketing, journalists and bloggers are inundated with emails saying ‘I thought this might be of interest to you…’ making blogger and PR outreach ever more challenging. You only need to type ‘Christmas infographics’ into Google to see the problem content marketers face. Although outreach is still a very effective way to gain exposure for your creative, paid promotion is a great way to reach wider audiences that can amplify your content.
Here I list some of the most effective content promotion platforms you can use to increase content exposure:
Promoted Tweets on Twitter give you the opportunity to gain impressions and further engagement with your target audience. Look for current re-tweet and tweet trends as these will enable you to tweet content at the right time, ensuring maximum sharing and amplification.
Facebook is a tricky beast to master for content promotion. It can come back to bite you, so you need to ensure you are using it in the right way. It's an excellent channel for promoting informational assets, however a degree of caution must be exercised. In order to ensure the best amplification, you need to make sure that your ads are promoted to a highly targeted audience.
Outbrain is one of the leading content discovery platforms on the internet right now. Readers of stories on news and entertainment sites see links to related articles and 'trusted' content. Outbrain will take your content and link to it where appropriate, increasing your exposure. The program has been installed on more than 100,000 sites, with a network of 700 premium publishers that include Rolling Stone and CNN, helping amplify your content to large audiences.
Simply put, Reddit is the largest content aggregator on the internet. It’s definitely not something you can afford to ignore. While Facebook and Twitter are great for finding places where people share their interests, Reddit is far more rooted in the online forum world. It tends to draw the most passionate people from niche interest groups. For the best outcome, you should pay attention to ‘subreddits’, which are individual forum threads pertaining to a certain topic. It’s a superb way of interacting with really niche communities.
If you’re looking to spread your content around in the B2B arena, look no further than LinkedIn. It’s the best platform for B2B networking and making introductions and getting your brand or service noticed by other companies. You can also seek referrals for your content as well as your services.
StumbleUpon has been around since 2001, way before Facebook or Twitter. It works by having users tell the service what their interests are. This can range from palaeontology to philosophy, from Southern Hip-Hop to Baroque-period classical music. Then, every time the user clicks the ‘stumble’ button, they will be taken to a completely random site based on their interests. For B2B marketing, this is a total blessing. Interest-generating content can be optimized with StumbleUpon to appear right in front of your target audience, who are looking for the information that you’re pushing.
Traditionally, Zemanta is used to gain ‘natural looking’ links from all kinds of domains. However, if you use it in the right way, its content discovery platform can be utilised as a content distribution channel. If your content is hot, Zemanta will recommend it to publishers and bloggers, who will in turn share it with their audiences.
Regardless of what platform you use to promote your content, remember that there are always standards and best practices involved with each platform. You should always favour smart promotion over aggressive promotion and don't rely solely on organic sharing via social media platforms. Make sure you do plenty of research into how to effectively share your brilliant content.