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Content marketing is an essential part of the marketing toolkit, providing a relatively low-cost way of reaching your audiences, without shelling out for advertising or PR.
But the popularity of content marketing, and the proliferation of online content in general, means that getting your efforts seen by the right people, and crucially driving ROI for your business, is now tougher than ever. To give you some perspective, every 60 seconds 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 1,440 Wordpress blogs are posted and 448,800 tweets are tweeted. With that much noise, it doesn’t matter how good your content is, you need to know how to promote it effectively.
Not sure where to start? Here are some tried and tested tactics to help your content get the attention it deserves:
1. Targeted social sharing. Social media should be your first port of call for content promotion, giving you a free public platform to post your videos, blogs and graphics. But as the figures above show, it’s still very easy to get lost in the noise, so try these tactics to increase your visibility
2. Incorporate SEO keywords and phrases. Boost the SEO juice of your content and drive it up the Google rankings by incorporating relevant key words, phrases and questions into your copy. So, if you run a gardening shop and a popular search question is ‘how often should I water my spider plant?’ write a blog about it and you’ll have a good chance of ranking, driving potential customers to your site. Use Google Ad Words to find out the kinds of words and phrases that are being searched for and how often. And take note -it’s better to pick those with a niche audience over the really popular ones, as you’ll have more chance of making that haloed first page of results.
3. Email blasts and newsletters. If you’ve got a database of friendly customers and contacts then make the most of it, by sending out an email alert when new content appears, or start a regular newsletter highlighting your top content picks. Mailchimp is a great free tool for creating professional newsletters. Just make sure you’ve swotted up on GDPR before sending out lots of unsolicited emails.
4. Track, measure and optimise. Use Google Analytics to track how well your content is performing, so you can constantly optimise as you go. For example, if you notice that a certain type of content or a certain topic is performing well, then do more like it. Also look at how different formats, e.g. listacles, how to’s, infographics, affect performance, as well as variables such imagery and word count.
5. Update and repost. Sometimes you don’t even need new content, just take some of your most popular pieces and give them a refresh. Studies have shown that Google rewards content that is updated regularly, so if you have a blog or guide that is already getting lots of views, giving that a freshen up could be more valuable than creating something completely new. Updates can include changes in the market, recent news or fresh examples. Doing this is also really helpful for your readers, ensuring they’re getting all the latest insights they need.
6. Paid social promotion. Okay so you might not have the budget for tonnes of advertising, but paid promotion on social media doesn’t have to be super expensive and it’s a fab way of giving your content a boost. You can also make your spend work extra hard by targeting the exact audiences you want to reach. It’s also really easy to track and cap your spending, so your bill won’t get out of control. The best way to approach it is to test different platforms with small amounts to begin with, then optimise and increase spend on those that deliver the best bang for your buck.
7. Align with your marketing funnel. Your customers are all looking for something slightly different from your content, depending on where they are in the sales process. Some are not sure what they need, so some education is called for. Or they may not have heard of you, in which case you need to build awareness and credibility. Others will want more specific advice about what kind of product or exact features suit them best. You can therefore make your content work harder by identifying these different stages and tailoring your content to each one. A great place to start is connecting with your sales or business development team to find out more about these different customer groups. This also helps get their buy-in early on, so they’re more likely to help promote the content when it’s ready. Win-win.