Let’s face it.
All the awesome content in the whole world is bullshit if nobody knows it exists.
It’s like a pastor preaching to a church with no one in it.
Or an iPod playing great music with nobody listening.
To be honest, if there’s no one listening or reading, that awesome content might as well not exist.
Hubspot taught me: “A piece of content is only as good as its distribution.”
And this is why I’m writing this Sharp Guy Guide to promoting your content.
Because your content might as well not exist if you don’t promote it properly.
The Sharp Guy Guide To Promoting Your Content Effectively
In this day and age, “promoting content” has almost become a buzzword for “just share your content on a Facebook page, spam users with it in their inboxes and post it on Twitter.”
In case you’re wondering, that is not what “promoting your content” is all about.
A short and sweet definition of online marketing involves getting the right message to the right person at the right time.
Promotion is no different.
It involves all efforts directed towards creating awareness of your blog or business through getting your content in the right form in front of the right people at a time that will yield the most return on your investment (ROI).
ROI here could mean anything from page likes, to subscribes, to views, to visits, etcetera shmetcetera.
Now let’s take that definition and break it down just bit by bit.
The first part: “All efforts directed towards creating awareness of your blog or business…”
Online marketing is about more than just creating awareness, but for promotion, its main goal is to create awareness around your blog or business. So anything that will create awareness of your blog or business falls under promotion.
The second part: ” through getting your content in the right form in front of the right people… “
Promotion usually involves getting some form of content (images, text, or video) in an appropriate form in front of your target audience.
The third part: “… at a time that will yield the most return on your investment”
Promotion is not about just posting your content everywhere at all times of the day. There are certain times of the day when you will get more views, likes and shares of your content.
Your job is to figure out when those times are and promote your content during those times to get the maximum ROI.
Now that we’re done with the definition, let’s talk about the right approach to Content Promotion..
How to Promote Your Content Like A Boss
By now, you should have an idea of what it would take to promote your content effectively.
At the very least, you know content promotion is not about what I call Blindman Archery– firing your content blindly into every social media platform hoping something will click.
Sure, it might get you some results… just as a blind pig, sometimes finds a truffle, but at what cost in terms of time and effort?
If you’re being honest, no matter what results you may get from Blindman Archery, you need to put in a whole lot more effort than is actually required.
I’m all for hard work, but I believe in working hard and smart, not stupid.
Before we go into more details, here’s something you need to memorize:
“Content promotion begins before content creation.”
Call me crazy, but that is the truth and you’ll soon see why.
These are the backbones of Effective Content Promotion:
#1. Knowing Your Target Audience
I know.. I know.. You’re probably sick of me saying this over and over again, but it is what it is.
Without the audience or customer, there is no blog or business. As such, this is where it should all begin.
When you know and understand your target audience, you’d know their desires, needs, interests and problems. Using this information, you then create content you know for sure will not only provide them with value, but also solve problems for them.
There is no point creating content that your target audience is not interested in.
#2. Create Epic Content.
“A great product is its own best form of marketing.”
So you know your target audience- their desires, and needs, etcetera shmetcetera.
Now it’s time to create content.
Whatever you do at this point, don’t skim over the details. Put in time, and effort to create something great that provides real value to your target audience.
Take the time to craft magnetic headlines that attract eyeballs to your content.
Next, ensure that the content is displayed in a manner that’s appealing, beautiful, sexy, and just begging to be consumed. This means: look at your site design, ensure that you craft a great home page , and your site is easy to use.
Also, a bit of a no-brainer, but I’ll mention it anyway. Pay attention to your punctuation, spelling and grammar. Nothing kills a piece of content faster than obvious errors in grammar, and spelling.
Above all, make sure you actually deliver value in that piece of content.
#3. Know Where Your Target Audience Hangs Out
Maybe I should have just added this to #1.
But I had to give this one its own number so I could emphasize on it better.
Fine, Facebook may have over a billion users, but your target audience might spend more time on Pinterest or Twitter.
An important part of promotion is getting your message to the right people (your target audience). To do this, you need to know where they hang out.
You can find this out easily by doing searches on the different social media platforms for words, pages, and groups related to your niche.
Also Google searches for forums or groups related to your niche would show you where they hang out.
Once you have figured out where they do, go promote to them there.
#4. Understand the eccentricities of each Social Media Platform
There are a ton of different social media platforms and they all come with their own “eccentricities”.
By “eccentricities”, I mean differences in terms of content.
For example, Instagram and Pinterest mainly run on images.
Facebook works with both Images and text (with no limits) while Twitter has a 140 character limit.
LinkedIn connects business professionals while Snapchat allows you to take short videos and pictures that disappear after 24 hours, etcetera shmetcetera.
After identifying the top social media platforms where your target audience, take the time to understand and experiment with each platform.
Figure out what kind of content gets the most engagement on each social platform(response in form of likes, shares, “plus-es” or comments) from your audience.
For this, I would suggest focusing on 2 social media platforms at a time, instead of taking the whole bunch on at once.
#5. Know the Right Times to Post to Get the most ROI
If you just post content indiscriminately on your Facebook page or Group, you’ll find that some of your content just doesn’t get any ROI.
No likes, or shares. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.
In the beginning, this will happen a lot and you should embrace it, but also don’t dull. Monitor. MOnitor and MONitor!
For example, in Facebook, there’s an “Insights” tab in the dashboard of pages that allows you to see the times when your posts get a lot more engagement from your audience.
And even if you don’t do that, you can easily just look at when the engagement levels are highest on your posts and use that information to post at times that will get you the biggest bang for your buck.
#6. Think out of the Box
We all think “social media” when we hear content promotion, and I won’t blame us. There has been too much “senrenre” around social media platforms over the past decade.
However they are not the only way to promote your content.
I know this one from experience.
The biggest source of my traffic has been from the Nigerian forum site, Nairaland. I started off writing helpful posts, then site reviews and right now I don’t write site reviews on Nairaland any more but every time I post the link to a site review there, I get traffic to my site.
And I learnt an important lesson – “Don’t underestimate forums”.
Another way that has gotten a bad rap over the past couple of years is PPC Ads on Google. In case, you’re wondering, they still work… as long as you have great content.
Also, guest posting as always is a big one. Many blogs are looking for guest bloggers. To find them, all you need to do is type in “blog + write for us” and a bunch of blogs looking for guest bloggers will come up in the search engine result page. You can then reach out to a bunch of them and with each guest blog, promote your blog more.
I haven’t actually done a lot of guest posting, but I’m going to start on that pretty soon and let y’all know.
Another important way to actually promote your blog is for example, if you blog in a certain niche, network with influencers and build friendships with them.
Some times a single tweet by the right person could spread word about your business faster than a virus.
#7. Monitor. Analyze and Improve.
ROI is the name of the game.
Whatever method you use to promote your content, always monitor and analyze the results. See how many views you get, how many likes, shares, etc.
Then use that information to improve your method of promotion.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. As you promote, always evaluate the results of each method to ensure you’re getting the most for your investment of time, money and effort.
And if you aren’t, then tweak and tweak it till you are.
#8. The game is 20% production, 80% promotion
It’s easy to spend a lot of time creating great content, which is good.
The only problem with that is, like I wrote earlier, a piece of content is only as great as its distribution.
While I’m not saying “don’t take the time to create epic content”, I think you need to spend more time promoting your content than you do creating it.
Someone once said “If nobody is talking about you, you don’t matter”.
In the same vein, if your content isn’t spreading, and people aren’t aware of your content or what it is you do, your content might as well not exist.
Therefore, split your time into 5, and spend only one part creating the content and the other parts promoting your content.
#9. The Promotion Is Always ON!
If you take the time to create epic content, you’ll find that months and sometimes years from when you first created it, it still is relevant.
But you feel you already shared it once on Facebook when you wrote it many months ago.
Well, the thing is different people are online at different times and by only sharing your post once, you miss out on the number of people who weren’t online when you shared it.
So when you create content, you need to realize that you’re not going to just promote it once or twice and move to the next.
Content Promotion never ends. It continues on and on. Keep sharing your old posts as well as your new posts. And never ever stop promoting your content.
There you go, the rough and ready, Sharp guy Guide to promoting your content. I’m just going to leave you with one more tidbit:
“The degree to which you promote your content is the degree to which you’re confident in your content and value.”
So promote your content often and shamelessly.
Before anybody else would think your content is worth a damn, you have to think and believe it is.
And with that, we’re done.
Any questions or yarns? Let’s talk in the comments section.
Keeping it 500,
Author: Tomi Joshua
Tomi is a case.
A bit brash, at first blush. But ultimately, he means well. There are very few things he won’t say or do in the presence of tolerant company (especially when it could make for a good story later).
Tomi is a Doctor, writer, certified inbound marketer (Shout Out to HubSpot), Digital Hustler, and online business addict.
He is most likely to be found dancing to the beat of his own drum, even in accapella.