Promoting your content
You’ve put together a brilliantly funny and informative piece of content that you know your peers will love. Now you just need to let them know.
– A good marketing strategy is going to involve multiple routes of attack.
– Breadth is the name of the game here, not depth.
– Keeping a very careful eye on analytics and your tangible results is crucial.
– Keeping an eye on developments in the industry is important: the circumstances around paid promotion have been subject to significant change in the last 24 months.
Let’s start with the obvious stuff: when your company puts out content, you should capitalise on your team member’s social networks by suggesting that they share the content too. This makes it available to a much wider pool of people from the word go.
Resonance is putting the finishing touches on Boom, an apparatus to coordinate the sharing of content between your team members, check it out here.
Expanding to other social networks
If you have thus far confined yourself to Twitter and LinkedIn, we would urge you to reconsider. That’s what we did, believing as we did in the prevailing consensus that Google+ was a bit of a wasteland. Then one day we decided to drop a link to one of our articles on a circle in Google+, and we were astonished by the results. Four tweets, seven LinkedIn shares, and a mighty twenty three shares on Google+! That made our minds up for us and now we’re seriously looking at expanding in whichever direction we can.
Building a promotion plan
– Paid: ads across various mediums, promoted FB posts/tweets.
Untargeted paid marketing such as TV or radio ads are traditionally not favoured by content marketers. Old-style marketing cannot be effectively targeted and often attracts the wrong sort of customers, and so while your viewing numbers may go up, your sales may not and your efforts/expenditure will have been for naught.
However, targeted paid marketing can be a great tool. With Mark Zuckerberg’s advertising crusade on Facebook, paid reach increased by 221% from July ’12 to July ’13, relative to organic’s 74% growth. 77% of a Pages’ reach in 2013 had been achieved through paid promoted posts. As Twitter pushes promoted tweets a similar situation will evolve there.
Outside of social media, there are platforms for hosting links on other high-traffic hubs. Seer Interactive recently ran a test of the various platforms who will promote your content for you, and found great results from nRelate and Taboola. From a set $ outlay they saw great results both in terms of clicks and conversions, especially due to the higher quality of the audiences they were exposed to. Other routes include StumbleUpon Paid Discovery and Reddit Ads, which might be even better depending on who you’re trying to reach.
– Owned: social networks, corporate blog, product.
The companies’ own digital space is an important resource in attracting eyes. Naturally, the highest possible quality leads are those who are already interested in the company. A potential customer who is simply ‘shopping around’ you and your competitors is looking for something that sets your product apart. The comprehensive and intelligent presentation of content speaks volumes for the expertise and reliability of the company and the people that compose it. This will reflect well on your product.
There is also the small stuff that can slip your mind while you’re setting up your strategy. When a potential lead is viewing on piece of your content, you should make it as easy as possible for them to see your other content. A floating frame on the side of your page with clickable titles, images and subtitles leading to your most recent or relevant content will do wonders for your bounce rate and time-on-site figures. Remember that your content is trying to paint a picture of your company, by seeing more of your content, the lead is seeing more of the picture.
– Earned (less controllable): press coverage, social sharing, 3rd party bloggers, product reviews.
Earned marketing is not something you can really proactively control, as soon as you try to buy it, it becomes paid marketing, and if you buy it and dress it up as if you haven’t, you’re merely deceiving your customers. The strength of your content is the most telling here. Good content promoted in the other two fashions will hopefully attract positive attention and buzz, both from professional industry journalists and from casual bloggers, who are no less important. Ideally, your content can expand beyond your followers/friends on the social networks when it gets shared around by industry professionals.
Earned media is the most important as it carries the most weight: when a new model of car comes out, prospective buyers don’t rush to the company Twitter account, they go to trusted third-parties who will give them a BS-free assessment of the product and what sets it apart from the competition.
Of course you can’t rely on great content to market itself, nothing can be trusted to ‘go viral’ on it’s own merits. An intelligent use of combined marketing can give your content the best possible start in life. The distribution method may well define the content, as such distribution should finalised before the content is even created.
Your choice of distribution will depend on your product, but B2B marketers should seriously consider the following:
– Youtube: vast amounts of traffic and now that the comments section has been cleaned up, somewhat more respectable. Audiovisual is an area that holds a huge space for expansion.
– Instagram: this is more difficult to justify from a B2B perspective given the demographics that use it, but if there is a way that your product/content can make an appearance on Instagram, there is a high degree of sharing.
– Tumblr is extremely popular, and like Instagram, sharing is a major aspect.
– Podcasts: with the written-content arena so desperately overcrowded, making the jump to an audio format that people could listen to on the move or while they work one that is worth looking into.
– Apps: the proportion of online traffic moving through mobile and tablets is increasingly rapidly, almost doubling from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013. An app is an excellent way of reaching the customer personally, even if your product is not something that can be made use of on an app, your content can be viewed through.