Have you ever spent hours writing a blog post, getting every word just right until you create something you're really proud of? As either a writer or editor, you're always striving for the highest quality. Most of us have been there.
So you publish your masterpiece and nothing - but the sound of crickets. It's like the old adage - if a tree falls in a forest, does anybody hear it? Savvy marketers understand that writing/editing is only the first part of a process to spread your great content to as much of your target audience is possible. We've covered the importance of formatting your content visually to connect with your audience in other posts.
Today, we're going to talk about five simple strategies to promote your inbound marketing content. Without effective promotion, it's basically a matter of serendipity if a good prospect finds your content. Let's not leave something that important to chance.
1. Promote content on social media - with frequency
This suggestion will probably strike many of you as not being particularly earth-shattering, but let me explain. Many businesses publish a blog post and share it on their social media channels - once.
If you only post your content on social one time, you will miss the majority of your potential readers. Social media timelines move so fast that your social post will be missed by all but the precious few that are on social media when you publish the post. Not to mention the fact that the people you want to reach are busy and don't spend all day on social media.
We recommend that you post the content you publish five times over a period of five to six weeks. This increases your chances for reaching a broader share of your audience. By spreading the posts out over time, it minimizes the chances of you appearing repetitive to your audience.
Experiment with different time and different days of the week in your social posting. Review your analytics to see if you can discern any patterns about the best times to post.
2. Answer questions on Quora with your content
Quora is a social media platform where users post questions and experts answer those questions. Before you start using Quora to promote your content, please read their user policies and guidelines. What you don't want to do is answer someone's question with a link to your blog post. Rather, you should provide a good answer that specifically answers the question and include a link to your blog post for those that want to go deeper.
Here is a suggested process for sharing your expertise on Quora:
- Use the search function to find questions that correspond with the topic of your blog post. Look for questions that have a significant amount of answers, followers and upvotes.
- When you find a question that you want to answer, write a good answer that provides value to the Quora community. Don't paste the copy from your blog post, write a concise, original answer to the question being posed.
- After you've answered the question, share a link to your blog post for those that want a deeper dive into your thinking.
Keep an eye on your site analytics to see the amount of referrals and leads coming to your site from Quora. It's very important to not be spammy on Quora - you will be banned from the site if you are.
3. Post your content on BizSugar
BizSugar is a website to share "small business news and tips." BizSugar allows its community to post content about Marketing, Finance, Management, Technology and Startups. If you market to SMBs in any of those areas, it's worthwhile to share your content on BizSugar.
BizSugar encourages its community to submit blog posts relevant to SMBs. Simply insert your URL and add a brief summary of your article and post it.
The community votes on your content - if you get sufficient votes, your content "becomes hot," which earns you greater visibility on the BizSugar site.
4. Use blog posts in lead nurturing emails
Lead nurturing emails, also referred to as a drip campaign, are a series of emails that are sent to someone who submits a form on your website to receive a premium content offer. The purpose of lead nurturing emails are to share content to potential buyers based on their initial interest with the goal of initiating a sales conversation.
For example, if someone downloaded the Rapidan Inbound Introduction to Business Blogging from the CTA below, one of the lead nurturing emails might contain a link to this blog post to give the lead more information on promoting their blog.
Experiment with your lead nurturing emails and let your marketing analytics guide you to an optimized lead nurturing path.
5. Use your content in your outbound marketing
Although we are an inbound marketign agency, we do see the value in outbound marketing. Outbound marketing doesn't have to be (shouldn't be) blasting the same message to a large group of potential buyers in the hopes of getting a few responses.
We see outbound marketing as a way to reach out to potential buyers with a highly customized message based on their unique circumstances. For example, if I see that someone has started a blog and may be looking for ways to get the maximum return from it, I may send them an email with a link to this blog post. The idea is to give them useful information and to separate you from the multitude of unhelpful spammers trying to reach that buyer.
Your response rates and the quality of your interaction with these outbound leads will be different than your inbound leads. But if you're helpful and respectful, you will create some valuable sales opportunities with your outbound marketing.
In my opinion, there are three steps to creating effective content that is widely accessed: create good content, format it properly and promote it well. If you take equal care with all three of these steps, you will be successful. If you miss one, not so much. If you'd like to learn how you can use content marketing to grow your business, please shedule a free consultation.