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Content Promotion Strategy: Engage Your Audience

Unlock the true power of your content promotion by incorporating key tips and trends.

Is your content working as hard for you as you’d like it to? Answering that question requires evaluating your content promotion strategy. Doing so can reveal new angles and opportunities for delivering your brand and product story to your audience in a memorable way.

In this article, we will explore what content promotion is, why it matters to organizations of all sizes, and then offer a list of actionable strategies you can put to work for your business to drive results.

What is content promotion?

Content promotion refers to the process you use to get your content to your sought-after audience, inspiring engagement or action. The varieties of content run the gamut. It can include everything from banner ads or blog posts to video ads and social media outreach. Because the material can span both paid and organic channels, we’re also talking about other tools like pay-per-click advertising, influencer collaborations, and email marketing.

If the content was created to connect with your audience, then it will figure in your content promotion plan. That’s true no matter the goal of that piece of content, which can span a range of objectives, including:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Educating an audience
  • Promoting organic traffic
  • Inspiring social shares
  • Generating leads
  • Driving sales
  • Building backlinks

In today’s cluttered, competitive marketplace, simply creating and disseminating content isn’t enough. With so many distractions, evolving search trends, and declining organic reach on social media platforms, your message can get lost before it reaches your intended audience.

Why is content promotion important?

Simply creating an ebook, blog post, or video ad and hitting publish won’t generate the results you’re looking for. In the wild, your content is competing with an ever-growing list of quality content choices. That means you need to work just as hard marketing the piece as you did creating it.

The same is true for even the most familiar brands, regardless of their social following and visibility. Content promotion is democratic: Every organization needs to promote and amplify its content if it hopes to make an impact or prompt action within its ideal audience.

But before content promotion comes content creation. Remember that your support of that blog post or those banner ads will enjoy more traction if the material is grounded in your audience’s interests and needs. You’ll achieve better results when promoting content to the right audience at the right time.

Primary channels for your content promotion

Depending on your audience, content priorities, and goals, you might call upon a range of different communication channels to distribute your material. Each option brings slightly different demands and benefits to your promotion strategy.

Social media advertising

To make the most of your social channels, start by ensuring your Content and Social teams are communicating and collaborating with each other. The stories they tell should align and support each other.

When your teams work together, social media promotion can be a very effective tool for distributing your content, especially to new audiences. We know it’s a favorite resource for many audiences, especially when it comes to researching products. The right message can rise above the noise and grab their interest. The right message at the right time can prompt your audience to share, visit your site, and even buy.

Get started by making sure you’re active on the platforms your audiences prefer. You want to post regularly and always with content you know is relevant to them. Encourage interaction. Ask questions. Show your brand’s personality.

Paid promotion strategies

You might hear people talk about pay-per-click advertising. In most cases, they’re referring to paid promotion, which can include tactics spanning everything from paid search to display ads, paid social, and content distribution networks. The goal is usually the same: Drive your audience to your website, blog, or webinar—whatever the content is.

Before you get started, begin by answering a few key questions:

  1. Who’s my audience?
  2. What are my goals?
  3. What’s my budget?

Knowing how much you wish to spend, for example, will help you determine your channels and targeting approaches. For the content, think about using material that’s already performing well and then optimize it. Consider your keywords and make sure the destination you send your audience to rewards them with a worthwhile experience.

Blog content

Your blog offers a valuable tool for promoting content. As always, your audience and their interests should drive your content development and editorial calendar.

Optimize your search ranking by keeping an eye on search engine optimization (SEO). Your targeted, thoughtfully conceived material isn’t likely to reach your audience if your blog doesn’t perform well in search results.

When you know the terms your audience is searching for, you can build your content offerings around them. Other things to think about include posting weekly, using internal links to key sections of your site, sharing your posts on social media, and repurposing them for other venues and uses.

Email marketing

At a time when personalized content is increasingly expected, email marketing offers an especially effective way to deliver tailored messages. As a result, email can be an unusually useful asset in content promotion strategies.  

If you have a dedicated email marketing team, make sure they are part of the conversation with your content development leads. You want everyone who touches your material to share the same understanding and objectives. Cohesion and consistency are important across all channels. Here are some general rules of thumb for email marketing:

  • Draft a compelling subject line to inspire people to open your email.
  • Focus your email on content that matters to your audience.
  • Make sure your content is quick and easy to digest.
  • Consider the day you send your email. For example, Monday is commonly best for open rates and Tuesdays perform better for click-to-open rates.

Online communities

Joining online forums or discussion groups can connect you with new audiences who may not know your brand. Example sites include Medium, Mashable, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Quora. What communities does your audience visit and prefer? Meet them there.

Keep in mind that many of these sites do not permit linking directly to your content, no matter if it’s a blog or your website. These communities are about interacting and sharing perspectives. The more you’re able to discuss subjects of interest with your audience, the more likely you are to attract your fellow participants.

To know which online communities are best suited to your brand, explore using social monitoring tools that alert you whenever your company or identified keywords are mentioned online. Once you know where to go, start contributing.

Benefits of different promotion strategies

There are myriad ways to use content to forge a connection with your audiences. Some are free, relying on materials that you’ve already created. Others require an investment but can deliver greater results. Here are 3 of the most common paths to customer engagement. As you craft your content strategy, consider how each might work for you.

Paid media

Two examples of this pay-to-play promotion tool include paid social ads and content distribution networks. With paid social, you benefit from the data on popular platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or X (formerly Twitter) with paid search. These platforms let you highly target your ads, which can drive better results. The upside of content distribution networks is their large reach and your ability to target your content to specific audiences.

Earned media

The name says it all here. This category of promotion refers to interest that is generated organically through smart, unpaid promotion. Earned media content often relies on influencers and key websites to build connections to your audience. Collaborating with these other players could lead to promotion efforts like content partnerships, guest blogging, and contests.

Owned media

Owned media includes the content promotion that’s performed on platforms that you own and/or operate, such as your website, email marketing, and social media efforts. It’s true that the bulk of this audience is likely already fans of your brand, but they can be your best marketers by sharing your content and advocating for your business or product with others.

Four steps to creating a successful content promotion strategy

If you’re new to content promotion or perhaps you hope to revisit your existing strategy, here are some useful steps to consider as you get underway. You’ll undoubtedly find that this is a fluid process that rewards flexibility. The one undeniable truth is that all the steps begin and end with your customer.   

Step #1: Identify and grow your target audience

Your content promotion success is directly linked to how well you understand who you’re trying to reach. The steps and strategies you use to push out your content will be based on this customer intelligence.

Important questions can include: What are their primary interests (relative to your industry)? What are their pain points? How and where do they do their research? Some form of audience segmentation may be valuable in this step.

To add another dimension to your understanding, it can be useful to also explore the top influencers in your industry. They can provide clues regarding trending topics and customer sentiments on a range of issues. Check out what they’re saying and where they’re communicating to your audience. You might decide to work with them directly.

Step #2: Clarify your content promotion goals

Once you know your audience, next up is identifying your objectives for the content and campaign. Your aims may be unique to your brand, but it’s more likely they’ll fall into one or more of a handful of common categories. We noted a few earlier such as educating your audience, driving search traffic to your site, or growing revenue.

The clearer you can be about your objectives, the more likely you are to reach them. To keep you on track, consider outlining some key performance indicators (KPIs). A KPI is how you plan to track your objectives. KPIs can also help you measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy as a whole.

Step #3: Choose the right channels for targeted distribution

You know who you’re hoping to reach and what you’re hoping to achieve. Now it’s time to establish where the communication is likely to have the greatest success. Selecting the channels you plan to use is key. It relies on your knowledge about your audience and impacts everything from the structure of your content to your budget.

We’ve addressed some of the most common distribution channels available to you. These include email marketing, web content, paid promotion, and social media. Other channels worth considering include infographics, ebooks, podcasts, and webinars. Meet your audience where they are.

Step #4: Track the performance of your marketing efforts

Everything is in place for your content promotion plan. Now you’ve arrived at a critical too-often-overlooked step: tracking performance. Is your content reaching the right people? Is it inspiring the right responses? Guessing here undermines all the hard work you’ve done to this point.

If you implemented KPIs, here’s where that decision will pay off. These indicators use quantifiable measures to evaluate the performance of your campaign, informing decision-making and validating your marketing spend. You can use these insights to refine and adapt your content promotion as you go.

Eight tips for optimizing your content promotion tactics

You can always improve your content promotion effectiveness. Consider this collection of tips for taking your strategy to the next level.

Tip #1: Include your own network of contacts

Your content promotion effort is about building deeper connections with your brand’s audiences. As you plan your outreach or campaign, don’t overlook the contacts already available within your organization.

Share your strategies and objectives with the broader team at the company. Encourage people to disseminate the content via their channels as many of your colleagues may boast their own followings related to your field or industry. Coming from a trusted source to those already familiar with your business, the content can build momentum and promote further sharing.

Tip #2: Time your content promotion to your target audience

How likely are you to read an email on a Friday evening? How about Sunday morning? The timing of your content promotion matters. Miss your audience during the initial send or post and it may well be lost in the steady stream of content most people receive.

But if everyone shares their content at these optimal times, one might wonder how it’s possible to still stand out. Repetition is one response. When distributing blog posts, for example, choose a couple of different times of higher and lower volume to mix it up. Also, think about posting a few minutes before or after the hour. Many marketers have set their social tools to submit on the hour, so you sidestep the rush.

Tip #3: Repurpose content for different channels

You seek to optimize so much in your workflow—the same objective should apply to your content. That’s what reusing or repurposing existing content can do, saving you valuable time, energy, and effort. Reimagine that webinar as an ebook, that blog post as a social post. Plus, different segments of your audience consume content in different ways.

Videos offer an especially promising repurposing opportunity. Growing in popularity and reach, video content is being used by brands to reimagine blogs or other written content. Consumers often welcome the chance to see a product in action before purchasing. Try a short teaser video for social platforms and link to either a longer version of that video or an article or blog post.

Tip #4: Add paid promotion to your content promotion strategy

Paid promotion remains a popular go-to content marketing tactic for many. A tried-and-tested tool, it’s easy to see why given organic promotion’s limited capabilities and uncertain ROI. If you know your audience and are sufficiently targeted, you can cut through the noise.

Investing in pay-per-click ads, native advertising, or paid social media ads can help you distribute new content, especially lengthier pieces like e-books or white papers. Sites like Facebook and Instagram can help you run paid promotion campaigns on social media, and the Google Display Network can help you reach millions of potential customers on relevant, popular websites.

In all cases, make sure your investment is backed up by research into which areas are likely to deliver the desired traffic. Also, you can use the same ads for retargeting people who showed interest in your brand.  

Tip #5: Optimize on-page SEO to rank on search engines

Do your content the courtesy of optimizing it for search engines so it ranks higher in results and can actually be found. Meet the on-page SEO requirements and get those keywords into your content, including consulting the top 10 competitors’ ranking for the keywords.

A few things to keep in mind as you tackle this tip. Lean toward high-volume or high-intent keywords that reflect the terms used in searches by your audience. Optimize any meta titles, descriptions, and page headers. Consider SEO keyword research tools that can help ensure you have achieved keyword maximums. Insert internal links where appropriate to maximize session time per visitor.

Tip #6: Make your existing content easily shareable

Your most devoted customers can become your best marketing assets. So, enable your audience to quickly and easily pass your content onto their networks by, for example, adding sharing tools to your website. Inviting customers to post your content is effective and helps you save time and resources for other content-related tasks.

To drive blog shares, some companies will insert pre-drafted tweets inside the post for visitors to borrow and use. You can also add social media widgets to the actual interface of your blog, streamlining the process even further.

Tip #7: Harness influencer marketing for different audience segments

The most popular voices in your industry can often offer help to boost your reach through their typically large followings. Find your industry’s influencers via social media searches and tools. Then, determine where they engage their audience and what they typically talk about across their channels.

Use that information to pitch collaborations that benefit you both. It could be as simple as asking for a quote for a blog, with the understanding that the person will share the post when published. By supporting your content, influencers can build backlinks for your website and inspire their followers to explore your brand. 

Note that these individuals tend to be sought after, so be patient and persistent and craft your ideas with their interests in mind. It’s also important to understand that the largest influencers may decline a trade of this sort, preferring instead to be paid for their participation. Influencer endorsements also come with legal considerations, so be sure to check out the latest FTC guidelines.

Tip #8: Try a social media or newsletter swap with a partner brand

Swapping is a simple idea but can be an effective way to introduce yourself in a targeted way to new audiences. You agree to publish an item from another brand in your newsletter in exchange for them including your content in theirs. You can use the same model with social media, with you and your partner brand swapping posts. Check with your company’s legal counsel to determine if any contractual steps may be necessary.

With either social or newsletter swaps, choosing who to work with is the big question. You obviously want to avoid competitors and connect with a brand that offers a large following that aligns with your audience. Of course, that means you’ll likely have to offer the same in return, especially when it comes to your social media following.

Content promotion trends to keep an eye on

Creativity and technology are forever generating new ideas and opportunities for getting your content in front of the people who matter most to you. By staying up on prevailing trends, you can continue to surprise and delight your audiences.

The growing influence of generative AI on creating content

You can’t get away from the discussion of artificial intelligence (AI) these days. It’s all over the news and almost surely talked about within your company. When it comes to content creation, we’re already seeing its ability to speed up and streamline how we work.

AI is increasingly being called upon for tasks like topic generation, outline creation, and even drafting social media copy. But with its use come potential copyright risks and the threat that you’ll be forfeiting the deep human understanding you bring to the content you create. Experiment and find the right balance for you.

The rise of short-form video content

From Instagram Reels to TikTok, short-form video has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. Its spread is understandable given the fact that these bite-size videos commonly include graphics, text, speech, and music, which can often stimulate viewers more than static words on-screen.

These videos also happen to be a useful tool for grabbing attention and conveying stories in a concise and engaging way. According to a 2023 survey, 73% of consumers preferred short-form videos to search for products or services. Look for more brands to use short videos to offer how-tos and grow brand awareness.

The increasing popularity of zero-click content

What’s zero-click content? It’s the increasingly familiar type of search result you get without requiring you to click a link and leave the search results page. Zero click is making a big impact as it enables those conducting searches to access the desired information faster and more easily.

Zero-click results are the snippets that appear at the top of the search results page. Note that they can include text, images, and videos. You can use the FAQs on your content pages to appear among those featured snippets, helping increase your site’s overall brand visibility and putting your content in front of more people.

AR and VR enable new content creation opportunities

We’ve been hearing about the promise of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) for years but the twin technologies appear to be gaining greater traction with those creating content. The appeal for marketers is the ability to deliver richer, more interactive experiences than a traditional content marketing strategy.

Brands are embracing AR and VR so they can invite their audiences to explore products in 3D, virtually try them out and on, and enjoy immersive storytelling that distinguishes them from competitors. We can expect creative teams to continue to find new and memorable content marketing applications for these versatile tools.  

Voice search is increasingly important for search

Voice is fast becoming the new search tool. The days are over when you had to type in your search terms before you could find out the world’s largest mammal. People are now simply using their voice to search for all kinds of topics. 

What does that mean for you? It means you’ll want to think about optimizing your content for voice search to ensure your site is ready to provide effective responses. A couple of tips include ensuring relevant keywords figure in your headlines and subheads, using conversational language in your query answers, and improving your page load rates. Not only can this improve your brand’s visibility, but it also means improving accessibility for certain populations dealing with disabilities.

Attract large audiences with effective content promotion

Your content is your voice to the world. It supports everything from your brand awareness to your bottom line. It introduces your audiences to your products and your personality, helping foster and nurture long-term relationships. A sound, thoughtful, effective content promotion strategy is key to reaching each of those important goals.

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