I’m sure you’ve read lots of articles about content promotion before. In fact, I’ve written quite a few myself. The fact is, there’s already an article — or dozens (or more) — on pretty much any aspect of content promotion you can think of.
But while the amount of content published has increased rapidly over the years, content views have fallen, according to Buzzsumo’s 2018 Content Trends report. Why? Because competition is fierce and the industry is only getting more and more saturated and competitive.
So, if you think you were doing a great job six months ago, the bar has already risen. Everything you think you know about content promotion, you need to reevaluate.
In 2017, I promoted over 100 articles for 20-plus websites. Along the way, I picked up a few strategies for content promotion that actually get results. These are my top three.
1. Piggyback on popular topics.
When something is done well, there’s hype around it. By piggybacking off of a popular topic, you already know there’s a demand for it. Plus, you can leverage the original article and engage the people who worked on it.
When Glassdoor published its list of the best small and medium companies to work for, we knew we wanted to create a guest post based on that list. To promote it, we reached out to those same 50 companies, plus Glassdoor.
We used the piece as a way to open doors and build relationships. That way, we were able to aggregate information to create a well-rounded article, and at the same time, connect with people who could share it with their personal networks.
As a result, it ended up with 32,000-plus visitors and 152 back links.
2. Look for content gaps.
Most topics have been written about over and over again. But every once in awhile, you can find an area that hasn’t yet been covered. That gap is what your content should aim to fill.
In 2015, I noticed that when I looked at the topic of buyer personas, there was something missing. There were plenty of articles about why personas are important and plenty of recommendations about talking to your customers, but no one was talking about what to say when you actually get your customers on the phone.
By identifying that content gap, I found a need and was able to go deep on the topic. I ended up creating an article called “150 Buyer Persona Questions You Must Ask.”
Once you come up with a great topic, the next thing you should be thinking about is how to promote it. I didn’t wait until I was done with my article to start thinking about promotion. Instead, promotion was happening at the same time as creation.
I started by Googling “buyer persona” and looking for people writing about the topic and those who were experts on it. Then, I reached out to those people and asked them to contribute to my article.
Out of the hundreds of people I contacted, about 30 or 40 people actually contributed to the article, and we got about 15,000 visitors. This article took longer to create than a typical blog post, but to create content that’s promotable, sometimes this is what it takes — and it’s worth it in the end.
3. “10x your content.”
This phrase, coined by Moz founder Rand Fishkin, means content that is 10 times better than what’s out there. On the Moz blog, Fishkin wrote that, because of content saturation and overload, standing out is hard.
“We can’t just say, ‘Hey, I want to be as good as the top 10 people in the search results for this particular keyword term or phrase,’” Fishkin wrote. “We have to [ask], ‘How can I create something 10 times better than what any of these folks are currently doing?’”
Creating 10x content, then, is about creating content that’s promotable. And ,when the result is something that’s epic or great enough, you can promote it like a product.
That’s what we did when with our Email Outreach Playbook. Our aim was to get customers from this piece of content. We used five or six different approaches, including launching on Product Hunt and promoting in Facebook and LinkedIn groups. We ran promotions for nine months.
We ended up getting 40,000 visitors, and have acquired 400 customers over the last year and a half. And the content continues to get shared today.
The key, though, is to not create 10x content too often. Instead, you should be creating stellar content, using it as a pillar every so often and focusing most of your attention on promotion.
How do you promote your content? What are your favorite tactics? Let me know in the comments: