Content marketing is like a car dealership.
Cars are parked waiting to be bought and driven (same as your articles on your blog waiting to be read and clicked).
Cars are meant to take their buyers and drivers wherever they want to go.
And the same thing happens with your content marketing.
Your blog posts or articles are meant to drive your blog’s visitors to your website.
And then, finally convert them into your email list subscribers, customers, and/or clients.
And this article will show the exact steps to take in order to get there.
Today, I’ll tell you:
- The 9 easy steps to promote your content.
- How to grow traffic with each step of the guide.
- And why writing valuable content is not enough to drive traffic to your site.
Alright. Have you ever questioned this in your content marketing?…
If Content Is Only Half of the Equation, Then What’s the Other 50%?
At this point in your content marketing, you know the strategies to increase your website traffic.
You know the most sustainable, cost-effective ways to drive targeted traffic to your website.
And you also know how to generate great content that educates and adds value to the reader, how to create the perfect blog post template, and the blog post titles that are brains are hard-wired to click.
In a few words: you know how to write content that’s guaranteed to attract and convert.
But what comes next is exactly what even the most experienced digital marketers fail at.
You’ve got the greatest writers, you’ve got the best editors, and you’ve got the perfect content.
But where’s the traffic?…
Where are the sales?…
Well, even with all that, you’re still missing one of the most important steps in content marketing: content promotion.
Or did you really think that content marketing just ends right after you publish your articles?
Content is the coffee addiction of internet users.
They can’t get enough of it. So why not give them what they want?
You might want to see your content as the fuel for your sales engine. And content promotion is the… IGNITION switch!
Now, let’s execute each step of the guide and turn that ignition switch on.
Content Promotion Step #1: Send a Newsletter to Your Email List
Sending a newsletter to your email list is one of the best ways to promote your content—even if you don’t know how to create a killer newsletter.
Research by Hubspot shows that 46% of people prefer looking at the content of the brands they like in the form of newsletters.
For sending a newsletter, what you’ll do is very simple.
Once your blog post or article is ready, create an email draft and choose the design you like.
For instance, we at AutoGrow use ActiveCampaign as our email automation platform and send out a very simple email design.
Then, take a fragment from your article’s introduction (or the full intro), paste it in the email draft, and voilà!
You’ve got your email newsletter to promote your content.
But hold on for a sec because we’re not done yet.
Your newsletter will tease people to read the full article because obviously, you won’t send to your audience 3,000+ words in one email.
You want to keep it simple but powerful enough to catch their attention.
Your goal here is for people to click and read the article.
And for this, you’ll add a call-to-action button with a color that makes it stand out.
See the example below?
Also, include some text inviting the prospect to read the full article just like on the CTA button above.
At AutoGrow, when sending out our daily newsletters (you can subscribe here by the way), we use our full introduction from the article.
And for that, we follow our internal copywriting formula that makes the introduction of every article more interesting.
We start with a short and personal story (200-300 words).
Then we include an agreeable statement and a promise of what benefit(s) the reader will get from reading the article, and a preview or a brief overview of how we’ll give them the promised benefit(s) and/or what information we’ll be covering in the article
Then, we add:
- A powerful, yellow CTA button with “Click here to read today’s article”
- The signature or name of the person sending the email (in this case me)
- And an email subject line subscribers can’t resist but click
- A personalized greeting for the prospect to feel connected to our brand
- CTA at the end of the email
- And a PS message
Content Promotion Step #2: Email Companies & People You Mentioned in Your Article or Blog Post
Those are part of the things I teach in my Triple Your Traffic: Content Rocket System.
You see, well-written articles include third-party research, quotes from entrepreneurs, stats from trusted sources, and other facts that help your article be credible and support claims.
When you do that, other companies, entrepreneurs, founders, and/or sites are mentioned.
You can add a quote from someone, an interview, or research by a trustworthy company.
With this tactic, you’re actually promoting your own content.
In your post, you’re adding a link to another site. And when your readers go through your article, they can click on that link and visit the website you linked them to.
You’re promoting that other site.
So this step in your content promotion guide is nothing but sending an email to the sites you mentioned in your blog.
Let them know that you’re promoting them on your website and that you’re looking for nothing in exchange.
Just think for a second, who’s going to appreciate free promotion?
And perhaps, they may even be interested in reposting your article (or blog post) and promoting your content as well.
That way, their writers may keep your business at the top of their minds when they’re creating new content too.
For instance, here’s the template we use at AutoGrow for reaching out to people we mention in our articles…
Content Promotion Step #3: Add Links to Related Articles from Your Blog
What an easy tip to follow!
When you create content for your blog, besides adding external links, include links to older posts from your blog.
At AutoGrow, we actually follow a rule of including at least one internal link back to our blogs.
This makes our readers navigate through our articles without having to leave our blog page.
So you might want to consider including links to other articles from your blog to promote your content.
Here’s an example of how we include internal links in our blogs.
We just write relevant text with the keywords to any of our past articles and link the text with the URL.
Content Promotion Step #4: Do Guest Posting
Doing guest posting introduces your content to a whole new audience who may not (yet) know you.
As a result, those posts led to more referral traffic for AutoGrow.
One of the highest converting articles I wrote was “7 Laws of Sales Funnel Physics Every SaaS Business Needs to Know” for KissMetrics.com.
I later continued working on this article and turned it into “The 11 Laws of Sales Funnel Physics Every Business Needs to Know.”
This guest post I wrote for KissMetrics skyrocketed our traffic and made the article earn some powerful comments too.
You can increase your traffic by doing guest posting and you can also double your website traffic in 30 days (just like we did).
Content Promotion Step #5: Share Your Content on Social Media
Social Media is on the rise.
- Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world, has 2.4 billion users. (Our World in Data)
- Youtube has more than one billion users. (Our World in Data)
- More than 1 billion Instagram accounts worldwide are active every single month.
- Whatsapp has more than 1.6 billion users. (Statista)
- There’s a total of 275 million accounts on Twitter. (Statista)
- Over 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily. (Instagram)
- ⅓ of the most viewed stories are from businesses. (Instagram)
The rapid growth of these platforms has changed how we access information from the news, how we’re educated, and how we enjoy entertainment.
So when it comes to content promotion, posting on social media is a must and the statistics are proof of it.
That’s why another easy way to promote your content is by posting it on the most popular social media channels.
And there are many examples of social media campaigns that you can even copy.
Remember that social media is more about relationship building than straight-up promotion, so don’t be overly aggressive when promoting.
For posting on social media, all you need to do is sign up, open a profile, and start posting content.
Research by Hubspot shows that 48% of the people surveyed plan on using Youtube as their marketing distribution channel next year. And 39% say Facebook videos and 33% say Instagram.
Posting on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, or Pinterest can get new people looking at your social channels.
And as a matter of fact, research by Orbit Media shows that in 2019, 97% of the traffic of blog posts came from social media.
And when you decide to post on social media, remember to use relevant hashtags.
According to a study by Statista, 23.1% of Instagram posts in 2019 had 4 to 10 hashtags. And 28.7% of posts did not feature any hashtags at all.
Content Promotion Step #6: Share Instagram Stories
Instagram beat the Snapchat-like stories feature in 2017.
So if you’re looking to do some effective content promotion, then adding a simple Instagram story can do wonders for your business.
Here are a few stats to show you why.
- 500 million people use Instagram stories every day.
- In 2020, 75.3% of U.S. businesses will use Instagram. (SocialMediaToday)
- Over 400 million Instagram users sharing Instagram stories every day. (Statista)
- Instagram stories get almost 10% of all ad spending on Facebook in 2019. (Bloomberg)
- Brands on Instagram create an average of 2.5 stories on the platform every week. (Conviva)
- Top brands on Instagram are seeing a 4.21% per-follower engagement rate. This is 58X higher than on Facebook and 120X higher than on Twitter (Hootsuite)
If you’re looking to upload an Instagram Story but you don’t know how to do so, here are some easy steps that’ll help you promote your content through this important platform…
1. Open the Instagram app.
2. Tap the camera icon in the top left corner.
3. Tap the white circle at the bottom of the screen to take a picture, or press and hold the circle to record a video.
4. Click “Send to” to share it with your followers.
5. If you’d rather use a photo or video you already have saved in your phone, tap the square gallery icon on the bottom left of the screen.
Content Promotion Step #7: Post Videos With Your Content
This one’s pretty easy too.
Research by Hubspot shows that video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than in the form of text.
And the same study shows that by including a video in your post, organic traffic can increase by 157% from search results.
As you already know, most of the social media platforms that we currently use, have shifted significantly in what they offer to their users.
Twitter, for example, at first didn’t allow users to upload videos or images.
Almost a decade ago they made this possible and today more than 50% of the content viewed on Twitter includes images and videos.
So if you’re looking at how to promote content right, then post a video.
That’s actually what we do at AutoGrow.
Almost every single piece of content we post includes a walk-thru video of the article for people who prefer watching rather than reading.
And you can, of course, check them out on our YouTube channel as well…
Content Promotion Step #8: Promote Via LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn is one of the most professional social media marketing sites that’s on the rise. And these stats support that statement.
- 39% of the 500 million LinkedIn users are paying for a premium account. (Omnicore)
- LinkedIn has 670 million members worldwide and over 167 million users in the U.S. (LinkedIn)
- Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than 2 new members per second. (LinkedIn)
- 40% of members visit the professional social network each day. (Omnicore)
LinkedIn Groups is a great venue for connecting with professionals in similar industries and share content with like-minded individuals.
It’s also great for posting jobs and general employee networking.
So if you want to promote your content, open a Linkedin group by:
1. Clicking on the “work” option at the top right corner
2. Click on the “Groups” widget
3. Click the “Create a new group” button
4. Fill out the form
If you’re already a group owner or manager, you can promote your group by:
- Optimizing and editing your group information to include keywords that prospective members are likely to search for.
- Encouraging group members to invite people.
- Share the Group URL with your connections through an update in your feed or through LinkedIn Messaging. Members can request to join by clicking on the link.
- Advertise your group with LinkedIn Ads by clicking the Advertising link at the bottom of any LinkedIn page.
Once you get approved to join a group, you can share your content or network with people in your niche for more content exposure.
If the group includes some high-value connections, start a relevant conversation with people in that group before you publish and promote the content.
Also, you can ask questions to trigger some discussion.
Plus, promoting great blog content will help you build more followers.
Content Promotion Step #9: Optimize Your Content for SEO and Promote with Link Building As an Option
Research by HubSpot shows that 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.
And a different study by the same company says that organic SEO is about 5.66X better than paid search ads.
If you want to know how to promote your content, optimizing it for SEO and doing link building is a must.
In fact, a study by Orbit Media shows that over 78% of the people surveyed get traffic from SEO.
And when promoting content with SEO, keep in mind the following factors:
- How much competition is there for the keyword you picked?
- Your on-site SEO (i.e., does your title tag in the HTML of the page have the keyword you’re trying to rank for in search engines embedded in it?)
- How great is your content that Google naturally wants to put you on the first page of search results and other people want to link to it?
Remember, from Google’s point of view, it’s always trying to give its users the best possible result based on what they’re searching for.
And if Google determines that your content best answers the needs of the searcher, you will move up in the rankings quickly.
When you’re considering multiple keywords to choose from and if you’re not sure how to pick, here are a few tips:
- Focus on ones that are most relevant directly or indirectly to your business.
- Focus on keywords with research intent (you’re not looking to sell visitors yet).
- Focus on keywords relevant to the rough draft title of your article.
- Focus on keywords that are 3-5 words total and have at least 300 searches per month on average.
Once you choose your target keyword with a clear understanding of the competitive SEO landscape, you’ll promote your content online in a more efficient way.
On the other hand, link building can bring significant results to your business.
At AutoGrow, we’ve actually seen conversion rates (from emails sent, to links gained) from 5-10%.
So depending on the search volume for the keyword you’re targeting, it can dramatically boost your rankings in the search results, your traffic, and the number of inbound leads you collect.
And more importantly, with link building, your site and page will be ranked higher in Google search results, which is likely to send you a steadier stream of traffic than the link itself.
And here are some tips to follow to get links and continuously get traffic from people who click on them.
1. Create a spreadsheet with your top 10 highest ranked articles around your target SEO keyword.
2. Compile contact information for the articles’ authors. Remember to reach out to people effectively, we don’t want to write a generic impersonal email or that in any way can be interpreted as spam.
3. After you have that information compiled, it’s time to send the outreach email message. Here’s the template we use at AutoGrow (note that this is also a two-step email outreach process).
4. When you get responses to the emails that you send out, respond by being helpful and direct.
5. You’ll typically see responses almost immediately. After you get some link-backs, you’ll start to see traffic results within 1-2 weeks. So make sure to make a note with the dates you sent the emails so you can track the results. Keep in mind that results will vary from industry to industry and it’ll depend too on the quality of your content.
Simple enough, right?
Relevant content that‘s useful to your target market is the fuel that goes into your engine.
And promoting your content, well, that’s the ignition switch.
And when you hit the ignition switch by publishing and promoting your content, you’ll get more site visitors and followers.
Some of those visitors will sign up for your email list, other free offers, and convert immediately into client leads and sales if done right.
But the real difference between the content that gets a few shares and thousands isn’t simply an issue of quality. It’s an issue of marketing—that is, promotion.
The key advantages of doing content promotion are that anyone can do it regardless of the budget.
Its effect grows over time, builds an asset, it’s sustainable, and even if you start and stop doing it, the results—traffic—wouldn’t stop immediately, like with ads.
Now tell me something, which of the steps of this content promotion guide will make you think more strategically? Are you eager to try any of these steps?
Let me know in the comments below.
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.