Fact: “How to promote my content?” is a question that plagues marketers and business owners at every level. ?
Your content does need some hand-holding to get more exposure, engagement, and traffic. ?
Publishing great content is just the start of your content marketing journey. After you push it out into the world, what you do next will mean everything to your hoped-for ROI.
However, that’s not what inspired this blog post (though it IS important).
Instead, it was a simple question from one of my readers, asked in a live Twitter chat (it was during a recent #ContentWritingChat, to be specific).
I mentioned email and Facebook groups were my #1 content promotion methods:
A5— Julia McCoy (@JuliaEMcCoy) January 7, 2020
EMAIL & Facebook groups ??
With the amount of noise now happening on so many leading social platforms, these two channels are a way to break through the noise and get your new content seen by your audience.
For me, they outperform all other channels!#ContentWritingChat
This prompted a question from a fellow chat participant:
Now that you’ve asked, a blog on this very topic will be on my editorial calendar ? #ContentWritingChat— Julia McCoy (@JuliaEMcCoy) January 7, 2020
Which immediately sparked the inspiration for the blog you’re reading right now. ?
I’m here to explain the practical, nitty-gritty ways each of these helpful channels ROCKS for content promotion.
If you have ever asked the question “How to promote my content?”, I have some specific, actionable tips for both Facebook groups and email, AND other solid options like online Q&A communities, video, guest blogging, and more.
Ready? Full speed ahead to your content promotion guide. ??
“How Do I Promote My Content?” Here’s the Answer, with 7 Methods – Table of Contents
My Favorite Content Promotion Tactics for Business
Other Content Promotion Activities Worth Your Time
You Asked: “How to Promote My Content?” Here are My Favorite Content Promotion Tactics for Business
How do you promote your content in an online world chock-full of content promotion? Where links to blogs, videos, articles, and more abound in our feeds, where we’re constantly barraged with exhortations to click, click, click?
How do you edge your way into the spotlight and get noticed when it’s so dang crowded out there?
The key is to start small and build up your presence over time. One of the best places to begin with a content promotion plan is, therefore, email.
Email content promotion strategies are some of my very favorites.
That’s because email is a powerhouse. ?
According to a recent U.K. study, for every pound spent on email, marketers saw a return of 42 pounds.
In U.S. dollars, that means for every $1.29 you spend on email marketing, you’ll get back $54.41. ?
Email marketing delivers the best ROI, hands-down.
Another thing: The people who sign up to your email list are primed and ready to pay attention to whatever you have to say through email. After all, they physically took the time to subscribe to your list. That’s a big flag they’re waving that says, “HEY. I’m interested in you and your brand! Tell me more!”
Even better, there are ENDLESS ways to promote your content via email. Here are just a few I like, all used by yours truly.
A. Use the 3:1 Rule
Before blasting emails to your list exclusively promoting your content and dangling offers, hold up. Your email subscribers will get tired of constant asks from you, and this burnout is the last thing you want – it leads to unsubscribes.
Instead, follow the 3:1 rule for email. For every offer you send, make sure you send out 3 value-added emails first.
In terms of content, value comes in the form of information, entertainment, inspiration, or education. Hit one of these bullseyes in your emails 3x at minimum before you ever send an ask or offer.
B. Send an Email Whenever You Publish New Content
One of the easiest ways to do email marketing is to alert your subscribers every time you publish a new blog post or piece of content.
Include a preview snippet of the content as well as a call-to-action to get them to click through to your website.
Here’s a promotional content example: I send out an email every time a new post goes live on the Write Blog. It’s nothing fancy – just some text and our logo at the bottom – but it gets the job done simply and effectively:
Some readers rely on email updates alone to alert them to new blogs to read, so this can be a huge way to get your interested subscribers on your page and eating up your new content.
C. Study Great Email Marketers for Inspiration
One of my favorite things to do when my email marketing inspiration has dried up? Look to the greats. I analyze how they’re emailing their lists and motivation inevitably follows.
Who sends great emails?
Ramit Sethi. He sends smart, funny, readable emails that always get you to move past the first few sentences. Study up on what he writes in his emails, and break down why it all works so well. You’ll get some great ideas.
This is just one example of his email chops, broken down into essential parts:
Ramit Sethi also wrote GrowthLab’s Ultimate Guide to Email Copywriting, which you should definitely check out if you want to up your game.
Ann Handley. She’s a marketing QUEEN and has insights and stories GALORE that will make you laugh, think, and reexamine your work, including the way you email. When she writes/speaks, I listen.
Her “fortnightly” newsletter, Total ANNarchy, is a study in great email marketing. I highly recommend reading and analyzing it for inspiration.
In the email below, note how Ann introduces her topic, segues into a story, and then neatly brings her point home. And, she does it all while effortlessly holding your attention. ?
Who else sends great emails? What names do you love seeing at the top of the list when you open your inbox? Study what these people do with email and figure out why you love it – then be inspired.
D. Write Amazing Email Subject Lines
When you send out an email to your list, it has a better chance of getting read if the subject line is compelling.
On the other hand, even a great email won’t get opened if it has a boring, stale subject line.
Make all of your email subjects enticing to read, and you’ll get more opens and more clicks. Work hard on improving your email subject line writing skills to reach this level. There are a few ways to practice and get better:
1. Test every subject line you write with a tool that grades your efforts. I love CoSchedule’s Email Subject Line Tester.
If your first subject line gets a bad score, go back to the drawing board. Tweak that line until it sings. Every time you do this, you’ll learn a little more about what works and what doesn’t in the email subject line. (You’ll just get better!)
2. Brush up on your vocabulary. There are certain words and phrases that make people want to click. Study and memorize ones that incite curiosity, inspiration, and action, and add them to your email-writing repertoire. Here are some good lists to pore over:
- 164 Best Email Subject Lines from Optinmonster
- 18 Words to Skyrocket Your Email Open Rates by GetResponse
- 13 Surprisingly Effective Tips for Conversion-Oriented Content by Khalid Saleh for CMI
Source: Campaign Monitor via CoSchedule
3. Pay attention to the number of words in your subject lines. Get wordy, and your subject lines will cut off in your readers’ inboxes. Additionally, wordy subject lines are too long to grab attention (imagine someone droning on without stopping in a conversation – that’s what a too-long subject line sounds like).
According to research by Retention Science, the ideal length for the subject line is 6-10 words – email subjects of that length got the most opens and enjoyed a 21% open rate.
2. Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are the not-so-secret way to get more engagement on Facebook. And, as you know, more engagement = more eyes on your content = better promotion.
Here’s a post I published on my FB page. The engagement was lackluster:
In contrast, here’s a post I shared to my Facebook group:
Much, much better!
I’m not alone in my love for Facebook groups, either. According to the Sprout Social Index, 40% of marketers said they’ll prioritize private communities like FB groups in 2020.
Of course, this content promotion plan will only work if your FB group is active. You need to have people invested in the group and engaging regularly. Otherwise, you’ll get crickets here, too.
How do you make your FB groups inviting and engaging? The way you set them up matters.
A. How to Set Up FB Groups in an Inviting Way
Setting up an inviting Facebook group begins at the outset, right when you’re creating it. This is where you set the intentions for your group so you can more easily follow through.
1. Give your group a purpose. This may go without saying, but it bears repeating. Every FB group needs to have a purpose behind it or a reason for existing. The purpose gives your members motivation to post and invest their time in the group. That all adds up to more engagement.
For example, here’s the purpose of my Facebook group, Profitable Content Marketers & Strategists, as noted in my introduction post: “a FREE group for freelancers, agencies and entrepreneurs, who want to grow and boost their knowledge and profitability in content marketing”.
2. Create group rules to promote a friendly, inclusive atmosphere. Rules are great to have for any Facebook group because they set expectations for interactions and posting. When these are outlined clearly, everyone can refer to them and the moderators can use them to enforce friendly behavior.
Here are the set of rules we use in my FB group:
Note I specifically say this group is about value, not promotion. It’s also about connecting, engaging, and growing together in our field.
3. Approve all members, and require extra steps to join your group. This tactic isn’t meant to keep people out, but rather encourage only serious group members to join – those with a real interest in engaging and adding value.
The people who go on “group-joining sprees” on Facebook (and then ghost those groups) won’t care enough to go through extra hoops to join your group. The people who actually want to be part of a community WILL.
Think of this as a litmus test for your group – only people who truly want to be there will apply.
Here’s the short questionnaire we require every potential group member to fill out to join Profitable Content Strategists & Marketers:
4. Be active in your groups! Lead by example. Don’t forget to actively engage in your own group. Post, comment, like, and share. Check in daily and be responsive. As the group leader, you should showcase the behavior you want to see from others.
Remember, an engaging Facebook group = more engagement on posts = better promotion for everyone.
B. Post Content to FB Groups Organically
The way you lead your FB group will have a major impact on the engagement you see there + membership.
What also matters for your content promotion plan? The way you post content to your group.
For the best results and awesome, non-spammy promotion, do it organically:
1. Add a helpful, non-promotional blog link to a group discussion or question. If you have a relevant blog post that could help answer someone’s questions, go ahead and post the link. For example, Kristi Hines of Post Planner did this in an organic way:
2. Create a new post in the group aimed at group members. When posting content to your group’s wall, don’t create a generic post like you would for your page. Instead, target the specific audience within your group. Say something like, “Hey, a few people had questions about this topic last week, so I wanted to share this post that might help!”
Link the why behind your post to a need you saw within the group for that specific information. Your group members will appreciate both the fact that you remembered and the resource.
3. Tag specific group members when relevant. When you can, note when specific group members have questions or engage in a topic. Then, when you post content on that topic later, you can tag them in the post. This is super-helpful and useful!
All in all, a major opportunity exists for content promotion within Facebook groups. If you do it right, you’ll not only get more eyes on your content, you’ll also earn a reputation for being uber-helpful.
Other Content Promotion Activities Worth Your Time
Facebook groups and email are my faves, but I can’t leave out these other worthy tactics in this content promotion guide.
It’s impossible to answer the question of “How to promote my content?” without including 5 more amazing options.
Try them and see if you don’t win some new followers and fans of your brand, not to mention better ROI.
3. Posting Video on Social Platforms
Yes, engagement on Facebook pages can be “meh” at best.
HOWEVER, there are ways to get more engagement and traction on promotional posts published straight to your page and the feed.
The difference between a post where I share a link vs. video is night and day. When I post a video, I get double (sometimes even triple) the engagement of a regular post.
Why is this the case? In general, social platforms favor video because users do.
According to BuzzSumo’s analysis, posts with video on Facebook get at least 59% more engagement than other types of posts.
So, if you want more eyes on that content piece, create a video to go with it! Some ideas:
- Create a short video that covers one or two key points in your content piece in detail, or adds additional information.
- Repurpose the content into a video, using the blog as a template for a video script.
- Turn your content into a visual feast, using information and data to visually illustrate concepts.
Want more video content ideas? This Business2Community article is a great resource.
4. Content Promotion & Curation Services
As long as your content is high-quality and readable, an easy way to get more eyeballs on it is to sign up for a content promotion/curation group or service.
Quuu Promote, in particular, only accepts content into its “content bank” that meets rigorous requirements. If your content is accepted, it will get distributed and “suggested” to Quuu users who, if they’re genuinely interested in the piece, will share it with their social media followers.
This is a win/win especially if you don’t have a large social following yet but need more eyes on your content.
5. Online Q&A Communities
People are constantly asking questions on these platforms in every industry imaginable. Sign up, add your topical interests, find questions in your industry expertise, and start sharing answers.
Particularly on Quora, there’s a specific “Answer” hub where you’ll find questions to answer. There are plenty of opportunities to share your knowledge.
If you have a blog post that answers the question in detail, even better – share away. Just remember to include your link only when it’s helpful and adds value to the conversation.
6. Guest Blogging
In the scheme of content promotion strategies, guest blogging is a long-term game. It won’t pay off immediately, and you might need to contribute to a different blog for some time before you build your presence there. However, it may help boost your online presence over time + tenfold if you do it with a plan.
Here are my general rules for how to promote content with guest blogging, which I personally use in my own content strategy:
- Only guest blog on sites relevant to your audience, industry, and expertise.
- Choose guest blogging platforms with audiences that overlap with yours.
- Commit to a consistent schedule for guest blogging. Will you submit a post once a month? Twice a month? Once a week?
- Pay close attention to the guidelines and rules for posting to each platform where you guest blog.
- When seeking out new guest blogging opportunities, only apply to sites that openly accept outside submissions. In other words, if you don’t see anything about guest blogging on a site, it’s because they don’t have a guest blogging program.
- Take care when writing your author byline/bio. Many guest blogging sites have a place where your author byline will appear. This is a short bio where you tell the reader who you are and why you’re worth listening to as an expert. Make it compelling, and include a strategic link back to your website. (Neil Patel wrote a blog for HubSpot with some great tips for this.)
7. Making Connections on Social Media
This last content promotion tip is one you should implement into your everyday activities online. It WILL lead to more growth, visibility, and traction for your brand.
How to promote your content? Be a friend.
Make connections on social media by engaging with others. Don’t do it with an agenda – do it to be a friendly human being online. ?
Actively try to make friends with people you come across. On social, that means:
- Commenting genuinely on others’ posts. This means opinions, encouragement, support, questions/answers, etc., NOT promotion.
- Liking, sharing, and amplifying other people’s profiles and posts without expecting anything back.
- Engaging in discussions and answering questions on social media events like Twitter chats and Facebook live streams.
- Sending DMs to people you want to get to know better, or sending a private message to continue a conversation started on a post.
What happens when you’re friendly and open in these ways?
All of it will come back to you. People will respond in kind! ♥
This is how you build a virtual network of friends and peers who will support what you do, including the content you share.
How to Promote Your Content and ROCK It
Content promotion in digital marketing is a never-ending game. You have to keep at it, commit to what works, and stay vigilant.
Without some solid content promotion strategies, your content won’t find the audience it deserves. Ultimately, YOU have to be proactive to ensure your awesome work gets seen.
The best ways to promote content, I’ve found, are helpful in nature. A genuine desire to guide, teach, and answer questions will take you much further than blatant “READ MY CONTENT” pleas.
Have you tried any of these promotion ideas in your content promotion plan? Have any insights or tips for the rest of us? Share them in the comments!