Author’s note: This post is part of a series on the content marketing process. Previous posts in the series covered define, plan, budget, website elements and content creation. We also wrote an overview article (no registration required) that shows how to use content marketing to sell to HR.
Creating a great piece of content doesn’t guarantee success in content marketing. Sure, it helps a lot, but you still have a lot of work in front of you.
It’s crucial that you get your content, whether it’s a white paper or an e-book or a number of other possibilities, in front of your target audiences. Putting your content up on your website and doing nothing else doesn’t cut it. Fortunately, there are many ways to spread the word about your content.
Here are seven tactics you should at least consider using:
1. Direct email marketing: Send an email campaign about your content. It’s a quick way to reach large groups of potential buyers, and content emails tend to fare well, much better than those for product announcements, for example.
Factors in success: A. The size, quality and engagement level of your list(s). B. The quality of your subject line and email. C. The level of interest in your topic.
2. Blogging: Blog posts are a type of content, but also a marketing tactic. Writing blog posts on topics or sections of your content piece, then linking to your content or its landing page, is a great way to get your content in front of more people.
Factors in success: A. The amount and quality of traffic your blog receives. B. The quality of the blog post and its headline. C. How much and by whom your post gets shared on social.
3. Search-optimized news releases: Send out a news release in hopes of getting picked up by websites and publications, and make it search-optimized so that your release comes up in search results.
Factors in success: A. How newsworthy your topic is. B. How much other online content uses the same keywords. C. The quality of your press release distribution service. D. Whether your release is syndicated on popular sites.
4. Media placements: Pitch the topic in your content to media outlets. Either give them the content to modify into an article, or write the article yourself.
Factors in success: A. How newsworthy your topic is. B. The quality of your content. C. The quality and quantity of the readership of the media outlets where you place articles.
5. Online advertising: You’ve probably noticed that certain ads related to your marketplace tend to follow you around when you’re online. You can use these targeted ads to offer access to your content to people in targeted demographics. Another method is to advertise on particular sites that are popular among your desired audience.
Factors in success: A. The level of targeting. B. The popularity and demographics of the sites where you advertise. C. How eye-catching and easy to read your advertisement is. D. The clarity level of your call to action/request for download.
6. Podcasts: Interview or chat with a social influencer on subjects related to your content. It’s a great way to develop relationships with people who can help spread the word about your content and your company. Plus, podcast listeners tend to be highly engaged.
Factors in success: A. The level of interest in your topic. B. How well you market the podcast. C. The quality and quantity of the audience that the social influencer will help bring to the podcast.
7. Social Media: We’re saving a big one for last. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. are great ways to expand the reach of your content and your ideas.
Factors in success: A. The size and quality of your social media network. B. How well you use social media strategies such as hashtags and promoted posts to reach people outside your network. C. The level of interest in your topic. D. How often your content gets shared and the size of the networks of the people who share it.
Ultimately, the goal is to reach a large, quality audience, so how successful these tactics will be for your content marketing depends largely on the size and quality of the audience you can reach with them.
This is not surprising, but it brings us to an important point. A great way for content marketers to have more success over time is to develop their ability to take full advantage of these tactics. This means, for example, working to improve email lists and to expand social media networks. Different people access content in different ways, so you need to use a variety of tactics to maximize your content’s readership.
A few ideas for improving your tactic capabilities:
1. Create/rent better email lists
2. Regularly update your blog
3. Make developing a social media network a priority
4. Develop relationships with social influencers in your niche
5. Develop relationships with key editors/reporters
A great thing about improving your tactic capabilities is that these tactics begin reinforcing themselves. For example, if you develop a strong social media network, your blog will get more traffic, provided you share your posts on your social sites.
That wraps up tactics. Next, we’ll look into measuring the results of your content marketing, the final step of the process, but one that also marks a new beginning.