Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the last few years, you know content is king and content marketing is the new black. Good content is incredibly effective. It boosts brand awareness, drives consumers to purchase your product, and it gives you much desired SEO juice.
But with every marketer on the planet—from your local hair stylist to the white house—producing content, getting your video or blog post noticed is an ever more challenging task, and that amazing piece of content that you spent time and money on may find itself on the back shelves of the web, waiting to be discovered…
So how do make sure your content gets to its target audience?
Unless you’re basing your marketing plan on your content “going viral” (that’s about as likely as someone next to you at the coffee shop doing the Harlem Shake), you should start with a content distribution plan, which would typically combine a number of free and paid distribution methods. Here are some of the key ones for you to consider:
1) Post Content On Your Website
The most obvious place to start with is your own company’s website. Make sure that your content is easy to find and use large thumbnails and clear headlines to drive clicks. Encourage website visitors to share your content through a social sharing toolbar, such as AddThis, ShareThis and Shareaholic.
2) Promote on Content Discovery Platforms
Get your content recommended alongside editorial on some the top publisher websites using a content discovery platform such as Taboola. These platforms use mathematical algorithms to recommend your content to those most likely to take interest in it. They typically use a CPC model and are used in addition to or as a replacement of traditional display or paid search ads.
3) Send Your Content by Email
If you have a good opt-in database, promote your content by sending email to the full list or to a relevant segment. While no longer a popular option, you can also purchase a list from a third-party vendor. Always use a marketing tool such as MailChimp, HubSpot, Marketo or Eloqua when you send emails so you’ll get the analytics you need to optimize your campaigns.
4) Share on Social Networks
Always share your content on your company’s social media properties, such as your LinkedIn page, Facebook page and Twitter. It is recommended you use social publishing tools, such as HootSuite, Buffer, PaperShare and HubSpot. These will help you schedule your posts and provide analytics on engagement.
5) Post to Content Sharing Websites
Publish your content on websites such as YouTube, SlideShare, Vimeo, Pinterest, Vine and Instagram. Focus on the websites where your target audience is likely to consume your content, and invest time in properly tagging and describing your content so it will be easy to find.
6) Use Sponsored Updates
As competition for attention becomes fiercer, many social networks now offer sponsored updates. Pick some of your best content items and experiment with paid promotions on the social networks where your target audience is most likely to frequent. Make sure you set clear goals and are able to measure returns.
7) Advertise on Display Networks and Paid Search
Although CPCs are ever increasing and banner effectiveness is on the decline, experiment with advertising your content on different networks. Make sure you have tracking codes and goals set up properly so you’re able to measure performance.
8) Run Social Network Ads
Many social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, let you run ads targeted by interests, behavior, location, skills and more. While these ads are typically not very effective for promoting content, experiment to find out if they might work for you.
9) Get the Media and Bloggers to Promote Your Content
Issue press releases about key content items, such as interesting survey results. Pitch your content to reporters and share it with influential bloggers you have a relationship with.