You’ve Generated Great Content, Now What?
If you’re doing the hard work of generating valuable content for your website or blog, then certainly you want to make sure that people are actually reading it. What’s the best way to get the word out? If you’re ready to distribute and promote your content, try social media marketing, email marketing, and link building.
- Micro Blogging & Social Networks
One of the best ways to promote content and grow your online community is Twitter and other reputable social networks. Despite its slightly ADD reputation, Twitter is a remarkably succinct way to let people know you’ve got some new, interesting content. Once you’ve placed your content on your website or blog, or once your content has been published somewhere reputable, create a short teaser (140 characters to be exact) and post it on Twitter.
Or, you can get the word out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon, Digg, and so many other great places to share your content. Keep in mind that even though you are letting people know about your content in different social spaces, that each audience is different. Your teaser on Twitter is going to be different than Facebook, Google+, and the others. It really depends on your audience and what you think will catch their eye. Make your teaser short, sweet, and engaging and hopefully you’ll turn some heads.
Also, be conscious of the time of day and the day of the week that you’re alerting your audiences of your content. If you’re not getting much of a response on Tuesday morning, try the afternoon, or try Wednesday. It could be different for every social outlet, so do some testing and find your ideal window.
There are a lot of nuances to putting your stuff out there via social networks, but it all basically boils down to these two principles: Make sure your content is engaging and provides images or video (even if you didn’t create it…it’s always good practice to share other quality content and give credit where it’s due). Provide a good teaser and don’t forget to include the link directly to your content. And, hey, if you send the word out late in the day and feel like it was missed, send it out again the next morning. Just throw out a “in case you missed it…” at the beginning of your teaser and you’re golden.
- Email Marketing
Believe it or not, not everyone is on social media just yet. If that sounds like your target audience, there are other options for marketing your content.One of the best ways to reach out to the non-social-networking audiences is email marketing. It’s a great compliment to social media marketing efforts, and it kindly delivers your content directly into the inbox of your target audience.
We wouldn’t recommend purchasing email lists as you want the people who get your email to have actually requested it. Instead, work on organically growing your list. Every time we do follow up with a new or potential client, we send them an email that includes a link to a page on our website where they can sign themselves up for our email marketing. The email explains the benefits of receiving our eBlasts, how often they can expect to receive them, and how to unsubscribe if they change their mind.
One of the biggest benefits of email marketing is the metrics that it provides. You will receive actual data that reveals who is opening, clicking through, and bouncing from your emails. Even better, after a few sends, you can begin to detect patterns in your stats. If you’re not getting the results you’re expecting, there’s always room for improvement. Change your subject line or send on a different day of the week or time of day (just like with social media marketing). And remember, less is more. If you’re sending out a feature of your most recent blog post, go with just that article. Try a two column layout and place a few of your recent posts in the right hand column. We usually get more click throughs in that right column than we get on the feature article itself.
Of course, even if you don’t think your email marketing audience is social savvy, it’s still smart to have social sharing buttons on your email marketing templates. There’s certainly overlap in these communities and you want to encourage your audience to share your content and get into the social realm.
- Link building
The term link building may be new to you, but it really is a simple concept. Link building is the process of earning a link from another website back to yours. Your goal is to attract high quality links from other high quality websites.The trick to link building is that you have something of value on your website that people actually want to link to. That’s where content generation comes in. Continually focus on generating high quality content, getting the word out, and it will be easy to start raking in the links.
Link building involves a lot of different activities, but at its heart, link building is all about building relationships in your online community. Once you determine who your social audience is–companies, individuals, bloggers, etc.–and where they spend their time in social spaces–blogs, forums, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, etc.–begin to follow their conversations. When there’s an appropriate time to join in…do it.
Remember to take it slow. It takes time to build relationships online so you have to be patient while you’re building trust. Answer questions, show-off infographics, crack jokes, link to relevant articles or blog posts. Be yourself. This is how you build relationships online…and it’s also how you build links. As your relationships develop, people will become aware of who you are and value your contributions. They’ll start looking to you for thoughts and knowledge and when you put out new content, people will seek it out and share it themselves, in whatever manner and medium they find most desirable. Before you know it, you’ll have all kinds of new links pointing to your website and all you had to do was generate some good content. Link building can be slow and tedious, but it will make a difference in your company, brand awareness, and your rankings.
Don’t forget to analyze
Reviewing analytics is the fun part. Once you’ve pushed your content out, check your analytics to see how many eyes have seen it. Facebook has some great analytics. You can also look at your Google Analytics and determine how your efforts have affected the traffic to your website. There are also products like Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Raven that are great tools for an all-in-one metrics dashboard.
When you’re reviewing your metrics, determine whether people are responding and engaging. Think about what went well, what could be improved, what you could try next. Now’s your chance to analyze and make the necessary changes in order to experience optimum results.
Don’t give up
When all else fails, try, try again. Content generation is hard and it takes work but it does pay off.
But when you find yourself discouraged and you don’t think it’s working, keep going. Don’t give up. Change up the content, add graphics, choose a different day to post, try different times. Find the best formula for your audience and remember that everything needs to have some kind of value, whether it be informative, helpful, interesting, or wildly entertaining.
Like the Trololo man.