Promoting your content isn’t hard at all, but many content marketers still largely ignore promotion. Why? There aren’t always direct results from promotion. But when you create something, the result is immediately apparent.
Content is no good to you on its own. You have to actively promote what you create. We all know about the foundations of promoting anything online. Here’s the quick list:
- Sharing posts on social media.
- Produce a free webinar.
- Guest blogging.
- Producing Youtube videos.
- Email lists.
- Paid advertising
Both content creation and promotion are time consuming. Personally, given the choice, I would rather create content because of the immediate reward of accomplishment. For many of us that means the time spent creating outweighs the time spent promoting.
Finding the balance between creation and promotion isn’t easy.
So I asked an expert . . .
Pat Flynn is an entrepreneur and online money making genius. He is honest, relatable, interesting and inspiring. Every penny his online businesses make are recorded and posted online. His flagship blog, smartpassiveincome.com, is an incredible resource for anyone hungry to learn about making money online.
Pat produces a daily podcast called “Ask Pat.” Anyone can record a question on his website and he will answer one question each day. I asked Pat how he balances creation and promotion. He answered in Ask Pat episode #221. If you can spare 10 minutes, it’s worth listening to below.
I really appreciated Pat’s advice, but one thing he said caught my attention.
“We could spend an hour talking about promotion.”
That’s worth expanding on. After skimming through all of Pat’s content, I found 11 unique promotion strategies that you can use right now. These strategies are found on Pat’s Smart Passive Income blog, but he also has a podcast dedicated to passive income ideas and strategies. With almost 140 episodes (at the time this post was published), most of which are 40 – 60 minutes long, I didn’t have time to graze the podcasts for additional ideas, but I know they are loaded as well.
For you, here are 11 content promotion strategies with links to their original articles, and 4 smart ideas about what to do with readers once they reach your website.
1. Interview forum or group owners.
Find relevant discussion groups (on Facebook or LinkedIn) and ask to interview them for a blog post or podcast. When the interview is published, the group owners may be willing to share it with their entire group.
2. Build relationships with bloggers, online and offline.
Guest blogging is great content promotion, but don’t just use blog owners for their audiences. Building a relationship with them. Share news with them, useful articles or products, share money making opportunities, and just generally be a friend.
3. Launch a giveaway contest that increases a person’s chance to win every time they share your contest.
Why would anyone want to share a contest that they entered? That means more people in the race and less chance for them to win. This post demonstrates a clever way to launch a contest that will encourage contestants to share.
4. Create a “Coming Soon” page for a new product or service.
Guest blog to drive traffic to the “Coming Soon” page and capture email addresses. When you launch your new product, new website, or new service, you will already have an expectant and interested audience.
5. Create an image with some text and your logo on top to share along with links to your content.
Visual data is easier to process than straight text or audio. Create an attractive graphic with text and your logo over top. Share that picture with a link to your content and people will want to share it more often.
6. Ask your followers what’s working for them.
Don’t you love giving your opinion? I do too. Trigger that instinct in your followers and ask them for their input. The response will be rewarding.
7. The 200-Outreach Program spreadsheet.
Create a spreadsheet with 200 emails for bloggers with relevant audiences, 200 twitter handles, 200 linkedIn Profiles, and 200 facebook pages. This is time consuming, but once completed, you will use this resource over and over again whenever you want to promote any content.
8. Use the power of free content.
Free is crazy powerful. In this video, a tenacious young woman presses a button 5000 times to get something for free! Even if people never use your free offering, it’s a power attraction that will bring many to your content.
9. Hand out flyers online.
Announce a time sensitive opportunity on every online channel you can. Give it a special web page and a unique image or video that can be used alongside promotions. It’s like sticking flyers under windshield wipers at a Walmart parking lot.
10. Develop a smartphone and tablet app.
Access a dedicated audience on iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry devices. Develop an app that delivers your content straight to their device and notifies them when there’s something new to consume.
11. Create a slide presentation for Slideshare.
Powerpoint presentations posted on slideshare.com have become a popular way to present information. Plus Haiku Deck makes it easy for you to create slide presentations specifically for Slideshare. This furthers your ability to produce visual content.
What to do with all the traffic that these promotion strategies have earned?
1. Place opt-in forms on your most popular pages.
Use your analytics to find which pages on your website people visit most often. Put an email optin form on those pages and offer some sort of incentive (free guide, eCourse, etc…)
2. Open the Kimono.
Be open about your work process and daily operations. Be vulnerable. That’s a unique quality on the internet. It can open you up to criticism, but it’s also builds a strong bond with your reader. Plus, vulnerable content gets shared often.
3. Create a resource page with a collection of all your favourite tools, tutorials, and tips.
List all of the tools, products, and services you regularly use, the tutorials you refer to most, and sources of insight you completely trust. This comprehensive list of valuable assets will have readers returning often. It’s also a good page to put an email optin form on.
4. Create content that leads your audience to quick wins.
Give tips and ideas that your readers can put to use right away. Challenge them to try at least one of your tips. When it works for your readers, they will love you for it and rave about your expertise to all of their friends.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. I’m sure I missed some ideas, but these are the strategies that stuck out to me.
In the Ask Pat episode above, Pat suggests balancing creation and promotion 50 / 50. Lately my balance has been about 70% creation, 30% promotion, but I’m going to intentionally spend a bit more time on promotion.
When creating content, plan ahead for promotion. That way the content you create can be naturally promoted.
You’ll notice I haven’t used many of these strategies yet. I’m committing to do each strategy listed in this post at least once. And I challenge you to try at least one new strategy from this list that you haven’t used before.
Then share the results in the comments below![optinform]
Disclaimer: The feature image for this post is from Pink Sherbert Photography on Flikr Creative Commons. I’ve modified it a bit.