October 31, 2014

5 Ways To Spread Content, Whatever It Is

Whether it’s a blog post, a funny video on your site or your product itself, you need to come up with a plan for spreading that content. As much as want to believe that a good blog post or product “sells itself”, that’s very often not the case. Someone has to get the ball rolling, the buzz buzzing — and that typically means creating some type of content promotion strategy.

Here are the five methods I most often use to make sure that my content is getting in front of the right people.

Twitter

For the past few months, Twitter has been one of the most effective ways for many businesses to drive traffic and exposure to their content. It’s also really easy. You use the network you’ve already created on Twitter and then time tweets to come out during the periods of the day when you know your audience will be on Twitter (typically when they’re supposed to be working). By using combining a strong call to action with a little bit of snark, you can even help increase the effectiveness of your tweets. You also want to make sure that you leave enough room so that someone can retweet your message without having to edit it and to include the twitter handles of the people or companies mentioned in your post. If someone sees you’re talking about them, you increase the chances that they’ll help promote the piece for you.

Other Social Media Outlets

Depending on who your audience is there may be other social media outlets that are just as, if not more, effective for you than Twitter. For example, if you sell products or produce content geared toward women, you may want to spread it via Kirtsy. If you’re in the financial sector, Tip’d will be your social network of choice. If it’s business related or you have a new product you want feedback on, LinkedIn may be a viable alternative. And of course, some people just use their Facebook status message or notes to push content to their network that way. Find where your fish are, and throw the line in accordingly.

Guest posting

Part of your content promotion strategy should be finding ways to build buzz before you need it. If you know you’re going to be producing a killer blog post, that you’ll be starting a new blog or launching a new product, you need to be working the pavement the weeks prior to help get people excited about what you’re going to bring to the table. One of the best ways to do that is to guest blog on other authoritative blogs in your niche. Reach out to other blogs, let them know you have something awesome cooking, and offer to write a guest post for them. The post may be about whatever it is you’re launching or it could be about something different but tied to that blog’s audience. The point is to get people seeing your name and put you in your top of mind for later. Build buzz early.

Newsletter

You know that email newsletter you send out religiously? Start really using it! Include a section to help customers find you on the various social media sites and start using it to feature your content. Reprint articles in full, use it to tease and build buzz for what’s coming in the weeks ahead on your site, put links to the week’s top blog posts, etc. Most of the newsletters and emailings I receive from small business owners do little to grab my interest. Start rewriting them to help you promote your content, new offerings, etc, so that you’re left better able to meet your goals.

Form partnerships

It takes a village to raise a child and it takes an even bigger village to help content go viral. Form partnerships with others in your niche or town and make arrangements to help one another out when it makes sense. By forming your own little promotional army, you not only remove the strain of having to do everything yourself, but you also lend credibility to what you’re trying to promote. You can tell me how your product is. That’s great. I believe it more when someone else tells me. These types of strategic partnerships can be very effective when leverage correctly.

Whatever type of content strategy you decide to use, make sure you make it easy for people to share your content and distribute it for you. The more obstacles you put in their way, the less likely it will be that your content gains traction.

23 Comments ▼

Lisa Barone


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

23 Reactions

  1. If you need an example of how to add a “little bit of snark” to your tweets, just visit her own Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/lisabarone. She’s pretty much the master of snarky comments.

  2. Nice ideas. Twitter can get you a lot of good exposure. I’m glad you pointed us to Kirtsy, it’s a site I’ve never heard of. I’ve spent a few minutes checking it out and have found some cool stuff on it. I’ll also be submitting some of my own content there now.

  3. Hi Lisa,

    Great post – One thing I would like to add is that when you are using any form of social media what you do not want to do it bombard your followers on twitter / contacts on linked in / friends on facebook with self-promotion. The purpose of social media is to create relationships and get people interested in you and to have the personal desire to see your content. If you are constantly telling people to go to your blog or your website it can annoy them and turn them away and result in lost opportunities. Just my two-cents!

    Nicole

  4. Good stuff, Lisa. We need a content planning application to help us.. Wait, that’s LotusJump. http://www.lotusjump.com

    I agree with Robert and you need to pen a new whitepaper on the appropriate uses of Snark. It is a rather rare substance and one which should be applied liberally to most tweets so as to make them more memorable.

    On a semi-related note, have you done any woofing alongside your tweeting? http://woofertime.com/

  5. Social media is a great way to spread content, most social media sites are free but it is important not to always try to sell your friends on these social networking sites your product because then your credibility can be shot with potential consumers. Remember to create relationships with these people just as you would any other type of friendship and recommend a product or service to someone as you would a friend not just spam them with information about your product. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Great stuff!
    Twitter is definitely one of the best ways to gain exposure, and highly recommended to spread your content on a daily basis

    If you are not using Twitter or Social Media marketing, you are missing the boat!

  7. I am not a proponent of twitter aside from monitoring it to ensure your not having bad PR spread by wildfire. There is a simple reason for this. Clutter. I am following only 13 tweeters right now. In 6 hours yesterday there was 67 tweets. 45 new ones since 6pm EST yesterday. No imagine I am following 50 or 100 tweeters? How can you get the word out via twitter when no one will see the tweet? It will be buried. On top of this ‘problem’ people pretty much rank tweets. Friends and Family are number 1. Celebs and Causes and News 2. And Brands a lowly 3. So many Brands think more volume will help but that just compounds things and pisses people off.

    It is a neat platform and yes it is free but it is also a lost cause to get your message through.

    The best use of social media is to have people spreading the word somehow to their friends vs trying to promote a brand directly using the medium.

  8. Great post,

    I plan to forward this post to a number of my clients as they know they must start using the tool of social media, however they struggle with where to start and how.

    I share how insight without action is a waste of time and money in my blog post: http://nosmokeandmirrors.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/12-mentor-moments-to-help-leaders-grow-their-businesses-profitably/ it’s number 9.

    Thanks again!

    Mark Allen Roberts

  9. Lisa, you continue to provide excellent reads. Very helpful.

  10. That’s extremely helpful and informative, Guy. I have been a newspaper journalist for 29 years (London and South Africa) and have finally found a beautiful, comfortable home for my somewhat satirical style of writing. A blog. One of millions. I built up the Fred Hatman (or Red Hat Man) brand while in newspapers and have a small and loyal following. I’ve had an excellent response to the fredhatman.co.za blog (slogan: “Diagnosed SA-positive)and with fever building in South Africa ahead of the World Cup 2010 soccer finals, I’m well set to soar. I’m linking to my posts on Twitter and Facebook but I’m not getting the big response I hoped for. I read on your site about your recommendation that repeat tweeting will work to raise awareness but a fellow Twitterer warned that people may block me as I was being too assertive on Twitter. I’m really not sure how to play the marketing game on social networks and something, a clever something, might just get my blog brand going viral. I’m just not sure what it is. I have huge passion for my writing and confidence that my expertise and content selection will enable me to become very popular in order to get the sponsorship and advertising I so need but I am searching for that unique and extraordinary something that will engage people to the extent that they share, share and share my content… I’m scrambling quite quickly up what I call my “learning cliff” of digital media and enjoying the challenge… but need a big boost. Do you please have any wisdom to impart which might help me right now? Perhaps my “case study” provides you with the material to write another educational gem that will help the other bloggers who share my predicament? I appreciate that you have huge expertise in this field and I would be hugely grateful if you could help! It’s asking a lot but, yep, if you don’t ask, you won’t get! Warmest wishes from South Africa, Fred.

  11. Oops! I thought I was reading Guy Kawasaki and just addressed this to him! Sorry, now redirecting to Lisa :)

    That’s extremely helpful and informative, Lisa. I have been a newspaper journalist for 29 years (London and South Africa) and have finally found a beautiful, comfortable home for my somewhat satirical style of writing. A blog. One of millions. I built up the Fred Hatman (or Red Hat Man) brand while in newspapers and have a small and loyal following. I’ve had an excellent response to the fredhatman.co.za blog (slogan: “Diagnosed SA-positive)and with fever building in South Africa ahead of World Cup 2010 soccer finals, I’m well set to soar. I’m linking to my posts on Twitter and Facebook but I’m not getting the big response I hoped for. I read on Guy Kawasaki’s site about his recommendation that repeat tweeting will work to raise awareness but a fellow Twitterer warned that people may block me as I was being too assertive on Twitter. I’m really not sure how to play the marketing game on social networks and something, a clever something, might just get my blog brand going viral. I’m just not sure what it is. I have huge passion for my writing and confidence that my expertise and content selection will enable me to become very popular in order to get the sponsorship and advertising but I need that something special that will engage people to the extent that they share, share and share… I’m scrambling quite quickly up what I call my “learning cliff” of digital media and enjoying the challenge… but need a big boost. Do you please have any wisdom to impart which might help me right now? Perhaps my “case study” might provide you with the material to write another educational gem that will help the other bloggers who share my predicament? I appreciate that you have significant expertise in this field and I would be hugely grateful if you could help! It’s asking a lot but, yep, if you don’t ask, you won’t get! Warmest wishes from South Africa, Fred.

  12. TJ: I look forward to a cat version of Twitter instead of the barking outloud “woofertime”… Cats only need 4 characters: Mjau ;)

  13. Awesome sites I haven’t been to that I know will enhance my spread of content. Thanks so much!

  14. A nice blog to share. Well one another good way is ping.fm. Its a nice dashboard to handle your different social media account.

  15. Great idea to create promotional group. I think it can have immense advantages.

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