Content promotion is an important part of the content marketing strategy puzzle, yet many new and fledging bloggers or content creators think that once the content is out there, readers will naturally come.
The truth is a little harder than that. Great content creation is nothing without a backend strategy to promote it after it has been published. After all, Van Gogh could have created his masterpieces, but if they were kept hidden in an attic his entire life and beyond, we never would have found out about his great work. Promoting digital content is much the same.
Content promotion starts with the creation and organizing of the content itself. The type of content that needs to be created should fit best with the time of year, other promotions for the company or website, or even other events, like travel or product launches. These need to all be taken into consideration as part of a combined promotion and creation strategy, which is why the editorial calendar is so important.
If you don’t want to create your own, there are several editorial calendar templates that can help you get started, including a few from Vertical Measures , Early Bird Strategy,  and Bob Angus . Additionally, if you prefer a paper version and want to go beyond a regular planner, try this Epic Blog: One Year Editorial Planner on Amazon . However, if you find that these templates don’t work well or aren’t what you want, it’s more important to have something that works for you. Create your own Google Sheets or Excel file, or print out a blank calendar and fill it up in a way that works.
Graphics are another thing that crosses the line between content creation and promotion. Many social media  experts recommend creating  custom images for Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks in order to not only fit their specific format requirements, but to also create something eye-catching.
These images can also be used in the posts themselves, but if you are promoting something like an infographic, it would make sense to have a custom image for social media instead of having the infographic image cut off in the link preview box that Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ use.
If you make custom graphic creation part of your “editorial flow,” it makes it an easy part of the process that gets easier each time you do it. Tools like PicMonkey  or Canva  make it painless to create really engaging images without much design experience.
Online Platform and Social Media Promotional Calendar
Once your images and editorial calendar process are streamlined, it’s time to start thinking about where you are going to promote your content online. Of course, it’s easy to think of the basics:
But there are several other places where you can promote your content online, such as:
- Email signatures
- Homepage widgets
- RSS feeds
- Niche Social Communities
- Promoted Social Media posts (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all currently offer this)
- Internal Message Boards or Communication Platforms
Take not only the social media networks, but also the other online platforms you already have (or want to build) and figure out how you can promote your content through that channel. You don’t have to use every network. Just use the ones that work best for your audience.
Try to automate as much of the process as you can, but things that need to be done manually need to be assigned in a social media/promotion calendar or on a project management tool, like Asana, Basecamp, or ToDoist. In addition, you should set up a process for resharing past content that is evergreen and continually useful. Buffer allows you to re-buffer past social media posts, and other tools, like Re-Schedule Old Posts (a WordPress plugin), let you set this up automatically, sorting by category.
Outlining these opportunities for promotion of existing and new content, as well as who is responsible for each, is crucial to a piece of content’s visibility and engagement levels.
Along with promoting new and existing posts on social media and your other active online platforms, it’s also important to think of other places you can publish your content. While the jury is still out on whether or not it’s a good thing to republish content on the LinkedIn publishing platform, it’s one popular curation outlet many people are using. Other popular syndication sites include Business2Community and Social Media Today, especially if you are in business or marketing. You simply enter your RSS feeds when you sign up for a profile, and they choose the type of content to promote.
In addition, other huge sites, as well as industry-specific sites, may offer content curation opportunities. For instance, Forbes and The Huffington Post regularly republish content from smaller websites or blogs, giving those writers more visibility than they may have gotten on their own.
Repurposing Existing Content
The content promotion process doesn’t stop at sharing your blog post, e-book, or other piece of content once, and then never revisiting it again. You should not only be constantly re-sharing evergreen pieces, but also looking at how you can repurpose your high quality pieces of content into something else.
A few good examples of repurposing content include:
- Offering an audio version of your blog posts
- Turning a long-form blog post into an explainer video, where you go into more detail
- Taking a bunch of related blog posts and turning them into an e-book or printed book, like the Harvard Business Review does .
- Utilizing the comments of a blog post to facilitate a discussion in a podcast episode
- Creating a tutorial or webinar that explains your case study results in more detail
If you have enough different types of content, the possibilities are endless when it comes to repurposing the content you have already created. While not all content is good enough (or interesting enough) to be remade into something else, it’s worth setting time aside to regularly re-examine what can be turned into something else.
The most important part of creating a content promotion strategy is planning it all out ahead of time. When you fly by the seat of your pants, things inevitably fall through the cracks, doing your content, brand, and online presences all a disservice.
Use this social media calendar template  to create a social media publishing schedule!
Web Content  Photo via Shutterstock