Think about a scenario where you’ve come up with content that you know adds tremendous value to the lives of your target audience. You’ve spent time, money and effort on groundbreaking research for your industry and created an evergreen resource.
But, there is a problem – it doesn’t seem to be delivering the returns you’re looking for.
Why is that happening? Are you failing to market your marketing? Are your optimizing content distribution? One of the most common means of content distribution is owned media like a website. There are plenty of brands making good use of a website to publish content and market it across their social channels. What’s stopping you from doing the same?
How to Promote Content
Learn from the Greats
The Guardian is doing a near perfect job with content marketing from the distribution perspective. It’s making the most of its content and ensuring it reaches a wider audience. They have even launched  their own branded content agency  – Guardian Labs – that specializes in telling brand stories.
But that’s The Guardian, with a locked-in set of readers. Some would say it’s easier for a well-known publishing brand to market its content. What about the not-so-well-known brands, the small businesses and the startups?
Marketing for startups or small businesses is difficult because you have a limited budget earmarked for marketing. But, there is one thing that always works in your favor: strategy. There is no monopoly on strategy.
Granted, you still need to come up with a plan that allows you to compete with the big boys in their domain. It sounds like a boxer entering a ring with one hand tied behind his back, but that’s the way it is. It’s better to have one hand that can throw a punch than simply stand there and get pounded.
This is where leanness and flexibility helps you out. Smart distribution enters the picture. Don’t just write a blog and post it on social media. Well researched, authoritative content has more takers than you realize. All it needs is a little imagination to let your audience know about it. For example:
- Create an eBook and set up a download link on your website – not only will this take your content to new audiences, you’ll also grow your email subscriber base.
- Publish guest posts on reputed blogs and websites.
- Send out email updates to your database with your latest content.
- Optimize the on-page SEO for your blog posts to ensure it ranks well on relevant searches.
- Use great images in your content and SEO them. You’ll be surprised how often your images will earn your clickbacks.
- Turn your blog post into a podcast or a how-to video  and post it on YouTube. Did you know YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine?
Small businesses need to make the most of their content. While sharing this content on social media is a huge part of content marketing, you need to take steps to amplify this content. You can, of course, buy Facebook Ads or Promoted Tweets for this purpose, but there are other more affordable ways to market your content marketing.
Take the offline route and try networking with niche influencers at conferences. Talk to them, exchange notes and share information about your brand and share contact information. Regularly send them your latest content; especially the bits that you know they’re most interested in.
Influencers tend to be busy.
Don’t think they have the time to read through all the reams of pages that you’ve built up over time? Use a tool such as PDF Split&Merge  to send them a concise version of your content by picking out relevant parts of ebooks or whitepapers that you’ve published, something directly to do with their core area of interest and send them a heads up.
Make it a point to interact with them on social media and make sure you get their feedback about the content you’ve been publishing. A shout out from them to their circles will lead to instant content virality.
Something else you could do is create, publish and distribute content and then go looking for more posts on the same subject written by thought leaders. Talk about your article in the comments section, something along the lines of, “Hey, great post, but you might have missed out on an important point, incidentally, which has been discussed in my article (give a link).” What you are essentially doing is getting the attention of the thought leader or influencer and also the legions of readers who follow his or her write-ups.
If you take a closer look at this process, you will realize you are reaching out to domain influencers and making them a part of your content distribution process. If you are good at it, and you really have something worthwhile to say, these influencers won’t mind building a mutually beneficial relationship with you.
Dig Deeper into the Content
Even if you are discussing a hackneyed set of “tips,” your content must be the last word on those. Make sure your content discusses the topic of conversation threadbare. Don’t omit any important information.
Pick any post published by Buffer on their blog . Each post is comprehensive and the definitive word on the subject. Buffer is in the habit of creating EPIC blog posts. No, this isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible.
Research is the key to creating a post that resonates with your audience. Some content marketers limit research to exploring the content topic. While that is integral to coming up with an authoritative post, there are many other facets to research including:
- Uncovering pain points of your audience.
- Analyzing audience motivations.
- Looking through their existing opinions (if any) on the content topic.
- Analysis of similar content pushed out by your competitors.
- Tell a story  (Yes, that involves research, too!).
- Identifying the perfect content format for your idea and finding out whether your team of content creators can actually create content for that format.
To create and publish content that delivers results, you need to cover all your bases; holistic research helps you do that and more.
“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” – W. Clement Stone
Believe in your ability to deliver content that is better than anything else your target audience will read. It sounds difficult and it is. But, good is the new ordinary when it comes to content quality. And your best efforts might not be enough.
Does this mean you give up? Of course not! You need to keep pushing the envelope and strive to come up with content that nobody else has published till date.
Extra  Image via Shutterstock