So you wrote that great article, shot that video, and designed that “sure-to-be-viral” infographic. Congrats! Content such as articles, videos and infographics are a great way to attract your targeted online prospects, convert them into leads and ultimately nurture them into sales.
But here’s the thing — creating unique online content only gets you half of the way to those sales. The rest of the work is all about getting noticed and the best way to do that is by finding the best places to spread content.
It makes sense right? You want to capture your targeted prospects’ attention, but if you publish or promote your content in spots where they don’t hang out, then you’re playing to an empty theater and all your hard work goes down the drain.
Let’s take a look at different ways to spread content, whatever it is.
How to Spread Content
Post Strategic Social Media Updates
Social media updates continue to lead the pack if you want to get your content in front of your targeted prospects. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn all provide one huge advantage — your targeted prospects are already visiting them so spreading your content there means they’ll find you.
A word of warning though – don’t get caught up in the trap that “your business needs to be on each and every social media site.”
Updating a wide range of sites is a lot of work and you need to spend your time wisely. The solution? Use posts like this to find out which social media sites your targeted prospects use and then focus your efforts there.
Also, remember to promote your updates by using hashtags. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all enable you to use hashtags that are then used to include your updates in results when folks conduct a search on those sites.
Participate in Social Groups and Communities
Groups and communities are excellent spots to spread your content as they’re gathering spots for people with particular interests. Interests that can be served by the products and services your company provides.
You can use groups and communities in two ways:
- Post an update similar to a regular social media update.
- Post the entire piece of content.
When posting content in a group or community, you need to avoid self-promotion. We know that seems counter-intuitive to what you want. However, if you’re useful and entertaining and provide calls to action that benefit members, you’ll get the results you want.
For example, if you sell surfboards and you join a surfer group, create an eBook that details the best surf spots in the world and then tell the members of the group that they can download it once they fill out this simple form. They get a useful guide and you get leads – everybody wins.
On Facebook, you can search for both public and private groups. While spammers overrun a number of the public groups, private groups are another matter all together. Thanks to the hard work of the founder(s), private groups are usually kept spam-free and focused.
If you want to join a group, send a request to the group manager. Once you’re in, make sure to follow the rules and warnings or you’ll just get kicked back out.
On Google+, groups are called communities and they can also be public or private. Unlike Facebook, many of the public communities are spam-free, though it remains to be seen how long that continues.
One of the amazing things about Google+ communities is their size. Some groups have thousands of members and posting there while following the rules is a sure way to spread your content. We’ve seen this work time and again and it’s a powerful method.
Publish Content On Other Websites
For many years, the Internet has been very website-centric. It makes sense. Websites are the primary building block of the World Wide Web and to this day, every business needs to have one if it wants to appear legitimate.
However, your website may not be the best place to publish your content.
Think about this — it takes more than a year of consistent content creation and promotion to drive traffic regularly to your website. Why work that hard when other sites have already built a steady stream of traffic?
One example of this is LinkedIn. Since February 2014, the “social media for business” site has allowed its users to publish “long-form posts” (i.e. blog posts) to its Pulse section. If your business market is B2B, then this was the signal for you to jump into action.
Publishing posts on LinkedIn has many benefits, the top two of which are:
- When you publish a post to Pulse, LinkedIn notifies each of your followers that you’ve done so. This is powerful because the notification doesn’t come from you, but from LinkedIn. And, if someone’s opted in to get those notifications, you have a good chance of being noticed. Your followers consist of two groups: your connections and the folks who’ve read a previous post and hit the “Follow” button.
- LinkedIn’s Pulse app is a great way to get your content noticed. Using a proprietary algorithm, LinkedIn features content from large publishers and an eclectic mix of smaller posters (that’s you!). If you get featured there, you’re views and followers can shoot up higher than you’d ever hoped.
Quora is another great spot to publish your content. Seen by many as the successor to LinkedIn Answers, Quora is full of people looking for advice just like the advice you know how to give.
Surprisingly, spammers have not overrun the site so the value is high. Best of all, even if you answer a question that’s years old, everyone who followed that question will receive your answer in their inbox (if they have notifications switched on).
Use Email Newsletters
Yes, email marketing is still alive and well.
One of the advantages that email has over every other way to spread content is the fact that the folks on your list opted-in – they stood up and said, “I want to get your content.”
That fact remains, spreading your content via email is a little different than the two ways to spread content we’ve discussed thus far. Your subscribers are already leads, now its time to nurture them into sales.
The best strategy to use here is to target your content as tightly as you can. First, make sure your email system records the product, service or offer that drove them to sign up in the first place. Then, watch each member’s actions – which emails do they open and what links do they click on?
Armed with that information, you can send tightly targeted content to small pieces of your list. Since this information plays to their already expressed interests, the probability of a sale is that much greater.
Create Feeds in Content Curation Sites
Another way to spread content is by taking part in a content curation site like scoop.it.
Scoop.it enables you to create your own news feed by drawing from multiple sources online. For example, if you sell surfboards, you can create a news feed that provides news on everything surfing – from equipment and locations to weather.
Now here’s the cool part. When you publish a piece of content on scoop.it, either your own uploaded content or a link to yours or someone else’s content, other scoop.it members can discover the content using the tags you provided and then include it on their own surfing news feed. Now that’s a slick way to spread content.
To spread content far and wide, you need to get off your site and focus your efforts in spots where your targeted prospects hang out online. The more likely they are to be there, the greater the chance they’ll see your content.
Remember, you’re not just trying to entertain or inform your prospects, you want to convert each one of them into a lead. So provide a call to action such as a link to a form where they can do just that.
No matter which of the ways to spread content you choose, you’re sure to attract the attention of your targeted prospects online. Add a call to action and the leads will follow.