Now that we know the reason to invest resources into one, creating content is only half the battle in content marketing. Your content, no matter how great it is, needs to be promoted properly if you want to see ongoing results.
When promoting your content, there are right and wrong ways to go about things. When promotion is properly executed, you can see initial, tangible results very quickly. But, if you promote content in a haphazard or non-strategic manner, you could hurt your chances of having the content you’ve worked so hard to create noticed.
Click "READ MORE" to learn how to promote your blog content and take your brand to a whole new level.
Why Does Content Distribution Matter So Much?
Even then, with so much content being created every single day, your chances of your content having significant discovery over time with zero promotion beyond your own tribe are pretty much nonexistent.
The graph of that approach looks like this. You work hard to create the content, then share it with your audience, but eventually the traffic comes crashing back to earth.
Below is a graph of my own content success over the years. Notice how slowly things grew in the beginning, and how traffic grew quicker and quicker as my views increased.
Before you run off and start pumping out content and promoting it organically on social media, there are a few things to consider when creating your first content:
- Your first pieces (or I could even argue all) of content should be longform, evergreen posts that require little upkeep. (See my guide for tips on crafting evergreen content.)
- Research keywords for these evergreen posts using a reputable tool like SEMRush, and curate top trending articles on the same topic to make sure you're checking all the proper boxes for that topic.
- Once you've created these evergreen posts, it's time to promote the hell out of them. (That's where this guide comes in.)
With the above tips in mind, you're already well on your way to creating content worthy of promoting. Next, let's tackle a core but often missed element of content that gets noticed: link building.
What is Link Building and How to Get Backlinks?
NOTE: It’s really important to build QUALITY instead of just QUANTITY links. Gaining fewer backlinks from sites that have high Domain Authority (DA) will build your site’s DA faster than a bunch of lower DA links.
When building quality links, there are three main routes you can take:
- Email Outreach: These are links you ask for. Do you frequent a site and have content you think they or their audience could benefit from? Send them a friendly and professional email telling them about the value your content could bring to them and ask for a link. Check out this tool to find email addresses if you need to uncover some.
- Natural/Editorial: When someone links to your content on their own, that's a natural or editorial link. These are often the result of creating quality content that people feel is worth using and sourcing. For example: Moz or Neil Patel is a reputable, knowledgeable source, hence me linking to them on numerous occasions.
- Self-Created: Have you ever seen a link to someone’s site in the comments section of a blog? This is a self-created link. This can be totally harmless if you do it here and there, but routinely filling out online forms to put your website out there can be seen as spam, and actually hurt you. Use these with caution and try to only do it when it's genuine.
When done properly, quality link building will result in a steady increase in your traffic and brand awareness. As previously mentioned, this kind of attention will snowball, leading to your other content getting views in search engines as well. This is why evergreen content is so important, as it doesn't require constant upkeep, and it provides long-term value.
As you track the performance of your content, note which pieces are underperforming when compared to your other posts. Analyze these pieces and determine how/if they can be salvaged. It's possible you simply need to build a few links from other sites to your content or maybe you need to focus in on a few new primary secondary SEO keywords.
Or maybe you never promoted that piece to the right audiences. Even evergreen content will need additional pruning from time to time, so don't let complacency hurt your content's performance.
9 Blog Promotion & SEO Link Building Strategies
Keep in mind, the internet is always evolving, so your promotional route will likely need to shift over time. You also don't want to completely tap a particular audience too often, so using multiple strategies is a must. Tackle one at a time, but don't ever get too comfortable using only one strategy.
Here are nine link building strategies to get you started:
1. Scholarship Email Outreach to Gain .edu Backlinks
If you can commit to offering at least an ongoing $1,000 annual scholarship, create a landing page on your site with all of the details and requirements. Require written pieces or video content of your applicants on a topic you're looking to cover.
Then do some email outreach to colleges that have a page on their website listing other available scholarships. This can net you some great SEO as well as traditional press through newspaper links, press release mentions, etc.
For more information check out this in-depth guide from Search Engine Journal.
2. Guestographic Outreach
Infographics have been popular for years now, and for good reason - they're highly shareable and quick to digest. But how do you stand out from the crowd?
Create high quality, long-form infographics that have 8-10 sections to them. Check out this high quality example.
With the guestographic approach, you create an infographic that addresses a need. Next, reach out to appropriate sites and send them an email asking if they'd like to use your infographic. If they agree, write a short and sweet introduction just for them and include it with the infographic. Your content gets exposure, they get quality content, and you get links. Everybody wins!
For more information take a look at Brian Dean's great guide here.
3. Create an Expert Roundup Post...But Offer a Backlink in Return
Consider creating an expert roundup or guest post featuring other influencers. Send an outreach email telling them of your brand, the content you're assembling, and asking them to answer a question that would add to your post. Make sure you let them know that you will link to their site from your post if they provide an answer.
If they agree, this not only results in you receiving original content for your site, but also the potential of a shout out on social media and their site.
This post from Smart Blogger has some great tips on creating an expert roundup that gets noticed.
4. Republish on Medium.com
Medium lets you reuse your content without any SEO penalty. That's right, you can repost your content straight into Medium without it cannibalizing your SEO. This lets you get your content in front of a new audience, drive traffic to your site, and build a following on another platform. Look at my Medium profile and you'll see a lot of content that looks familiar to the content on my site.
Hint: That's because it's the same content but targeting different audiences.
5. Add Your Post to Sites Where Your Audience Hangs Out
If you know they frequent a particular hub, consider posting your content there. For example, I knew a lot of my audience was at Inbound.org, so I reposted one of my articles from my primary site to drive new traffic and brand exposure.
6. Republish on LinkedIn
LinkedIn may not be the right place for all of your content, but can be a great spot for your absolute best posts.
7. Infographic Directories
Take a look at my infographic cheat sheet here to determine which infographic directories might be a good fit for you.
The reason many redditors have a disdain for marketers is due to the fact that many marketers are incredibly obvious in their marketing. If you're tactful and actually adding value to the community, Reddit can be a HUGE boon to your site.
This great BuzzSumo article offers som in depth advice on how to turn Reddit into your golden goose.
9. Answer Topical Questions on Quora
This is also a great opportunity to plug your own content if it answers their question in an even greater manner. Much like Reddit, be careful when answering a question with your content and avoid coming across as too markety or salesy. When in doubt, focus on providing value to others without directly pitching your products and services.
Bonus Tip: Use a keyword research tool like SEMRush to search for the highest search volume keywords on Quora.com for your topic/industry. That way you can be sure that your answer to the question will be seen by a significant amount of people, rather than hoping or guessing.
12 Content Distribution Networks to Legitimately Skyrocket Your Views & Social Shares
While each of these networks has different requirements, it's important to always play by the rules and avoid any blackhat or shady tactics. Focus on quality first, and only aim for quantity when it won't come at the expense of quality.
They then promote your content through their own social media and other outlets (Buffer, etc.). This service has done wonders for my own content, and is recommended by the big names like Neil Patel.
Please note that the link above is an affiliate one so I will earn a free credit if you sign up for the service. But I don’t recommend any services I don’t already use and wholeheartedly love. Plus, you won’t pay any more by using my link than going to their website.
It's similar to QuuuPromote in that it allows for dissemination of your content, only you have to put in a bit more leg work. They do offer a free option, but the paid one will distribute it to a much wider audience.
3. Your Email List
Consider putting together a weekly or monthly newsletter that collects your best content of the week into a single email. This can let your audience choose what they want to view without coming across as spammy.
If your email list is in bad shape, check out this great HubSpot list on building your email list.
They place your content ad at the bottom of other site’s content, and their algorithm strengthens the chances of your content finding the right audience, while allowing you to find audiences on sites you'd never think to look at.
Note: Because Outbrain's targeting is much more limited than other avenues of distribution, I'd recommend only using this when you have a broad topic you're wanting to promote.
Paid social media is the act of paying to promote a social media post. This is most popular on Facebook, where you can set a target audience, spending parameters, and more. Once your campaign is up and running, your promoted post will show up in the Facebook feed of those not following you, giving your content a chance to find a new audience, and your page the opportunity to gain more followers.
If you want to take your business social media game to the next level entirely, we recommend getting some formal social media training. While I haven't attended it, Social Fresh is one of the longest running and well-known social media conferences.
7. Guest Blogging
If a site doesn't say they're accepting guest posts, you can always craft a nice outreach email and see if they'd be interested. Oftentimes brands will be receptive to a guest post, as it's free content and can help their own brand.
For more tips on guest posting, check out this great Kissmetrics blog.
8. Get on Buzzfeed’s Crowdsourced Stories
If nothing sticks, go to their community section and create a list of your own that features your content.
Podcasts are especially popular with the commuter crowd, making it a great way to get your content and brand in front of those who may otherwise be too busy to consume your content.
Mashable has a great piece on launching your own podcast that I recommend reading here.
10. Pitch Your Post to Major Publications
Craft a well-written email and start pitching your content to appropriate publications. While your odds of being picked up are low, it costs you nothing and the payoff could be a huge boost in traffic and awareness.
Pitching your content to an editor can be intimidating. Read this list for some tips on crafting an email that gets noticed.
Instagram and Pinterest have both become behemoths in the social media world, and when used properly, they can be a great way to drive traffic. Because of their visual nature, this is especially true if you have a great infographic or image to promote.
Even if you have a piece of written content, consider creating a graphic to promote it, or even screenshot it at an interesting point and share it on Instagram or Pinterest. Then, put a link to your article in your bio for people to find. For even more in depth tips, look at:
12. Internal Links within Your Own Website
I did this above in the section “Why Does Content Distribution Matter So Much?” promoting my post on the importance of evergreen content.
Quantifiable Results: How I’ve Grown Quality Social Shares & Backlinks for 5 Websites
Well, I’m glad you asked. I’ve used these strategies on a number of websites and here are some of the results from campaigns I’ve received for clients.
Need Assistance with Promoting Your Content and How to Build Backlinks?
There are nearly limitless options available for promoting your content and how to build backlinks. Like all things, though, they're better done right or not at all. Poorly executing any of the above methods could result in you coming across as spammy, wasting time and money, and/or damaging your brand.
If you want help on where to start, reach out, and we can see how my team can create a plan tailored for your unique situation or create a full service solution. If you're in need of assistance, I'd be happy to help you come up with a plan that fits your business, needs, and budget.