We content marketers just aren’t very good at promoting our content.
Here’s how bad it is: Half of all articles get eight shares or less. That’s according to a study by Moz and BuzzSumo.
Here’s how that BuzzSumo/Moz study describes the situation:
… the majority of content published on the internet is simply ignored when it comes to shares and links. The data suggests most content is simply not worthy of sharing or linking, and also that people are very poor at amplifying content. It may sound harsh but it seems most people are wasting their time either producing poor content or failing to amplify it.
Despite the condemnation, there is an upside to this. It’s significant, too. Because so many content marketers are terrible at promoting their content, if you and I can be even adequate at it, we’ll end up looking like rock stars.
To help you break out of the eight shares slough-of-despond, here’s a pre-planned, no-brainer plan for how to use 30 slim minutes of your time to crush that eight -share average.
So get yourself a cup of coffee. Close your office door. We’re gonna get this done in 30 minutes.
Ready? Steady? Go:
1. Share your posts on social media – more than once!
Time required: 2 minutes.
You’ll need some kind of social media scheduling tool to do this. Hootsuite works. So do dozens of other tools. Personally, I use Buffer to queue up social media posts. Usually I’ll publish once on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Those posts get published immediately – they go to the head of the queue of curated posts I share.
Give yourself an extra couple of seconds to go into Buffer (or whatever you’re using) and brush up the LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ posts so they are suited to those platforms. For example, don’t use hashtags on LinkedIn. Use Google+ formatting to mention people (“+username”), etc.
For Twitter, I’ll tweet about the post immediately (including about two hashtags). Then I’ll queue up 5-7 tweets, posting them about every other day for the first week or so, then about every 3-4 days after that.
Buffer just added the ability to post to Instagram, so I am now going to finally use Instagram in a business capacity. More on that in a moment.
Extra credit: Every week or two, go into your chosen social media tool and find out which posts performed best. Find the top 10%. Then repost them.
2. Use CoPromote.
1 minute. $49 a month for the account.
This isn’t free, but it can generate good exposure. And it’s nearly free if you’ve got a large Twitter following and you’re willing to share other people’s tweets.
CoPromote is $49 and up a month. (I nabbed it early at $20 per month for 100,000 shares.) For that you get to “boost” posts to their audience of 350,000 users. To promote your content, you tweet what you want shared then select that tweet, add a category and 3-5 tags, and then let it loose on CoPromote. Anyone who’s got a CoPromote account can reshare it to their audience.
You use up your reach credits based on how many retweets you get, and how large the followings are of the people who retweeted you. For example, if someone who had 1,000 followers and another person who had 2,500 followers shared your tweet, you’d have used up 3,500 in reach.
It gets expensive unless you share other people’s content. Honestly, a lot of what’s on the site isn’t for me, but there are a few accounts that publish very good stuff. CoPromote’s own feed is a good start. They have an app, too, so I check in now and then when I’ve got a down moment. Usually I can turn up something worth sharing.
The best I’ve done with this tool is getting a tweet to reach an additional 407,000 people. Usually it reaches at least 60,000 people, and often clears 100,000.
CoPromote also works for Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and Vine. I really wish it worked for Facebook. There aren’t a lot of co-sharing tools for Facebook.
3. Submit posts to Quuu.
2 minutes. $5 – $25.
Quuu is primarily a curation tool, but they’ll let you add your content to what they select for curation if it’s a) good enough and b) you pay them. Depending on your niche, you might owe them anywhere from $5 to $25 to get a piece of content (usually a blog post) into their queue. Most B2B topics will fall into the $25 category.
Despite the cost, this is a nice, fast way to give an extra boost to any piece of content. I don’t use it on every post, but once a month I’ll check BuzzSumo to see which posts have done best on the blogs I write for. Then I’ll pick my own top-performing post, and submit that to Quuu.
Typically, posts submitted to Quuu will get anywhere from double to quadruple the shares they would have otherwise gotten.
A service like this would be particularly good if you were starting a new blog with almost no audience. It’s a fairly affordable way to get in front of a lot of people.
4. Submit your new posts to StumbleUpon.
This takes a minute to do. Okay – a minute and three seconds. I timed it. And while I don’t think this is going to blow the doors off your promotion work, it helps a little, and it absolutely doesn’t hurt. It’s free, too.
Here’s how to do it:
- Create a StumbleUpon account.
- Go to this page.
- Paste in the address of your new content.
- Check the box that it’s safe for work.
- Add 2-3 search interests. I tend to pick “business,” “entrepreneurship,” or “marketing”, as those are what I write about.
- Click “save.”
And you’re done.
5. Add a few links from your old content on your site to this new page.
We tend to overlook things that are right under our noses … both in marketing and in life. This is a prime example. The vast majority of people publishing content do not do this, but they should.
So do a quick search on your site to find 3-5 pages that are related to the piece of content you just published. Zip in and edit those pages, adding a quick link to your new page.
Why do this? Because (if your pages are well-optimized for SEO) the bulk of your traffic is going to your older pages. Adding links to new content from those pages delivers good page authority to your newly published work. It also guides all the people who view those old pages to come and see your new page. This particularly applies about a week after the new content has been published – when all the shiny newness and most of the promotion has fallen off.
Bonus: Do you use any of those “related content” tools or plugins that recommend related content at the bottom of a blog post? Make sure your new post gets placed on the right pages for that, too.
10 minutes of content promotion completed
If you wanted to stop here, you could. You have already done more promotion work than most of your peers will ever do. And you’ve spent a grand total of 10 minutes promoting this new piece of content. Even if you paused to chat with an office buddy in between tasks, you’ve barely burned 15 minutes.
But just for the sake of thoroughness, let’s find a few more things to do. We’ll start counting at the 15-minute mark.
6. Submit your post to at least two LinkedIn Groups, industry forums/article-sharing sites, subReddits or Facebook Groups.
Lots to choose from for this one, but it’s best to pick a friendly audience that will actually be interested in your content. Maybe that’s a particular LinkedIn Group, a subReddit, or a Facebook Group. It depends on your industry, your niche, and what you’re sharing.
Just find at least two that are a really good fit. The closer the fit, the better your results will be. Then submit your link according to the formatting best practices and the etiquette rules of those groups.
If you publish a lot of content (like every day) it’s a good idea to have several sites like this, so you can rotate where you promote and give each group content that’s laser-targeted for them. Being able to rotate also means you won’t wear out your welcome – too much posting in one place can irritate people.
Try to spend a little time contributing, too (not just posting your content).
One last thought: Instead of just plopping a link in, try to write a good summary. If you’re promoting a list post, a fast way to do that is to just include the items on the list. This gives people a nice, scannable post that doesn’t require much time to read.
7. Republish the post on Medium, LinkedIn, or Business to Community or any other republishing site.
Again, lots to choose from. Pick at least one re-publishing site that’s well suited to your content and your audience. B2Bers will do well with LinkedIn or Business to Community. Creatives and big thinkers may do better on Medium.
Do this about a day or so after you’ve published the content on your site. Also use a “rel=canonical” tag where possible to make sure Google (and Bing) understand where the original content was published. You want your site to get credit for this content, not the site you re-publish it to.
There you are: 30 minutes of content promotion, complete with four extra minutes of downtime for chatting or a quick coffee refill.
I realize that the first time you do this, it’s going to take longer than 30 minutes. Finding a short-list of ideal sites for items six and seven on this list could easily fill an hour, plus you’ve got to master posting on any sites you’re new to. But by the third or fourth time you’ve done this promotion routine, you’ll be zooming through the work.
Maybe you’ll even be able to listen to a podcast while you do it, you crazy-productive marketer, you.
Over to you:
Got a content promotion tactic that takes five minutes or less that I haven’t mentioned here? Please share it in the comments! And if you liked this post, please share it, too.
You just posted your latest piece of content and shared across your social networks. You even got a few “likes” and “tweets.” But you want more. Download Act-On’s free eBook, 10 Tips for Creating Engaging Social Content, and learn how to create content that people engage with in a meaningful way.