How to publicize your content so it reaches the audiences you need to reach.
After all the work you’ve put in to creating high-quality content for your blogs and downloadables, you surely want to attract as much attention to it as possible, right? The more you get your content in front of interested people, the more successful you will be in growing leads—and ultimately, converting sales.
Writing and publishing your content is the first step. And while having that content on your website will build organic traffic all the time, there are extra steps you can take to be more proactive in pushing your content to a wider audience. Here’s a few content distribution ideas to start.
1. Publicize to social media (and make it easier for your readers to share as well).
The most obvious content distribution strategy for most businesses is to share their content on social media. Even so, many businesses forget to do this and instead only turn to their social media channels when they have a major sale or event to promote.
Sharing content to social media should be part of your content routine. Whenever you write and schedule a post, add it to your social calendar as well. And while you’re at it, enable social sharing on your blog posts so that readers who find it on your website can easily share to their networks.
2. Start an email newsletter.
So far as content distribution ideas go, starting an email newsletter is also a pretty obvious choice, and many businesses are already on top of it. But even those that have a respectable mailing list may not have considered adding their blog posts as a regular feature of each mailing.
Not only is this a great way to give your posts a wider reach, it also helps bring focus to your blog. Your audience is no longer something abstract, it’s the people who are subscribed to your mailing list—many of whom you know.
3. Create shareable social images based on your content.
Here’s one I like: say you have a great post. You’ve shared it with the blog image and a short comment to promote it to your audience. Some of your readers clicked through, but you think it could bring in more traffic. What to do?
First, find your favorite pull quote. Put it into an image. Then share that to social media, just as you would the blog post itself. Link back to your blog.
You never know what will attract the most readers to your post. Your initial teaser post might have been right for most of your audience, but there might have been a few others that didn’t see it or weren’t convinced. This strategy gives you a chance to share your post with a different angle.
4. Put money behind paid promotions.
If you run a business channel on Facebook, you’ve probably seen their notice a few times informing you that a particular post is performing well and suggesting you put some ad dollars behind it to boost it even more. That’s not a bad idea. Feel free to experiment.
5. Write a think piece on Medium or LinkedIn and reference your content.
Medium and LinkedIn both have tools for writing original articles, and either can work for your business. LinkedIn is more industry-specific, and you’ll get the most views and traction from your network of connections. Medium is more public, and has the potential to reach a wide range of readers.
Some businesses, especially ones that work in more conceptual fields, are tempted to make LinkedIn and Medium their primary marketing platforms. They pour a lot of energy into writing regularly for these platforms, and they probably see some returns for their effort. But the problem with this approach is that all the effort they put into creating that content doesn’t result in any growth of SEO for their own business.
Instead, we recommend that these pieces only form a fraction of your total content efforts, and that the goal of this writing be to link back to your website. Maybe you write a piece on Medium once a quarter, and in that piece you reference writing you’ve done on your own blog. If you link back to those other posts, you can draw traffic to your site while also using popular publishing platforms to reach a wider audience.
6. Answer questions on forums (with care).
There are many forums, both general and industry specific, where users ask questions and turn to other users for advice. These are great places to find topics for your blog, because they show what members of your target audience are interested in. You can also take the time to answer questions on these forums, and (if relevant) reference one of your blog posts.
However, a (strong!) word of caution: if members on these forums sense you’re infiltrating their community to fill the comments section with self-promotional links, they won’t be happy. And if your responses are low-quality, copy/paste fare, you may even incur a link spamming penalty from Google.
For this content distribution idea to work, it has to be authentic. That means you have to actually provide the answer to the user’s question in your response, and only link back to your blog if there’s other relevant information that’s simply too much to include in your post. So long as you’re providing a complete and helpful answer to the question, you’ll be fine. But if you write an incomplete answer and expect readers to click through to your blog post for the rest, your strategy is likely to backfire.
7. Look for guest blogging opportunities.
One final content distribution idea, look for good guest blogging opportunities in your professional network. Depending on your business, the exact type of partnership may look very different for you. For instance, if you run a community-based non-profit, you might find a similar community foundation in your area and offer to write an article for their website. Or if you run a B2C business, you might find someone who sells products adjacent to yours. (For instance, if you sell shows and they sell clothes, you could write a style blog about how to match their clothes with your shoes.)
Remember that these blogs shouldn’t be written in a way that benefits the audience of your host’s site.
Content distribution ideas for older content: repost to fill out your calendar and attract new views.
Finally, remember that your audiences are always shifting and changing. Your newer subscribers may not have seen your older posts, while others may not have found it relevant at the time. Maybe two years ago when they first found your business, they were interested in one service, but now their needs have changed and your old post has hit them at the perfect time. Or maybe it’s a timely reminder to take care of a routine task, or to restart a best practice they let fall by the wayside.
If you plan strategically, you can draw visitors when it is first published, over time as it builds SEO, and through repeated postings to social media. The bottom line is: Content is the gift that keeps on giving.