I often(ish) say, “if a fabulous work of content is developed and published in the forest, but no one thinks to walk (browse?) over that way, did it really happen?”
When you’ve invested time, brain power and creative ingenuity into a piece of content, it is important to promote and distribute it. While this may seem obvious, brands often put all of their budget into the creation of content and forget to invest in making sure the content is seen, shared and promoted. Your content is only as effective as the audience who consumes it. (click to tweet this)
However, since you’ve now read this cautionary tale (and Part 1 and Part 2 of this series), and you’re quite brilliant, there’s no doubt that you’ll deliver content appropriately into the hands of those who want it most.
Like most aspects of content marketing, promotion is scalable. Consider the following Paid, Earned & Owned promotion tactics and identify where your audience is, and what you’re able to commit to. Ideally, it will be a blend of the three for a converged media strategy.
Integrate with SEO & Media teams
Native & Social Advertising
When it comes to today’s Internet, native and social media advertising run the show. This covert content is designed to blend into the form and function of its surroundings, visually matching the platform and behaving just like its natural content. Prime examples of this form of advertising are promoted posts, 'grams, tweets and pins on social media, as well as integrated ads within news publisher feeds. The biggest benefit to it? Extreme targeting options by interest, life stage, demographics, location, connection to other brands, etc. Additionally, this format shares brand content in the way that consumers are comfortable engaging with.
When it comes to marketing your own content, keep the following in mind:
- Find a Squad: Find out where your target market hangs out and hang out with them (but don’t fall in forever love with only one channel, make sure you’re always testing new platforms).
- Keep it Fresh: Make sure you’re rotating your ad content, when people start to see your ad too many times, they get bored of it and stop clicking.
- Tell a Story: Make sure your content tells the real story of your brand.
- Use your Tool Belt: Taboola and Outbrain are great tools for distributing your content on heavily trafficked sites.
Integrate with Social Media & PR teams
It’s been said that the best things in life are free. If you’re a digital marketer, organic media ranks near water and air as the best “free” (air quotes because, of course, time is money) things in life. This organic or “earned” media is content that engages the consumer outside of the means of traditional paid advertising; it cannot be bought or owned. While some industry experts argue that this media is dead or dying, with the future pointing toward the “paid” approach, organic media should not be undervalued.
By following the steps in Part 2 of this series, you’ve put yourself in a position to create sharable social content. While this is an important part of your earned marketing approach, blogger and influencer outreach is another way to organically promote your brand.
Blogger and Influencer Outreach
This type of outreach is built around a brand seeking relationships with bloggers and/or influencers who have a substantial following. Generally speaking, these bloggers and influencers are asked by brands to write about or mention their product, brand, or experience – often in exchange for free access to it, an exclusive experience or payment.
Here some tips to make this happen:
- Study: Know exactly what the bloggers write about and what the influencers are interested in. Skip that ones that aren’t a natural fit with your brand.
- Start on Twitter: We find that building an organic relationship on Twitter through genuine conversation is incredibly effective. Send a direct message to gage interest and ask for their email address.
- TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read): Avoid information overload and keep your pitch brief and personal.
- Stand Out: You need to be creative if you want your pitch to stand out; don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Regardless of the box, make sure to explain the value of the opportunity.
- No One Night Stands: Keep the relationship going via social media (share their post, comment, reply to questions, etc.) after the first engagement if everything went well. Then you’ll see additional coverage without having to ask for it.
OWNED (BRAND CHANNELS):
Integrate with Marketing, Email, and Social Media teams
Chances are if you’re even a moderately established brand, you have some form of owned media channels. This is the media you control completely, such as your website, email/newsletter, blog, social media brand channels and so forth. Nowadays, social media often takes the spotlight when it comes these channels (and deservedly so), but your other assets should not be forgotten. For example, say you create an interactive infographic (which are all the rage), your first thought is probably to share that on your social media — great! But don’t let it stop there. There’s no reason that infographic can’t be adapted into a blog post, which is then posted on your website and finally incorporated into your company’s eNewsletter. Content is vital to a strong nurture campaign and should be included as a resource in regular emails to help build an engaged readership.
Did you miss the first 2 parts in the Content Marketing series? Read up using the links below and be sure to leave us any questions or comments below!