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Content Promotion: The Other Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I have written about content development strategies and about writing for the Web on numerous occasions and we all know just how important content is for your website, but for some, one thing that sometimes gets overlooked as part of a content development strategy is the actual promotion of your content.  You can have the greatest team of writers in the world, but if no one can find your content their efforts may simply be wasted.  It is no longer enough to simply produce awesome content, the need to promote your content has become nearly as important as content creation itself.

There are a number of great resources out there on content marketing and if you have attended any of the major search conferences over the past couple of years, you have most likely heard great folks such as Lee Odden discuss the importance of content marketing.  I have read a number of great books on content marketing and content strategies and there is definitely no shortage of quality resources out there.  So for this post I won't really go into too much detail about the importance of content marketing, but I will suggest that if you have not established a content development strategy for your web properties as of yet, you have some catching up to do as content marketing is really finding its legs here in 2011.  Recently algorithm updates such as Google Panda further illustrate the need for high quality content, but again creating this awesome content is really the beginning of your overall content marketing strategy.

I equate content creation to the good old days of the music industry when an artist created a record or CD that featured ten or twelve songs on it.  (Of course this is before the digital era, so some of you younger folks may not be able to relate...)  For those of us who used to have to purchase music from a record or music store, how many times did you purchase an album that had a couple of good songs only to have the remainder of the album be filled with fillers?  It was rare to have a really solid album with ten solid tracks.  Depending on your genre interest there may have been a few artists who actually had a solid release from start to finish.  I myself, like good old rock n roll.  My guilty pleasure was a lot of the hair band stuff that came out in the 80's and 90's.  So with all of the "hair-bands" and later grunge bands out there you usually had artists that had albums with a couple of decent songs and the rest were fillers.  Of course there were exceptions with bands like Van Halen and Def Leppard which usually featured some great tunes that were very polished and produced, but for the most part a lot of these artists were one hit wonders.  At the time they were dominating the music charts.  While some of the hair band music gets a bad rap, there were some solid efforts that simply did not get the exposure that resulted in modest or limited success in terms of album sales.  Slaughter's "Stick it to Ya" from 1990 and Warrant's 1992 release "Dog Eat Dog" are notable examples. These were two solid albums with no filler material yet they simply did not get the promotion to do either of them justice.  They each experienced moderate success reaching double platinum and gold status respectively.  Yet while the songs were solid the albums did not see the promotion of other acts at the time.  Before I digress too much, the point that I am trying to make is that great content is nothing without proper promotion.

Content Promotion:  The Other Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy

The Internet is a hyper-competitive environment.  Think about how many p[ages search engines such as Google have indexed.  Reports suggest that they have indexed over a trillion pages.  Knowing this how does one promote their content to be featured in the prime real estate of the search engines?  Well without going into great detail, a well established content strategy can help you get there.  A key part of this strategy is the promotion of your content. 

Content can be promoted a number of ways but there are a handful of ways that can be used to promote your content effectively, efficiently and successfully.
  1. Content Syndication
  2. Social Sharing/Bookmarking
  3. Social Media
  4. Via Links (aka linkbait)
  5. Guest Blogging
  6. Email Marketing
While I won't go into great detail for each of these methods, it is worth discussing a couple of them further.

Promoting Content via Syndication

Syndication is a great way to get your content out to the masses fairly quickly.  There are a number of ways to syndicate your content:
  • Promotion via Feeds - things such as RSS allow you to syndicate content automatically
  • Leveraging multiple web properties
  • Leveraging news sites (Google News, DIGG, etc)
The problem with content syndication is that while you want to get your content out there, you do not want to simply create duplicate entries.  Ideally you will want to avoid creating noise and duplicate content on the Web.

Promoting Content via Social Sharing or Social Bookmarking

What is easier than having your readers promote your content for you?  Leveraging social bookmarking and social sharing options is a great way to make it easy for others to share your content.  Tools such as ADD This http://www.addthis.com/ make it extremely easy to populate social sharing functionality on your web properties.

Content Promotion via Social Media

Marketing your content is no longer simply a matter of SEO and SEM.  Social media marketing is a must if you want to engage with your desired audience.  Environments such as Twitter, Facebook and even MySpace or YouTube content.  Leveraging social is simply not a wait and see tactic.  Chances are that if you are not currently leveraging social media to promote your content, there is a good chance that your competitors and more importantly your audience is using these social channels.  Social media is a relatively easy way for publishers to promote their content.  Whether it is in the form of 140 characters or a video or a status update, the Web has become and will continue to get more social.  Currently 30% (or more) of the world's population is on the Internet, many of them are visiting some form of social environment.  Folks, this one is a no-brainer.

While I have only scratched the surface here with regards to content promotion, you must realize by now that it truly is not enough to simply create content and while "content is king" the promotion of this content is what will help you engage with your audience and will provide signals to the search engines just how authoritative your site is about insert topic here.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, September 13, 2011  
  • At 11:24 AM, Blogger Rob said…

    Great Article Jody!

    I've found content promotion hit and miss personally - there's some link bait i've been very successful with and some that just doesn't do anything.

    My point is, don't give up - keep trying/refining your tactics. If you find a tweet doesn't give you many clicks, try changing up your tweet text.

    Above all, track it so you can see what does work and what doesn't!

  • At 3:58 PM, Blogger Publishedin said…

    Jody, I think you are dead on about content promotion.

    Content marketers invest a lot in creating quality content but fail to reach their target audience with it. By putting your content on your own website or blog and link to it from your twitter and facebook account you mostly reach people who already know about you. There are many more places you can distribute your content and I wrote about it: I Have All This Content, Now What? http://blog.publishedin.com/post/10679411404/i-have-all-this-content-now-what

    Another innovative way is to use a platform like http://publishedin.comthat allows marketers to promote and distribute their content to publishers relevant to them, and reach all publishers’ readers when they write about them http://publishedin.com/businesses/content/

    Disclosure: I’m the founder of Publishedin.com

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