Did you know that more than 2 million new blog posts are published every day on the internet? That’s enough content to fill TIME Magazine for 770 years!
But how many of those 2 million blog posts find readers, get social shares and convert visitors into subscribers? I don’t have the exact numbers, but I think you can safely assume that number to be MUCH lower than 2 million.
Creating great content is absolutely necessary to attract readers – but it’s not enough.
You need to have an aggressive content promotion strategy as well. There’s so much competition out there for readers’ attention that you can’t afford to sit back and wait for people to find you. That won’t happen.
In this post, however, I’ll move away from the conventional “share on social media” type content promotion advice. Instead, I’ll give you something that’s more effective, actionable and has a higher return on your efforts.
Here are 8 ways you can promote your content, attract more traffic and find more readers.
Make your content easy to share
Before you can start promoting your content, you need to make sure that:
- It’s share-worthy
- Your blog makes it easy and simple to share
For this you need to keep the following points in mind:
Blog post structure
List posts are by far the most frequently shared content type. Infographics, How-To posts and round-up posts also attract lots of social shares. So before you create new content, make sure you structure it correctly (read more about share-worthy content types).
According to a research by SerpIQ, the average length of the top 10 Google search results is more than 2000 words. Longer posts also tend to get more social shares.
Social media sharing widgets
Add social media sharing buttons after the headline of your blog post. Also use a floating share widget (e.g. DigDigg). Limit the social sharing options to your most relevant social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+).
Twitter cards and Rich Pins
Facebook Open Graph
When your content is shared on Facebook, it doesn’t always show your featured image with it. You can fix this by implementing Facebook Open Graph.
Optimize your social media posts for engagement
Most content promotion advice on the internet, simply tells you to share your content on social networks. It’s so obvious, it shouldn’t even qualify as advice anymore.
What most blogs don’t tell you, however, is how to optimize your social media posts for engagement (shares, likes, favorites, replies). Here’s how you can make sure your social media posts get lots of engagement when you share them the next time.
Every social network has an ideal post length that attracts the highest engagement. You can increase your chances of social engagement by limiting your posts to the ideal character count.
Hashtags (#) are an important part of the social media vocabulary and can be used to significantly boost the reach and exposure of your posts.
- Facebook – Using 1-2 relevant hashtags on Facebook will get your posts 593 additional interactions on average.
- Twitter – Tweets with 1-2 hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted.
- Google Plus – Using 1-2 trending hashtags in Google Plus posts can double your exposure.
Visual content works well on all social networks.
- Facebook – Adding images to your posts can get you 39% more engagement.
- Twitter – Tweets with images get almost 200% more engagement. You can also tag up to 10 Twitter users in image Tweets, which is great for outreach.
- Google Plus – Image posts get 94% more +1s and GIFs get 39% more +1s on Google Plus.
Invest in Facebook advertising
Facebook advertising is one of the most effective ways to generate early momentum for your content and attract new readers to your blog. In my experience, you can get more than 1000 visitors to your blog posts with just a $5-$10 budget using Facebook advertising.
If you’re hesitant about spending $5-$10 per week on content promotion, just think about the hours of time you’d have to spend on other ineffective promotional techniques. The return on this method is much superior, and is certainly worth a few dollars.
Your newsfeed ads appear as normal timeline posts, so the users are much more likely to click on them. Here’s a detailed post on configuring effective Facebook ads.
Quote influencers and fellow bloggers
Influencer outreach has lately become a buzzword in the content marketing niche. Everyone’s recommending it. But few are doing it the right way.
Influencer outreach works perfectly when you do it in an indirect and subtle way. Instead of sending a direct email to your target influencers, quote them frequently in your blog posts and link back to their content.
Create tweetable quotes, short content snippets from other blogs or quotes by influencers, using “Click To Tweet”. Make sure you @mention your target influencers in each tweetable quote.
In my experience, targeting the mid-range bloggers, rather than the top influencers, often gets better results. This is probably because the top guys are short on time and already have a lot of exposure, so being mentioned by someone isn’t a big deal for them.
Once your post goes live, send out individual Tweets to all the people you’ve mentioned in your post to get their attention.
Create multiple descriptions for social sharing
When you share your content on social media, how often do you add a custom description with your links? Neil Patel increased the click through rate on his Facebook posts by almost 9% by adding his thoughts (in 2-3 lines) with link posts.
Adding your own custom descriptions makes your social media posts look more natural and not just some automated posts. It can be even more effective if you create 10-12 different descriptions for every link, and schedule them for repeated posting using Buffer.
Social media users, in particular, have short attention spans. So you need to post the same links repeatedly to give maximum exposure to your content.
Use paid content promotion services
There are a number of paid content promotion websites that display your content (based on your selection criteria) on other leading blogs. Using these services, you can drive massive amounts of traffic to your new content.
Your content appears at the end of the blog posts on other leading blogs and is shown to their readers as suggested content.
Here are some well-known content promotion networks that you can use.
There are numerous niche specific forums, communities and content curation platforms where you can submit your blog posts and enjoy free exposure.
- Triberr – A community of marketers and bloggers where you can discuss ideas and share your content.
- Scoop.it – If you submit your content to 10-15 top scoops, you can attract hundreds of visitors.
- Quora – One of the most famous discussion forums where you can build great new relationships and promote your content effectively.
- Flipboard – Using Flipboard, you can convert your content into a stylish magazine and expose it to millions of users across the globe.
- LinkedIn Publishing Platform – A couple of weeks after publishing new content on your blog, you should re-publish it on LinkedIn’s publishing forum, with a backlink to the original article on your blog. LinkedIn has millions of active readers who consume tons of content every day. This post covers the process in more depth.
- JustRetweet – Need a quick 50 or 100 natural Tweets? JustRetweet works on the principle of “you scratch my back, I scratch yours”. You need ReTweet stuff from other blogs and in return people ReTweet your content.
- Kingged – Submitting your content to Kingged can get you 10-15 quick comments.
Contact people who have shared and linked to similar content
A great way to find quick social shares is by getting in touch with people who have already shared similar content on their social profiles. To find them, copy the URLs of other posts, similar to yours, in an Excel sheet.
Now search for each one of these URLs on Twitter.
These people are ready prospects for you. If you have a similar post, they’re likely to share it. You just need to reach out to them using Twitter, or direct email.
Similarly, you can find out the blogs that have linked to similar posts, and reach out with your post. This technique would work well if your post is more valuable than the one already linked.
Copy all the domains, you want to target, in an Excel sheet and then email them about your post. Highlight the fact that your post has more value and in-depth information than the post currently linked.
Wrapping it up
As I said at the start of this post, creating great content is just one part of the equation. To find readers, attract new traffic and convert them into subscribers, you need to regularly and aggressively promote your content.
The thing to consider while choosing a content promotion strategy, is the return on your time and effort. Shortlist the techniques that give the highest return in the shortest time and with the least effort. To make these techniques work, you need to develop a marketing routine in which you regularly indulge yourself in different promotional activities.
Have you tried any of the tips I shared in this post? Can you add something to this list and make this post more valuable?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.