In my last article, I highlighted 5 ways to reuse and distribute content for content marketing success. Today, we will take a look at the promotional side of content marketing and the various tools you can use to generate a buzz around your outstanding content.
Some might join content promotion and distribution together, but they are actually two completely different marketing angles that should be balanced evenly. Put simply, the difference between promotion and distribution is that promotion is all about generating a buzz around your content and distribution is a matter of finding a lot of different ways to get your content to appear in search results.
Even if you create the absolute best content out there, how do you reach the people that want it? Publishing articles or content on your blog is only part of the process. Brands must also effectively promote it to attract their target audience to a product or service. There are various tools and platforms that can help promote content and reach the biggest audience possible. Following are seven essential content promotion tools and platforms.
HootSuite was originally designed for optimizing and managing Twitter accounts, but it also allows you to post from personal Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Unfortunately, HootSuite will not connect to personal Google+ profiles, but it does allow you to manage your Google+ pages that hosts the content. This tool enables a brand to create a new post and send to any combination of the connected social media accounts.
The ability to schedule posts is HootSuite’s most efficient tool, allowing a company to plan ahead and keep their accounts actively engaged with their audience using just a few easy steps. Select the date and time and let Hootsuite post your content for you to reach the broadest audience possible.
Another cool feature of HootSuite is a link shortener built into the compose box. If a content piece is on a page with a long URL, place the link in the box and click “Shrink”. HootSuite will place the shorter URL (in the form of ow.ly) at the end of the text in the compose field.
HootSuite’s link shortener will also track important social metrics found in the analytics section. You can create full reports on engagement, clicks and collective data for each specific social account. This is a vital promotional tool that can greatly save time for any marketer.
For Twitter users, Followerwonk stands out as one of the most robust tracking tools available to help generate the most engagement through Twitter. Followerwonk allows any user to identify, analyze and improve metrics from Twitter in order to maximize social media promotion.
The “Search Twitter Bios” function is among the most useful features on Followerwonk’s platform. Use it to find the most popular Twitter accounts in your particular field or industry. For example, if you are an internet marketing specialist, you could type “SEO” or “Linkbuilding” into the search bar and Followerwonk will suggest all of the Twitter accounts that feature the word “SEO” or “Linkbuilding” (or closely related keywords) in their Twitter profile text.
Consider the vast possibilities for content promotion when you can sort followers by such stats as tweet count, account age, social authority, following or followers. This is crucial information about your audience and provides an even larger outlet for promoting content.
Taboola reaches 400 million unique visitors and serving over 150 billion recommendations every month. Recently, Taboola acquired Perfect Market, a company which also worked to improve engagement and drive traffic and conversions. With this acquisition, Taboola has evolved from a content discovery engine to a content and product discovery engine giant.
With Taboola’s content recommendation platform, any brand can successfully drive traffic, improve social sharing metrics and increase the amount of links pointing back to the content. Taboola focuses strongly on videos because videos are one of the highest demanded forms of content; in fact, a recent study found that consumers are 27 times more likely to click through online video ads than standard banners. Additionally, native online video ads can generate 82 percent brand lift among users exposed to the ads. Taboola serves up to 1.5 billion recommendations to Internet users each day (45 billion every month) and drives 24 million unique visits for marketers using the platform – numbers that should make any marketer’s ears perk up.
BuzzStream is a popular tool that helps create buzz around content, build links and increase website traffic by helping you “be found” by utilizing various marketing channels. The user-friendly dashboard provides an easily digestible overview of an account’s history and tasks, filterable by:
- Complete history (emails, tweets, logged calls, blog comments or engagement)
- All projects or a specific task
- All items for/from a user or for/from a specific user
BuzzSumo is another tool in the BuzzStream family that helps marketers find highly shared content, as well as influencers with specific expertise in certain fields. While there are other tools to find influencers on Twitter (such as Followerwonk, discussed above), BuzzSumo provides unique features that enable you to find not just an audience, but also content promotion and placement opportunities.
StumbleUpon is a wonderful content discovery engine greatly enhancing the way that people find and bookmark content. StumbleUpon begins by understanding their user’s personal interests. Initially, this comes from a short survey when the user creates a profile, but it grows in complexity as the user engages content through the service.
Users click the “stumble” button on the toolbar, which gives them a new web page to interact with. If they like what they’ve been offered, or “stumbled,” they can give it a “thumbs up.” If they don’t, they can give it a “thumbs down” vote. Content that is voted up by the people in the user’s network will be more likely to appear in the next “stumble” for that user. From this data, you can view a number of different trending data:
- “Recently Hot” tags: These are the current trends that people are tagging. Drill down for more content under the tag.
- “Most Popular All Time” tags: These tags change less frequently but will change. To see what is gaining the most attention, look through these tags. Again, drill down for more content.
- Stumbles by topic: You can see what activity is happening by topic.
- Top Rated websites: These are the pages that are getting the most stumbles.
Additionally, StumbleUpon offers a great paid discovery service that is great for any content marketing strategy. By consistently promoting content through this platform, you can quickly establish your brand as a thought-leader within the industry, driving more traffic, leads and sales for your business.
What would a content promotion article be without the mention of Facebook, right? It’s the largest social network – and boasts endless promotional opportunities for your content. There are three main locations on the site that you can choose to display your advertised content:
- Newsfeed: The most popular of the Facebook advertising placements, these ads show up seamlessly in a user’s feed along with the content that they see from their friends and the people that they follow.
- Mobile: Earlier this year, Facebook stated that there were 1.01 billion mobile monthly active users on the social network – that is a crazy amount of people. If your content is optimized for mobile, this is an avenue that can greatly enhance your content’s visibility.
- Right-Hand Column: This placement can be seen below the “Trending” topics section. The benefit of this placement is that the ad will move down with the user as they scroll through their feed.
Advertising on Facebook allows you to reach one of the largest audiences in the world; never before have we been able to reach such a massive following with such accuracy and relevance.
As we know, Pinterest is one of the pioneers of photo album-style content that has blown up over the past five-to-ten years. By using “Boards” to tag and organize photo content, images of all types become extremely shareable. Content marketers quickly discovered the advantages of this photo-distribution channel when promoting content – not only to drastically raise the visibility of the content but also to encourage it to be shared to an even bigger audience.
By adding “Pin It!” buttons that appear when hovering over an image with the cursor (beware these don’t function on mobile browsers) on your website, you will encourage visitors to pin your content for you. This is a great additional source for spreading your content on the Pinterest platform. It will also encourage visitors on your website to start following you on Pinterest for more content.
Here’s a quick tip for brand recognition: add a small branded logo to the corner of all your pins (or content). This is a small and subtle addition to your pins that can amplify your brand name tremendously.
Promotion is all about creating excitement and engagement around content, and these platforms have simplified that process to greatly improve promotion and advertising of said content. These tools provide great opportunities to put your content in the hands of potential customers, but also to build a trusting relationship with your current audience and, ultimately, to increase your chances of landing new business and building on new leads.