You know all the top content promotion channels, all social media secrets and the many ways to engage your followers and convince them to share and reshare your content.
But you are stuck there. Content promotion outside of Google+, Twitter and Facebook (maybe LinkedIn) means starting again from scratch, with no proven practices and strategies to make it efficient for your brand or your client to generate traffic and leads through social media marketing.
The good news is that you don’t need to approach untapped promotion channels on your own. Consider these nine additional channels you can add to your marketing toolbox to drive in more followers and customers.
If you are into Twitter or Facebook marketing, Medium is a nice, complementary content promotion channel. Medium is a portal for user-generated content that requires posters to signup via Twitter or Facebook, tieing in your social account with the Medium platform.
“I use Medium.com as one of my ‘hidden gems’ for content promotion,” says Brandon Schaefer of 90DayEntrepreneur. “Medium.com is great because it ties into your Twitter account and notifies your Twitter followers that are also registered as users on Medium.com that you just published new content. It’s a unique way of getting your blog content in front of your followers.”
As Medium explains in their FAQ, “We’ll show you Medium stories that your Twitter and/or Facebook friends (who have Medium accounts that are connected to Twitter and/or Facebook) publish and recommend.” That means that your content will get recommended (promoted) to your followers automatically for increased visibility.
2. IRC Chats
First created in 1988, IRC never died. It still relies on a wide user base and every day new channels are created on the more varied topics.
Can you use IRC to promote your content? Of course you can. Self-promotion is not an issue until you make it the main focus of your participation in chats or start to sound blatantly spammy. Always read the server and channel rules before promoting content. Spam gets banned and your username will, too.
There are several SEO and marketing channels available on best-known servers like EFnet and Freenode. Join a channel and start chatting; then, as it feels appropriate to the discussion at hand, introduce your content and explain how it can help the chat user(s) involved in the discussion.
However, the best long-term approach you can use is to create your own channel for your brand and add an interesting description that will act as a “joinbait” for users looking for topics you cover.
3. Private Communities
“These are a great opporunity for marketers to engage, network and share content,” says Deepanshu Gahlaut. “[Communities] are a great place to share your content and promote your business. [They] are always hungry for fresh and unique content.”
The only problem with private communities is that you have to earn their trust. These communities generally run on stricter rules than public groups, so you have to make sure you understand their rules before you can use them to build relationships and turn them into a natural (that means, fan-driven) promotion channel.
Finally, Deepanshu shares a few words of marketing wisdom: “It is good to engage i.e. like, share, comment etc. with others before promoting your content.”
Ann Smarty’s creation, MyBlogU has revealed a consistently effective content promotion channel through blogger collaborations.
Perhaps less ‘untapped’ of a content promotion channel among the nine listed in this article, MyBlogU helps with content promotion because you can add links to your posts when you contribute to others’ projects and you will get expert contributions and shares for your own projects, too.
I have personally used MyBlogU over the last six months to interview fellow marketers, bloggers and experts and I found it a valid alternative to Haro or PRNewswire. Every time I publish an article someone has contributed to, that article will be shared and reshared on their social communities and their followers’. Contributing to existing projects also helped me increase pageviews and followers.
“Snapzu isn’t well known,” says David Leonhardt of THGM Writing Services, “but it is a great channel if you have real content about real things and are willing and able to participate in a meaningful way.”
“By real,” David explains, “I mean things that people in the real world talk about and are interested in, not business and marketing stuff. For instance, if you have a news website or an entertainment or science or sports website, this is a great channel.”
Like with Reddit, self-promotion is only okay to an extent on Snapzu. “Keep in mind that you need to participate in a meaningful way. If the main thing you do is promote your content, you’ll be shunned just as quickly as if you walk into a real gathering (like coffee in the church basement or a reception for parents at their kids’ school) and talk only about your accomplishments.”
Kingged is a new community created in 2014 that has grown to thousands of members already. As a content promotion channel, this social website allows you to syndicate your content, directly promote your articles to the community and write and submit new posts.
My personal experience with Kingged has been positive so far. One of my Marketing posts earned new comments and shares from a simple discussion posted by a person who contributed an expert quote for the article.
Kingged has a Rewards program for its members who can earn from their activities and are thus incentivized to post and participate.
Founded by Harleena Singh, Aha!NOW is a blog-based community built around the need for life and lifestyle advice many Web users have these days.
You can join the community upon registration to the website and it’s newsletter and you will be a full member after you started to participate in the community. Being a member of Aha!NOW means you can guest post, create groups based on your expertise, get known and make a name for yourself.
Content promotion works through the forum profile, guest posting, comments, and interaction. Keep your promotional content as kind and helpful as possible.
DeviantART isn’t just an art community, but a full-blown social network. Because you can submit nonfiction ‘deviations’ (submissions) and journal entries on your profile, you can ‘syndicate’ your content by publishing an excerpt of your posts and a ‘Read More’ link where visitors can read your full post. However, you get the benefit of DeviantART-driven traffic and user comments on the platform itself.
I have been a DeviantART user for ten years and it has worked wonders as an audience builder and a traffic generation tool for my content. One of my fictional projects earned its audience through the DeviantART community only. You can read the survey reports from 2013 here.
TWChat is a social media tool that allows you to create hashtag-based chatrooms that use Twitter as a platform. Chats are updated in real time so the flow of the conversation isn’t lost.
You can promote your content by joining Twitter chats in your niche or by creating a hashtag for your brand and inviting users to join the discussion.
Bonus: Leverage Pulse, the LinkedIn Publishing Platform
“LinkedIn is heavily overlooked as a channel for content marketing since it was designed for networking with other professionals,” explains MyBlogU user sbizideasblog, “But since they opened up their publishing platform to everyone last year, it has been a great opportunity to reach the millions of active members on LinkedIn.”
How should you leverage this free tool from LinkedIn?
“A couple of keys to getting the most from writing on LinkedIn include creating an awesome title that will get people to click on your article and targeting your content towards one of their Pulse channels so that it has a chance of getting featured on that channel. Short form content can work really well on LinkedIn and some of my featured posts have sent me as many, if not more, subscribers than guest posting.”
Content promotion is all about getting your work in front of new audiences while consistently tending to your existing fanbase. These nine channels present ripe opportunities to connect with new communities of people, but you have to be willing to actually join the community and build their trust before you earn the right to help them. Keep the goal of “helping through content” central to your activities on these channels and start enjoying the benefits of untapped, less-crowded content promotion channels.