Jay Baer refers to it as the digital dandelion: The idea that your content should be spread to as many places and platforms as possible to reach the widest possible audience.
Many marketers already understand this to a degree. They create some content, and cast it out across their company’s social profiles, hoping that visitors will take the bait and be reeled back to their site to learn more.
The concept sounds easy, but as you try your initial attempts at content promotion, you may realize that the execution requires a lot more strategy and nuance.
Your Link Is Not Enough
Effective content promotion is more than just sharing links to your articles.
Every social network is different. Each one has its own language, etiquette, and technical requirements. Sharing your link on Twitter and Facebook may seem like the same thing on paper, but it’s not as effective as customizing your ad for each individual network.
Your ideal image size for a Facebook ad, for example, is very different than your ideal image size for Pinterest, or Instagram.
The language you use should also cater to your audience. While Twitter is limited to only a headline and link, more verbose posts get more attention on Google Plus.
By preparing additional micro-content in advance, and making it fit the style of each of your social outposts, you’ll increase the likelihood that people will pay attention.
In other words: create content native to each platform you’re using.
How to Get Started
As I hinted at above, there are a few things to pay attention to for each of your social outposts when promoting content.
One of the most important parts of an ad is the image. Users are constantly scrolling through their feeds, so you only have a few seconds to make or break your first impression. Regardless of the social network it’s on, an eye-catching image can hold their attention long enough to click through.
It can be a challenge to remember appropriate image sizes for each platform, so you might want to keep a resource like this social media image size guide on hand for reference.
The Language & Format
Headlines are important for enticing click through to read an article. A lot of people will even share content based on the headline alone, without even reading it.
Furthermore, depending on where your ad is showing up, it’s a good idea to know what the most effective posting formats are.
On Google Plus, for example, a bold headline right at the top is ideal, followed by an excerpt, some of your own thoughts, and a link. On Facebook, you may not need a headline at all, as it shows up prominently in your link preview window. On Instagram, you can’t share a link in the body of your post.
Every network has a different ideal format for content promotion. With the proper preparation, you can maximize the opportunity to make a unique impression on each one.
So far, we’ve talked about the technical aspects of various networks. But what about the general style of your promotion?
Make sure the visuals and language fit the audience on each network. Instagram users prefer a vintage feel to their images, while Pinterest users want to see professional-quality photographs, and Google Plus users are drawn to creative gifs.
Your language on a network like LinkedIn should be clean and professional, while your ad on Facebook can be casual and playful.
Stay true to your brand voice, but make sure your message fits the medium.
Think Outside of the Box
Social media is great, but don’t stop there if you want to maximize your impact.
The possibilities are endless for how you promote your content. If you’re willing to put in time and effort, repurposing and repackaging a bigger story into a series of short form content can be an effective way to promote your offer over time.
In an article on my website, I outlined how you might break up one bigger idea and repackage it into a variety of sizes and formats.
Here’s the example I outlined:
- Plan a webinar that relates to a problem your services solve. Let’s say it’s about “5 ways to save for your child’s college tuition.”
- Create a landing page that describes what you’re offering with a strong call to action and a registration form.
- Write a series of blog posts in the weeks leading up to your webinar that relate to the topic. You might talk about saving your latte money, or the power of compounding interest in a college savings plan. Each of these blog posts has a bold CTA to register for the webinar at the end.
- Break up your blog posts into a series of 20+ pieces of micro content to be shared across your social channels. These can be quotes, stats, photos, infographics and direct headlines with links.
- Record your webinar and offer it to people as another gated piece of content.
- After your webinar, put your slide deck on SlideShare and share that out to your network.
Now, instead of having one webinar, you have a library of 30 pieces of content to use on many different platforms. All around one single idea.
Make your message fit the medium. A small effort to customize your content promotion across multiple platforms can have a big impact.
What’s been most effective for your content promotion efforts? Do you put the time into creating micro-content, or is sharing the link out across the social web enough to get the attention you’re after for your business?