While the type of content you create can vary significantly depending on your industry, the way you promote your content doesn’t vary as much — in large part because promotion comes down to one universal goal, which is getting your content in front of as many eyes as possible.
That being said, the Internet is a big place, which is why sending emails to industry contacts and promoting your content via social simply doesn’t cut — and this is where a lot of people get stuck.
What else is left?
Here are seven tricks that you probably haven’t heard of before. These strategies will help you see a bigger return on your next content investment.
1. Get Influencers to Talk About Your Content
Researchers at the University of Southern California recently discovered the majority illusion, a theory that emphasizes how the quality of your network is more important than its size.
The rationale behind it is simple: Posts from a few users that aren’t part of a highly-connected network won’t go very far because of the lack of connections, but a post from a few users that are part of a highly-connected network will spread quickly.
Consider the diagram below:
Let’s say that each red dot is a user who shares a spoiler from the latest episode of “House of Cards”. The network structures in both figures are identical, yet the placement of each user who shares the spoiler differs slightly.
Figure A illustrates the majority illusion in action: A few well-connected people share who was the latest victim of the Underwoods’ blackmail, which gets the spoiler in front of a lot of people within the network. This can give the impression that everyone knows what happened in the episode than is actually true.
Figure B demonstrates an ideal safe space for anyone on social media who might not be caught up with “House of Cards”. Those sharing the spoiler are less connected in this scenario, which means fewer people will see it.
In regards to content promotion, this means that if you want to get the word out quickly, look for a handful of influencers who are highly connected. And if you really want to boost shares, coordinate with a handful of these well-connected influencers to promote your content at the exact same time — which will truly make it seem like your content is the only thing people are talking about.
2. Get More Out of Your Best Content Through Repurposing
If you’ve got great content, chances are there is a ton of interesting information in it. This also means that it can be shared in more than one way, which is the beauty behind repurposed content: Reformatting something old allows you to diversify its future promotion strategy.
A great place to start is SlideShare. The site boasts 70 million users and is one of the top 100 most-visited sites in the world — that’s one of the biggest audiences on the web. By turning your content into a SlideShare, you’re guaranteed to hit new audiences and provide them with something that’s incredibly easy to digest and share.
Beyond SlideShare, here are a few other ways you can breathe new life into old content:
- Create a content library: As you produce more content, collect it all within a single page on your site that serves as a dedicated resource for any visitors.
- Transform static content into something more dynamic: A blog post into a video? An on-site interview into a podcast? The options are endless.
- Produce weekly, monthly, and annual roundups: Whether it’s strictly your content or a few things from someone else, roundups are an easy way to create a list people will want to link to.
3. Internal Promotion Is Highly Underrated
When people discuss content promotion, they’re typically referring to outreach that generates off-site links. However, most marketers are sitting on a ton of internal resources — specifically employees and content that already exists on their own site — that offer just as much value in generating awareness.
The reach of your employees, for instance, is a network that should be one of your content’s biggest advocates. Capitalize on their reach by sending an internal email that includes a brief explanation of your content, a link to the landing page, and — most importantly — a “lazy tweet” so all they have to do is click on the link to share it with their social network (which can be made using a tool like Click to Tweet).
Beyond employees, another integral part of internal promotion is how you link to old posts within your site. If one page gets a ton of traffic, include links to posts that might need some love.
A bonus? Thoughtful internal linking is what also keeps visitors on your site longer.
4. Reach Out to Specific Sources Your Content References
People like to know they’re being talked about. If your content mentions anyone specifically, be sure to reach out to them.
Below are two easy ways to do this:
- Social media: Tagging someone is a great way to take advantage of someone else’s social reach. For example, my team at Fractl recently put together a blog post about where we look for content inspiration. To promote the post on social, we tagged any tools we referenced like IFTTT below.
- Email: Another great way to encourage someone to share your content is through an email that lets them know you recently mentioned them. Below is the email template I used to promote the same blog post on content ideation.
5. Contact People Who Have Linked to Similar Content
Another easy way to get your content in front of the right audience is to find out who has linked to similar content, contact them, and ask if they’d be willing to share your new (and better) content.
Open Site Explorer is a great tool to use if you have a URL to similar content.
For example, say I want to figure out who linked to this report on the ROI of content marketing vs. native advertising. All I have to do is copy the URL and paste it into Open Site Explorer. From there, I’ll get a list of all the inbound links:
6. Submit Your Content to Online Communities
Most marketers are part of online communities, and a number of sites allow members to submit their own content to share with the rest of the community.
Here are just three industry sites that encourage users to submit content:
- Inbound.org: With more than 170,000 marketers registered, the site offers a mix of original articles plus posts from other sites.
- GrowthHackers: Another resource for finding, promoting, and contributing great content about growth with one of their more popular sections being AMAs or “Ask Me Anything.”
- HackerNews: This platform looks a lot like Reddit but is designed for marketers.
Keep in mind that the competition is strong on these sites, so make sure any content you upload includes a unique note that will help you attract more attention.
7. Join HARO
Distributing more than 50,000 journalist queries a year, Help A Reporter Out (HARO) can connect you with writers at some of the biggest publishers — including the likes of The New York Times and The Huffington Post.
HARO typically sends three email blasts a day to subscribers — morning, afternoon, and evening queries — and the list is organized by vertical.
Here’s an example of a HARO response:
There are tons of great strategies to help get your content in front of the right audience, but the methods outlined above are strategies that your competitors probably haven’t thought of yet — and will be the strategies that will help you snag any of their wanderers.
Screenshots by Andrea Lehr. Taken May 2017.