There are lots of different ways to promote content. This week, I’m continuing my series on the topic by looking at some of the best outbound communication channels you can use to do so.
Outbound communication can take many forms, including e-mail campaigns, direct mail, and social media to name just a few. When your goal is to promote content, however, some tactics work better than others. In this post, I’ll look at six of the best outbound communication tactics that you can use to support your content promotion efforts. I’m also including some tips on how to use each tactic successfully.
Tactic 1: Build an Influencer Marketing Program
Influencer marketing is the practice of building relationships with the individuals who influence your target audience. The intent is to get those influencers to share your content with their followers, thus not only extending its reach, but also effectively giving it the endorsement of someone who is respected in your industry.
Imagine, for example, that you’re creating an eBook on content marketing. During the process you reach out to some influential content marketers and ask them to contribute a simple quote to your eBook (if you’re content is good, most will be happy to). With their names now associated with your eBook, those influencers may well be inclined to share it with their followers, thus getting it in front of a larger audience.
Tip: For a more thorough explanation of influencer marketing, see “The Value of Influence: The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing.”
Tactic 2: Create an eNewsletter
An e-Newsletter is one of the best ways you can promote content because it ensures that it is distributed to your target audience on a regular basis. The advantages of newsletters include that they are relatively cheap and easy to execute (through companies like ExactTarget, for example). The disadvantage is that part of using them successfully is committing to a regular distribution cycle. If you don’t have the discipline to send your newsletter consistently, this is probably not the right tactic for you.
Tip: You don’t need a ton of content to have an effective newsletter. Much more important is that your newsletter is targeted to specific audiences. Most people would rather receive a newsletter with one piece of content that really speaks to them rather than a newsletter with ten pieces of content that may or may not find relevant. Focus on what you’re delivering, not how much.
Tactic 3: Tap into Public Relations
Most of us think of think of writing press releases to announce big deals, new products, or other breaking news. Press releases can and often should also be used to promote content. When doing so, however, focus your PR efforts on your most impactful pieces — the ones that contain unique proprietary insights, compelling stats, or thought leadership that will be of interest to your industry. Great content will get media coverage.
Tip: When creating your content, keep your PR hat on. Think about what kinds of hooks you can include to make your next report or white paper something that attracts the media’s attention. Journalists like to promote content that has interesting proprietary research, shares a definitive point of view, or that says something new and noteworthy.
Tactic 4: Look into Syndication and Guest Posting Options
For smaller pieces of recurring content, such as blog posts, syndication is a great option. Sites like Alltop aggregate blogs by topic. If you regularly write about a specific topic these sites will share links to your latest posts, giving you exposure to a much broader audience. Other sites, such as Business 2 Community and Business Insider will automatically republish some or even all of your content in its entirety using an RSS feed. Another option is to create guest posts for sites like Inc.com or Entrepreneur. No matter which approach you take, you’ll get your content in front of a larger audience.
Tip: Always embed links back to your site in your posts so that no matter where it appears you’re giving people access back to your site as well as garnering more inbound links to help juice your SEO.
Tactic 5: Utilize Your Sales Team
Your sales team is in regular contact with your prospects and customers, and as such should be one of your greatest content promoters and distributors. Make sure that your sales team is well advised of what content they should be sharing and make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
Tip: Create a content matrix by topic for your sales team. That way, when they are talking to prospects and customers about specific issues, they can easily identify what if any related content is appropriate to send as a follow up.
Tactic 6: Take Advantage of Your Product’s User Interface
If you have a product that lives online, use its UI to promote content. For example, you can share relevant articles, white papers, and reports that your customers would find useful.
Tip: Content that is shared via your product’s UI should be very targeted and shared selectively. Do not overwhelm your customer with content or your risk impeding their experience with too many distractions. When you do have content to share, find a subtle way of doing so.
What it all comes down to is finding ways to get your content in front of as many people as possible. The ideas above will help you do just that. Check out my other posts in this series about how to promote content using content sharing sites and through content subscription.