With all the noise surrounding content marketing, content creators have to get smart about how they promote each new piece
Content marketing is the new darling of the marketing industry, but It’s not enough to create great content. If a piece of content gets published, does anyone read it?
As a marketer, your primary and perhaps most essential task is to develop fantastic content that inspires sharing, encourages conversations and conversions, and gets people engaged with your brand.
Content alone doesn’t necessarily lead to success—people have to read and engage with that content in order to convert, after all. And first you have to capture their attention, which is easier said than done, especially considering how fickle and readily distracted people are on social media.
But there are plenty of ways to get those coveted focused eyeballs on your content. Here are 22 ways to amplify your message and get your voice heard on social media. These ideas and methods will help you get the word out, encourage sharing, and amplify your brand’s voice in the social media sphere and beyond.
1. Ask creative questions that provoke an easy response
Sometimes getting people to reply to and therefore link or repost your content is as simple as prompting them to reply.
People are innately drawn to answer questions, especially if it makes them look smart, clever, or otherwise position them as an authority to their network.
For example, ask them about them about the best-kept secrets in their hometown if you’re responsible for marketing a travel business, or perhaps their favorite business-related or inspiring quote.
Everyone has followers on social media after all, and people have an inherent need to look good to their own community and to share positive or happy things with their fellow humans.
2. Be timely and tie your promotions to holidays or anniversaries
Every day can be a special occasion If you use a current event or unique holiday that is aligned with your brand or a company milestone to highlight your content.
On holidays or anniversaries, offer a free white paper or another download, early access to an exclusive sale, or some other reward-related to what’s happening in your world.
— E! News (@enews) July 5, 2016
Current events get pick-up in search results pages, especially if they are positive and have commonly searched or trending keywords associated with them—think major sporting events or tournaments, awards shows, or similar celebratory occasions.
3. Develop a roundup of favorite or most useful posts about a given topic
Choose a topic that’s relevant to your brand and/or a current promotion, and collect a list of posts about it, and include a post or two from your own blog or web properties.
Make sure this content will be useful to your customers and is aligned with what your company offers.
Link to the sources, and hopefully they’ll link back to you and promote your post on their social media accounts.
4. Exchange guest posts with other leaders or bloggers in your space
Guest posting is a great way to reach a new audience and appear on a different platform, and it can also serve as a way to introduce or strengthen a partnership between brands.
By offering a guest post that fits the requirements of the hosting site (and maybe includes a relevant link to your blog) can help you reach a new audience.
5. Provide exclusive content in reward for shares
Everyone loves to get something special or feel like they are a VIP, so provide a reward for those who share your posts.
Bonus content or the ability to participate in a Q&A can prompt your audience to amplify your content. Here’s an easy way to try it: once a new subscriber has opted in to receive your email newsletter, instead of a “thank you” screen, offer them a report in exchange for a share of one of your top posts.
6. Provide discounts
People always like the opportunity to get discounts or freebies, so give them entries in a contest or sweepstakes for every share, or offer free items or discounts to anyone who posts about your brand on their own sites. Give them something specific to talk about, like a new product or a writing prompt that’s timely and/or tied to your brand.
7. Help a reporter out
Press mentions are a traditional way of amplifying your brand in general, and PR has become so entwined with the digital sphere that we’d be remiss if we didn’t include it.
If you don’t already have connections with the press, there is HARO (Help A Reporter Out) to link reporters and sources. Sign up and see who is covering stories or topics related to your company and reach out to them. Being a source on a certain topic can help build authority and get people searching for you and your company.
8. Investigate your analytics
Take the insights you get from delving into the search queries that result in traffic to your site or blog and use the most popular and relevant keywords in your titles and hashtags so your content shows up in more search results pages.
This is an awesome way to get more views, since although social media has been the most buzzed about the way to reach current and potential customers, organic search is still a key factor, especially when your content answers common questions or ranks highly for popular, relevant keywords.
9. Join Up
Things like LinkedIn Groups, Twitter chats, and other industry-specific digital meetups and share relevant links to your content. It always helps to share with people who’ve already opted in or shown interest into what you have to say.
— Kate | Rabbut (@HelloKateChan) July 2, 2016
Look at the questions that people are asking in these groups or chats and provide a link in response to the ones that you’ve already answered on your company blog. You’re not only promoting your content, you’re providing helpful solutions to your target audience.
10. Keep it in-house
Your best social media marketing resource might be right under your nose! Ask employees to share links and content with their networks. Your employees can be your own best assets in content promotion, particularly if they have strong personal networks and identify strongly with your brand.
You wouldn’t want to over-ask, so be sure to save this request for pillar posts—pieces of content that speak magnitudes about your brand and will be linked back to repeatedly by other posts.
Or you can regularly remind employees to take a peek at your brand’s social networks and share the individual links that resonate with them the most.
11. Learn from your customers
There are plenty of ways to do this, but perhaps the most beneficial for the purposes of building social buzz is to engage your audience with a Q&A session. Introduce users with your in-house “experts”. Promote your content by responding to their questions with links to relevant posts whenever possible.
Set up a question and answer session on Twitter or do a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) and let your customers get a peek into the inner workings of your company. Make sure that your staff is prepared, but let them be honest and be themselves—it can humanize your brand and get traffic, links and shares long after the Q&A itself is complete.
12. Make it easy to share
Include social buttons and email-this options on all content, and provide the HMTL option to embed the post with images if applicable.
Seems obvious, but don’t forget this one. Reduce the effort involved and therefore the barriers to sharing, and sometimes even the existence of the buttons themselves can serve as a reminder to post content they enjoyed to their networks, or recommend it to a friend or colleague.
In addition, share the post via email or direct message with the ambassadors of your brand—users or customers with whom you have a special rapport.Optimize your content for search
13. Optimize your content for search
Place relevant keywords and phrases in the titles, opening paragraph, headings, and meta description of your posts so your content is readily discovered through organic search engine results. Because you should conduct your SEO strategy well in advance of content creation, it should be easy to write in a way that sounds totally natural (but is also totally optimized).
Organic search is still a leading content discovery method for most users, and people tend to place trust in companies that search engines trust, so high rankings for relevant keywords boost your credibility as well help to promote it by boosting your content’s discoverability.Quote and link to experts
14. Quote and link to experts
Including thought leaders’ quotes will make them more likely to take notice of your content and share it with their own audiences.
Sometimes when you link to someone who’s an avid blogger or social media power user, they’ll notice and link to it as a way of spreading the word about positive mentions of their name or brand—it is way to give them some recognition in the form of a digital pat on the back or high five.Reward user generated content
15. Reward user generated content
People love to participate when there’s a reward (or when your contest is just that good). Things like reTweets, shares, @mentions and even tangible giveaways all work to entice your audience to create.
People tend to create content around brands because they want to be recognized by the brand in some way, shape, or form. So be sure to give plenty of shout outs and reposts for those participating. Throwing in a discount code or coupon for those who submit something doesn’t hurt either.
16. Seek out key influencers and just ask
Sometimes you can get what you want simply by asking it, especially when it is something as simple as a retweet, a like, or another form of social share. So don’t hesitate to reach out and ask, since a humble query can be a good way to catch the eye of a busy influencer type.
If you think they’d be interested in what you have to say or what your company has to offer but might not otherwise discover it in the vast sea of social media content, then that’s an honest motivation that will result in a personalized approach.
17. Understand the 80/20 rule
For the unaware, 80% of your social media content should be altruistic or beneficial to your audience in some way.
In other words, don’t make it all about you.
People don’t share content because it benefits the brand after all, they share because they get something out of it, like helping their network or presenting themselves as an expert.
18. Vary your position
It only takes a few adjustments to change up your content for different audiences.
Try reframing lower-performing content for different audiences. Everything from the way that you title your post to the tone of voice that you use to the keywords or hashtags you include can make a difference in who picks up your post, and how many people share it with their own networks.
So if at first a post doesn’t get traction, try again from a different angle. Plan ahead by creating multiple variations of the social media posts that will promote a single piece of content.
19. Work the crowd
Or more accurately, make the crowd work for you. Crowdsource content and give credit where credit is due.
It’s starting to get cooler outside so it’s time to bring out the dark contrasting outfits. Styled in @swuave.official sunglasses and watch with a black @Burberry trench coat under layered with a black @zara knit and @gucci loafers. What do you think about this look ? comment below . #SwuaveStyling #TheArtOfTheTrench #SwuaveOfficial
Develop a specific topic or event that user generated content can be created around, and create associated pieces of content collecting all of it—on your blog, on Storify, or similar platforms, and tag everyone associated with it.
A great example is Burberry’s The Art of the Trench project, where people shared how they wore their Burberry trench coats and made an icon their own; Burberry collected all this UGC on a microsite that then become a piece of cornerstone content and a destination microsite for the brand.
20. Copy yourself
Social media success usually necessitates some repetition—don’t assume people will see your content the first time.
Amplifying your message can be as simple as repeating it a couple of times, or on a regular basis, say twice a month. Not only will repeating the tweets and posts that link to your content help cover new time zones, but you’ll also share existing content with new members of your audience as well.
21. Yank focus away from other content
Sometimes you just need to reach out and take it—“it” being your audience’s attention. An easy to accomplish this is to craft a bold, controversial, or intriguing headline. Think like a click bait writer—keep it short and sweet, add a colon or hyphen in the title, and consider asking the users a question.
Clickbait does get a bad rap, and sometimes deservedly so, but it has become popular for a reason. Just make sure that you have the compelling content behind that baited hook to back it up and keep readers engaged.
22. Zone in on your audience’s needs
How-tos and guides still work because people still need them. Your audience needs you to teach them what you know.
So, start by developing how-to’s or guides with tips from leading influencers (and don’t forget to tag them for more links and shares). Make a shareable FAQ or a collection of DIY tips—whatever is relevant to why your audience is your audience.
Become a resource. Answer questions online when they arise IRL. Use these how-to’s or guides as a chance to respond to user questions on various social networks, in chats or forums, during Q&A sessions, or even for customer service. Basically, when you share these types of posts, respond to new questions in the comments, and turn those questions into additional posts.
Now that you know your content promotion basics and you’re done reading our clickbait, create some of your own! And if you’re in the social media marketing space, and you tag or link to us, we’re most likely happy to help promote your content! Naturally, we take our own advice, and we’d love to see examples of how you use our suggestions as well.