I commonly hear from people that their site has great content and others should be linking to it, but it isn't happening. Why? First, the Web already has a ton of great content and more added each day. Second, no one is aware of this content. It needs to be promoted.
True, some sites can publish new content and it goes quickly to the top of search engines. That helps their content get discovered by others quickly. Those domains have been around for years, proven themselves to search engines, and acquired plenty of quality backlinks.
Most sites aren't that fortunate. For the average site, perhaps an e-commerce store or even a new domain, here are two often overlooked methods to promote your top rate content.
Forums, Discussion Boards, E-mail List
These community sites are often underrated for the amount of exposure they can bring. I'm not talking about dropping links in the forums -- those carry little value. I'm talking about the exposure links from such sites can bring that leads to getting mentioned on other sites, by bloggers, or even mainstream press.
One way to tackle community sites: have someone on your staff become an active member offering solid advice and insight. Once they've developed a solid reputation in the discussion board, add a signature with a link to your content. Some forums allow this, some don't. Or, add a link to your content in the discussions when appropriate. Just make sure to read the forum guidelines and rules on links ahead of time.
Those links won't help your rankings much, but will introduce your content to a wide audience. Those people might start linking to your content in blog posts, resource pages, and articles.
The above is time consuming. If you're a small company with limited staff, then consider hiring influential people in those community sites to promote your content. Some may criticize that method and call it buying links or influence. But is it any different than Google hiring a lobbying firm in Washington D.C.? Or sports figures and movie stars endorsing brands? Or a former senator and presidential candidate promoting Viagra? You be the judge.
Paid Advertisements: PPC, Banner Ads
PPC and banner ads aren't just for selling products. They can be used for exposure to promote content campaigns. Look at the campaigns run by pharmaceutical companies to disseminate information (or should I say just try to avoid them).
With previous big ad spenders, such as the auto industry, cutting their budgets due to the economic downturn, this is a great time to get into the ad market place at discounted rates. Others are simply going out of business.
Bold and ambitious? Get noticed quickly by creating a parody of a larger companies' informational campaign. That way you can play off their marketing.
Let's say you run an herbal tea or health food company. Why not parody drug commercials, then bid on their keywords. Check out MADtv's parody of a depression commercial from a couple years ago. Of course, consult your lawyer before attempting anything such as that.
You're in a competition against an immense amount of other great content. The trick is to make people aware of it. It's time to work on promotions to get your great content noticed.