When it comes to content marketing, one of your primary objectives should be to get your asset in front of as many eyes as possible. The more people that see your content, the better chance you have of achieving your goals, be it developing brand awareness or thought leadership, building links, generating shares and mentions, attracting leads, etc.
Using brute force to achieve maximum exposure isn’t particularly efficient or effective. So achieving critical mass with content promotion means scaling your efforts, which involves leveraging the right tactics, channels, and/or topics.
1. Blog Promotion
Leverage the built-in syndication and distribution of your blog to get the word out to your audience or anyone who subscribes to your RSS feed with the click of the publish button. If your asset lives outside the blog (in a separate content resources section of your site), pen an announcement about it, and publish it on your blog as well to tap into its distribution power.
2. Optimize it for Search
I advocate selecting a keyword-driven concept or topic when producing content assets, so you can capitalize on the inherent search demand for a term. What’s more, well-optimized (and linked to) content can drive passive traffic for the life of the asset (key for scalability).
3. Pimp it on Your Social Profiles
Take advantage of the built-in reach of your social platforms and promote it to your audience on Twitter, Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc. Not only does this help scale exposure for your asset, but it helps your assets get indexed for search faster.
4. Buy Traffic on Reddit and StumbleUpon
For short money, you can buy valuable exposure and thousands of impressions on social voting platforms. This can lead to additional coverage and links from bloggers. Again, this is about getting your content in front of as many people as possible.
5. Buy Attention on Google AdWords
Another way to scale up promotion is through paid search. Buy some traffic for your assets on AdWords or use remarketing to re-engage with anyone who’s already visited your site.
6. Facebook Ads
Facebook may get mixed reviews as a lead generation or conversion channel, but it can work really well for promoting informational assets. The key is making sure your ads are highly targeted for your audience. Promoted posts are another option worth exploring.
7. Promoted Tweets
Advertising on Twitter gives you another opportunity to get impressions and additional engagement for your content assets at scale. For the optimum results, follow tried and true best practices.
8. Zemanta Links
Zemanta is traditionally used to get "natural looking" links from a range of unique domains, but the content discovery platform can also be an effective distribution channel. Zemanta aids in promotion by recommending your content to publishers and bloggers who in turn share it with their audience.
9. Blog Roundups
Another way to scale promotion is to get included in weekly roundups. Cold outreach is tougher days, but the roundup bloggers are typically hungry for content items, so they can be more amenable. Use a simple search operator with [intitle:"weekly roundup" or intitle:"Friday roundup"] plus your keywords or target topics to find opportunities.
10. Link Out to Relevant Sources
When you add links to other sites in your content, you create pingbacks and referred traffic to those sites. This helps you get on the radar of bloggers and publishers who now have a vested interest to share your content, since by doing so they’re indirectly promoting their own stuff.
11. Raise the Graphics Bar
Going the extra mile to make your content assets visually awesome is an effective way to increase user engagement, and the likelihood it will get shared. Neil Patel has mastered this technique with assets like this Advanced Guide to SEO and the Advanced Guide to Link Building. And the efforts have paid dividends in traffic, leads and widespread distribution.
12. Link to Content in Guest Posts
Guest posting on high-value, authoritative sites (not "write for us" bio link blogs) can yield a steady stream of referred traffic. So implement a guest posting campaign when you publish your content asset, working in a link back to it as a useful and relevant resource in the body copy. That one link, in the right post, with the right anchor, in the right context, on the right site will scale your promotion efforts. What’s more, that link passes equity, which boosts your asset’s ranking power and helps drive exponentially more traffic (via search).
13. Link to Assets in Future Content You Create
Linking back to your assets in any relevant articles you write going forward is another effective way to scale ongoing promotion. Doing so can expose your asset to a whole new audience who may not have seen it before. And just as inbound links raise the authority and relevancy of a document, so to do internal links from content on your own site.
14. Tap Into the Latest Trends
The topics you choose can also help give your content legs and inherent promotional value. If you write about a topic that’s currently in the news cycle or has been covered recently in your industry, it’s much more likely to get additional sharing.
15. Make People Look Smart
Another way to build-in promotional power is creating content that makes your audience look smart or funny or interesting or superior. This "study" that "beer makes men smarter" got a ton of traction on social media sites. IQ tests or trivia tests also do really well in the shareable (and scale-able) arena since people love sharing scores that make them look like brainiacs.
16. Make People Feel Important
As with trends and topics, certain types of content have built-in promotion power. For example, content that exclusively features an individual or individuals can make those folks feel important or flattered (ego stroking), which often means they have a vested self-interest in helping promote your content. Group interviews, "best of" blogs, huge tool lists are all great examples of content types you can leverage to scale your efforts.
17. Share to Enter
Are you promoting an eBook or a free course? Add a "Tweet for free access" button and get folks to share your content with their audience in trade for a free download.
18. Convert to Other Mediums
Turn your asset into a series of slides that you can post on Slideshare. The site gets more than 50 million visitors per month, so it’s a great vehicle to help scale your content promotion.
The same goes for YouTube and other video and content submission services. Turn your content asset into a range of mediums, from PDFs to audio to video and leverage these sites and get it transcribed pretty cheaply on Fiverr.
19. Include it in Your Newsletter
Get the word out about your new content asset to all your newsletter subscribers. Its grass roots, scalable promotion in action with a compounding effect much like the old school Faberge Shampoo commercial from the '80s "where you tell two friends, and they tell two friends and so on and so on..."
20. Share it Internally
Shoot out an email internally at your company and encourage your coworkers to share it with their networks and social profiles too.
21. Build a Better Mousetrap
With content creation, there’s a direct correlation with input/output. The harder you work at making it great, the better it is.
Now, that doesn’t mean that awesome content magically promotes itself, just by virtue of being awesome. But it does mean that if you produce content that’s mediocre or poor, the chance of it will do well diminishes greatly.
So how do you make your content better than the rest? Make it meatier, or more informative, or 50 percent longer than your competitors. Make it more comprehensive, or chock with expert advice. Raise the bar, then raise is even more.
For more specific, value-add ideas, check out these 27 tips.