Promoting your content is one of the final stages of content marketing. In this stage, you take what you have created and maximize its value by sharing it on social media and syndicating it to other properties.
The advantages of promoting your content are numerous. By promoting your content repeatedly, you attract a steady stream of visitors. By attracting a steady stream of visitors, you gain additional shares, which gets you even more traffic. The increased traffic helps you gain backlinks, which boosts your domain and page authority. The increase in authority improves your search rankings, which leads in turn to … more traffic.
It’s a virtuous circle.
There are many ways of promoting your content. These include:
- Promoting Your Content on Social Media
- Promoting Your Content via Syndication
- Promoting Your Content via PDF Syndication
Generally speaking, these methods are compatible and can be used in combination.
Let’s break it all down.
Promoting Your Content on Social Media
Social media networks are hugely popular, and for good reason. They have extremely long reach. The numbers are astronomical. In April 2020, Datareportal gave a count of 3.81 billion social media users worldwide, amounting to 49 percent of the world’s total population. Even if we count only those 13 years and older, that still comes to 63 percent of “eligible” users.
This huge pool of users also spends scads of time online—2.89 hours daily on average, although this number varies by country and culture. The advent of mobile has only extended this reach. Of those 3.81 billion users worldwide, 99 percent access social media via mobile devices.
Decision-makers are well aware of these points. In March 2021, Statusbrew reported that 90 million small businesses use Facebook, including Pages, Groups, and Messenger. The same post reported that 71 percent of small-to-midsized businesses use social media to market themselves, with 52 percent of that group posting at least daily.
For nonprofit organizations, the picture is similar. A 2018 post from Nonprofit Source on charitable giving reports that 93 percent of social marketers use Facebook advertising regularly, while 84 percent of Facebook users share to show their support for a cause. Nonprofit Source also reports that 55 percent of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking some sort of action, while 59 percent of those people donate money.
You can’t beat numbers like these. No matter who you’re trying to reach, they’re accessible via social media.
Finding Your Social Media Home(s)
Just because lots of people flock to social media, that doesn’t mean you should try to reach them all. You’d only run yourself ragged with that approach. Besides, focus is everything. To be effective, you need to home in on your audience—the people most inclined to buy your goods or services or otherwise engage with your organization.
You can use commonplace ideas about social media as a jumping off point, but I’d encourage you to take a closer look. Sure, businesses are on LinkedIn. Consumers are on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. But don’t let these general notions limit your thinking.
Instead, do a little research. Start by asking Google. Be specific about your niche. I ran a search on “best social media platform for arts organizations” and got back 348,0000,000 results, topped by a featured snippet. I found the result from Creative Bloq, 8 top social media platforms for artists and designers, especially helpful. It contained thoughtful entries on social media platforms for artists, including several that were new to me.
Beyond that, follow your nose. Explore the platforms that interest you. Look for influential voices or people whose views reflect your own. Check out the demographics of these platforms as well. Each one publishes its demographic profile. Sproutsocial publishes an excellent roundup of the major platforms in Social media demographics to inform your brand’s strategy in 2020.
Choose a platform whose demographic profile matches the audience you are trying to reach.
Repeating Social Media Shares
If sharing your content on social media gets you attention, sharing it repeatedly is bound to get you more attention, right?
How much more? Quite a bit, actually. Tomasz Tunguz has done the math in Using Twitter Recirculation to Maximize Content Marketing Effectiveness, and he finds that whenever he recirculates one of his own tweets, the subsequent tweet gains about 75 percent as many retweets as the original. He also finds that the number of retweets obtained by the initial tweet accurately predicts subsequent performance. Tweets that are successful (as defined by retweets) on their initial appearance are likely to remain successful in recirculation.
There are several ways to repeat your content promotions, with varying degrees of automation and cost. The simplest is to store your tweets or other posts in a spreadsheet, then cue them up repeatedly each week or month. This method requires a bit of effort on your part, but the cost is rock bottom.
If you’d like to automate your social media shares, you’re in luck. A number of options are available.
Promoting Your Content via Syndication
Content syndication is the practice of republishing content on a third-party website.
Any type of content can be syndicated, including text, graphics, or video. Syndication is a little bit like mutual aid. Unknown creators gain exposure. Large publishers obtain content. Everybody wins.
Chances are, you already consume syndicated content on a regular basis. Large publishers like the New York Times or Inc. are frequent syndicators.
Types of Syndication
Larry Kim at Wordstream identifies four different types of syndication in 4 Super-Effective Content Syndication Strategies for Bloggers. These include:
- Publishing third-party content on your blog
- Syndicating your content on other websites
- Publishing content on sites that syndicate their content
- Self-service syndication
No matter how you syndicate content, the potential benefits can be significant. Syndication can bring you a huge haul of backlinks, traffic, and leads.
Let’s take a closer look.
Publishing Third-Party Content on Your Blog
The essence of blogging is sharing. Bloggers share knowledge, facts, ideas, images, tips, and opinions, and their audiences benefit by having access to this content. The idea is that bloggers build relationships by being helpful to others.
If you blog, your audience also gains when you share content provided by others—especially if those other creators are experts or if they provide knowledge that augments or complements what you usually share.
Sharing third-party content also gives that other party a stake in your enterprise. They naturally have an incentive to link to your blog from their own blogs and social media feeds, providing you with links and additional exposure.
Larry Kim has clout in the marketing world, and he can attract big names to his blog, like LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving, and HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah, to name a few.
If you have the clout or personal contacts to republish content from high-profile creators, by all means do so. You’ll be doing your audience a huge favor. The resulting links from high authority sites will also boost your own SEO.
If you guest post, ask your publisher for permission to share your guest posts on your own blog. Be sure to respect their period of exclusivity, if they ask for one, and link back to the original from your repost.
Syndicating Your Content on Other Websites
This type of syndication can involve original content you create for the syndicator, content from your own site that you republish on the property of a syndicator, or a mixture of both. You negotiate this aspect of the agreement with your syndicator. The original content would actually be a form of guest blogging.
Naturally, you would look for a syndication partner whose reach and authority exceed your own. You would gain from the resulting backlink, exposure, and prestige.
Publishing Your Content on Sites That Syndicate Their Content
This third twist on syndication involves a powerful form of echoing. Larry Kim cites his own practice as an example. He publishes a column at Inc., which republishes to major content sites like Slate and Time. His content ends up on his own site, plus at least two other powerful platforms.
Get that deal if you can.
Self-service syndication involves reposting your content to a third-party property like LinkedIn, Medium, or Quora. Sites like these can help you reach a much wider audience than you would on your own. With clever targeting, that larger audience will also be focussed on your niche.
You may already be using LinkedIn to promote your content. Reposting content is similar to promoting, except that your LinkedIn post will contain a larger amount of your original content. Some people simply paste an entire blog post into LinkedIn. Others paste just the first few lines or paragraphs into LinkedIn, followed by a link back to the original post.
Like any other form of syndication, it can get you traffic. In Does Repurposing Content Work? Here’s a Data Driven Answer, Neil Patel relates the story of Matthew Woodward, who reposted some articles from his blog on LinkedIn and gained 332 new subscribers.
Plagiarism and Duplicate Content Concerns
At first glance, syndication may raise concerns about copyright infringement, plagiarism, or duplicate content, but these concerns are unfounded.
Syndication is a form of licensing that takes place under agreement. As long as there is no clandestine scraping, copyright is preserved.
Syndication also respects the rights of visitors to know the origin of the content they are consuming. Readers are notified via a phrase like the following that the content they are viewing has already appeared elsewhere:
This article previously appeared in <original source + link> and is published here with permission.
This way, creators get the credit they deserve. And if the link is tagged as a canonical link, it will refer search engines to the original source, avoiding duplicate content confusion.
You can’t add a canonical link from a LinkedIn post to your original content. LinkedIn doesn’t support the canonical tag.
But you can add such a link if you repost to Medium. Use the Medium Import tool instead of pasting your content. Cross-posting with the Import tool ensures that Medium will place a canonical link pointing back to your original post.
The Medium Help Center provides all the necessary details at SEO and duplicate content and Import tool.
Promoting Your Content via PDF Syndication
If your content lends itself to PDF presentation, you’ll be happy to know that a number of services can help you extend your reach. Rather than attempting a comprehensive view here, I’ll just cover a few of the highlights.
Slideshare is a popular syndication home for presentations, but you can also use it to republish infographics and other documents. The platform has a formidable reach—this Wishpond post pegs it at 130 million page views and 60 million monthly visitors.
Slideshare is a LinkedIn property, so you can access it using your LinkedIn credentials. Slideshare accepts PDFs, PowerPoint and OpenOffice presentations, and Word and OpenOffice documents. Slide contents are indexed for search, and a mobile app ensures optimal presentation on mobile devices. Each share gains you a nofollow link.
Issuu accepts images, text, video, and PDFs and transforms them into content suitable for mobile and desktop devices, plus a variety of social media channels.
A variety of free and paid plans are available. On paid plans, your content is indexed for search and automatically optimized for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages. Templates are available to provide your content with a uniform look. You can also customize that look with your own colors and logo to match your existing branding.
The platform provides its own analytics. The digital sales feature allows you to monetize your content, either on a single issue or subscription basis.
Scribd is a digital reading subscription service that accepts a wide variety of formats and publishes ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, sheet music, and other documents. Mobile applications put all of this content within easy reach. Scribd’s entire library is also available through its website.
Scribd has considerable reach—over 1 million monthly subscribers from more than 100 countries. Major publishers and independent authors alike are welcome.
Scribd features a BookID copyright protection system. The system converts semantic data into “digital fingerprints,” which are stored on a Scribd server. BookID scans content uploaded to Scribd and removes content with an identical, or substantially similar, digital fingerprint.
A Final Word on Promoting Your Content
Promoting your content through social media shares and syndication are both ways to drive traffic to your website. The idea of a huge boost in traffic is naturally gratifying, but remember that traffic is a means to an end rather than an end in itself.
Whether your ultimate goal is lead generation, sales, or something else, be sure you build the content and technology into your site that will facilitate that conversion.
In other words: always be strategic.
What Is Content Marketing?
Setting Goals, Objectives, and Metrics
Optimizing Content for Your Audience
How to Do Keyword Research
Promoting Your Content
How to Create a Content Calendar