There’s no better way to establish authority, build loyalty, and eventually get some of your site’s visitors to reach one of your landing pages and convert; than by creating content that your audience will find engaging, and that your peers will enjoy sharing.
When planning your next blog post, video, or any other kind of content, you should think about how you are going to be promoting it from the very start. If you don’t have anything particular scheduled in your editorial calendar you might choose a topic based on opportunities for syndication that might open.
Naturally, nothing is more important than creating content that your visitors will enjoy and find useful, which is why you should be careful when implementing the following suggestions, and make sure never to prioritize them over the quality of your output.
Writing for the audience
Chances are you know what your audience is interested in. If you are using your site to promote a business, you probably have at least a couple Buyer Personas defined, you’ve been observing the user behavior metrics in analytics, reading competitor’s blogs, and have been surrounded by people with similar interests ever since you got into the business.
This doesn’t just mean you should know what they want to know, but it also means that you should know what they already do know. In other words, while your blog posts need to be layman-friendly, if you only write about the most basic issues related to your industry, even the people you manage to attract will soon outgrow you.
When publishing a post, stop to think about how often do you see similar posts being organically shared on social networks. People with no connection to what you are writing about are hardly likely to share a post giving them just the basics of something. It is the more engaged, knowledgeable audience that might be invested enough to actually share something new they have learned.
There are plenty of content research tools out there, simple Google search often being enough, but BuzzSumo and Ahrefs Content Explorer also come in handy when you want to find shared, popular content topically related to what you are doing. Of course, we are not suggesting you use them to pander to your audience or to plagiarize other’s work, but they can provide invaluable insights into what your visitors might be interested in. Catering to all levels of that interest is what is going to make the content easier to promote once it is actually published.
Writing for the peers
While the promotion you get from your potential customers is important, it’s not likely to be as influential as exposure that even just a couple of authoritative sites could send your way. While your competitors are not too likely to promote your work (even though they occasionally will) there are plenty of sites you could find that are covering the same range of topics as you do, without a reason to refuse sharing your content, as long as they find it relevant and interesting.
When drafting an article, think about what important industry websites you might want to see it promoted on, examine what kind of content do they usually share and in which manner, and make sure to create something that they would find value in.
Once you know you have something that will appeal both to your consumers and your colleagues, you can actually finalize the content and start promoting it.
If you’ve invested enough time and effort into the preparatory stages, you should be getting some shares even without asking for them, but that’s only the beginning. There are other, active ways to leverage social media:
- Sharing your posts – if you have been running your social networks accounts efficiently, they should be followed, friended, or otherwise trusted by a relatively targeted audience. Knowing what makes them share content they are presented with will make all the difference in your efforts. Naturally, you shouldn’t use social media to incessantly harp on about your products or services, or you will soon lose what audience you do have – while there are no set rules, most people revert back to the good old 80/20 rule – meaning 80% of your posts should be promoting content that is not yours, but only deals with the similar subject matter, while 20% can lead back to your site.
- Creating opportunities for activation – while they can sometimes backfire, there are plenty of ways to encourage your audience to share your content. From different contests to simply ensuring that your content is presented in contexts where it will attract attention, this part of the process can often demand at least as much creativity as the ones preceding it. This is why, for start, you should see how experts are doing it, by compiling or simply finding a list of best digital marketing companies and checking out how they are running their social media accounts.
- Influencer marketing – while not reserved strictly for social media, finding influencers to support you and serve as brand ambassadors can do wonders for your exposure, as long as you make sure to find adequate representatives.
While social networks are the fastest and the most direct route to content syndication, they are by no means the only one. Some of the most common alternatives include:
- Industry news aggregates – sites offering feeds and republishing content they find relevant. Naturally, if a site looks more like a link farm than a reputable news source, give it a wide berth.
- In the press/media sections – certain sites list all the major mentions of their brand or URL. Referring to them in your post, and then alerting them of the fact could get you some nice exposure, as long as they recognize you as influential enough
- Resources/links pages – if you have written a huge, well-researched, information-rich post, it would be a shame not to offer it to as wide an audience as possible. From sites publishing white papers to those simply linking to informative pages, there are plenty of people in need of quality research, you just need to know where to find them.
Rinse and repeat
The great part about content promotion is that it never has to stop. Even long after you have published something, you can still keep recommending it to others. Naturally, that is not to say that your content should stagnate in that period. You can update it for accuracy, expand some of its parts, adjust it to better suit the needs of your audience, etc. The longer your content is live, the more information you’ll be able to gather on how it is perceived, enabling you to keep continuously improving it.
Apart from knowing exactly who you are creating it for, and where you are likely to be promoting it, content syndication mainly comes down to finding platforms with relevant audiences which might benefit from being presented with it. This includes everything from social networks to resources pages of authoritative websites and can, if you’ve really made something valuable, happen largely on its own.
I'm SEO specialist and certified Adwords consultant. I have been working in Search Engine Marketing for over three year. In addition working in SEO, I love writing about the subject and contributing to forum discussion in forums about various aspects of Search Engine Optimisation from link building to content development. Read more about me here