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What it is, Why it’s Important… Plus a Helpful Checklist

Lately, we’ve been pushing out lots of content about various technical terms and trying to explain them in a simple manner (Visit Sparrow’s Library!).  This one is no different.  While “content promotion” sounds a bit heady, it really is a fairly simple concept.

What is content promotion?

I’m glad you asked.  Content promotion is a multi-step process of distributing your work (whether it’s blog posts, email campaigns, social media ads, etc.) to as many people as possible for maximum impact and rapid growth for your company.  Now that we have the stuffy definition out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks (a 19th-century term meaning the essentials or basic facts).

Why is content promotion important?

Let’s consider something.  How big is the internet?  I don’t know about you, but my mind just exploded.  That’s an unimaginable question.  But it’s so relevant when it comes to putting things out onto the internet for the purpose of introducing yourself to potential customers.  How do you even grab people’s attention when there is already so much stuff out there?  

These days, it’s not enough to have quality content (though we have a blog post showing you how to write well), you also have to know how to promote it so that your ideal audience can find you.  Every visitor is a potential customer.  If you don’t have traffic, you won’t have any customers.  And if you don’t have customers, your company dies.  Now that I have your attention, we can keep moving.

“The best content doesn’t win. The best promoted content wins.” 

-Andy Crestodina  (co-founder and strategic director of Orbit Media Studios (an award-winning web design company)

How do I promote my content?

Some people will consider paying a service to get promoted (which can be a reasonable option), but you need to make sure you’re not paying to get noticed by the wrong audience (people who aren’t interested in what you’re offering).

When you’re beginning this process, you need to utilize social media platforms and email campaigns together.  Create a newsletter and post it on your social media.  Encourage people to subscribe and make sure you respond to comments and create a dialogue with people who may become a customer.  It’s about building a relationship and continuing to show them what you offer while highlighting the reasons they need your product or service.

Super Helpful Checklist

Every time you come out with a new piece of content or you’re working on an advertisement of a new product or service, you should do the following (not necessarily the whole list, but definitely more than one):

1. Email your email list

You should already be collecting emails from people who have expressed interest in your work.  If they’ve signed up, they are interested in hearing about your new content and promotions (Read all about Email Marketing). Don’t disappoint them.  You can even send a follow-up email with, “In case you missed it… here’s my new content.”  The more you push it out, the more it will be noticed.

2. Share it on Social Media

You don’t necessarily have to be on every platform known to the universe, but choose the ones most suited to your industry and be active on those.  Make sure you share your content and link back to your website.   You can make videos about your content (or create writing content based on your videos). Publish the highlights in snippet form so they are easily digestible and always, always send them back to your website.

3. Email your sources

Now, this might seem uncomfortable at first, but if you find yourself constantly referring to someone else’s work during your research, make sure you include them in your promotion strategy.  Everyone loves to see themselves featured as an authority.  It’s a polite way to create a business relationship with someone else in your industry and a non-verbal way to ask for promotion on THEIR social media platforms as well (Remember: No traffic, you die).  Have no shame.

4. Build backlinks

As we’ve discussed in another blog post, Google’s algorithm tends to place more weight on websites that are linked to others.  It will see you as a trusted source of information.  As you rank higher in Google, you will get consistent traffic for free.

5. Find an online forum.

It’s important to begin presenting yourself as an authority in your industry to niche groups online.  Try looking either on Facebook or Reddit and begin by listening to their conversations and questions. When you respond, make sure it’s valuable content that showcases your expertise (linking back to your website), and I guarantee they will remember you as a reliable source for when they find themselves in need.

Where do I start?

All of this information at once can seem daunting.  You just have to start.  So, here are the basic steps to begin the process of content promotion.

  • Commit to a regular newsletter, survey, requesting testimonials/reviews, holding Zoom chats about industry topics… the options are endless.  But they must be held consistently, whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
  • Create unique content (& choose a manageable publishing routine)
  • Find and reach out to your target audience (don’t forget your colleagues, people who work IN your industry).  Engage them and promote your unique content, request their emails so you can continue the relationship, and share good content from others on your platforms as well.
  • Research relevant industry topics to write about.  Use tools to help you know which questions are most asked and how to answer them.
  • Ask for feedback.  Whether it’s on your website (“How’d we do?”) or on your most recent article or blog post (“Did I miss anything?”  “How can I make this better?”), keep the conversation going.
  • Constantly improve your system.  Just because you got a routine set up, doesn’t mean you should keep it forever the same.  Just as your website is a living, breathing tool that changes with the seasons, so should your marketing strategies continually change with the climate of your audience.

At the end of the day, we at Sparrow want to see you succeed.  All of this information could be expounded upon ad nauseam, but we wanted to give you the highlights, the bare basics, of promoting your business.  If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you.

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