Top Secrets to Promoting Great Content

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content promotion

As originally posted on SocialStrategy1

You just spent hours writing and editing a great piece of content. You’ve uploaded it to your content management system, dropped in a high res photo, SEO’d the bejeebers out of it, and scheduled it for next Monday morning at 9:30am EST. As you wipe your hands clean of this task, something pulls you back into the content vortex.

You’re only 20% done the work!

What? Well if Derek Helpern didn’t tell you enough already, great content requires great promotion. In fact, 80% of your time should be spent promoting your work, not creating it. So what else do you have to do?

Focus on starting with these five secrets to content promotion. My guess? You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

1. Prime the Pump

Before you send out the email to your blog subscriber list, give a little love to your post by sharing on social media first. A post that already has a few tweets and likes is far more reputable than a blank slate.

Send a quick tweet or message to your close friends and family, (and team), to ask them to consider sharing the post on their networks.

2. Mention Influencers

This is a no brainer, but it often gets overlooked! In your piece make sure to quote, mention or link to any notable people relevant to the content. Then, when you go to prime your pump, email those people to let them know they have been mentioned or linked to. They will most likely share or retweet the content.

Don’t have their email address? Use extensions like Rapportive to figure out combinations that work (usually first name (at) company (dot) com.) And if that doesn’t work, tweet at them once the post goes live.

And speaking of tweeting, make sure to mention that piece 3-4 times the first day, spaced out ever couple of hours.  Since you only have a few minutes, (if not seconds) to get someones attention on twitter, you need to re-share the content as much as tastefully possible.

3. Hijack Hashtags

If today is THE day to publish this apparently outstanding piece of content of yours, make sure that there are complimentary hashtags trending as well. Check out #hashtags.org to see what’s happening, and trending every hour. You may be surprised.

But remember to be relevant and moral. Don’t go using hashtags that relate to tragic events or #justinbiebersbirthday just because it has the eyeballs now. It’s insulting and disrespectful AND you’ll get the wrong eyeballs. See, relevancy is important.

4. Get Your Headline Right

Your headline is the magic.  It’s the thing that gets people clicking and reading. So take the time to figure out the magic formula. Here’s a quick tip: Use a number/trigger + keyword + adjective + promise = your headline. Use different types: how-to’s, a solution, a secret way, a question, news, or a command.

Tweetable length is also a factor. Make sure to ‘try’ to keep headlines between 60-100 characters. This is where it can get tricky. Start by writing 25 headlines around three different subjects. Trim them down. Cut out the fluff. Insert the keywords and your trigger, adjective, and promise.

5. Timing

I once heard a story about a brand that worked really hard around some sort of Facebook promotion (an app) during the Superbowl and published their update at… wait for it… 3a.m. local time. Um? Ok.

No one saw it.

No wonder! With things like time decay, the update quickly vanished into the Facebook archives. This is only one horrible example of timing gone wrong. So lets consider the alternative: great content at the right time in front of the right people. Jackpot! And it IS that easy.

Dan Zarrella popularized the Science of Social Timing and, although we have some data that argues his conclusion, the main point still holds strong: timing is JUST as important as the content.

Here’s a quick rehash of some studies completed by Dan Zarrella, Kristin Hines and Hubspot:

Blogging:
Views: 11am Mondays (70% of people read blogs before 11a.m.)
Comments: 9am Saturdays
Frequency: > once/day

Twitter:
Time: Later in the day, between 2p.m. and 4p.m. EST
Day: Monday thru Thursday
Frequency: 3-4x/day

Facebook:
Time: Between 10a.m. and 4p.m.
Day: Monday thru Thursday
Frequency: Once/day

LinkedIn:
Time/day: before and after business hours. Not on weekends
Frequency: Once/day

One last thing to note, these are general conclusions, but may not relate to your industry. Gaming, adult and other industries timing will vary.

So there you have it, five of our top our content promotion secrets. That said – we’ve only scratched the surface. Give our recommendations a try, but don’t get overwhelmed. Start by creating really great, valuable content and work on your promotion plans from there. Good luck!

Renee Warren - April 3rd, 2014 / 2 Comments

2 Responses to “Top Secrets to Promoting Great Content”

  1. Mark Hayes says:

    Awesome post guys

    I am still amazed by the amount of writers who mention influencers in their blog posts but don’t reach out to let them know they have written about them as you describe above in point two.

    This is one of the best ways to get your content out there and being shared in my opinion and does not cost anything except an email or tweet to the person mentioned.

  2. Jason Dea says:

    Great article. Do you have any advice on particular services or techniques you use to find experts in specific niches?

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