I have a confession to make – it’s only when I starting looking at blogging as one of the primary tactics to drive traffic to my business that I even asked myself the question: what is content promotion? And I have another confession…
Being ignorant about this rather essential ecommerce marketing skill cost me a lot of time and money, and that’s why in this post we’re going to dive into three things:
- What is content promotion (for brands and online stores)
- How you promote your content effectively
- What processes, systems and tools you need to promote your content consistently
Because when you know better, you do better!
What is content promotion?
In its simplest form, it’s the skills of making sure that the content you spend the time, energy and or money on creating for your online boutique reaches the eye balls of as many people are possible.
And not just any people, but the right people. Your people.
I’ll be honest with you, when I first started blogging for my business my strategy (if you could call it that) looked a bit like this.
- Write post
- Post on Facebook page
- Post on Twitter
- Bookmark with Stumbleupon & forget about it
Seriously! At this point I was totally ignorant to the power of Pinterest when it came to content promotion, but that’s a whole different post. But if you’re where I was, sat asking yourself: what is content promotion and how can I use it profitably for my business? You’ll want to make sure that you sign up for my insiders mailing list, so you don’t miss it.
How do you promote your content effectively?
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to answering this question. Truthfully, you’ll need to become a bit of a content promotion scientist and get comfortable with the process of test, trial and error, before you find a process which works for your online boutique.
But what you’re going to find here is what content promotion looks like in my business (now) and, in those of my clients smart enough to take action on the content marketing plan we work to create. And I’ve broken it down into several steps as I’ve found that when I fail to execute some of these steps, the content I’m promoting tends to be less effective.
- Decide on the keyword you want to rank for
When it comes to ranking for keywords with your content promotion strategy, it really is about long-term strategic thinking. And with that in mind, my strategy is not to go for the most difficult to rank for keyword phrases first, but to go for low hanging fruit.
This article is not about SEO research, but about content promotion so I’ve added links to some of my favourite resources on SEO research below so you can start on a great foundation.
- Preparing for SEO in 2017
- How to do keyword research in 2017
- How to do keyword research: The beginners guide
- Use the Yoast plugin for a quick and easy way to make sure you optimise your content
Now, if you’re building your online brand the old school way – build a boutique, then add a blog (hoping to attract customers). Rather then the Authority Ecommerce way, building a branded blog (then adding your product), you may not have built your site on WordPress – meaning you can’t use Yoast.
But, if you are working the Authority Ecommerce way, I strongly suggest that you download the YOAST plugin today, and take a few moments to get familiar with all it’s able to do for you.
- Look at how your content is formatted.
There are certain types of content which get more traction than others, not necessarily because they are better but simply because they are easier to read. Here are my tips for formatting your content for readability and SEO.
- Have an intro – let your reader know what they will get by reading your content
- Use interested sub-headlines to break up your post and make it easy to scan
- Include relevant images within your post which add to the story and make it more enjoyable to read
- Have an outro, summarise your post, ask questions
- Ask for a social share. If someone read your whole post it means they gained value, and they’re usually happy to share it (you just have to remind them)
You should also check out this post: 50 ecommerce content marketing examples, as you’ll quickly see there is a certain type of formatting and content that Google and readers love.
- Optimise your images for search
I know what you’re thinking: My question’s what is content promotion – not how do I optimise my images! But bare with me, see… it’s all connected.
When you optimise your images for your keywords, this means that it’s easier for them to be indexed by Google. Google image search is a very powerful part of the search engine, and by optimising your images more people will see your post.
A quick tip is to make sure you have one image which contains the title of your blog post on it, and make sure this image is named with the exact keyword you want your post to rank for.
Okay, so at this stage you should have a piece of content that is optimised for search engines and your customers. Which is laid out with with great formatting and images making it even easier for people to find.
What is content promotion: The secret to getting (targeted) eye balls
Now we move into the tricky and time consuming part. But keep reading as I’m also going to show you my system for automating a large part of your content promotion. And for those tasks that you can’t automate, there’s always content batching.
- Choose which social media platforms will you promote your content on?
Here’s a mistake many store online boutique owners make – they try to be everywhere and use every platform. And here’s what tends to happen – they have an inconsistent and unengaged small number of followers on each of those platforms.
Another approach is to pick two platforms that you will focus on mastering and maximising for at least the next three months.
If you want my opinion, I’d focus on Instagram and Pinterest (that is unless you’re working on a group) but again, that’s another post.
- Make your blog post graphics all at the same time
I often make custom social media graphics to promote my post. Yes, you can just post the link and let Facebook pull an image, but I prefer to be in control of the image and messaging used to promote my content.
Creating custom social media graphics for each post you write helps you do that.
Want to save time and energy constantly resizing posts for Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest?
Good, invest the $10/month for Canva for work, seriously it’s one tool I really couldn’t live without in my business, and I think you’ll feel the same.
- Post organically (first) then automate
If at all possible, the first time you promote your content should not be automated or pre-scheduled, but done in real time at the time when your audience is most likely to be online.
I love automation, but I still find that spending a few moments with live, real time content promotion and community engagement pays dividends. Especially as it allows you to respond to engagement quickly.
- Schedule your post to be re-shared every 10-14 days for the next 3 months
Yes, I said it. Every 10-14 days for the next 3 months. Listen you asked what is content promotion, so I’m going to give it to you straight up no chaser. It’s the skill of making sure you stay in front of your potential customer, and that means being persistent.
Not everyone will see your post the first time. By scheduling your post to be shared every 10-14 days for the next three months you will make sure that your post is shared at least 6 times. Now here’s the secret to keeping it interesting….
Create a few variations of your promotion graphic and post updates – this way it doesn’t get boring even though it links to the same post.
Not only will this help to make your older content look fresh, it will help you see which type of images and updates get the most attention. And when it comes to effective content promotion you should always be testing your copy and graphics.
- Mail your email list the day your post goes live
Actually I tend to mail my list the day after, giving me one final chance to see if I can make the blog post better. My mailing list is my biggest source of traffic but for the longest time I used to neglect mailing them to let them know I’d published a new post.
Well, after studying some of the best marketers out there, I realised this was a massive mistake. Now every time I write a new post I mail my list, but I even go a step further.
- I resend the email (with a different headline) to everyone who didn’t open within the first 48hrs (not religiously, but often)
- I schedule another email to go out which promotes this post within the next 14 days. You can include it as a link, in the ps, or my favourite – add something new to the post like a video or worksheet and let your list know about it.
- Build links to your best blog posts
I’m going to be straight with you, this is one area I’m really weak on mainly because it’s time consuming (not because it’s hard). I also don’t feel qualified to regurgitate the practices and systems I’ve learned to help me build links, so below I’ve linked to some of the resources which helped me get the best results.
But, if you’re dead against manual outreach to build links? Then when it comes to the steps mentioned above you’ll need to do them even more diligently – and only create content so good it’s naturally link worthy!
- 17 untapped backlink resources
- 55 SEO experts reveal their favourite back linking tools
- Ecommerce link building: 44 experts reveal their no#1 strategy
- Get busy pinning to Pinterest
Seriously, I kick myself when I realise how long it took me to get wind of just how powerful this free tool is for promoting your content. In fact, when new store owners ask me what is content promotion? These days it’s not usual to find me answering: Pinterest.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not because it’s the only Platform, but it’s a platform that can produce some hella results if done right. Below you’ll find links to some of my favourite resources on Pinterest marketing.
Please don’t be a dummy like me. If you haven’t already jumped on Pinterest, as soon as you’ve finished working out what is content promotion – go get yourself set up there and get started.
What is content promotion: The tools, systems and processes you need?
- You need a content creation and promotion calendar. The bottom line is, anyone who is serious about blogging for their brand needs to have a plan and schedule they follow to help them stay consistent.
- UNUM – again, a fairly new tools in my arsenal, I love the way it allows you to plan your Instagram content in advance and set reminders for when to post.
- Hootsuite – remember I mentioned re-sharing your post every 10-14 days for the next three months – well if you create your images in advanced ( like I advised) you can write your posts in Hootsuite schedule them for the future and just set it and forget it.
- Tailwind. Man-o-Man, I’m really not sure how I survived without this. Tailwind is hands down my favourite tool for helping me schedule my pinning activity wayyy in advance. When I tell you I already have pins scheduled 6 weeks ahead, I kid you not.
- Convert Kit. Not everyone who lands on your blog post will click a link and buy a product, but if they love your content and want more of it (or you offer another great reasons) they’ll happily give you their email. This is where content promotion starts to really become profitable, when it allows you to develop relationships with people that become customers
- BuzzSumo. If you’re gonna follow some of the more advanced link building strategy – which when you create some killer content I advise you do. Buzzsumo is my fave tool for finding which people to reach out to first. Check out my simple video on how to use it below.
- Here’s a list of my favorite ecommerce marketing tools
So that’s it folks. At least for today. You wanted to know what is content promotion, and I hope you’ve found not only an answer to that question, but some practical, useful tips you can use to start promoting your content or planning your content promotion strategy today.
Now before I go, I have two requests.
- If you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ll see a Pinterest image above. Please pin this your business board on Pinterest (you have one of those right) or any other board you think it will be suited to. A Facebook share would go down a treat too!
- I have a Free Facebook community for brand builders, and funnily enough we focus heavily on content creation and promotion – please join us.
- Lastly, if you haven’t already make sure you’re signed up to my mailing list as I regularly put out in-depth resources like this and it would suck if you missed it.
Still got questions, think I’ve missed something crucial? Have a ninja content promotion strategy you’re killing it with? Let us know in the comments below.