Adam Veitch

Due to Google’s algorithm changes and continued adhering to content quality guidelines, it is no surprise to find that content as a marketing tool has become popular in recent times. Content promotion is the process of maximising the exposure that content receives.

This post will focus on promotion techniques used by industry influencers and should allow you to gain inside-knowledge about where to promote content, the marketers you need to be approaching and how to approach those social channels for marketing success.

Content marketing isn’t about creating content and hoping it is well received. Instead there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that needs to be put in to place before the content is even created. Then, after the content is complete, there is further behind the scenes work to ensure it reaches the right target buyer personas, brings lots of relevant traffic back to your website and helps guide warm leads down the sales funnel.

Key points to consider:

content marketing factors

Gaining Information about your Target Market

Before gaining information about your target market, you firstly want to find out what keywords they’re using. Google Suggest is a great way of looking at this, but what’s even better is Google Shopping (previously known as Google Product Search).

Google Suggest Vs Google Shopping Suggest

Here are the suggestions for the keyword ‘kettles’ from Google Suggest:

kettle google suggest

Here are the suggestions for the keyword ‘kettles’ from Google Shopping Suggest:

kettle google shopping suggest

Google Shopping Suggest allows you to get closer to your target market as it gives you more specified search queries and ideas about the longer-tail types of phrases that your target buyer personas are searching for. Your content should be about these product specific search queries to really be of benefit to your target market.

Once you have an idea about what content your target market like, you need to build an image of their buying personas and target each one in a different way:

content marketing funnel

Make a visual representation of the sales funnel and build an image of the type of person who would most likely enter the funnel as a cold lead. Build different communication templates for each stage of the sales funnel and guide each lead along the process by connecting with and nurturing them with this pre-written content. Tweak the templates for a more personal approach.

Find out where your target market congregate. Check LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, follow hash tags on Twitter and approach them via social channels.

Research Blog Topics and Search Numbers

Researching blog topics and content ideas will allow you to create the content that directly appeals to the user. As mentioned earlier, Google Shopping Suggest is a good way to think up content ideas if you sell a certain product.

If you sell a service and that service isn’t a generic term then this might be a problem. If this is the case you should look to answer industry related problems in real-time. LinkedIn groups and unanswered questions on Quora give you the opportunity to build a quick piece of content that answers that specific question. Offer them the link and direct them back to the site where your products are.

Use the new Social Reports in Google Analytics to find out what similar past posts were engaging and look to link them together. The more relevant you make the navigation in the content, the more likely you are to keep these targets trawling through your website.

With some good content topics it’s time to do research some keywords. Google’s Keyword Tool is the best for finding out the volume of searches. The SEOmoz Keyword Difficulty Tool is the best for finding out how difficult a phrase will be to rank for.

Competitor Analysis

Analysing competitors’ work will give you a good solid foundation from which to build from. Run a “site:competitor URL” search to find out what other industry voices are talking about.

Copy the blog URLs and run them through Topsy to find out which posts drew lots of interaction via comments and Twitter mentions etc. Use some of the comments in the posts as inspiration for new content. Blog comments are a great way to research new content topics; they tend to be agreeing points or counter arguments – Either way makes for great content.

Doing this will not only give you inspiration for new content but will also guarantee an audience; the same audience that were engaged by the original post.

Once you have created your new content in-line with a competitor’s content, be sure to approach the already engaged audience via social channels and direct them to your own content. If there’s already an audience there it would be unwise not to utilise that.

Create an Editorial Plan

Now that you have content ideas, it would be beneficial to plan ahead and structure the content creation as an editorial plan and stick to it. Creating an editorial calendar will allow you to quickly see what types of blog post are due, whether that be a list post, a how-to post or an infographic for example. The calendar will give you a visual representation of the mix of content you push out via your channels. Prioritise the posts that receive lots of relevant engagement and give less emphasis to the content that doesn’t get much of a reaction.

You’ll be able to filter your target market by doing this and as a result will see that the traffic reaching your website via this content will become more specific as time goes by until eventually the majority of traffic reaching your website will be your target market and returning customers. Traffic heaven!

Toby Murdoch explained the need to build and maintain a content ‘Machine’ in this post via SEOmoz and goes into detail about editorial calendars and how to best utilise them for your business.

Tools such as Kapost and Divvy HQ are among the best in the business for organising and managing shared editorial calendars. These can be quite costly software however and are only advised if you wanted to take advantage of some of the other functionality that they offer.

If you wanted just an editorial calendar however, you can’t beat the free functionality of Google Calendar.

Build Content

The most important aspect of content marketing is obviously the content. Good content enables a business to gain a loyal following as the process of finding reliable new sources of information can be tedious. Trust will be gained from this following and new business will be made. If the product matches your message then you’ll gain regular repeat custom from this source. New custom is gained from repeating the process via word of mouth recommendations and new leads.

Build your content in line with your editorial calendar plans and promote it to gain further exposure, links, website traffic and new customers.

list post cheat sheet tools how to post cheat sheet

Use a number of different content types like video content via YouTube channels, infographics, link bait campaigns, interviews and competitions as well as your standard text-based content like how-to posts, product reviews, company news and informational pieces and build a process for it all so that anyone can pick up the role of content creator should your current content creator leave town.

Promote via Online and Social Channels

Content promotion, distribution and management via social channels is where, if done correctly, your steady stream of relevant traffic will come from. There are lots of tools that can help take away some of the burden associated with the process.

If you want to publish your content to online platforms and social media profiles, you can do it to all your channels with the click of a single button. OnlyWire and are the best of the bunch and allow you to distribute blog content to numerous social channels to gain exposure.

Once your content has been submitted to these channels you’ll need a way to monitor the analytics for each post. Since it’s acquisition by SEOmoz, FollowerWonk has become the best social analytics platform on the net – It may have already been the best prior to the acquisition anyway. Another good one is Sprout Social. These take away the hassle of logging into each platform – as let’s face it, no-one has a universal login and password for all accounts – so these tools can not only save a lot of time but can eradicate the stress that often comes with it!

Once your various channels have been published to and analysed, you’ll need to be able to manage them. TweetDeck, our preferred method, or HootSuite, an equally ideal platform, allow you to manage multiple social platforms from one simple, easy-to-use dashboard.

Simply Measured’s social media analytics products will provide you with a free report so you can monitor how your social channels are operating in return for a Tweet or acknowledgement.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is arguably the most important aspect of marketing. It’s okay going out and getting the traffic to your site and people interacting with your content, but if you can’t turn them from an interested party into a paying customer then your business will struggle to stay afloat. The most important commodity for lead generation is communication. This doesn’t mean cold calling 1000+ people a day though, instead inbound marketing is the preferred method for savvy SEO’s and marketers. Being able to identify where leads are within the buying cycle is essential when leading them down the sales funnel and turning their interest into custom.

Interacting with people who comment on your posts is a great way to gain trust. But building relationships via social channels will ignite their curiosity to test out your product or services. Strategic following and re-Tweeting/sharing content on Twitter and Facebook is a quick way to make your target market aware of your brand. Sharing content on LinkedIn is another way to deliver your message to your target market and leading them to the top of the sales funnel.

You need to build a workflow of your sales funnel and recognise each step of the buying process. If you can distinguish each step of the process and build a specific conversation for each step then you will be able to automate the whole – or most of the whole – sales process. Obviously, the more manual a process you make this the better as you can really personalise the communication. However if you’re struggling for time, HubSpot have a workflow communication automation service that is unrivalled.

We’ve found that a great way to make cold leads knowledgeable of your products and services is to visit unanswered questions on LinkedIn and Quora and create a quick eBook on the fly to give a solution to the problem. EBooks are a great self-promotion tool and are the most effective when used in this way as opposed to force-feeding them to people who don’t have the time to read them.

If you’re serious about your online presence and interested in turning a profit in business, try putting some of the industry gems from this post to good use and let us know the outcome. We’re sure that your content will be promoted to a wider yet more relevant market, and your sales process will run like a well-oiled machine.

Let us know in the comments section if you agree/disagree or can add anything else to the post… your comment may be the inspiration for our next piece of content!

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Adam Veitch

Posted By Adam Veitch

Adam is our Project Manager - responsible for day-to-day client communication and seamless project delivery. Follow him on Twitter @adam_t_veitch or on Google+ Adam Veitch