You've written great content, now what do you do? Just post it and pray for traffic? That's not good enough. Instead, schedule multiple social postings and then syndicate your content. Here is how to promote content in two 'sort of easy' steps.
Step one: Schedule social media outreach
Once the post is published, spread the word on social media the same way you normally would. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn if appropriate. Don't forget to use hashtags for goodness sake. This article discusses hashtag best practices - use them. If using a content management system like Hubspot, it'll happen automatically when a blog post is published via the Social Publishing module. But publishing one time doesn't do it. Besides, when a post is published automatically it doesn't usually have hashtags - so there is some manual work to do. Here is the list of social media postings to do in order:
Setup a schedule to repost the article on Twitter again according to this schedule:
- Post to social media when published as usual...
- Then, schedule the same post for four hours later.
- Then post again every 12 hours for three days (six times), but with different relevant hashtags and different headlines.
- Then post it again every week, again with different relevant hashtags and different headlines - continue posting every week for three months.
- Using Wordpress for your blog? Then use a Wordpress plugin called Revive Old Posts to continue retweeting old posts forever.
Automatically scheduling social media
There is an easier way to do this than setting a calendar item on your phone though. If you're using Hubspot use these instructions, if using HootSuite use these, and if using Buffer use these instructions. Other social media scheduling tools have similar methods, but they all do pretty much the same thing - save you time. You can setup a schedule to post the same content with different hashtags and headlines over time. Because let's face it, you wouldn't remember to do it later anyway.
Step two: Syndicate the content
Syndicating content means to have other people host your content on their websites. For example, you post an article on your blog, then it is copied through your RSS feed to their site (links and all). Some services will actively promote your content through social media. Here are some ways to syndicate your content:
Sign up at BlogEngage here. You'll be asked for the URL of the blog, and the RSS feed which is often the name of your blog, with /RSS.XML at the end of it (your results may vary). Once signed up, BlogEngage will automatically syndicate every blog post you publish, and it will apply some social media sharing as well. There is a six-month minimum cost. You can upgrade further from there, or you can selectively pay to have your content featured on their home page inexpensively.
Outbrain is a content discovery platform whose content marketing offers to help Internet publishers increase web traffic by presenting them with relevant website links. When you see images with links at the bottom of a page entitled something like "You May Also Be Interested In..." it is often Outbrain. Outbrain charges on a per view model. You can learn more here.
With Outbrain, you create a campaign, set a start and end date, and a Cost Per Click. You then run the campaign and traffic starts to flow to your site. It's pretty easy to burn through a lot of money with Outbrain though, so watch it, and watch conversions to see if it works for you.
Medium is sort of like syndication. You can sign up for a Medium.com account, and import blog posts into Medium. For example, we wrote a piece on Personal Branding here, then we imported it into our Medium.com account here. Really important thing: the links are NoFollow (meaning they aren't counted by search engines for search engine optimization reasons), but Medium.com is a strong site that shows up in search engines well, so there may be a benefit as branded content is introduced to the web - but you are in essence promoting their blog, not yours... unless your blog is actually on Medium. Most blogs aren't, most are WordPress. Why would anyone use Medium.com? Because it is easy. The learning curve is far less steep so it's great for beginners. Also, if your content is really popular, it can float to the home page of Medium.com and get a lot of extra eyeballs.
BlogCatalog is a social blog directory. You can promote your own blog, locate blogs and connect with bloggers. For $200 a year BlogCatalog will upgrade your free membership so your stories will get more traffic, but no real SEO value. You can learn more about it here. Why no SEO value? Even if you upgrade the links are marked as NOFOLLOW which strips the links of SEO juice. Google won't follow the links. Why BlogCatalog would do such a thing to paying users doesn't make sense - be warned. Still, if all you want is some more traffic it may be worth it.
BizSugar uses a voting system that curates content via crowd-wisdom. The BizSugar community votes on submitted content, and the best posts are sent to the to the home page for more traffic. BizSugar links are followed by search engines, which is another reason to share your content here.
The Bottom Line
Post to appropriate social media sites many times. More at first, less over time. Then, syndicate your content. The above content syndication sites all work a little differently from each other. But any real human traffic you can get to your awesome content is appreciated, so it makes sense to syndicate to as many as possible if you have the resources to do so.