If your business is creating content in order to drive sales and improve PR, well done, you’re likely ahead of the curve. Content marketing is a proven way to build your business in the modern digital landscape, and an increasingly important element in any organization’s marketing mix.
However, you’ll quickly learn that creating a quality piece of content doesn’t guarantee that it’ll receive the sort of exposure and engagement it deserves. In fact, millions of great blog posts go virtually unread because their creators didn’t appreciate the importance of promotion.
If people don’t know about your blog post, they can’t read it – and if they can’t read it, the post is a waste of time and money. Thankfully, a little bit of social media promotion can solve this, making your content profitable and effective.
Any time a publishing house accepts a manuscript, or a production company starts work on a new film, they set aside a significant amount of budget for promoting the project. This is because they know that people need to be aware of the project in order for it to be profitable.
On a smaller scale, your blog post needs the same sort of treatment – your job isn’t finished until the piece has been carefully promoted. The good news is that there are simple ways to get more eyeballs to your content if you know how to do it.
Here are a few tips to help you start:
1. Invest In Your Headline
David Ogilvy was famous for saying:
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
The headline is the first thing your audience will read – and for most of them, it’ll determine whether they read any further. It’s the single most important line of your blog post, which means that it should receive the most attention.
Research has shown that the best-performing headlines begin with a number, clearly state the content contained in the article, and suggest the value of reading on.
Better yet, you don’t need an attractive blogging niche to make this kind of headline mastery happen – brands from virtually any sector can come up wth a compelling headline through research and focus on the elements most important to their audience.
2. Invest In Visuals
If you want your content to perform well, it needs to also have a visual element.
Posts with photos perform so much better on Facebook and Twitter that it’s foolish to post anything without them – and many other platforms are entirely visually-oriented.
When you post a link to your blog post, make sure to include a photo that’s intriguing, beautiful, and relevant to your content. This will dramatically increase your engagement because it slows peoples’ scroll and helps you get noticed in the news feed.
If you have to pay for pictures, pay for pictures – but there are good free options available from Pexels and Unsplash.
3. Cater to Your Audience
In order to be noticed, you need to know a little bit about your audience and the way they like to receive content. Broader trends like older people tending to be more active on Facebook and younger people on Instagram or Snapchat are a good start, but you need to do your own audience research to really get down to the specifics of your target market.
It’s also important to schedule your posts to go out at the right time. If you post them when everyone you want to reach asleep, or at times when there’s not much activity on social media, you’ll likely miss the window of time when your blog post can make a real impact.
There are various guides to generic best times to post, but again, yuo need to look at your own analytics to determine when your audience is most active, and experiment to test when they’re most receptive to your messaging.
4. Cater to the Platform
All social media platforms are not created equal – and that’s a good thing.
Each social network has its own unique strengths, opportunities and quirks, and this is one reason why it’s not a good idea to draft one post promoting your content and then blast it out across all your social channels.
On Twitter, you want short, witty verbal content with a picture and relevant hashtags. On Instagram, you want a luscious picture (also hashtags), on Snapchat, an engaging multimedia story.
You get the idea. You may not get optimal response posting a lengthy think-piece about the hiring process on Twitter – that kind of content performs much better on LinkedIn.
5. Invest in Exposure
Finally, many social media platforms now operate on a pay-to-play business model. For many, it’s virtually impossible, for instance, to generate meaningful impressions on Facebook without boosting your posts.
It can be irksome to have to pay for exposure, but that’s the state of social media today.
Particularly when you’re trying to build up your channels, it can be worthwhile to shell out for featured posts on whatever platform you choose.