You spend a week, maybe four, writing an amazing content piece.
...and you’re done, finally! You published your article, and now you wait…
You’ll be drowning in traffic, leads, and fame any minute now!
Except, nothing happens. Your Google Analytics shows that you’ve had a grand total of 5 visitors (including your co-founder, mom, and your pet cat).
So, where did you go wrong? Content is king, right? Where’s your payoff?
Well, here’s your issue: you didn’t promote your content.
If you’re just starting out with content marketing, you probably have ZERO existing audience. You can’t just publish a new blog post and expect it to get you results.
Instead, you need to work your ass off promoting each new article.
Want to learn how? You’ve come to the right place!
Read on to learn:
- Tried-and-tested content promotion strategies from the trenches. We’re not just some content writer paraphrasing what they read online - we’ve personally used ALL the tactics mentioned in this article
- 9+ tactics that allow us to drive 10,000+ traffic and 20+ new leads with every other article we publish
- How to promote your content on Reddit WITHOUT being chased off by Redditors with pitchforks
- How to use Facebook groups to make new friends, land backlinks, raving fans, and everything in between.
...And a ton of other useful info.
So, let’s get started!
Our Experience with Content Promotion
At Apollo Digital, we’re ALL ABOUT content promotion.
We promote just about every content piece we publish (in one way or another), and our results show for it.
Here’s what happened when we promoted our SaaS marketing article…
Want to learn how we managed to do that? Check out our content marketing case study.
And our SEO case study...
Impressive, right? And the two articles, in total, have netted us over 80 leads (and they keep on coming)!
Sure, not every article we publish lands us similar results, but they tend to perform SIGNIFICANTLY better than most content you see on the web.
So, want to know what’s our secret sauce? Read on, we’re about to spill the beans!
How to Promote Your Content - 9+ Killer Tactics
So, let’s get to the juicy bits.
We’re going to skip all the obvious stuff, such as reposting content on social media, emailing your subscriber list, etc...
You probably already do that, and it’s most definitely not that effective.
See, for you to capitalize on your audience, you need to first have an audience. Does your content tweet matter if you have like 50 followers?
We’re also NOT going to stretch this out and mention all the BS content promotion tactics. A lot of influencers create giga-posts with like 100+ tactics, out of which only 5 work (at best)!
Instead, we’re going to teach you real, practical, straight-out-of-the-trenches content promotion techniques you can use to drive REAL traffic to your website.
EVEN if you have ZERO budget or follower-base.
So, let’s get right into it!
1. Facebook Groups
Facebook groups have a bad rep, for, well, looking like this…
A lot of groups have a TON of spam, almost no engagement, and are overall useless.
Not all Facebook groups are total garbage, though. If you really put some effort into it, you’re bound to find groups that are packed with awesome people, interesting content, and potential to promote YOUR articles/guides/videos.
With our SEO case study, for example, we managed to get hundreds of likes and comments in the SEO Signals Lab.
Want to get similar results? Here’s how…
Step #1 is to find all the top groups in your niche. To do this, look up basic keywords on Facebook and look for “groups.” For example...
You can also do some Googling...
Once you find some groups, put them in the content promotion template sheet we gave you before.
If you’re in the digital marketing, startup, SaaS, or entrepreneurship niche, you skip the steps below and just use our very own COMPLETE list of all relevant Facebook groups.
Then, join all the groups and wait to get approved. Go ahead, we’ll wait!
Once you’re in, you want to filter out the garbage groups that are either jam-packed with spam or just have 0 engagement.
Finally, you want to check which of the groups you gathered allows you to post your content.
Usually, you can see the group’s content policy on the “About” page.
If you’re not sure if the group is cool with you posting your content, just ask the admin!
Now, once you have your list of qualified groups, you might be tempted to go guns blazing and make the admins regret ever adding you to the group.
Contrary to whatever most people are doing, content promotion is NOT spam. What you should be doing here is engaging with the groups (and not just promoting your stuff).
Sure, occasionally you can post your content, but only if it’s relevant for the group and helpful for everyone.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about...
How to Post in Facebook Groups
You might be tempted to cruise through all the groups, post your link, and #pray they’re going to like the content and click your link.
Don’t. You’re just going to get a ton of hate for being a spammer (and rightfully so).
Instead, you want to focus on first giving VALUE to the group, and THEN posting your link.
For example, here’s our exact post for the SEO Signals Lab.
See what we did right? We took the top lessons from the article and posted it in text form.
This is awesome for 3 reasons:
- You’re NOT an indiscriminate spammer
- You go in value-first, so the mods are a lot more likely to approve of you promoting your content
- You hook your readers by giving them value up-front, making them a lot more likely to check out the full article
Now, compare this to the way most people "promote" their bs:
Which one are you more likely to click?
Now, other than the summary method (posting 3-4 main points from the article + link) we mentioned before, there are 2 other tactics for promoting your content on Facebook groups.
First is a “teaser” - instead of posting a summary, you post what your article is about and hype it up.
This is useful if the article is something you CANNOT summarize (e.g. step by step guide to something).
And the second is the “comment X and I’ll give you Y” method.
The idea here is, you hype up whatever you’re offering, and ask the Facebook-ers to comment in order to get whatever you’re promoting.
Our good friend Kalo from Encharge, a marketing automation software, did this with insane results: 200+ likes, and 1,300+ comments.
We also tried something similar in the ClickFunnels group to advertise our SEO case study (and get some leads).
It netted us around ~200+ comments…
Before it pissed off the admins and the post got removed…
As you can guess, the reason for “comment X to get Y” is that the more comments your post gets, the more people will see it.
The Facebook algorithm prioritizes posts with engagement (comments + likes), and sends notifications to other active members of the group to check out the post, who also leave a like + comment, netting you amazing results.
Keep in mind, though, that a lot of Facebook group admins won’t be too happy with you gaming their group (as w/ our campaign in the ClickFunnels group), so proceed with caution.
Want to get the most out of Facebook groups? Here’s what you should do: keep track of who likes and comments on your posts, and make some friends (i.e: add relevant people as Facebook friends).
The more friends you have in a given group, the more likes you’ll be getting on a general basis. Whenever someone in your friends list posts something in a group you’re part of, you'll get a notification (and vice versa).
Also, if you’re on good terms w/ such people, they’re a lot more likely to engage with your content on an on-going basis, giving you a pretty decent boost for whenever you post your content.
Most advertisers think that if they promote their content on Reddit, the community there is going to tear them a new one.
Which, to be fair, is pretty much true.
Redditors HATE advertisers with a passion and will call you out if you post mediocre content, or try to blatantly promote your own product/service.
There is, however, a way to promote your content on Reddit without it even BEING promotion (it’ll make sense soon, just bear with us!).
We re-post most of our content on Reddit, and it’s usually met with a ton of enthusiasm. For example…
Want to get similar results? Here’s what you need to do.
First off, you should find the right subreddits for your business. You can find all the top subs here.
You can also find the subs manually. For example, selling interview advice? Do a simple look-up for subreddits related to careers...
Once you make a list of the subs you want to work with, the next step is to check their rules. Here’s what the Career Guidance sub has to say...
Now, as you can see, there are 2 specific rules you should pay attention to:
- No advertising. Meaning, if you try to blatantly shill your product/services/articles, you’ll get banned.
- No link only posting. You need to submit a POST, not just a link. If you were hoping to drop off your link and get free traffic, we’re sorry to disappoint.
So, here’s how you can promote your content WHILE not breaking either of these rules:
You should repurpose your blog content in a Reddit-friendly way, and post your entire article there (or at least a snippet).
And yeah, of course, you can also mention a link back to the original post with proper formatting at the end of the article.
This way, you’re giving value first, and asking for something in return last.
Not sure how to repurpose your content for Reddit? Here are some of our top posts for inspiration:
- [Case Study] How we grew Tallyfy (a SaaS startup) from 0 to 200,000+ monthly organic traffic (and what you can do to get the same results)
- We just compiled a huge list of learning resources for digital marketing. We thought this sub would appreciate it!
- We just created a mega-guide to SaaS marketing, covering 41+ tactics and case studies. Here are the highlights.
3. Niche Communities
Every industry has a bunch of online, niche communities you can take advantage of.
...And that’s just the popular stuff - there are a ton of online communities & forums you can use to promote your work.
Most of these function on an upvote/downvote basis, and they’re all about sharing content (so you don’t have to be as careful as w/ Reddit).
Meaning, the channels are pretty straightforward: just submit your content, and if it’s good, the community is going to reward you for it!
Our personal experience with most of these channels has been super positive, especially with Hacker News.
We submitted our SaaS marketing and SEO case study posts and got around 12,000 and 18,000 traffic respectively (thanks HN!).
4. Use a Bunch of Sources (and Ping Them!)
When writing your content, try to include a reasonable # of outbound links/sources.
See, if the person you’re linking to does (or understands) SEO, they’re going to be pretty grateful for a free backlink.
If you reach out to them, they might return the favor by linking back to you, or sharing your content!
As for the “how” of outreach, you can either drop them an email or DM them on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, depending on your preference!
5. Answer Questions on Quora
Whatever your niche is, there’s bound to be a ton of people asking questions about it on Quora.
...And as a given, you can use that to your advantage!
The process here is relatively straightforward.
Find questions around your topic…
Give a short answer, and link back to your own content for the reader to “learn more.”
To be honest, we haven’t used Quora much for our own content promotion. So, we reached out to someone who has!
Say hi to Kinga Odziemek, the owner of Brainybe.es, a content marketing agency.
Kinga has a ton of experience using Quora Answers to drive traffic to her clients’ websites.
She follows a similar process to what we mentioned before:
Find people asking questions around your content piece, and give a short answer that links back to your original post.
She gave an answer to the question and linked back to one of her client’s content where relevant.
And as you can see, she got around 23k views on the answer for just one post.
6. Use Content Amplification Tools
“Content Amplification Tool” is just about any software that can help you promote your content.
There are a TON of such tools out there, but here are some of the most popular ones:
- Quuu Promote is a platform that matches companies that want to automate their social media with content creators. You submit your content to Quuu, and it automatically gets shared by social profiles of companies in your niche. While the premise sounds awesome, we personally haven’t gotten much out of the tool - from 170+ shares, we got next to no actual clicks.
- Zest is a Google Chrome addon for discovering the best content. And as you probably guessed, if you publish really good content, you can submit it to Zest!
- MissingLettr turns your content into several bite-sized chunks you can share on your social media.
- PostBeyond sends a notification to all your employees, notifying them that you published a new post, and asking them to give it a share.
- Hey is a “dating app” for brands and influencers. It allows you to connect with influencers and get them to share your content.
7. Reach Out to Anyone That Wrote on a Similar Topic
This one’s pretty straightforward:
- Find people who wrote content similar to yours
- Reach out and ask for a share
Let’s say, for example, you write about how to learn digital marketing.
The topics surrounding that would be:
- Why is digital marketing important
- Benefits of digital marketing
- How to improve your digital marketing skills
- Why you should learn digital marketing
- Top digital marketing skills
...And basically anything that’s related to learning digital marketing, but is NOT on that exact topic.
Why? Well, see, you can’t just reach out to someone and be like:
“Hey, I saw you wrote about learning digital marketing. I also wrote about learning digital marketing, but y’know, my post is better than yours. So like, can I get a share?”
This is how you don’t get the share 🙂
Anywho, what you need to do is Google each of these topics…
Extract all the contact info for each of the writers, and email them something like…
Just saw that you wrote about [topic]. Really enjoyed the read. [comment on what you liked about the piece].
I actually just published something on a similar topic - [your topic]. The piece covers...
- [topics your article covers]
Thought you might enjoy giving it a read 🙂
If you do like it, we’d be super thankful if you could share it with your audience.
Now, the key here is to write something that is NOT generic.
Don’t just write a “Hey, I read your article, pls share” email and spam half the planet.
Actually put some effort into personalizing each email for each lead you’re reaching out to.
8. Reach Out to Anyone That Tweeted on a Similar Topic
You can use a tool like BuzzSumo to find influencers who tweeted about your article…
Reach out to them, and ask for a share!
The process is pretty simple and straightforward:
First, define the topics. E.g. if you wrote about SaaS marketing, you’d want people who shared content around:
- SaaS marketing
- B2B marketing
- Digital marketing
...And the like.
Then, all you need to do is outreach. This time around, you’ll be doing the outreach on Twitter instead of email.
As for the text, you can go for something like…
Saw that you shared something on [topic].
I just published an article on a similar topic ([topic]), and thought you’d enjoy giving it a read: [link]
The article covers…
- [main selling points of the article. Why should they even read it?]
Let me know what you think & if you have any feedback.
9. Reach Out to Influencers
A SINGLE Tweet from an influencer can make or break your promotion campaign.
This content promotion technique is very similar to the last one (find relevant contacts, reach out to them), but around 3x harder.
See, influencers get dozens of outreach emails/texts/DMs/phone calls every single day.
How does YOURS stand out?
As with the last tactic we covered, you can use Buzzsumo to find influencers in your niche…
Or, you can do some manual searching…
Then, you create a sheet with the contacts of anyone you want to reach out to, and voila.
That’s step #1.
Now, here comes the hard part: how do you get on the influencer’s radar (and get them to share your content)?
Sadly, there’s no answer to this.
Here are, however, some tips you can follow...
- Make your outreach email as concise and readable as possible. No influencer is going to read your essay.
- That said, try to sell whatever you’re promoting. Don’t just say - “hey, here’s an article about marketing.” Really drive the point home. You can instead say: “Here's an article on marketing. It covers X and Y. It’s awesome because we did Z.”
- Really do your research on each entrepreneur and pick an angle that would work for them, specifically. You can…
- Find content they’ve shared in the past, and explain how your content is like that, but even better
- Find content they’ve written about, and explain how your content is about a similar topic
10. Keep Promoting!
You spent days, maybe even weeks, promoting your content.
Now, you might be thinking “well, the results are good enough. Guess it’s time to stop.”
Well, not exactly. See, you never know what kind of promotion opportunities you’re going to bump into on-the-go.
You should always keep your eye out for such opportunities, and promote your article on an ad-hoc basis when relevant.
3+ Content Promotion Tips
Now that we’ve covered all the essential promotion tactics, let’s talk tips.
Content Promotion Tip #1 - Not All Content Is Created Equal
Not every piece of content you publish should be promoted. We just can’t stress this hard enough.
90%+ of the content you see on the web just isn’t all that interesting - and that’s OK!
We recommend promoting ONLY the content that’s really novel and unique, something you spent a lot of time crafting.
DO: promote your amazing, 5k-word comprehensive guide on how to write a resume
DON’T: promote your 500 word article on the definition of a resume
The first example? It’s something SUPER valuable and a ton of people are going to enjoy it.
The second? Sure, it can rank on Google, but the world doesn’t have to know about it.
Content Promotion Tip #2 - Create Something That Deserves Virality
Now, while we’re on the topic, let’s talk about good content.
One of the main reasons most content promotion campaigns fail is because the content they’re promoting is, well, for the lack of a better word…
So, what is good content that DESERVES to go viral?
Here are 4 traits we believe a viral content piece possesses...
- It deals with a major pain point. It has to be a REAL problem that your target audience has (i.e: the moment they see your content, they want to share it with EVERYONE they know).
- It’s something unusual. The topic is NOT something that’s been covered by every single expert on the planet.
- It’s experience-backed. You PERSONALLY have something to add to the topic.
- It’s easy to consume. It’s well-formatted, jam-packed with awesome visuals and images.
Content Promotion Tip #3 - Create Content With Promotion in Mind
Here’s the usual content promotion strategy:
- Come up with content ideas
- Write and publish content
- Create a promotion strategy for a content piece
- Promote your content
Now, what if we told you, you can get 3x better results if you completely switch that up?
Instead, you do…
- Find content that performed well on a specific channel
- Create something similar but with a different twist/extra value
- Promote it to that very same channel
The simplest way to find top content on any given topic is by using BuzzSumo. All you have to do is input your topic, and it’s going to show you content on that topic that’s going viral on social media.
Alternatively, you can also look up best-performing content on specific social media platforms. For example, on Hacker News...
All you have to do there is to pick your Subreddit and check the posts that have the all-time best upvotes…
You’re one step closer to your Ph.D. in content promotion!
For more value-backed content, make sure to stick around on our blog.
And of course, if you’re looking for someone to help you with Content Marketing, SEO, PPC, or anything in-between, don’t hesitate to get in touch!