So, you’ve worked out what you want to say and to whom, and you’ve written a piece of content that speaks specifically to their pain points. You can pat yourself on the back. But if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, etc…
Your content is only useful if it is seen. And one piece of content can stretch a really, really long way. I once spent way too long reading a challenge where people tried to get a single roast chicken to stretch into as many dinners as possible. It was called rubber chicken. Anyway, I digress. We’re all going vegan anyway.
My favourite engagements are not only when I get to write the content, but I get to distribute it too. You should spend AT LEAST twice as long distributing your content as you do writing it. I actually have over 100 methods of sharing that content we worked so hard on, but I didn’t want this blog post to be War and Peace. It also gave me an opportunity to make a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy reference.
In this blog, there won’t be a shout-out corner, I’m going to highlight examples for each tactic. You lucky things. So grab a cuppa and settle in- we’ve got some tactics to go through.
1. Share it on social media
This one seems like a no-brainer, but the social media options are endless. Your potential customers hang out in all sorts of places, and have different habits. The demographic of your decision-maker is likely to be shifting, too, as younger generations step into the decision-making shoes. The obvious ones are Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, but also consider sharing on Instagram and Pinterest. Test out different tones of voice, days of posting, and formats to get the best impact.
2. Send it to your email list
It’s really important to spend time building your email list. It’s the best way to turn organic traffic into engaged readers who constantly see the cool stuff you’re publishing and keep coming back to your blog. They’re also really good at sharing it on. There’s a few tools you can use to do this, and also ways to optimise your website to get more subscribers. But once you’ve written the blog post, send out an alert to everyone! You’ll see a nice little spike in your traffic.
3. Try a plain text email
People are getting email fatigue. The average person gets over 120 a day. One thing I like to do to switch it up is send a plain text, non fancy email from someone senior in the company. You could even do this manually, a quick easy way for your employees to nurture their relationships.
4. Send to non-openers again
At least 50% of people aren’t opening your emails. Have a look at your open rates. Wait a week, then send it again to the people who didn’t open it. Honestly, this is such a quick win. If you A/B tested the titles, edit the subject line to the better performer before sending.
5. Paid Social
For boosted posts, promote only your very, very best content. Use your Twitter/Facebook analytics dashboard, export it, do some jiggery pokery, and find out which of your content has hit the mark organically. Then promote it. You can also use social ads, like this great example below, to drive to your trial offer. See how it speaks specifically to pain points? Lovely stuff.
6. Twitter Cards
As they put it themselves, with Twitter Cards, you can attach rich photos, videos and media experience to Tweets that drive traffic to your website. Simply add a few lines of HTML to your webpage, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a “Card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.
7. Social Listening
Use social media listening to find out who’s sharing your content. It not only helps keep your finger on the pulse, but you can create advocates and drive further engagement. Thank them for sharing, and offer another recommendation of something they might like. You can also use social listening tools to look for popular hashtags, and get involved in the conversation.
8. Seed it to Influencers
If you mention influencers and their awesome advice in your blog posts, reuse that inspiration in your social messages. Tag them for reshares, and try the dreaded cold email to let them know. Nice example from Coschedule below. You can check out what content is linking to your competitors website, and reach out and build relationships with them, too.
9. Build a PR list
Open up Twitter. Start a private list, and fill it with all the people who are writing about your industry. I have one for each client, filled with journos, some of whom I know, and some of whom I don’t. Every day, usually while standing in my kitchen contemplating life, I scroll through the curated list, and reply and engage with those people, either building or solidifying relationships. Then, when you have something really, really interesting to say, send them a DM with a link to your content. Also keep an eye out on this list for any comment opportunites. You can also subscribe to other people’s lists if they’re public!
10. Email Signatures
Dear God. Such an easy one. Link your latest blog post or RSS feed in everyone’s email signature.
11. Share it on Social Media (again)
I am getting really fed up of seeing people spend hours and hours writing really good content, only to share it…once. Do it lots. At publish, same day, next day, 3 days later, a week later, and a month later. I’ve seen people schedule once a day for 12 days, then once a month for 12 months. Good content lasts. Keep using it.
12. Answer forum questions
Reddit, Quora, specific niche websites. Search Google “intitle:forum” + [your niche keyword]”, and you’ve got yourself a nice little list. Here’s one I just pulled for eCommerce.
13. Link in bio
Another quick win! Link your blog in all your social media bios, and get your team to do it too. Cheers.
14. Check your SEO
We’re going a bit deeper here. But let’s make your content work a bit harder. Ensure that you have internal links to other parts of your website. Use your keyword in your page title tag at the very beginning. Target one keyword per blog, and use it quite often (without making it feel false). Include the keyword in the H1 (main headline) of your blog post. Check you even have H1 headlines. Spotted that with a client recently.
15. Paid Search
Woohoo! Your whistlestop tour of digital marketing continues. Here’s a nice one. Create an advert for your blog post keywords. In the example below, when I search for ‘Salesforce Headless Commerce’, I see a clever little ad for a blog by Elasticpath. And of course, Adobe. It’s tough out there.
16. Email newsletters
Round up, round up, round up. Send out a newsletter to your prospects, customers, and other interested parties (I only send one to my mum). Curate your best bits, get the blogs in there.
17. Slack groups
Not only for work stuff. I’m part of a group of freelance copywriters. We critique and share each other’s stuff. You can find highly engaged groups in your niche. Also- while I’m on this- give your sales team a little blurb so they can share the blog in their normal meetings, too, and follow up with a link.
18. Prospect with it
Prospecting is really, really hard. Make it slightly easier for your poor Bus Dev team and write them a pre-canned email with a link to the blog post, that they can personalise. If you’ve organised your site well, this click will lead to a download of some long form content, and wahoo! A lead is born.
19. Make it look really, really good
When people share your blog post on social media, clean up your open graph data so it looks great. WordPress plugin Yoast gives you the ability to clean up your excerpt that gets pulled into many social media curation tools.
20. Share it…again
Got the hint on this one yet? Get your employees sharing it. Offer some sort of leaderboard, influence the influencer programme, or tool to help them reach a wider network.
21. Repost the good stuff
There’s some evidence to show that resharing years later doesn’t drive that much engagement, unless it’s the really, really good stuff! Dig through those archives, update old blog posts and share something. Call it vintage.
22. Curate your posts
Who says you only have to share one blog at a time? Round up posts are where it’s at. Numbers get engagement, so how about ’10 of our most useful blogs about marketing automation’? ‘5 Blog posts all retailers need to read this Christmas’…etc.
23. Guest comment
You might be surprised at how much guest posts can help you grow your own blog. When Buffer got started, they built an email list of 100,000 subscribers by publishing 150 guest posts in just nine months.
Go on one. Talk about your blog. Talk about your recent research findings. Hey, if you’re really clever, turn your blog into a vlog, then use the audio only part and make your own podcast. The future is multichannel, my friends.
25. Hashtag that s***t
Don’t go overboard. #contentmarketing #marketing #marketingprofs #annoyedyet.
You can piggyback off of the trending hashtags you see next to your Twitter feed, or you can easily search for popular ones people are using to share related content in your niche.
Trending hashtags simply have lots of tweets using that hashtag, so your tweet lifespan is relatively short and you’ll need to make sure you use only hashtags that make sense in the context of your blog posts. What makes sense more often than not is to find and use a hashtag that complements your content—a hashtag people would use to find your stuff specifically.
26. Pin to your profile
Don’t need to spell this one out, do I? You can do it on Facebook and Twitter to increase visibility and reach. The audience is not in control. You are.
27. Pinterest makes it Evergreen
One of my clients is creating really lovely content that’s performing really well, for a few days, at most. As well as some of the other tips in this post, one thing you can look into is Pinterest. Pinterest acts more like a search engine than a social network, and stuff you pin lasts YEARS.
28. Be human
Don’t sound like every other B2B company. Take note from some of the best B2C campaigns, like Dove’s campaign for Real Beauty, and add some heart. Sustainability, philanthropy- there’s lots your company cares about, so write about it on your blog.
29. Be funny!
Make like some of my favourite consumer brands, and use your data and personality to be funny. Link this back to your blog.
30. Groupies- On Linkedin and Facebook
Tap into fans in Facebook and Linkedin groups, and share your content with them.
31. Treat Pinterest like a search engine
If you decide to use Pinterest, include keywords in your descriptions to help Pinners find your Pins, and make those descriptions robust. Longer descriptions that are slightly more than 300 characters get the most repins. Buzzfeed found that positive descriptions helped them get more repins and clickthroughs. Use them like a CTA to drive to your blog.
32. Sort out your descriptions, please
Meta-Descriptions, alt-tags for images, file names and file sizes. Optimise your blog post for Google’s bots, and it becomes a TON more user friendly. Make that language compelling as hell!
33. Get on round up posts
Content curation is a great way to write blog posts when you don’t have a lot of time, and there are tons of great ideas that were recently introduced to your industry. If you know of folks who write roundup posts in your niche, reach out to build the relationship and eventually pitch some of your latest posts to be included in their roundups.
You can find those folks to pitch them your content with a little Google magic (Search for this: “intitle:roundup” + your industry/keyword”), or by using those all important relationships.
Normally reserved for longer form pieces of content, blog posts are a great way to start a beautiful co-marketing relationship. Do an article exchange!
You know when you spend too long at 3am looking at a pair of designer boots and then they follow you all over the internet? That’s retargeting. Target your website visitors with a Facebook ad for your latest blog. If you want to go Expert level, I know a little hack to find lookalike audiences to YOUR DATABASE. You’re welcome. Get in touch.
36. Blog Syndication
Pop your blog on Medium. I have my portfolio on Medium, it’s a great site. You can also use Linkedin Publisher or Business2Community.
37. Also read…
You know who’s pretty likely to read your blog? People who are reading another one of your blogs. Do yourself a favour and have an ‘also read’ section.
The amount of times I get to the end of a really good B2B blog post and I’m left floundering around, not knowing what to do next. Please, please, guide the audience to a longer piece of content, or a demo, or something, before you end up with someone exiting their buying journey and taking their data with them.
39. Internal Linking
Do a dive of which of your previous blog posts are performing the best, and link to them from your new ones. You can do this in Google Analytics. It helps SEO, and therefore more people will see your new blog.
40. Pop a social sharing link on the post
Make it easy for people to share it with their friends or people in the industry. Yes ok Shopify, we get it, you’re really good at content marketing.
41. Get creative and create an infographic
This is actually not too difficult to do yourself now (sorry, Graphic Designer friends). Create an infographic to chunk up your blog post to make it easier on the eye and also to open up new ways to share- like Slideshare, Visual.ly, Scribd, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Daily Infographic, Cool Infographics, Infographics Archive, Infographic Journal, and Infographics Showcase.
42. Don’t do everything at once
You made it to the end! My biggest advice is not to try and implement all these sharing techniques in one go. Pick three, trial them for a month or so, and once you’ve mastered them add in another. Keep it all neat and organised with a content/editorial calendar and don’t be afraid to iterate as you go.
Keep it focused- as a one man band I haven’t implemented even half of these, but for my clients these techniques can give a big step up in their traffic and leads.
Go forth and share content!