Content promotion isn't about flinging information into cyberspace and praying it reaches your target audience. Effectiveness of content promotion hinges on strategy. If you don't have a plan, it's time to get started.
Before you start a company Facebook page or YouTube channel, identify your goals. Do you want to foster brand loyalty, generate sales leads or boost search rankings?
Whatever your goals may be, they will influence the type of content you share. They will also influence the frequency of your online activities.
Once your goals are set, assess the quality as well as the quantity of your current content. You may need to create new material. If this is the case, make content development one of your priorities.
Pick Your Platform
There are dozens of platforms to choose from. Will you blog, tweet or pin? Review your goals and reflect on the nature of your business.
A fashion photographer may find more value on Instagram or Tumblr than LinkedIn. An insurance company may be better suited to Facebook or Twitter than Pinterest. Don't get overwhelmed by the options or feel that you need multiple platforms in order to be successful. Rather, divide and conquer.
Start with one or two platforms at most and build from there. It is more important to keep your content relevant and up to date than it is to invest in numerous platforms.
Develop a content calendar to reinforce your strategy. Promote your business, product or service around key dates, holidays or other special events.
While a content calendar can be a great organizational tool, don't be afraid to deviate from the schedule. It shouldn't be rigid. Revise your calendar if the opportunity should arise.
Look for trends, stories or news items that you can work into your content plan. Topical, organic content has the power to reach and impact new audiences within your niche.
Once you've put your plan into action, spend some time on the analytics. Review the results and optimize.
For an email blast, examine which subject line yielded the highest open-rate.
For a social media initiative, track which post received the most interactions.
For a blog series, identify the topic that led to a traffic spike on your website.
Data tells you what's working and what's not. While you can pay for premium applications to help you gauge your efforts, there are plenty of free tools out there, too. Hootsuite is very popular among social media enthusiasts. It's also compatible with various social media networks-Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, etc.
Manage Your Time
How much time should you devote to content promotion? Every business is different and their strategies will vary. How aggressive are your goals? How many platforms will you utilize? Do you analyze your reports? There are numerous factors to consider. However, a better question might be: how much time do you actually have? For most small to medium-sized business owners, I recommend no less than five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening. You can always allocate more time or resources later.
If you find yourself in a time crunch, you could outsource your content promotion plan. Be sure to create a brand standards document as well as a content promotion policy. Your content calendar might come in handy here, too. Regardless of who manages this component of your business, they should be familiar with your brand values and have the ability to create or curate shareable content.
In the end, you'll be better equipped to create meaningful and impactful content if you have a strategy. And while all this forethought and planning might sound like a lot of work, it can be worth the effort. Create a plan, pick a platform, plan your calendar, analyze the data and manage your time to generate favourable results.
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