Great content marketing rarely happens at random. To gain the maximum benefits – targeted traffic, engagement, brand awareness, etc. – requires a deliberate plan that factors in the content, your target audience, and the best way to reach out to them.
While there are many ways to structure your content promotion, one of the easiest is to use the 5W+H questions you probably learned ages ago, back in school.
Answer these six(ish) questions and you’ll be better prepared to gain new followers, engage current followers, and grow your company’s social presence.
Who Are You Targeting?
You likely already know how important it is to have a specific persona in mind when creating content. The same holds true when you are promoting content. This is particularly relevant as it is good practice to share new content at around an 80/20 split – that is, for every 10 pieces of content, 8 should be curated from other sources, and 2 can be from your own. Spotting the right kind of curated content to share requires knowing your target audience and what interests them most.
Look at the kinds of content your followers share most to get an idea of the kinds of content resonate best with your audience, which leads us to…
What Are You Sharing & What Outcomes Do You Want?
Infographics, videos, podcasts and blog posts – which do your followers engage with most often? Take a look back over your past posts and see which had the most social traffic. Which posts got the most likes and shares? Now ask yourself:
Which metrics are the most important ones?
The type of content you share should be directly related to the outcomes you want. If you are trying to build followers on Twitter, videos might be the way to go. If you are looking to grow traffic back to your site, look at the kinds of posts that brought in the traffic you want, and add more of those to your posting schedule. And speaking of schedules…
When Is the Best Time to Share?
While there are some general guidelines about when to post to social media websites, relying on 3rd party data leaves room for improvement (and for your competition to outperform you).
Setting up a content promotion schedule lets you plan topics well in advance when you are posting your own content. A set schedule also makes it simple for you to look back and correlate traffic patterns to specific posts that you’ve made. Editorial calendars for content promotion abound, including ones from Hubspot and Hootsuite.
Where Should You Share?
The short answer: wherever your target audience is most active. If you have a good understanding of your target audience, choosing the right social media platforms should be relatively simple.
However, that does not mean you should limit yourself to social media when it comes to your own content promotion. Sites like Slideshare, Scribd, and others can be an excellent place to attract people who are looking for reliable information on topics in your industry.
Likewise, don’t overlook the audience you may already have. Sharing valuable, non-promotional content via email can boost the engagement of your current and past customers. Just be sure you have their explicit permission to mail before you hit send.
Why Should Your Audience Care?
It’s official: as a global community, we are completely inundated with content. On Facebook alone, 2,460,000 pieces of content are shared per minute.
If you want to cut through the deluge and get your audience’s attention, your content has to rise above the noise. Ask yourself these three questions before you share:
- Is the content you’re providing truly valuable?
- How can you express that value best to your audience?
- Are you adding personality to every post?
People on social media want to engage with other people, not just a faceless business. Be sure your posts have the ability to spark a conversation that will grow beyond 140 characters.
How Will You Share & How Will You Track Progress?
If you’re sharing on multiple social media networks, content promotion can feel like it’s taking up way too many hours of your day. The best way to get a handle on all of those social media accounts is by using a social media sharing platform, be it Buffer, ViralHeat, HootSuite or something else.
Once you pick a platform based on your needs, don’t forget to also track social media performance in your analytics software. Remember the outcomes we talked about earlier? Measure your results to see if you’re making progress. If not, adjust the topics you post or social media sites you post on until you find the right mix of content and social media sharing that lets you reach your goals.
Tell Us: What kinds of content are you promoting? Is it getting the results you want?