The Information Age has made it easy to get ahold of almost anything you could want to know, but it’s created a problem for people who want to be heard. How do you make your content discoverable in an ever-deepening sea of information?
Social Bookmarking Platforms
Social bookmarking sites are a great resource for those looking to promote their websites. They allow you to bookmark your sites and engage in discussions about them. They’re also an indispensable SEO tool. Here are the biggest ones you should be on.
- YouTube: Everyone from Facebook and Google to your neighborhood bakery are already here. All you need is a couple small videos with potential to attract viewers. If you’re able to produce a good video, it could get posted on a few hundred social media pages, reaching tens of thousands of people. If it makes even ten percent of them happy, that’s an impact.
- Reddit: What do you do if you don’t already have thousands of Facebook friends or Twitter followers? You get more active on Reddit. The site has its own base of subscribers that get content fed to them based on their interests. Generating engaging Reddit posts that keep people locked in can bring you millions of views Realistically.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is the third-largest social media platform after Facebook and Twitter. All you need to succeed here is a steady stream of catchy images/visuals. Nothing more. It’s the LinkedIn for hobbies and interests.
- Vine: Not everybody has the time to watch a long video, which is why Vine is becoming so popular with young people. It hosts 6-second, looped videos that can run multiple times before the social media user consciously chooses to click on it. It’s video marketing without the need for much user action. Don’t let it go untapped.
- Tumblr: This micro-blogging site gets more than 300 million unique visitors per month. More than 120,000 people sign up for it every day. More importantly, it’s freakishly addictive. Almost half of the site’s users have got an app for it, and they go for an average of seven sessions per day.
- Instagram: Just about everybody uses Facebook and Twitter, but not every user is up for an unchecked flow of information on his screen. This is why you shouldn’t miss out on Instagram. It has fewer users, but those who do use it engage far more frequently than Facebook users. Make sure your posts are fun and visually appealing.
- Snapchat: It’s more than just a medium for sharing time-sensitive tidbits of daily life. The company recently introduced SnapChat Discover, which can land you in front of millions of Snapchat users who are young and passionate.
- Inbound: Inbound is another great website for content marketing professionals. It helps you stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the world around you, new content marketing strategies, and what your competitors might be up to.
- Hacker News: The best thing about Hacker News is that it’s meant for content marketing professionals. Scratch their backs and they’ll scratch yours. At the end of the day, you walk home with a couple of sites promoting your content, optimizing your reach (both for search engines and random visitors).
- Growth Hackers: One more place to be if you want to take your online marketing campaign to the next level and get in touch with the leaders in your niche. You can make vibes by simply writing a good post, or getting a good online writer to do it for you. Easy.
- Flipboard: An aggregating tool for voracious readers—who also happen to be the most loyal type of customers–Flipboard helps you issue your brand news regularly. It serves as a catalogue or brochure for your products, a place to post upcoming events, and much more.
Regardless of what your business or brand is, you’re going to need paid promotions at some point to gain an edge on the competition. The only problem is that you need to carefully consider your options and use the platforms that are most efficient (more impact, less cost). Here are some that do just that.
- Targeted Facebook Ads: A straightforward way to gain exposure with the right audience. Facebook’s algorithm is quite sophisticated. It may cost you more than publishing your own content, but it does offer returns.
- Promoted tweets: Having difficulty getting traction with your posts? Try buying space on Twitter. The best thing about promoted Tweets is, unlike Facebook Ads, they blend in well with user content, making readers more receptive to them and upping potential engagement.
- Banner ads: Another way of getting the message across, though they rake in less clicks than the alternatives. Currently, Google Adsense is the biggest player you can count on.
- Native advertising: Native advertising is perhaps the cleverest of all marketing tactics. It attracts the highest number of visitors in an unsuspecting way from the most popular websites. But it does cost more, and you need some really good writers to make the ads sound neutral.
- StumbleUpon Discovery: A popular platform people use to discover something new.
- Reddit ads: Reddit has its own version of ads, but they’re less customizable. They target a broader audience and have a higher chance of showing up before people who aren’t as interested. But exposure before a large audience could also be a benefit if you know how to capitalize on it.
- OutBrain: A clever way of reaching viewers on top-quality websites. It might cost a little extra, but considering the fact that it brings your content before people already looking for a good read, the investment is worth the price.
- Taboola: One of the biggest content marketing platforms in the world, Taboola lets you do a range of things with your content on a range of platforms.
There’s a difference between existing and connecting. It’s good that you’re on the right platforms and you’re posting enough to be conspicuous, but you also need to connect with people. You can do that by responding to their comments or simply reaching out to individuals. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Email influencers: Make a list of heavy-hitters in your niche, write a piece mentioning them, and then reach out to them. They might want to give you a shot before their audience since it could bring them testimonials. And getting the attention of a heavy-hitter’s audience can go a long way to give your brand recognition and respect in the target market.
- Talk to people like you: Don’t stop at the top. Also reach out to people of your size. Many bloggers have collaborative, promotional partnerships with their peers. Come up with a plan that benefits you both.
- Invite guests: Ask guests to come and have a word with your readers. In return, you’ll get a chance with theirs. These trades happen all the time.
- Tag heavy-hitters in social media posts: It might sound like bootlicking, but it’s how you get the attention of the big players. Tag them in your social media posts so that they know you’re talking about them. A few words from them could earn you a lot of respect in the eyes of their followers.
- Mention them on Twitter: “Mentions” give you room to be creative with online networking. Make use of them—start a conversation or add commentary to a thread. Throw your ring in the hat and you could form strong connections.
- A good comment costs nothing: It doesn’t take much to leave a comment, but it can bring a huge number of people to your site.
- Ask for a quote: Everybody loves attention, so it never hurts to ask them for a quote. In return, they’ll likely share a link to your site across social media, which is worth a lot.
- Ping heavy-hitters wherever you can find them: Counting on email alone to get in touch with heavy-hitters is a huge mistake. They’re busy people, so your email will likely land in their junk folder. Explore other ways to get in touch, like dropping them a message on LinkedIn.
- Shout your achievements from the rooftops: As desperate as it sounds, it’s reality—people only hear you when you shout. They buy your product after being exposed to it quite a few times. That’s why if you’ve done something inventive or relevant, you should write about it in as many places as possible. Make sure it’s widely read.
- Keep in touch: Build a proper list of contacts. Text them every now and then. Stay in touch with them. They might be able to take your campaign to the next level.
- Befriend journalists: This is a big one. Having a journalist friend pays off more than anything else. A quick example: it takes quite a lot to get something published on CNN or a similar quality website, and if you’re a small business, chances are you’ll never make that happen. But having connections in the media can pay off big.
- Help a Reporter Out: Haven’t got any journalist friends? Don’t worry. Try platforms like HARO (short for “Help A Reporter Out”). They may return the favor by getting you published.
- Go for a press release: It’s just one effective way to spread the word. There are hundreds of sites you can publish your press release on.
- Leverage your email signature: Email signatures can be so much more than a name and a phone number. Use them better. Customize them. How about inserting a link for a new release?
- Keep your comments section alive: Sites live and feed on comments, and comments keep coming as long as you keep replying. Make sure you’re actively engaging with your visitors.
Diversify Your Content
Content is a product that can be turned into ten other products. Your competitors will move on those opportunities as soon as they see them, so why don’t you do it first? Present your content in a variety of ways and you’ll attract a variety of readers, watchers, and listeners.
- Create infographics: Repurpose existing content by turning it into an infographic. Grab a long article you posted and give it a designer. Ask her to create a catchy infographic for you. You’ll be surprised to see how well it’s received by your audience.
- Create a video: Video marketing has become an essential element of content marketing. More than 4 billion videos are played each day—on Facebook alone. When you create videos that are short, catchy, and fun, you strike a chord with people.
- Go for Slideshare: The platform lets you turn your content into slideshows. Use it to enliven old content in a new way.
- Email more effectively: An email campaign sets in motion a cycle of marketing that brings new customers by recycling the old stuff. Make yours more effective by using marketing software (if you can afford it) and following tips to stay out of the spam folder.
- Go for webinars: Webinars are a great option for recycling existing content, but they can also prove a poor investment when not done right. If you have the time to devote to planning, you can generate awesome engagement. Here are some tips on nailing your webinar.
- Try animating: Hire someone to design a killer animation for you. This is a cool alternative to video that can capture attention in a fun way.
- Switch to PDF: Convert Word docs, web content, and more into downloadable PDFs that you attach to emails and add to your website.
- Post to LinkedIn: Use Linkedin Pulse to publish content. There’s less competition and a surplus of professionals.
- Send a copy to Medium: Medium is one of few online platforms that doesn’t worry about content. You can simply publish your articles and multiply your audience.
Turn Products into Marketing Tools
The idea behind this is pretty simple: redirect the customer trust you’ve cultivated from one product to another.
- Create links within your site: This serves two purposes. First, it streamlines your website, making it easier for search engines to navigate. Second, it capitalizes on posts that are already popular.
- SEO is king: More than 90% of browsing sessions start with a search. And to show up in search results, you need an effective SEO strategy. It’s a reality you can’t escape from since effective SEO has become a direct function of the investment. There are small tweaks that don’t cost much but can yield real, trackable benefits.
- Split your posts: Publishing a series of posts can help your search ranking. It also reduces the pressure to come up with a new topic. And, of course, our shortened attention spans will thank you.
- Link round-ups earn you respect: A decent set of link roundups eliminates the need for so many searches, and that’s why people love it. Plus, it makes you appear as a reliable authority on the subject. People start trusting you more. So why not keep them satisfied with link roundups then? You’re reading one now, aren’t you? 🙂
- A poor headline can kill good content: It’s absolutely important to have a suitable title, so don’t skimp on this. Tools like headline analyzers help you make the biggest impact.
- See to the word count: Though our attention spans have shortened, Google’s hasn’t. The search enging now prefers 1500+ words or more. Try publishing longer thought pieces to gain more search cred.
- Publish a weekly digest: Email a weekly round-up to your subscribers. It can increase engagement and even bring back some readers who have fallen out of touch.
- Let one microsite help another: If you have more than one micro-site propping up the main site and one isn’t doing so well, use the other to support it. Use your micro-sites to develop a well-structured support system.
Network with People Like You
Get into or create groups and forums where people with the same interests come together. This could be your marketing and networking base. Just like a market, you can exchange utilities on such groups.
- Facebook Groups: Starting a Facebook group and keeping it active is a great way to stay connected. It’s more casual and engaging that an email thread and it can keep you top-of-mind.
- LinkedIn Groups: After you’ve made one, ask newbies, professionals, and influencers to join it. It’s a great way to stay in touch with impactful connections.
- Triberr: A social media site devoted fully to content marketing, Tribber unites bloggers who want to help promote each other’s content.
- Don’t forget subreddits: Reddit is a huge melting pot of topics—there’s no neat divide where one subtopic merges into another. So to make sure that your content reaches as many people as possible, tailor your content to as many subreddits as possible.
- Forum threads: This can be tricky. If you don’t do it properly, you can bug readers. Don’t indulge in naked marketing. Instead, try to help people out of whatever problem they’re having, then leave a link or a short plug for your content.
- Whatever the platform, go for sharing groups: Sharing groups can be created on any platform. What’s important is that you keep the groups alive and active. Engage other members into the discussion, help them with their problems, and they’ll keep coming back.
- Quora: Quora is a platform used by all. From students to scholars, all come here seeking answers to the questions puzzling them. What’s in it for you? The answer: You can post and reuse the content.
Did we miss one of your favorite tools or tips? Let us know in the comments!Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community