A single piece of content can reach many, many people in your target audience if you know how to distribute it effectively. From sharing on social networks, to taking steps to improve your search rankings, there’s no shortage of ways to get your content in front of as large an audience as possible. Here are six things you can do to help ensure that your content is reaching more of the people you want to target for your content.
1. Optimize content to improve your search performance
This is something you may have heard a thousand times before, but it’s so important that it bears repeating: Search engine optimization (SEO), or optimizing your content to be “found” by search engines, is essential to making sure your content is seen by as many people as possible. SEO is a specialized skill that’s well worth engaging a professional to do, whether in-house or by contracting with an independent expert. With someone like this on your team, you can adjust everything from the content of your posts to the user experience your website offers to improve your search engine ranking. An important subcategory of SEO is social media SEO, now that search engines have begun to take Facebook likes, retweets and other social signals into account when ranking search results.
2. Make it easy for people to share content
When you post content on your own blog or web page, make it easy for others to share it directly from there with one simple click by including social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other popular social networks. An easy-to-use sharing platform like AddThis will allow you to quickly choose and add buttons. For the greatest impact, give some serious thought and consideration to how you use these. For example, it may be tempting to include buttons representing every social network you can think of plus email and RSS feeds, just to be sure you’re covering all your bases. But all those choices can cause people to overlook the ones that will perform best for you. If you’re not sure which those are, don’t be afraid to experiment. Start with four or five and see which ones generate more shares; then replace a low-performing button with a new one and see how it goes; and keep fine-tuning until you have a selection that will result in maximum impact.
3. Share your content on social media
For an investment of nothing more than some time and effort, you can share your content with all the contacts you’ve established through your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social networks. And you can minimize the time it takes by using a social media management tool (see #4 below) to automatically send it to all your social networks simultaneously. If you’ve followed the other steps that we’ve described earlier in this series for effective content marketing – such as choosing the best topic and format, and including a strong call to action – you’ll be providing high-value content that your contacts will in turn want to share with their own contacts. When they do that, your exposure will increase exponentially as more and more people see it.
4. Optimize your social content for sharing
Creating high-value content may be the most important thing you can do to get your content shared on social media, but it’s not the only thing. For example, adding a photo to a tweet will make it 94% more likely to be shared by your Twitter followers. People are also far more likely to share positive content rather than negative content, so keep that in mind as you consider topics and perspectives you want to present. Always be sure to include a message with anything you repost on social media asking people to share it. Requesting a retweet has been shown to result in up to 51% going on to share a tweet.
5. Increase exposure with advertising on social media
It’s great that you can share content on your social media accounts without having to invest marketing dollars in the process. But if you really want to ensure ongoing exposure and sharing by others, you should also consider paying to promote your content to the audiences you want to reach. Social network advertising services draw on users’ shared information to target relevant users based on their interests, behaviors and similarities to existing audiences for your content. This increases the chances that the right people will see it and be motivated to share it. This is critical to getting the continued exposure that keeps on drawing relevant audiences to your content – audiences that you can further target with tactics like effective calls to action and remarketing.
6. Keep track with a social media management tool
When you use social media to share content, it can be overwhelming to keep track of all your activity and the impact it’s having on your content marketing efforts. Social media management tools like Hootsuite, Sprout and TweetDeck are designed to help you manage social network channels more efficiently and effectively. With Hootsuite, for example, you can monitor all your social media streams in one place, cross-post among social media channels and respond to messages and comments, among other things.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort or budget to amplify your presence online. You may even find that creating the content requires more time and thought than taking the necessary steps to distribute it widely. So what are you waiting for? Follow the advice in this post, and then sit back and watch how much harder your content will work for you.
Learn more about all of our 6 Steps to Achieve Content Strategy and Marketing Success and how they can help you get more from your content marketing efforts.