This week on #SEMrushchat, we talked about content marketing promotion with our community and guest Gail Gardner. As we all know, not all businesses have a large budget for content promotion, so we asked the audience some questions that consultants often hear from business owners that are new to content and content promotion.
Each week, we watch the SEMrushchat looking for tweets that will offer expert-level insights to our readers, and we pay attention to the tweets the participants like as well. In our best tweets recap, I try to include the best tweets that provide different ideas so our readers can learn as much as possible. We hope you enjoy the collection of tweets below, and please share your thoughts or recommendations in the comments below.
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We had some different viewpoints on this one. Let's see the first:
It's possible, but rare. Why rely on a 'guesSEO' or 'spray and pray' approach. I don't like taking chances like that. Make your own opportunities and promote your content!
Maybe eventually? But content shouldn't just exist in a vacuum. You have to link and post it places. You need it to show up in your sitemap. These things might be part of an automated process or a zero-effort system, but it's still promotion.
No matter how amazing your content is, it won't promote itself because people have to see it somewhere to read and share it. If you don't get it out there, how will they see it? You need a list and collaborators and to build relevant audiences.
NO! It takes work. A strong brand with a strong following will have an easier time BUT that’s because they did the work upfront. If you send it out to a large email list, large social following, etc. it might seem easy but building that audience was the hard part!
It is possible but not probable. There are so many factors that have to be jjuuusssttt right for there to be little to no promotion and still have it drive great traffic. Even if it is #1 on Google, that's only a certain % of your audience.
And some different viewpoints:
I feel like I’m going to be alone in this, but Yes. Because organic search is important and part of the definition of 'amazing' should be 'optimized.' If your content ISN’T promoting itself in search, it’s not that amazing.
If the content fulfills a need (such as answering a question), it can seemingly support itself by standing out to consumers, who in turn, will share it, talk about it and help it grow without you needing to put more work into promoting it.
Build it with sharing in mind. Short quotes, tweet-ready stuff. Make sure your nut graph is on-point and early.
Strong visuals, great headline, social media prompts like 'pin it' or 'share this'. Make sure you have short sentences that can easily be shared on social. Even better: add a contest or UGC component.
Make great content by solving problems or answering questions users have. If it's helpful and solves a problem many have, it's easy to share. I also think putting thought behind your content is HUGE. Basically, avoid self-promoting posts, ain't nobody got time for that.
In a nutshell: ACCESSIBILITY. Content that answers the users' question. Nice shareable media embedded in the page to be shared on social media easily. Human-readable URL. I'll add that people are more likely to share your content if they feel it will make them look smart. Vanity on social media has a lot of leverage, so I'd suggest researching your audience's motivations and needs thoroughly.
Share it yourself TAGGING everyone you mentioned, ask your friends to share (those you know well), research and use hashtags.
I'd probably know before writing it that I wouldn't have a budget, so I would do a Q and A with people who I know would share it and have an interesting network and incorporate quotes from it in the post (with permission).
First, ALWAYS link to new content from your old stuff (where relevant). Yes, it exists in the overall structure but you HAVE to include it in the 'road system' of your site/blog. Internal links are the easiest free forms of SEO/promotion you can do.
Post it on applicable message boards/groups, such as: Relevant subreddits, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups and public LinkedIn with proper hashtags, and any other relevant message board.
Optimize it for discoverability, including linking to it from older, more powerful content. Share it where my audience is - social platforms, groups. Link build. Craft a social strategy including custom graphics/infographics/quotes, etc. to use for promotion.
I'm probably going to be in the minority here, but I'd architect social automation mechanisms, such as @buffer or ttt. Done properly, these can be considerably more efficient use of time when if comes to content promotion.
The best ones on which to promote your stuff are — drumroll — ...the ones where your ideal audience is ACTIVE! If you're promoting everywhere, you're just spraying & praying. Don't throw effort after foolishness.
There is not one answer here. Consider: Where is your audience at? Where will they be receptive to content like yours? Do you understand the norms & expectations of this platform DON’T JUST SPAM. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS.
The best platforms to distribute content are the ones where people care enough to stop what they're doing, redirect their attention, focus on you, and then do the next thing you ask them to do with it. Attention and action is what builds fast demand to share.
Wherever your target audience is active! Use your data and analytics tools. Learn Google Analytics as a free resource that you could later utilize as a paid ad tool to reach them. Do NOT blindly market! Market with purpose.
DM'ing content, hijacking hashtags, pushing products or services on people without establishing a relationship, shaming others to click, click-baiting — you can tell if it's working by establishing an upward trend.
Avoid the viral trend of the moment unless it is really truly relevant. It gets lost in the noise instead of reaching your specific audience, it's corny/insincere, and it immediately dates your content.
Spamming everyone with re-heated news and solely having auto-promotion content won't take you very far in the long run. It's working if it fulfills the goal you have for this content in the first place whether it's page views, conversions, etc.
Don't JUST promote the content, promote the value behind it - Don't spam your audience with a piece of content promotion - Be engaging when you promote. Don't set it and forget it - Don't promote to those the content is not relevant to - Don't be sales-y.
SEMrushchat Participants, Thank You!
The knowledge, humor, and rants shared each week make our chats a fun and educational event, and we love to see what you have to say. We are honored you share your professional expertise with us each week.
Don't miss this week's SEMrushchat on Wednesday, July 10th at 11 AM ET/3 PM GMT. Our guest will be John Doherty!