When it comes to content, uploading your latest article or infographic to the blog isn’t enough; people don’t, and won’t, find your content by accident. Unless you’re a big brand or a well-known blogger, it’s unlikely that anyone will be visiting your blog regularly just to see what you’ve posted about recently.
In order to get your blog to a stage where you have a loyal readership, you first need to show people that you are creating interesting, relevant, and helpful content. Dropping your content on the blog and crossing your fingers won’t achieve this, even if you have the strongest content plan known to man.
As marketers, it’s our job to ensure that each piece of content produced is accompanied by a complementary promotion plan that utilises paid, earned, and owned media.
The Promotion Trifecta
When it comes to content promotion, there are three main channels:
Paid covers everything that you pay money for ;) from traditional advertising such as print, TV and radio to direct mails, paid search, and paid promotion.
Owned media is the content that your brand has complete control over such as your own website, your blog, newsletters, and social media channels.
Earned media is the third-party sentiment about your company and services/products. Traditional PR is usually the main source of earned media, but when someone not associated with your brand talks about you on social media/in a forum/on their blog, then this is earned media too.
Paid online promotion – a breakdown
Today, I’m going to talk about how you can use paid online promotion to give your content a little boost. There are loads of platforms out there, but I’ve picked my favourite three to talk to you about. If you’ve had success with a platform that I’ve not spoken about, please do let me know!
Great for promoting highly visual and interactive content.
With StumbleUpon’s paid discovery feature, your content becomes the ad. If you’ve made something interactive or really visually appealing, then StumbleUpon is a great way to gain exposure and get your work in front of socially engaged individuals who have already expressed an interest in content similar to that which you have produced.
As with pretty much all paid platforms, you can target specific audiences based on factors including age, gender, location and, most importantly, interests. The price per click for StumbleUpon is very, very low – making it great for testing the waters. And if your content is as good as you think it is, you’re also likely to receive upvotes and referrals, which you don’t pay for!
If you’re thinking of giving StumbleUpon a go, then I’d highly recommend checking out this article, which covers the pros and cons and a step-by-step guide for setting up your campaign.
Great for promoting informational or entertaining articles, videos, slideshows, and infographics.
Ever spotted those “recommended” articles at the bottom of the page of a highly respected website and wondered just how “Norfolk Farmer” got featured there? It’s all down to Outbrain.
Outbrain allows you to “amplify” your content as it appears as recommended or “promoted” articles on some of the web’s largest content publishers. It essentially allows you to piggy-back on the popularity of a variety of different websites and attract readers who may not have discovered your content any other way.
As you have the opportunity to appear on sites such as CNN, ESPN, The Guardian, and so forth, you’d probably expect this to cost a fortune, but the combined daily budget and CPC actually renders it very cost-effective. You only pay for the visits you receive, so you’re only forking out for engaged readers. As a bonus, the more traffic you drive, the more your content will be recommended – so if you’ve made something awesome, you’ll be rewarded for it.
Great for promoting verticals such as marketing, media, and entertainment.
Twitter arrived pretty late to the paid promotion game, launching its self-service ads platform in April 2013. Since then, many marketers have seen great success when using Twitter ads thanks to the platform’s seamless native presentation.
You can use Twitter ads for everything from generating website clicks and conversions to app installs and even tweet engagements, so it’s an incredibly flexible platform to use. You can choose whether to promote individual tweets or accounts, and you can target your audience via interests, keywords, followers, geography and language, device, and genders. Just make sure to take advantage of the improved visual tools, as tweets with visuals drive much higher user engagement.
Twitter has a ton of helpful content on the site on how to set up campaigns based on your business goals. They include step-by-step instructions and loads of helpful hints to get you started and on the right track from the beginning.
There you have it: my three favourite paid channels. Have you had success with any of the above? Or had a great ROI for any others? I’d love to hear from you!