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Influencer Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide On What It Is and How to Get Started

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Influencer Marketing - A Beginner’s Guide On What It Is and How to Get Started

Create.

Post.

Hope.

Too many aspiring entrepreneurs, marketers, and small business owners take this approach to digital marketing…

All they see are tumbleweeds.

via GIPHY

But it’s not necessarily your fault.

You’ve been led down the garden path by big promises and ambitious estimates of what social media can achieve for your business.

Unfortunately… the powerful world of social media that has revolutionized the way we live our lives is not solely dedicated to helping grow your business. People aren’t out there waiting with baited breath for your next post just so they can hand over their credit card.

With more and more businesses breaking out into the digital sphere, competition to get your target customers attention is fierce.

If you give them a reason to ignore you… they will.

You see, social media is just a platform. It’s not a magic bullet or masterful new employee that is going to turn your business around overnight.

With the right mindset, advice, tools, and testing, it does provide an ecosystem that is custom-built for scaling your message. It’s the fuel to your fire. The playground for your entrepreneurial dreams.

It’s a platform to find your tribe, talk to them, understand their wants, needs, and desires, and grow a business of meaning and passion.

But if you’re just getting started and your budget and following are small. Or your resources are already stretched thin. How do you reach new customers on social media, at speed, without breaking the bank, or much of a sweat in the process?

Did you know that there’s a way to take advantage of someone else’s hard work – their years of cultivating a legion of fans who hang on their every word?

What if we told you there was a legitimate, mutually beneficial way for you to get in front of someone else’s audience, and fast?

I’m talking about influencer marketing.

While this may sound like the type of digital marketing strategy that is reserved for the big brands, well-connected wheelers and dealers, or Kardashian-like celebrity stars, it’s not.

In fact, anyone can get started with influencer marketing right now…

What is Influencer Marketing?

So, what is it?

Influencer marketing is a strategy that orients itself around an influential person, a mouthpiece, or someone with a bit of online fame and an audience in a given industry. Instead of focusing marketing efforts and strategies around a target audience, a business owner using influencer marketing will focus their energy on a particular person, an influencer.

An influencer is someone with the collective ear of a large audience that is a group of potential buyers in your market. Typically, the influencer has cultivated a large following on social media. Sometimes, they may have a huge blog following, or an engaged, lengthy email list.

Influencer marketing quote 1

How does influencer marketing work?

You may be asking, what does an influencer marketing campaign look like?

The process of influencer marketing is about finding an “influencer” who has accrued a following that closely aligns with your ideal audience. Then, establishing a relationship with that influencer, and subsequently finding a mutually beneficial way to promote your business to their audience.

For example, you are the proud small business owner of a company that designs and manufactures a line of eco-friendly, vintage-inspired make-up products. You find an influencer in that domain – a blogger with an Instagram following numbering in the tens of thousands. This person tries new makeup styles and products, and reviews them and models them for their followers. Their followers, in turn, are highly influenced to buy and try these products for themselves.

Instead of taking the time to woo many different prospects separately, you instead target this influencer with a marketing strategy. The influencer, if you’ve managed to market your products to them successfully, will tell their followers about it. They influence them to buy.

Your target influencer knows the audience much better than you do. They interact with them on a daily basis, and already know what’s going to resonate with the audience and what will turn them off. With influencer marketing, the guesswork is taken out of the marketing strategy. Someone has done the hard work of cultivating a relationship with the audience for you already. Less pivoting, tweaking, and guessing is going to cut down on your marketing overhead.

In the internet age, the majority of online consumers, 84% to be exact, trust online reviews just as much as recommendations from friends and family. Furthermore, they want to hear from people that they idolize and respect (influencers). Consumers trust a recommendation from a person more than they believe in advertising from brands or businesses.

Influencer marketing quote 2

It’s much easier to get inside the head of one person, than thousands. This is the beauty of influencer marketing; it’s laser-focused and efficient. The more efficient something is, the cheaper it’s going to be. For small businesses and people with a constrained marketing budget, influencer marketing will get you a higher ROI than traditional marketing strategies which cast a wider net.

How effective is influencer marketing?

So, just how useful is influencer marketing, and what benefits are you going to see when you employ this strategy?

Organic reach on Facebook is way down and continuing to slide for businesses. This means paid reach is getting increasingly more expensive. Your influencers, on the other hand, have had years to build up their following and get them to interact with their content, so their organic reach is much higher.

Blog posts, for example, crafted by influencers and shared on social media see on average 11 times the ROI of banner ads. Also, studies show that a group of target customers who are exposed to influencer marketing will buy, on average, 10% more of a brand’s products than those who aren’t exposed to influencer marketing at all. And, businesses that spend $1 on influencer marketing typically see an ROI of $6.50.

Influencer marketing quote 3

These influencer marketing stats not enough to convince you?

Here are just a few of the ‘hard’ benefits you’ll get with an influencer marketing campaign:

Increased conversions on your website.
Growth in your brand awareness.
Access to an already cultivated, highly targeted audience of buyers.
An expansion of your organic reach on social media, without paying a cent to Facebook.

Even better, there are a number of ‘soft’ benefits to influencer marketing. Your influencers are the ones who make the content, so, they’re the ones shouldering the creative costs. Often, the content they make for your brand will be evergreen, meaning you can reuse it again and again.

What are the different types of Influencers?

Now, let’s get into the different types of influencers, how to find them, and how to work with them to craft a budget-friendly influencer marketing strategy that’s mutually beneficial.

There are 3 characteristics to look for when on the hunt for an influencer: relevance, reach, and resonance (trust).

Relevance means how aligned the influencer’s platform is with your brand. If you sell only organic products, you might want to look for an influencer who has built fans that are eco-friendly.
For Reach, look for how many followers or fans the influencer has. What’s their domain authority? And their ability to reach the target audience?
Resonance is how well the audience receives the influencer’s message. Do they have a trusting relationship?

As well as these characteristics, there are also 3 unique types of influencers: micro, top, and local.

Micro Influencers

Micro influencers are people who have a tight-knit following. They are usually everyday consumers or people with a personal story which has struck a chord with the target audience. They sound authentic and genuine.

Micro influencers may be bloggers, or small business owners themselves and usually have followings as little as 500 people to as many as 10,000.

You may be thinking that the more followers, the better, but that’s not necessarily true. You want influencers who have an engaged, active following, and you want to look for influencers who’ve managed to cultivate massive amounts of trust with their audience. A micro-influencer with 5,000 highly engaged, targeted, and trusting fans will deliver you better outcomes than someone with 10x that following and none of the engagement or relevancy.

While they may have a smaller following, it’s a high-quality following. And utilizing the services of a smaller, micro influencer can be more comfortable on your wallet. Looking into forming a business relationship with a micro influencer is a great way to test the waters if you’re new to this type of digital marketing strategy, too.

Top Influencers

‘Top’ influencers in a field are the big dogs, the people with a huge following – an army of qualified leads. They’re often celebrities, athletes, or entertainers with millions of followers. These are also the most expensive influencers. If you’re a small business on a budget, you’ll probably want to skip over top influencers to focus your efforts on micro influencers and those that are local to your brand.

Local Influencers

If you want to drive traffic to an offline store or an event, you might like to look into local influencers. These people can really help your brand or products get in front of qualified leads in your targeted location.

What does an influencer actually do?

Now, let’s get into the role of your influencer in your digital marketing strategy.

The goal you have for your influencer(s) is to drive online or offline purchases for your products, start conversations about your brand to build up awareness, or to establish the credibility of your business in your industry or marketplace.

How does this look from the influencer’s point of view? What will they actually do?

An influencer may do any number of things to help promote your brand, but here are a few examples:

Write a testimonial to be used in your marketing material.
Place your product strategically in images or video posts on their social media networks.

What does an influencer actually do and placing products in images for influencer marketing beginners guide

Create a review of your product for their blog or YouTube channel.

Create a review of your product for influencer marketing beginners guide

Promote your product to their email list with an exclusive offer.

Why would an influencer do this for you? Of course, they will need some sort of compensation such as money, free products, or something else they value… we’ll discuss this in a later section of this article.

How do I find and work with influencers?

Despite its potential ROI and rising interest, 67.6% of marketers still find it hard to discover relevant influencers for their brands.

So, how can you go about finding, approaching, and working with the right influencers?

There are 3 critical steps for this process: find, approach, and determine compensation.

1. Finding influencers

Finding the right influencer for your digital marketing strategy might seem like a daunting task, but there are tools at your disposal. Of course, good old-fashioned word of mouth can always work here, too. Ask some of your business associates who they’ve used. They might be able to recommend an influencer, or at least start you down the path to finding the right one for your company.

If that doesn’t work, here are 3 free and low-cost tools you can use to find the right influencer for your business:

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo for influencer marketing beginners guide

Buzzsumo allows you to find the most popular shared content around a keyword or phrase. Even better, it’s all neatly organized in a user-friendly dashboard.

Best of all, Buzzsumo allows you to find out who shared the content (the influencers). This tool is perfect for content marketers, or small businesses which use a lot of content marketing to grow their brand awareness. It can help you find out which content is resonating the most online, and who is doing the sharing.

Klear

Klear for influencer marketing beginners guide

With Klear, you can find influencers already engaging in your network. Also, you can filter influencers based on their follower count, and can even see the demographics of their followers.

Klear is perfect for filtering out influencers that are too big for your budget, or influencers that might be affordable but don’t have the right target audience for your brand.

Discoverl.y

Discoverly for influencer marketing beginners guide

Discoverl.y allows you to see everyone in your extended network, and you can see mutual friends you have with influencers. Discoverl.y is a Chrome plug-in and helps you find any mutual connections you may have within your circle of contacts.

2. Connecting with influencers

Connecting with influencers is the most difficult part. If you go about this in the wrong way it can derail your strategy before it even gets going. Certainly if you aren’t paying the influencers you want to work with, it’s going to take more than a simple email to get their attention. You need to build a relationship with this person.

Work on building the relationship from the ground up, usually by helping them first (and for free) in some way. For example, you could break the ice by commenting on a post they’ve made, and then scale up the relationship from there by:

Sharing their content with your audience, then;
Signing up for their email list, then;
Reviewing their podcast or book, then;
Buying their product and providing a testimonial, and finally;
Introducing them to someone of value in your network.

Once you have placed a series of “deposits” like this, you earn the right to ask for something in return. Make sure you don’t ask too early in the relationship and ruin your chances of a positive outcome!

When you finally get the opportunity to ask the influencer to promote your brand, give them creative freedom, but adequately define your parameters. If you want three pieces of content on X, Y, and Z, let them know. If you have no idea what you want, they might find it frustrating to work with you, and it will damage your relationship. But remember, these people already know what’s going to work with their audience, so you want to make sure they have sufficient creative freedom so you’re both happy.

3. Compensation for influencers

Now that you’ve found an influencer, successfully approached them, and are launching a campaign with them, what’s the best way to compensate them for their efforts?

When surveyed, most influencers say the biggest mistake brands make when approaching them for help is only compensating them with free products. If you’re a small business, you might be tentative to pay your influencer, but it’s crucial that you compensate these people for their time, knowledge, and efforts. Remember, you are cultivating a business relationship, so think of the compensation as an investment.

Many factors will determine the cost of an influencer campaign: their following, industry, and the type of posts and number of posts you want.

One way to compensate influencers when you have a tight budget is to offer them an above average commission rate per sale, rather than a flat fee. This way, you only pay for a percentage of the sales they generate and they are held accountable for results. Because your rate is above average, this relationship will still be attractive to the influencer.

How do I measure influencer marketing?

Since you’re making an investment of time, money, and resources, in your influencer marketing campaign, you want to see if it’s working. Here are a few tools you can use to measure analytics. But keep in mind, there are soft benefits which can’t be measured when you launch an influencer marketing campaign, such as brand awareness.

Affiliate links. Generating a specific affiliate link for each influencer allows you to track online sales through their social media channels or blog posts. You can easily create affiliate links for your company with tools like LeadDyno:

Affiliate links for influencer marketing beginners guide

Promo codes. Most consumers aren’t ready to buy as soon as they learn or hear about a product. With a promo code, you can keep measuring how successful an influencer’s posts are after the initial launch.
Google Analytics. By setting up an ‘Event’ goal in Google Analytics, you can determine which customers and how many customers visited your landing page or online store from an influencer campaign.

Influencer marketing examples

Finally, let’s look at some influencer marketing campaign examples through the four most popular social media channels for influencer marketing: Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Instagram

Instagram is an excellent platform if you have a product or brand that lends itself to a visual platform, like a clothing line or a lifestyle brand. Lifestyle bloggers can share posts that will quickly go viral.

In 2016, the brand Sperry identified micro influencers who were already sharing their products on Instagram, reached out to these people and crafted an integrated, Instagram campaign which quickly grew their brand awareness.

One example of this was with micro-influencer Slava Daniliuk who shared images on Instagram when wearing Sperry shoes with the brand hashtag,  #OdysseysAwait:

Influencer marketing examples in Instagram for influencer marketing beginners guide

YouTube

Scottish whiskey brands, Lagavulin and Oban, reached out to celebrity influencer Nick Offerman for a YouTube campaign. The video, with its simple, seasonal motif, won an award for Best Influencer Marketing campaign, and the video went viral.

Amazon’s Audible launched a YouTube influencer campaign with several YouTube celebrities in 2015. In the first half of the year, the campaign generated over 83 million hits.

If your target audience is younger, you’ll want to focus your influencer marketing campaigns on Youtube. Young consumers trust Youtube influencers more than traditional celebrities.

Snapchat

DJ Khaled, a relatively unknown musician just a few short years ago, is now a top-influencer on Snapchat. Large brands have reached out to him for ‘Snapchat Takeovers.’ In a takeover, Khaled is given the reigns of the companies’ account, growing their following in a short amount of time.

Consider utilizing this same strategy if you find an influencer for your brand on Snapchat. This will give someone who is an expert at the platform, creative freedom to help grow your brand awareness and get you a more significant following on Snapchat.

Twitter

If you’re going to use an influencer on Twitter, identify or create a branded hashtag for your campaign. For example, Sprint uses the hashtag #LiveUnlimited to share their content with influencers who already embody the ethos of their #LiveUnlimited marketing campaign.

Wrapping things up

Influencer marketing has grown exponentially in recent years. The old ways of marketing, although still useful, are much harder to gain substantial traction with.

But the rules of the game are always changing. As recently as 2015 Facebook had much higher organic reach. These social media giants frequently change their algorithms, and what’s working for your brand today may not work anymore tomorrow. It can be an absolute headache to keep up with the changing digital marketing landscape.

An influencer, however, already knows what’s working, and they’re more likely than you to have the means and time to keep up with any new developments.

If you want to grow your brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and increase your conversions with influencer marketing, use the tips in this post to get started.

The post Influencer Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide On What It Is and How to Get Started appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.


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7 Ways to Turn Your Passion Into a Side Hustle

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7 Ways to Turn Your Passion Into a Side Hustle

Becoming an entrepreneur is a dream many people have, but often the fear of leaving a steady salary keeps people from pulling the trigger.

In reality, running a small business doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing thing. By starting your company as a side hustle while you continue to work your 9-to-5 and earn a paycheck, you take most of the risk out of being an entrepreneur. You also get the opportunity to test out your idea to see if it could sustain you full-time financially.

If you do decide to launch a side hustle, you’re not alone. In fact, 37% of Americans have a side hustle that brings in an extra stream of income. Whether you plan to grow the business over time or simply add money to your wallet, start small and grow as you’re ready.

1. Pick something you have time for

via GIPHY

You might fantasize about opening a restaurant, but that isn’t something that’s easy to do a few hours a week while you continue to work full-time as an employee. Businesses that work best as side hustles include:

E-commerce
Affiliate marketing
Photography
Freelance writing
Selling crafts

Before you invest any money into this new passion, research what it takes to not only start a business like this but also sustain it. If you can’t commit the time needed to make it succeed, you may want to wait until you can devote more energy to it.

2. Have a slow rollout strategy

How you launch and run your side hustle will be different from how you’d start a business you planned on running full-time. You might start by focusing on a single product or service, then expanding as you see success and understand the true time commitment.

You won’t have a ton of time to plan your initial launch if you’re working a minimum of 40 hours a week, so spread out your efforts to avoid burnout. Your plan might look like this:

Month 1: Get a website and logo designed
Month 2: Set up social media channels
Month 3: Open a business bank account
And so on

By spreading these tasks out, you allow ample time to get them done right the first time. Anyone who has ever had a website designed will tell you that, even if the designer tells you it will take two weeks, it will likely take a lot longer. If you’re in no rush, this won’t impact your ability to launch.

3. Choose an established platform

Choose an Established Platform for side hustle

Reinventing the proverbial wheel costs more, takes more time, and is more challenging to find customers. On the other hand, if there’s an existing platform you can use for your side hustle, you can start making money sooner.

Uber is the obvious example of a side hustle platform that’s essentially plug-and-play. But you can also get your green thumb on with Lawn Guru, deliver packages for Amazon Flex, or dog sit with Rover. Even if you still want to launch a fully-fledged business related to an existing platform down the road, becoming a provider through a tried-and-true channel can teach you a lot that will be helpful later on.

4. Get your finances in order

Another perk of having a side hustle and starting slow is that you don’t need a lump sum up front, and most side hustles are pretty low-cost to get started. Still, you do need to create a budget to understand your expenses and how much you can potentially earn (and how soon).

Creating a budget for your side hustle will require a little research, as you’ll need to find out what things cost, from website domain hosting to email marketing software, depending on your needs. In addition to any digital expenses, you’ll have, including equipment (more on that in a minute), office supplies, and materials if you plan on making, for example, crafts to sell on Etsy.

You may want to spread your initial expenses out over several months, the way you did your rollout strategy, so that you can spend a little here and there rather than a lump sum.

You’re probably motivated to start this side business because you want to make extra money, but realize that may take some time. It may be several months before you find a steady stream of customers, particularly if you start your business from scratch. Make sure you can cover all expenses until you start being profitable, or your side hustle will stall out.

5. Get the equipment you need

Get Your Finances in Order for side hustle

Speaking of equipment, you more than likely need at least a few items. At the bare minimum, you’ll want a phone, tablet, or computer to do business online. Beyond that, you may need specialty items or equipment specific for your type of business.

If you want to sell produce at the farmer’s market, you’ll need a mobile point of sale system. If you make jewelry, you might want a large desk with a magnifier and lamp on it. If landscaping is your thing, you’ll need a reliable mower and weed eater.

You can save on equipment by looking on Craigslist for used items, but make sure they’re new enough and in good enough condition to rely on them. The last thing you want is for your mower to die in the middle of a job.

6. Do your homework

Do Your Homework for side hustle

The more you know about the industry you’re getting into, the more successful you’ll be. Know who the competitors are, both locally and internationally. Know what people charge. Know who your audience is, and where they like to connect with these types of brands.

Beyond that, it can be helpful to read books and blogs about running a business in general. If you don’t have any business experience, paying sales tax, managing your bank accounts, and ordering supplies may be foreign to you.

7. Make time to invest in your side hustle

Initially, sure, you’ll be so excited about your new side hustle that you’ll spend every waking hour working on it. But over time, your enthusiasm may wane, particularly if you’re not seeing results. Remember: you’ve got to put time and energy in (especially in marketing your business) to attract customers and keep them coming back. No one said it would be easy!

Resist the urge to work on your business when you’re at your day job, or you’ll risk being fired. Establish a schedule for when you’ll focus on the side hustle after hours. If you’re a night owl or an early riser, these might be the best times to put in a few hours each day.

If you have a passion that you want to turn into a business, starting it as a side hustle is the best way to test the waters while learning the market and bringing in revenue.

Guest author: Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

The post 7 Ways to Turn Your Passion Into a Side Hustle appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.


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12 Proven Content Promotion Strategies To Get More Traffic

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12 Proven Content Promotion Strategies To Get More Traffic

In their 2018 research, the Content Marketing Institute found that 37% of brands plan to increase their content marketing spending.

As small businesses continue to invest heavily in content marketing, content creation has seen an exponential rise. The average length of a blog post for seeing “strong” results is now over 1000 words.

However, most content still sits in the deep corners of the internet and goes unnoticed. Ahrefs found that 91% of content doesn’t get any organic traffic from Google.

You don’t need to get disheartened, though.

Instead, you need to create a fail-proof content distribution strategy that ensures visibility for every piece you publish.

Forbes Top 10 B2B marketer Aaron Orendorff spends 25% of his time to promote his content. In 2018, you need to take content distribution seriously for the success of your content marketing campaigns.

Today, let’s look at how to create a distribution strategy from scratch.

The Digital Trifecta: Three salient types of content distribution channels

Mainly, there are three types of channels to get exposure after you create your content.

They are:

Owned media – The platforms that you own – they give the initial exposure to your content.
Earned media – Once you put out your content on owned channels, people engage with it on social media and other platforms. It leads to more organic exposure for your content.
Paid media – In the current social media landscape, your updates get seen by a minor percentage of your followers. To get extra exposure, you need to pay for advertisements.

Here’s a visual illustration of the trifecta.

The Digital Marketing Trifecta for content promotion strategies

Image Source: titangrowth.com

Now, let’s look at four ways across all three types of channels. The first four channels are owned media, the next four are earned media, and the last four are paid media.

1. Email newsletter

Once a reader has shown interest in your brand, you can share your latest content with them through email. A list is an invaluable asset for content creators because you have complete control over it.

Unlike social media platforms, you don’t need to catch up with algorithmic changes to reach your audience.

Besides generating direct traffic to your blog post, your list can also get social media shares and trigger a snowball effect.

email newsletter for content promotion strategies

So start collecting emails from your website visitors by offering them a valuable lead magnet.

Confused about choosing your email marketing suite?

Go with MailChimp – it offers a free plan until 2000 email subscribers.

2. Social media scheduling

After emailing your article to your subscribers, you can also share it with your existing audience on social media.

Buffer is a robust social media management suite to schedule your posts across multiple social media platforms. You can even find your ideal posting times using the app’s analytics.

buffer for content promotion strategies

Most updates on social media reach a limited number of your followers. Hence, sharing your content piece once isn’t enough. To extract the full juice, you need to recycle your updates. Something as simple as retweeting your top tweets can help you generate 90% extra link clicks.

3. Reddit

While it’s a social bookmarking website, Reddit is also one of the internet’s most intelligent communities. You can’t just drop a link and expect thousands of visitors to pop up on your website. You’ll get banned if you just put a link.

The best way to promote your content on Reddit is by ‘not trying to promote your content.’ Instead, become a true Redditor and add value to the communities by starting conversations.

Here’s an example article I shared in a relevant subreddit that earned eight upvotes. Notice how the description of the article in itself is like a short 300-word blog post.

reddit for content promotion strategies

To get started, find out a relevant subreddit for your content from the list here. If you get lucky, Reddit can fetch you tens of thousands of page views and even earn you a high-authority backlink.

4. Execute the Content on Content on Content strategy

The king of social media Gary Vaynerchuk squeezes tons of value from every piece of content he creates.

How?

pillar content for content promotion strategies

He starts by publishing a long piece of “pillar content” on YouTube.

Then, he creates multiple pieces of “micro-content” from every episode. And lets his 16-person team use it to fill his social media feeds with them.

Here’s how his content pyramid looks:

content pyramid for content promotion strategies

You can emulate the strategy by repurposing your content into slides at Slideshare. Else, re-publish your articles with minimal edits at Medium, Quora, and LinkedIn. Indeed, to convert your blog posts quickly into videos, you can use a tool like Lumen5.

A more personalized strategy is coming in front of the camera, like Aaron Orendorff. He occasionally uses video promos like this to announce the launch of your epic content pieces.

Another option is repurposing your content into Kindle eBooks to snag a few email subscribers.

5. Click to Tweet and One Press Social Locker

You might have installed a social sharing plugin like Sumo to enable social media sharing of your content.

There are a couple of other opportunities to earn media through social media. The first involves putting up takeaways from your article in “click to tweet” boxes.click to tweet for content promotion strategiesBrian Dean has used it with much success for his content on the Backlinko blog.

The second way to earn media involves gating parts of your content. Tim Ferriss does it in a few of his popular blog posts in exchange for emails from his readers.

the protocol for content promotion strategies

You can do the same asking your readers to share your content on social media to access “bonus content.” To execute the same, you can use the OnePress Social Locker plugin.

6. Personalized email outreach

While writing your article, it’s a great idea to involve experts on your article’s content. You can email them and request their quotes, personal data, and expertise to add credibility to your content piece.

If you write a high-quality article, then later on, these influencers will also happily share it (and possibly link to it from their blog).

Suppose you didn’t get a quote from the influencers, but you referred their advice. Then, you can still get in touch with them and tell them about the mention. Preferably, email them personally over using dangling contact forms on their websites.

Here’s an example email I sent to Mr. Jeff (three years ago) to promote one of my articles.
personalized outreach for content promotion strategies

Depending on your industry, the influencer and the quality of your piece, the influencer might oblige to share your article. Jeff was kind enough to reply to my email and share the article.

influencer for content promotion strategies

However, before making a direct ask (like sharing your piece), always focus on adding value to their audience. It can be as simple as sharing their articles on social media and dropping insightful comments on their pieces.

7. Guest post

If you have written a cornerstone piece of content for your website, then it needs a significant amount of time on promotion.

A simple way to go about it is guest posting on related topics in other publications and contextually linking to your piece from the body of the article.

Most websites though will only allow you to use author bio links to drive eyeballs to your brand.

In such a case, you can repurpose your cornerstone piece of content into a lead magnet. Then, offer it in exchange for emails on a landing page.

You can also create an infographic and custom images to go alongside your guest article. It improves the reading experience of the article.

Moreover, you can link back to your website as a credit for the infographic. It’s something we regularly did with my articles at Wise Startup Blog.

Guest post for content promotion strategies

Though this article doesn’t receive traffic today, the infographic helped to earn an ample number of backlinks.

about me page fro content promotion strategies

8. Pitch it to weekly roundups

In most industries, publications conduct weekly roundups of the best articles.

You can find them using a search query like: [your industry keyword] + “roundup”, [your industry keyword] + “best blog updates,” [your industry keyword] + “monthly round-up”, or the like.

Links from popular roundups can directly increase your content’s visibility. In the long run, such backlinks will improve your domain authority, thereby improving your chances of getting organic traffic from Google.

When you send such roundup requests, you might also hear back for reciprocal link placement requests on your blog. For example, I got the following email from a company.

Pitch it to weekly roundups for content promotion strategies

You need to make a call whether it makes sense for your business to pursue such reciprocal link opportunities on a case by case basis.

Bonus: Similar to roundups, you can also pitch your article for republishing on other websites. Here’s a list of 46 top publications with contact details (courtesy of Sumo) you can begin with.

9. Promote your content on Facebook

Now, let’s enter the paid territory.

It’s a bit unsettling for content creators to pay for exposure of their content.

However, with the explosion in content creation, relatively cheap social media advertisements are a great tactic to get social proof for your articles.

On Facebook, you can begin by merely targeting similar brand audiences. However, to extract the most bang for your buck, you need to split test your ads. It can make the difference between a CPC of $.17 vs. $.57.

Promote your content on Facebook fro contetn promotion strategies

Want to build some social proof for your content quickly?

Then, take the easier route – run engagement ads targeting non-Western countries.

If you’re new to Facebook advertising, then use this guide.

10. Quuu Promote

Quuu is a one of its kind paid marketing community. It helps in earning organic shares and mentions for your content.

Its model consists of two kinds of people:

Social media power users that want to share updates to engage their audience.
Content creators that want to gain visibility for their content.

Aaron Orendorff shared how his content performance bumped up by using Quuu for distributing his content:

“My tweet impressions went up 169.4%, mentions 218%, retweets and likes 167%, and link clicks 467.5%.”

I have experimented with Quuu a handful of times. Although you might not see many clicks and direct traffic to your content, you can get shares and get the ball rolling.

Here’s a snapshot of the performance of one of my recent active campaigns.

Quuu Promote for Active promotions for content promotion strategies

11. Outbrain and Taboola

Outbrain and Taboola are both paid channels that offer pay-per-click model exposure for your content on high-authority media websites.

Here’s an example of how your content might appear at the end of an article.

Outbrain and Taboola for content promotion strategies

These platforms are generally cheaper than Facebook ads. However, the quality of their traffic might be questionable.

In his experiments, content strategist, Jacob McMillen was able to drive around clicks for $30-$35. He wasn’t sure of the quality of the traffic and how it was converting – as the sources of traffic were dubious.

You can read more about these two platforms here.

12. Hire a consultant

If you’re short of time and want to reach your target audience quickly, then you should consider hiring a professional.

You can either hire a consultant that will work alongside your content marketing team. Else, you can hire a marketing agency that specializes in your industry.

With consultants, you get to leverage their existing audience for amplifying your content reach.

For instance, Ryan Robinson used to work as a content marketing consultant and sent his content to his own audience – thereby, his clients got a spike in exposure.

Similarly, Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré has built an engaged SaaS audience of over 100,000 connections across social media. If your content is actionable and relevant to her audience, you can hire her to become an extension of your content marketing team.

Hire a consultant for content promotion strategies

Final thoughts

Owned and earned media are both great ways to kick-start your content distribution. They can put your brand in front of thousands of prospective clients.

However, if you’re starting out today, then you might not be able to achieve your business goals tied with content marketing without paid marketing.

You need to experiment with all the three channels to find out the perfect fit for your brand. In any case, if you see a piece of content performing well, then scale its distribution with paid channels.

Are there any specific ways that you have had success with content distribution? Let me know in the comments below.

Guest author: Chintan Zalani is a writer and content marketer. He geeks out on psychology, self-improvement, philosophy and digital marketing. You can find him questioning conventional wisdom on Twitter @chintanzalani and his website at chintanzalani.com.

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