With nine out of ten companies reporting using content marketing as part of their strategy to grow and nurture leads, we can infer two things. 1) Content marketing works and 2) The market is a little saturated with content. In fact, we are in a state of what marketing consultant Mark Shaefer calls "content shock,” a situation where the amount of content is growing way faster than peoples’ ability to consume it all.
Blogging is still the most common B2B content tactic, and you have probably gotten the message that your blogs need to be well researched and crafted in order to stand out from the crowd.
But did you know that many marketing experts spend more time promoting their blog posts than they do writing them? In fact, many marketers adhere to Derek Halpern’s 80/20 rule of content marketing: You should spend 20 percent of your time creating content, and 80 percent of your time promoting it. After all, if no one sees your blog post, does it even count?
Companies do seem to be getting the message. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s “B2B Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends,” improving promotion and distribution was a top priority for 2020, with 46 percent saying they planned to focus on it. By now everyone knows you should post your blog to your social media channels. But don’t stop there. Here are eight more things you should spend time on to increase the number of views your blog gets:
1. Create an email digest.
Emailing your blog out to your list of contacts, leads and clients is one of the easiest ways to get your blog in front of more people. However, if you’re blogging a few times a week, it might be overkill to email out every single post. Instead, create a weekly or monthly digest of your content so that your readers can pick which blog post topics resonate the most with them.
Luckily, there are tools like FeedOtter that automate these types of emails, pulling the content into visually appealing templates so that your content digest program can run on auto-pilot.
2. Use LinkedIn to the max.
It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the best social channel for promoting B2B blog posts. But there are other ways you can use LinkedIn beyond sharing the link.
- Message your contacts: Did you know that you can message up to 50 LinkedIn contacts per day? You probably don’t want to make a habit of it, but, when you feel like you’ve published some of your best work, send it out to your LinkedIn connections who you think might find it relevant.
- LinkedIn ads: LinkedIn ads let you get really specific with who sees your ads. Targeting options include company size, job titles, location, and even specific company names. There’s no minimum budget, so try throwing a little budget behind your best blog posts to show them to more people in your target audience.
- LinkedIn groups: There are plenty of groups on LinkedIn where you can join a community of like-minded professionals with whom you can network and share your content. Don’t blast the group with all of your blog posts though. Do this sparingly, ideally when it’s relevant to the conversation, and be sure to participate in group discussion and share other marketers’ content too.
3. Recruit your co-workers.
Your co-workers could be an untapped resource to reach new audiences. They may not have big followings, but their followers know and trust them. It’s not realistic to get all of your co-workers on board to share your blog posts, but many more will share if you make it as easy as possible for them. Try pre-writing tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn posts and sending them out a weekly email to your company so that all your co-workers have to do is copy and paste.
4. Use on-site CTAs.
Make sure visitors to your website know you have a blog. Strategically place CTA’s on your homepage and other popular places on your company website. Try adding a sidebar that features your recent posts or best topics. This helps drive traffic to your blog, and also helps people move through different stages of the customer journey. For example, a website visitor may not be ready to purchase your product, but they may be curious about learning more about your company and products through your blog.
5. Make it easy to share.
Obviously, you should be sure to include social share buttons on your blog posts. But there are other ways you can make your content easy to share too. One such way is to include sharable blurbs or statistics in your blog posts and link them up with Click to Tweet so readers can share these nuggets with one click of a button.
6. Cultivate Influencers
Influencers are people who specialize in a certain niche and have a lot of reach on social media. Identify influencers in your brand’s niche who would appeal to your buyer personas and find ways to get them to share your blog posts.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to put them in the post. Interview an influencer and create a Q&A style post, or quote them or cite their work in one of your blog posts. That makes it more likely they’ll share your content with their audiences, some of whom will visit your blog.
7. Join online groups.
Almost every industry or profession has one or more interest groups, and many of these are now online. These are great places to find influencers, and you can set up an account and start commenting on posts and contributing to conversations. As with LinkedIn, or any other social channel, don’t spam the channel with your posts. Be part of the community and share other people’s posts, and share your own, regularly but not too often.
8. Syndicate to more channels.
In the heyday of print media, syndication — republishing your content to more outlets — was a popular content distribution model. Think “Dear Abby” or your favorite comic strip. The same can be done with blog posts. Once you have published it to your blog, the author of the article can also publish it to their LinkedIn in profile. You might also consider setting up a Medium channel, offering it to industry publications or other bloggers. For example, this article was originally published on the Rubicly blog.