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It’s super hard to build an online community or following simply through creating great, useful and unique content. The best stories going unheard – yet not untold – have little impact.
So how do we get our content in front of people? Here’s a step-by-step guide.
Create highly unique content that is actually helpful to people.
Distribute and re-distribute on your social media. I use SocialOomph for example to keep my Twitter feed humming along.
Don’t just post once and be done but keep sharing. As long as you got Step 1 right people won’t mind.
Put your money where your mouth (or content is). Don’t throw money after bad content. Promote content that is working. Be clear about what you want people to do next and what makes sense for them to do next!
- Social media promotions. Facebook is still the social media gorilla here, but I’ve actually seen better click through rates on Twitter. Instagram and LinkedIn now also let you pay them to distribute your stories farther.
- Display ad campaigns. Run ads to drive people to your blog.
- Search ads. Show your content ads to people searching for related things.
- Native ads. Show your ads within content on other sites that accept native ads.
These are great strategies to get going, but remember: when you stop paying the distribution ends.
Make it easy for people on your site to share your content. I’m still surprised by how many sites have no or terrible social media share buttons. Yup, I can share with my phone’s buttons but don’t assume I will or even want to do that.
Quote experts in your content – as applicable AND relevant. Share the story link with them and encourage sharing.
Look at what kind of stories get traffic and write more of those kind of stories. Keep in mind that content home runs are rare. They happen but often it’s the totality of content that will help you reach your audience and distribute your content.
Analyze what stories drive traffic from search engines. Being found through search is quite useful and feels good, too. It’s basically Google saying that your content is good and relevant and it connects it with the people who are actually searching for a related topic.
Once you have this massive traffic coming to your site you’ll want to stay connected to people. Make it easy for them to sign up for your email newsletter or blog notification. My email readers are my most engaged audience segment.
I have a pop up on my site that appears a ways into a reader’s visit. Growing the list with relevant and interested readers is another distribution step.
Remember to keep sending relevant emails so they don’t forget about you, but also don’t be spammy.
Distribution tools wrap
Content might be king but distribution runs the day to day. I see some out there being good at one or the other.
Great content that isn’t seen isn’t that useful. On the other end of the spectrum, we have those who are really good at promoting CRAP content. Neither scenario is perfect for the audience.
Related: What’s CRAP content?
Content marketing is most useful when unique content is produced and then distributed in the best way to hit our most interested communities (aka target audience.)
This 8-step distribution plan should help you get started.