You just poured everything you had into an epic piece of content.
You spent hours Googling information and examples. You toiled over the perfect way to organize and present the information. You figured out how to get all the info out while sounding smart and – dare I say it – engaging and entertaining.
It was a freaking hard job, and you’re proud of the results.
After all that work, you want to make sure it gets seen by as much of your target audience as possible.
That means doing just more than the bare minimum when it comes to distributing your content. That won’t work if you want your work to have lasting results. Instead, you need a long-term content promotion plan that includes driving traffic to your post right away, and laying the groundwork for future traffic.
So we rounded up a few blog post distribution ideas you (hopefully) haven’t already read about 15 times this month.
They’re simple, they’re staples, and they’re effective. But for some reason, they don’t always get the love that other promotion tactics do.
Let’s get started.
1. Follow a social media sharing calendar
By now, most content marketers know you can’t just share a blog post once. But it’s still important enough to name first.
We all know that social media reach isn’t what it used to be. If you want to get your posts in front of a large portion of your social audience, it’s gonna take a few tries.
That’s where a social media calendar comes in. And yes, you probably know you should use one – but do you? For every post? You never slack?
That’s what I thought.
Our own content team uses CoSchedule. Their software is specifically built to make this easy, and they’re huge advocates for resharing blog posts, building in features to “fight for the good cause.”
Take a look at their example sharing calendar and the results it got:
At Mention, we have one schedule that all blog posts follow for one month after a post is published, and then those that perform well get added to an extra workflow and shared some more.
2. Mention companies featured on social media
Yes, I know, why am I telling you such a basic, overused, old school promotion tactic?
Because it’s really not.
I’ve seen some discussion lately about how this tactic has been so overdone for so long that it’s useless now. But it’s absolutely not.
Even if it’s no longer a 100% guarantee that the companies you feature will promote the heck out of it, you still need to get it in from of them. And one of the best and easiest ways to do that is still giving them a quick mention on social.
It may not be a guarantee, but they can’t share it if they don’t know about it. We’ve been saying this for years.
This is how FollowUp.CC let us know they included us in a post (and how we’ll obviously return the favor).
— FollowUp.cc (@followupcc) March 8, 2016
3. Pin social media posts to your profiles
Let’s go back to social media reach. There are lots of things you can do to improve a post’s visibility.
A great and underutilized one is pinning posts to your profiles. You can do it with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Other networks have “similar but different” options to feature specific posts.
This lets you keep one post from your page or profile front and center, probably above the fold. So no matter how long has passed or how many new social posts have been published, it’s still one of the first things your profile visitors see.
Here’s an example from Buffer’s Twitter account:
It can be used to announce company news, as Buffer does above, to showcase conversations and campaigns, or to promote certain pieces of content. For an extra boost to new posts, pin them to your profile as soon as they’re published.
4. Send to your coworkers
Sharing posts on your company’s social accounts only really takes advantage of a fraction of its real audience online.
The power lies in your coworkers.
Think about the networks they have. Almost all of us will have connections in our industry on LinkedIn, and lots of professionals use Twitter for work as well – even just a little bit.
Take advantage of that by enlisting coworkers to help you promote new posts.
At Mention, the whole marketing team uses Twitter and LinkedIn professionally in some capacity.(Meaning, they’re mostly serious and I tweet about TV 5,000 times per week :X)
So it’s built into our formal blog post promotion processes to let the rest of the team know when a new post is up. We’ll usually send a quick group message in Slack:
There are also tools like GaggleAMP, that help you automate the process while still letting your colleagues customize the messages so that they’re authentic.
5. Submit to social bookmarking sites
Finding the popular social bookmarking sites for your blog’s niche will also be a really productive thing to do one day.
Sites like reddit, Inbound.org, and GrowthHackers can bring massive traffic and act as great brand builders.
For example, Process Street uses social bookmarking to drive tens of thousands of views per month to their blog posts.
And beyond traffic, posting in forums and bookmarking sites helps you build authority and community. Since the sites revolve around conversation more than promotion, sharing your post as a conversation-starter can get a lot of readers very engaged.
Tip: to make our own shares on social bookmarking sites go further, we usually share the discussion question and link on Twitter and ask for comments.
6. Add a link to your email signature
Most content marketing discussions about email revolve around email marketing – I mean, why wouldn’t they?
But there’s something else – personal, one-on-one emails.
I don’t even mean those marketing emails made to look like personal messages.
We’re talking about ones you actually sat there and typed. I know, so archaic, right?
But think about how many people you email each day, and think about how many of them are in your target audience. Between influencers, partners, and your company’s customers, it’s a lot of people your blog posts might interest.
So adding a link to your latest post in your email signature is a secret that will put your content somewhere with a lot of focus. And tools like WiseStamp do it automatically by creating a fancy email signature connected to your blog’s RSS feed.
7. Answer questions on Quora
Great content marketing is all about answering questions and helping your audience, right?
If people are asking questions online, it’s probably happening on Quora.
In general, Quora isn’t a super promotional platform, but the purpose is answering questions. If you have a blog post that does that, it’s alright to share.
Writing detailed, helpful responses answering the question – which also include links to your content – can drive traffic back to a blog post.
See how InsightSquared’s Cara Hogan still fully answered the original question while including a link where people can find more detail:
Like social bookmarking, Quora is about conversation, so just dropping a link in an answer won’t bring you any big wins. Summarizing the parts of your post that are most relevant to the question still keeps the point of Quora in mind – giving answers.
8. Email interested readers
Lastly, content distribution is one more way your can combine advocates and influencer marketing.
A popular blog post promotion tactic is to use something like BuzzSumo to find influencers that have shared similar posts from popular publications, right? You can take that and remix it.
The link above teaches you why advocates are as valuable as influencers for some marketing activities – because the existing relationship means they’re more likely to say “yes.”
The same goes with sharing blog posts.
Instead of finding influential strangers who’ve shared blog posts from other influential strangers, look to your own community. Throw another post your company has written on the topic into BuzzSumo, instead of content from a different publication.
Then suggest your new blog post to people who have already shared your content – content on the same topic, no less – in the past.
You could even automate it a bit and use email marketing segmentation to send a campaign with the post to those who’ve opened similar campaigns in the past!
For example, a few weeks ago The Shelf emailed me their new infographic. Was this generic outreach? Absolutely not. I’ve shared their infographics before, so they knew I’d be more interested than someone who’d never read one of their posts.
Add something extra
These content distribution ideas can help your new posts stand out. I know I’ve felt the struggle to grow traffic when promoting every post the same way, the same “big and impactful” things everyone else is doing.
But what about the smaller ideas – the ones we read about and don’t try, or have stopped using? Tactics like these?
What difference can they make on your traffic, leads, and conversions?
Do you promote your new posts in ways other marketers might not? Share in the comments.