Unfortunately, not every content promotion you attempt will go as well as you expected.
The good news is most content promotion fails are salvageable if you can pinpoint what went wrong and then take the necessary steps. Ask yourself these questions to help determine how you can save your promotion:
- Did you start your promotion during a holiday week or was there a huge news event that day?
- Did you submit to the right social sites?
- Was your content factually accurate?
Just because your content marketing campaign is struggling, you don’t need to give up and move on to something else. Read on to learn 13 ways to revive a failed or struggling content promotion campaign.
In the past, the best part of getting on the homepage of a site like Digg was the ability to place to your content in front of bloggers and influential social media users. Those days are long gone with the increased number of social media communities people are using.
The competition to get in front of bloggers and influencers has also exploded. A front page on one social network is no longer a guarantee that your content will be picked up and shared by multiple bloggers or influencers.
So when a promotion isn’t going well, why not find and reach out to your targets?
1. Twitter Outreach
A social community like Twitter is a great place to build exposure to your content, but there are a lot of people trying to do the same thing. While you may be able to get a few tweets, you may be unable to get your content in front of the users who would blog or help build traction to your content.
Don’t just give up, be proactive and find the influencers you were looking for and reach out to them directly.
- Use site search (or user directories) to compile a list of influencers in your specific content niche.
- Review the shares of your targets to determine what type of content they like to share.
- Now create a target list of people you want to share your content with.
Don’t just start spamming them with links! Instead, start a discussion with them, re-share their content, and be sure you are providing them value before you ask for a favor.
This might take a couple of days but it’s well worth your time, especially if you can build a long-term relationship. Again, only share your piece of content with them if you know it’s something they and their followers will want to see. Consider asking them feedback on your content, especially if they’re a thought leader in your niche.
2. Facebook Fan Page Outreach
Facebook pages around specific topics are a great place to build some additional traction to your promotion. They allow you to focus your content on a demographic or niche that will be interested in your content.
A lot of pages share content from various sources and rely on their users to help find that content. Even pages tied to a celebrity or website tend to share user-submitted content.
- Use Facebook page search to compile a list of fan pages related to your vertical.
- Once you have that list, start to interact on their pages by leaving insightful comments, and re-sharing great content from their pages.
- Then using the message button located on the fan page (https://www.facebook.com/messages/PAGE-NAME) direct them over to your content.
Don’t just send your link, make sure you include a small intro about it and why you think their fans would enjoy it.
3. Google Plus Outreach
One of the biggest benefits of Google Plus is the “social circle recommendations” that appear in the SERPs. While Google Plus won’t send you a massive rush of traffic in one day, you can use it to build your long-term traffic from organic search.
If someone searched for a beginner’s guide to astronomy, and they see a few options but under your link they see social shares including famous niche influencers like Neil Tyson Degrassi or NASA’s Google Plus page, you will a have much better chance of the user clicking on your article.
- Find Google Plus pages and users that are related to the niche using site search.
- Create a list of target users you like to share your content with.
- Start interacting with their page, sharing their content, plus one their updates, etc.
Unlike Facebook, there doesn’t seem to be a contact button, so you will want to share a status with your content and tag the page or user you think should see it.
4. Tumblr Outreach
One of the coolest features of this micro blog platform is the ability to submit directly to bloggers. This allows you to easily contact influencers or pages in order to share your content.
An easy way to find users on Tumblr is to use the explore page feature. You can easily see the top users for all the popular tags. You can also use their in-site search to find users sharing content similar to your content.
There are also a handful of Tumblr blogs around infographics that can be used to spread your content.
Media Aggregation Sites
With the massive influx of visual media assets being created in the last year, many visual media aggregation sites have started to appear.
There are few benefits to these visual sites:
- They curate and index popular visualizations allowing users to easily view content around specific niches.
- They allow bloggers and influencers to easily find content they would like to share with their followers.
- Content creators can easily find visual explanations of concepts they may be writing about.
So why not get your content on these sites in order to increase the chance of a pickup or social share?
5. Infographic Aggregation
Below are some infographic sharing sites that allow user submissions:
- Infographic Database
- Infographic Love
- Infographic Site
- Submit Infographics
- Cloud Infographics (Only cloud computing or SaaS)
- Cool Infographics
- Infographic Gallery
- Infographics Archive
- Infographics Posters
- Love Infographics
- OMG Infographics
- Pure Infographics
- Rate My Infographic
Improve Your Content and Submissions
So maybe it’s not the promotion process that went wrong, but rather the content. It’s time to examine the type of content you are trying to share and your promotion timing.
- Did you meet the stickiness criteria with your content?
- Is the title bad?
- What time of day did you share it?
- Are your facts wrong? Do you need better images?
- Is the site loading your content?
- Do the share buttons work?
6. Change Titles
The titles you use are a huge factor and a weak terrible title can tank your promotion from the start. A great title can give you a huge boost.
For example, when I originally wrote this article, I titled it “Ingenuous Content: Thinking Beyond Social Norms” and the article received a few tweets and died out quickly. We changed the title (the same day) to “7 Alternatives to Top 10 Lists” and re-shared it. Before we knew it, tweets started pouring in.
A simple title change made it stand out in the noise and get the attention of influencers in our niche. Try experimenting with titles in your tweets and shares, and see which ones provide the best response.
Here are some great resources for title creation:
- How To Write Magnetic Headlines – Copyblogger
- The Ultimate Guide To Writing Incredible Headlines – Contently
- How To Write Headlines – Kissmetrics
- 15 Ways To Rework Your Next Blog Post Title – Problogger
Sometimes when you choose generic images or no images at all, you can deter the success of your promotion. Images can be used to break up large chunks of content which allows social users to easily digest your content.
A better experience with your content means increasing the chance the user will share your content. It doesn’t just have to be images, it can be line breaks, headings, bullet points, etc.
Look through your content and see which visuals you can improve in order to provide a better user experience with the content.
- Do your images stand out?
- Do the images convey the message of your content?
- Could you reformat headers and bullet points to make the content easier to read?
8. Share Buttons
If your users can’t share your content, how can you have successful promotion?
Your share buttons should be checked on a regular basis to make sure your content is optimized for social sharing so it stands out from the rest of the noise on social media sites. Try cutting down on the buttons you may be using and focus on the ones that send you the user demographic you want.
- Are your share buttons working?
- Have you tested them?
- When you share content what image and title is being pulled in?
- Are there too many buttons?
Timing plays a huge factor in content sharing and times vary based on the content you are trying to share.
Try experimenting with your share times. Do a share in the morning as people are coming into work and see if you see more traction versus sharing during lunch or late at night. Sometimes just re-sharing the following day at a better time can turn your promotion in the right direction.
Below are questions you should be asking yourself when reviewing the timing of your campaign.
- Did you start your promotion on the day of a huge news event?
- Did you push your content live as people are leaving work?
- Did you time your content pushes in order to reach multiple time zones?
10. Review Feedback
Nothing kills a content promotion campaign like incorrect facts or misleading content. Sometimes a small error won’t hurt you but getting a major fact wrong can lead to a high volume of negative feedback, especially when your targeting a demographic that is passionate about your niche.
In cases like this, I like to stop and correct my issues before proceeding. There is no point in continuing on if you’re losing credibility with every share.
Review the feedback, thank the users who let you know of the issue and then restart your efforts. Never make the change and pretend it never happened. You will just make it worse. Besides people on the internet like to be right and appreciate when you acknowledge it.
Always fact check and edit your content before it goes live, and try to have few internal members review it before it goes live.
A great way to give a content promotion campaign a quick boost is to mix in social ads. There are many types of social ad platforms and services. Below I only outline three major ones but there a plenty more to choose from.
You should be basing your choices on your goals and target demographic. If your target demographic mostly spends their time on Facebook, then don’t use Reddit ads!
11. StumbleUpon Ads
StumbleUpon Paid Discovery is a great tool for building traffic to a piece of content. It’s also a great way to jump start a submission that has puttered out. One of the best parts of submitting to StumbleUpon is the ability to get traffic over a long period of time. You might notice a burst of visits on the first day and then a month later another burst. Using StumbleUpon ads, you try and increase your odds of that long term traffic by doing a sponsored campaign.
12. Reddit Ads
Reddit self serve ads are a great option to help kick start a slow moving promotion. Reddit allows you to target specific sub-Reddits. This allows you put your content in front of Reddit users that are interested in your content topic instead of the entire user-base. Don’t forget to do your research before targeting your ads.
13. Related Link Ads
Related content sections have always been a great way to keep users on your site, consuming and sharing content. Recently ad networks have taken notice and have started to offer options to sponsor those sections.
For example, Outbrain gives you the ability to share your content on related blogs. They allow you to use multiple titles (great way to test titles) and place your links in related content boxes below related articles on top blogs. This is a great way to find users that are interested in consuming content, interested in the content you have a created, and will most likely sharing your content.
Some of the above tactics should be included in your normal content promotion strategies, but sometimes it’s not feasible based on resources to use all of these methods. I highly recommend testing as much as you can to determine your best course of action.
Before starting any type of content marketing campaign, you should always create a list of goals you want to achieve. Whether it be links, traffic, or brand exposure, if you don’t have a set list of goals, you won’t know if your promotion was a success or a failure. Your initial goals will also help you determine the steps you must take to revive a failed promotion.
What tactics do you use to boost your content marketing campaigns?