I recently published a case study showing how one infographic gained $46,000 in value from promotion. Now I’d like to show you how you can do it too.
They key to getting your content shared is presenting it to industry influencers in an organic way. Here's how to get your content featured in mainstream media and industry publications for under $230.
Related: 7 Ways to Network Like a Millionaire
1. Make sure the content is shareable.
If you want something to go viral, it’s best to create it with shareability in mind. To save you some trouble, here is a rough checklist for creating content that people will want to share, based on an acronym from my favorite book, Jonah Berger’s Contagious:
Social currency: People will share content to seem in-the-know.
Triggers: People will share things that are already popular.
Emotion: People will share things that make them happy, angry or awe-struck -- but not sad.
Public: People will share things that are easy-to-understand.
Practical value: People will share things they think are useful.
Stories: People will share things that are easy to follow (a narrative or a sequence).
Reddit is an absolute blessing for promoting content. The entire site is made from sub-communities of dedicated fans and enthusiasts for pretty much any topic you can think of. As long as your content is insightful, and not overtly promotional, Reddit can be a great place to get relevant eyes on the page.
This is an awesome guide on how an SEO uses Reddit to get eyes on his content, but the principles are the same, regardless of your aims.
Few people I talk to are aware of StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery platform, which essentially allows you to divert targeted, interested traffic directly to your content.
This has the bonus of presenting the content to them in an entirely organic way -- they’re literally stumbling upon it. Influencers are far more likely to promote content they find organically than content they’ve been asked to share for free.
Cost: $115 and specific targeting.
Twitter can be a highly effective way of connecting with massive industry influencers. Generally, the biggest voices in an industry will have the largest Twitter followings, so it makes sense to promote your content to them.
I recommend building a list of around 50 major influencers ( Followerwonk is great for this). Find the people who most often retweet / reply to people, and then tweet them your content. Through this method, I’ve been able to garner retweets from people like Guy Kawasaki, and Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones).
It’s also worth checking out this guide for ensuring you have your content optimized for Twitter sharing.
5. Email Outreach
Email Outreach is a very mixed bag. The obvious benefit is that it puts your content directly in the inbox of the people you want to see it. The obvious drawback is that unsolicited and unexpected emails are easy to consider as spam.
Using Email Outreach is an art worthy of its own blog post, but here are some key points:
- Find a list of 50-plus industry influencers or relevant journalists and their email addresses -- their name, not firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Work out the optimum time to contact them based on their location. People are more likely to be open to your idea after lunch.
- Make sure the subject line is impactful. "You," an odd-number and a question mark get more opens.
- Keep it short. They’re busy people, so two sentences and a link to the content will be more than enough.
- Follow-up. Give it a week, and send a gentle reminder -- but then leave it. You don’t want to become a nuisance.
Pinterest is a little more esoteric, but as it’s also currently the second most useful social platform for sending traffic. It's definitely worth remembering.
Essentially, you need to ensure every piece of content you produce is optimized for Pinterest. This generally means using lots of nice images and infographics. It’s an easy way to ensure you’re not losing out on potential traffic.
Pinterest’s own guide on Rich Pins is the best place to start in terms of finding out how to optimize your pages.
7. Facebook promotion
Facebook Ad-manager is an awesome way to ensure your content is being seen by the right people. The massive user-base naturally means there’s a huge potential for targeting, and it’s pretty inexpensive.
If you have a business page, you can begin to boost your posts -- you pay to get more eyes on them. You should also optimize your content for any shares it does receive on Facebook using OG Markup.
Cost: Scalable, but if the post is decent, $115 should be a fair kick start.
Hopefully, this has shown you the ways you can compete for attention with the giants of your industry for a fraction of what they're paying. Advertisements, public relations and mentions by big media can cost a lot. An awesome content marketing campaign can get you all of these and more -- but it's all about the promotion.
You don't need to spend millions of dollars promoting your content. Strategic use of free or inexpensive platforms means you can find your audience in a sustainable and effective way.