Content created for the purpose of content creation is also unofficially referred to as invisible content. Those who still rely on outdated strategies of how to promote a web site by simply posting content regularly are destined for failure. Here are a few reasons behind this statement:
- The number of posts published on a daily basis keeps growing exponentially
- The amount of social shares and traffic from social media channels is declining
- The majority of published pieces don’t gain links and, as a result, have poor rankings in Google
So the problem is pretty obvious— competition is increasing incredibly fast and traffic channels that used to serve for content promotion are no longer a low-hanging fruit. That’s the reason why I want to share with you 14 strategies that will help you drive results and let your content bring you traffic.
1. Optimize meta description, title, and SMM snippets
Any erudite digital marketer can tell you what meta tags or snippets are. Sadly, not all of them recognize the significance of these tiny pieces of code, or understand the details that matter concerning on-page SEO optimization. With optimized meta description and title, your click-through rate goes up, and the users’ first impression on your content remains positive.
Meta Title: the do’s:
Keep it relevant, descriptive, concise and captivating. Below you can find Google’s top results for “content marketing strategies”. Take a look at the title of pages; they all grab attention and help a user get a gist of what’s covered on a certain page:
Include the keyword that you’re targeting.
In case you have no idea what kind of keywords to target, I highly recommend to check SpyFu. That keyword research tool has a column called “SEO difficulty” along with “Local searches” that shows how popular a keyword is:
Ranking difficulty, also known as SEO difficulty, is calculated based on how difficult it would be to rank for a specific keyword. It helps you prioritize your search terms and target only those keywords you can afford. Ranking difficulty also takes into account domains’ strength and on-page signals like a certain keyword used in a title, or the number of .gov and .edu domains.
- Optimal length is between 50-60 characters.
Meta Description: the do’s:
Keep it around 150-170 characters.
Don’t forget to make it catchy because users click on pages based on meta description. Another hack is to look at the meta description of ad copies as they present a good sales pitch and are very descriptive. You can find them in SpyFu by simply searching for a keyword:
Optimizing Social Media Snippets is another quite powerful way to attract more traffic from social media profiles. To help you understand the difference between an optimized snippet on Twitter and a non-optimized snippet, take a look at this:
The major advantage of an optimized snippet is that it captures more space in users’ feed and, as a result, has more chances to be clicked on. However, snippets for Twitter and Facebook have certain limitations. Here are two tools that will allow you to check those limitations: this tool is for Twitter snippets and this one is for Facebook.
2. Promote on social media
As you’re reading this, you may think that this is a breeze. Not quite. You have to be prepared for a proper campaign because each of your online channels requires a unique message and an eye-catching image or even a video to support the post.
For Facebook, it’s better to create text that will have at least a few sentences and a video to go along with it. For LinkedIn, a formal tone is more acceptable, and a video message is always a good addition. As for Twitter, always keep it short and sweet, providing a static image or a gif.
Besides that, if you have someone to tag in your post— go for it. That’s the reason behind roundup posts being among the most popular types of content. Got a quote from an expert with a valuable comment? Mention that person. To increase engagement rates, you can even tag employees of the companies you talk about; it proves to work like a charm.
On a side note, a little bit of planning ahead goes a long way, and there are tools to help you with your social media efforts. Create a couple of posts for each channel in advance so you can make a few shout-outs after your content goes live.
3. Send out a mass email to your subscribers
Email is not dead, okay? In fact, email marketing the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences, and Gmail has 1 billion active users worldwide. So, roll up your sleeves and prepare a compelling copy, visually-appealing image, and tell them why this post is worth their time. Another important factor that affects your email marketing campaign success is a properly segmented subscriber database that allows for more personalized communication. Luckily, there are numerous affordable email marketing automation tools. These tools will help you segment your subscribers based on what kind of pages they’ve visited so that you can deliver content that’s right for them.
Finally, let’s not forget about a CTA button inviting a recipient to take action.
4. Promote content on communities like Reddit, Quora, GrowthHackers, or Zest
Most online communities are great sources of new users. But here’s a catch: you need to find those communities first. Then, you need to devise an intricate promotion plan that won’t get you banned right away.
Overall, if you’re lucky to have friends who are active users of those groups, then reach out to them for help. If not, then don’t do anything hasty because your reputation is at stake. Instead, get involved with the life of the chosen community or a group; take part in a discussion or comment a question, look at what others are doing to promote their content, and only after that get into subtle promotion.
Communities like GrowthHackers and Zest accept and publish all sorts of content. With Zest, submitted content undergoes internal censorship and may be declined by the reviewing members. As for GH, it’s a different story. Content that doesn’t get any likes simply vanishes into thin air by disappearing from users’ feed.
There is, however, one lifehack— you can agree with your connections to upvote and comment on your postings. If they follow through with this deal, you got some chances.
5. Ask your community friends to share your content
For starters, prepare a list of contacts and an email draft that features links to social posts. Robbie Richards is a true virtuoso, hands down. Just look at how easy he makes it to share his posts.
6. Join private Facebook groups
Get into investigator’s mood and find what kind of groups your industry friends are in. And again, some legwork needs to be done beforehand; you have to research those groups, get accepted, and then craft your content that you’ll share with that community.
Lifehack in this case— not just sharing your content by adding to the ongoing online noise, but providing value for the community. This can be a limited edition of a document containing insightful strategies, or a coupon offering a discount. By giving people something potentially useful, you take the spotlight off of your effort to take advantage of a community and monetize and present yourself in a more favorable light.
7. Include a link to your content on the main page
Simply add links where they will be seen. For instance, make it stand out in the main menu of your website, or set up a one-time pop-up window that informs your visitors about a post you created. Alternatively, create a notification for the same purpose. Your options are unlimited.
Adding a link to your main site’s navigation not only makes your content visible to your visitors but it also gives you a solid SEO boost. Site-wide links always increase URL visibility in Google. In case you want to learn more about internal link building, here’s a great post by Kevin Indig who shares how to take advantage of internal links.
8. Promote your content across your regulars readers who aren’t on your list yet
Facebook Pixel to the rescue! Select those users who have at least once visited your blog and set up targeted advertising. Additionally, you can dust off your comments section and message those users who left you comments.
Once you set up Pixel, it should collect enough information about your visitors. Afterward, you can set up your Custom Audience and filter out those users who browsed your blog:
As the next step, start setting up your ads campaign and add a custom audience that you’ve recently created:
9. Reach out to companies that share similar content
Navigate to BuzzSumo, search for related content, and find who has recently shared it. On a screenshot below you can see a list of Twitter users who shared a post about setting up content marketing strategy:
It’s very important not to screw things up right away, so craft your outreach email very carefully and be a good egg. Extend an offer to mutually help each other with content promotion across social media channels because your audiences and content topics you cover overlap. If boundless success is what you’re most longing for, offer to include in your content a quote from people who work for those companies. That’ll get you off to a good start.
10. Team up with companies to be featured in their newsletter
Similar to number 9 above, only it’s email marketing. To begin with, find a list of companies that produce similar content. That can be accomplished using BuzzSumo. Then, sign up for a newsletter, analyze their email frequency, when they send out their communication, and so on. After that, you can talk about partnering up because the number of people you need to connect with has significantly reduced, and you’ll also know that those folks will be interested in your offer. Because what if they don’t do any email newsletters at all?
11. Connect with companies that are posting weekly/monthly content round-ups
For that, you have an option of searching for such companies on BuzzSumo or Pitchbox. I personally prefer to use Pitchbox because it allows me to get a list of content pages based on the keywords I’ve previously selected. And it only takes a few minutes. Moving further, Pitchbox automatically pulls together a list of contacts that are associated with that page.
12. Include experts’ quotes
Nothing adds more credibility to an article than a quote from an industry leader. Any marketer knows who’s who in the industry, so demonstrate how enriched your connections are by including the words of the brightest minds in your niche. This, in turn, will ignite interest, with more and more readers willing to share your piece of content. In other words, you show that you can bring value and can be a source for other people to link up with influencers. Quick tip: don’t try to chase down big sharks like Larry Kim or Joe Pulizzi. Start with someone who’s closer to your level, and work your way up.
13. Purchase mass (dedicated) emails
There are several options out there. For example, SEJ offers these services, along with any other website that publishes sponsors posts. Even some events get involved in that.
14. Analyze your competitors’ content performance
By analyzing your competitor’s content performance you can gain the following insights:
Find out the most effective channels in your niche.
The Nacho Analytics tool recreates a competitor’s analytics right inside your own analytics account. (Or a side account you’ve created just for competitive intelligence.) You can drill into content performance to figure out effective channels and email performance. While this tool is only free during the initial 7-day trial, its premium version keeps pumping in real-time analytics data. Instead of a single snapshot, you can measure performance for any time period going forward.
This can also be done with the help of BuzzSumo that shows you the best performing social media channels based on the engagement and content type:
Get a list of pages that are currently ranking in top results for keywords that you’re interested in.
SpyFu shows you the most visible pages for any keyword in Google. On a screenshot below you can see the top URLs that appear in SERPs when you query “content marketing strategy”:
After this, check what kind of pages are referring to a certain site so you can estimate how many referring domains you need to acquire in order to outrank them:
Understand how much time does it take to rank well in Google (based on your rivals history).
This insight can be uncovered with the help of SpyFu that gives you an estimated number of SEO visitors all the way from 2008 until present:
To Wrap Up
I hope most of these strategies will help you get the amount of traffic you want. Once you have everything set up, they are easy to implement but the results they can bring will pleasantly surprise you. And remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.