The Essential Three-Pronged Approach To Content Promotion

When it comes to social media, any promotion of your content can be good. One of the basic concepts of classic advertising is that brand awareness (e.g., hearing a brand’s name over and over) can help customers keep you top of mind the next time they need a specific product or service that you offer. […]

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When it comes to social media, any promotion of your content can be good. One of the basic concepts of classic advertising is that brand awareness (e.g., hearing a brand’s name over and over) can help customers keep you top of mind the next time they need a specific product or service that you offer.

Content is one of the best tactics to help you get more exposure. But, no matter how well-written a blog may be, it will not be successful unless people are talking about it. For the successful marketer, utilizing a three-pronged approach to get people talking will not only get your content more exposure online, but will assist in growing your brand presence and recognition.

Paid Owned Earned Media Diagram

Image courtesy of Jordan Kasteler Blog

Owned Promotion

Promoting your own content is just as important at writing it. Because search engines now factor social signals into their search results, it is crucial to combine your content and social media marketing strategies to create a cohesive front that both promotes your own content while also sharing resources that make you an asset to your target audience.

All organic social promotion campaigns should include:

  1. Automated RSS Push: All your content can be automatically pushed to Twitter and Facebook through RSS feed automation tools (SocialOomph and TwitterFeed are both good resources). However, don’t let this automatic post be the only way your content is shared by your organization on social media.
  2. Future Re-Sharing: Schedule posts with questions surrounding the content or quotes from the article later on in the week.
  3. Proper Social Media Optimization: Posts should also include applicable hashtags and account tags, when possible. For instance, if a writer is publishing an interview with Mark Cuban, they should include his verified Twitter username in their tweet (e.g., “Check out @author’s interview with @DallasMavs owner @mcuban about the 2014 season: URL”). However, be sure to avoid hashtag insanity — only use them when it doesn’t clutter up the tweet or post. For example, adding #nba #basketball #dallas #cuban to your tweet can make it look spammy (and obscure the link). The same goes for tagging on Facebook and Google+. If you post is “The Definitive Guide to Blogging in 2014,” it might make sense to hashtag #blogging on Facebook or +blogging on Google+, but not to add #blog #2014 #content at the end.

When it comes to content, these types of tiny social media optimization tactics can help increase your exposure.

Paid Promotion

For content that you want to be seen by a larger audience, paid promotion is a good strategy. Sponsored tweets and Facebook posts (as well as promoted content on LinkedIn) can be utilized in tandem with owned promotion to select outstanding content that will get the most response from your audience.

For example, let’s say a nutritionist wants to grow her Facebook community. While it probably wouldn’t be smart to pay to promote a weekly post round-up about weight loss stories that is done every Monday, an exclusive study with photos that reveals a link between weight loss and chia seeds will likely get the most exposure for the nutritionist’s money spent on ad spend.

When it comes to choosing sponsored content, go for posts that will most likely elicit an emotional response from your target audience. Emotional response usually translates into likes, shares, and comments. A sponsored post announcing that Nike is releasing just 2,000 pairs of a new shoe designed by Jay-Z will get more engagement in the social media space than the opening of another Nike Store in New York.

How to best utilize paid promotion:

  1. Sponsored Tweets, Facebook, and LinkedIn posts: Cater the content you choose to promote to each medium. For instance, an article on the top 10 bathrooms for a remodeler would go over better on Facebook than LinkedIn. Reddit and StumbleUpon also offer paid promotion.
  2. Paid Syndication: Outbrain is a great content syndication service that suggests your posts to readers on top websites, including Fox News, based on the article they just read. You can set cost-per-click and campaign duration. Disqus is also rolling out paid syndication campaigns as part of their commenting plugin, as well.
  3. Paid Blogger Campaigns: Many blogs take sponsors and will share links to your content via sponsored posts on their website. You can also work with organizations that manage the entire blogger campaign on behalf of companies. Examples of these include Clever Girls Collective and Fitfluential.

By making paid promotion a regular part of your social media strategy, you will also be able to get a better grasp of what type of content has more engagement when it is given a “push” and has more exposure than your non-promoted content. By focusing on writing content that does well when promoted via a paid campaign, you are more likely to have better engagement (and more website traffic) organically.

Earned Promotion

The third component of effective content promotion via social media is making sure people know what others are saying about you. Earned promotion is third-party sentiment about your company and its products, such as the sharing of your latest blog post via Twitter or LinkedIn. These types of unsolicited shout-outs can be carried much further in convincing people, because it is coming from an external source that is vouching for your organization (without you explicitly asking them to do so in exchange for something).

To get more external promotion, your content should:

  1. Have a viral or current event title, e.g. “5 Entrepreneurs That Are Wealthier Than the Royal Baby”
  2. Be visually appealing, with attractive graphics (including charts when applicable) and an easy-to-read layout
  3. Be written for your target audience, not for the search engines
  4. Be as easy as possible to share via social sharing buttons

Your organization should also be tracking social media and Google Alerts for mentions of your company and its employees, in order to share these mentions of your business. When you show your audience that others find you reputable enough to share your content, you are reinforcing positive brand recognition.

In addition, promoting earned media gives extra social signals and links to boost the value of the links, engagement, and traffic you get from the coverage. This can help amplify the message, thus getting more shares and traffic from your network and beyond.

Combining All Three

No matter the industry or type of content you put out (whether it be blogs, videos, podcasts, or e-books), you should be promoting it organically and through paid avenues. These efforts will help you get the exposure needed to start accruing regular earned promotion by others.

By boosting third-party mentions of your content rather than just putting your resources into boosting your own standpoint, you are completing a three-pronged approach that is guaranteed to maximize your exposure, thus increasing your content traffic and engagement.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Jordan Kasteler
Jordan Kasteler is the SEO Director of Hennessey Consulting. His work experience ranges from co-founding BlueGlass Interactive, in-house SEO at, marketing strategy at PETA, and agency-level SEO & marketing. Jordan is also an international conference speaker, columnist, and book author of A to Z: Social Media Marketing.

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