7 ways to promote your inbound marketing campaign
Promoting your content isn’t always as much fun as creating it, but making plenty of noise about your campaign is a vital part of content marketing success. You wouldn’t spend months developing the world’s best chocolate bar only to sell it out of a wooden crate on your front porch in the hope that passers-by might see you: so treat your fabulous content in the same way.
Many experienced marketers suggest spending far more time on the promotion of your campaign than you do on the creation of it. Derek Halpern, blogging expert and founder of Social Triggers, recommends:
‘It’s smarter to find another 10,000 people to consume what you’ve already created as opposed to creating more. Or, in other words, create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you created.’
This 20/80 rule is a thought-provoking one. How many of us can honestly say this is the case at our business? It’s easy to get so wrapped up in churning out content, that the previous resources we’ve created – which might be seriously good stuff – get buried under “new and exciting” alternatives. In this post, we're focusing on promoting campaigns and exploring what makes a success.
A successful campaign should be out to do three things:
1. Allow your promotional message to reach your intended audience.
2. Give your audience a clear understanding of your message.
3. Encourage those who access it to take the desired action.
We’re going to look closer at just seven ways to reach these goals and share tips to help you get more quality leads in your next inbound marketing campaign.
Section 1: Pillar pages and topic clusters
Have you dabbled in pillar pages yet? If not, we’ve created a whole guide to help you get started. The reason pillar pages work so well to promote your content is because of the careful linking they create across huge amounts of content, creating an easy-to-find web for Google. In turn, this increases organic traffic to your content, bringing new prospects in.
How it works:
- A pillar page is a long, expert webpage where you house all your knowledge on a given topic. You link this page to other blog posts you’ve created on all the subtopics (or ‘topic clusters’) to do with your topic. From these blog posts, you add a link to the pillar page so a two-way bond is formed between the two pieces of content. The video below explains in more detail:
- Not only is it mechanically a great system, but it also helps show off your brand as a thought leader in your field. This long-form content can be added to over time, building a one-stop shop on your topic and confirming you as an expert.
- The reason this is great for promotion is that Google will love the organisation of your content and move your well-ordered content up search rankings, unlike other business’ messy and unanchored content.
- Promote your content offer on a pillar page – behind a great, enticing CTA – to increase conversions.
Section 2: Blog
Much in the way a pillar page works, you need plenty of blog posts to promote your content. By creating these, full of great keywords for your topic, Google will boost your content up the search engine rankings. It’s also a great idea to alert your existing prospects and customers to any new campaigns you’re releasing; those already on your database will receive your blog posts through email automation.
How it works:
- HubSpot recommends writing at least 3-5 posts about your new campaign, published around the time your content offer goes live. These can vary from general posts, offering an overview of the topics associated with your content offer, to more specialised posts that inspect a particular aspect of the topic really closely.
- By publishing blog posts that support your content around the time of its release, you create a push in awareness around the offer, using keywords, relevant links to other content and, most importantly, a CTA that will drive readers to your landing page.
- The length of your posts counts: if you are able to, write long-form posts for maximum engagement – BuzzSumo found that content between 3,000-10,000 words is perceived as the most valuable and thus shared the most:
- By offering engaging, useful content, prospects will be driven to other pages on your site – including the landing page to your content offer. With persuasive titles and eye-catching, relevant images, your blog posts can become a place for readers to expect really high-quality content. Mention advice from influencers where possible and remember: always be helping.
Section 3: Email
You’ve already set up an automated follow-up email to reach new leads after they’ve submitted a form on the campaign landing page, but what about your existing contacts? Emailing segments of your current database who might find your latest offer useful will not only increase their engagement with your company, it could also generate new leads through the sharing power of your database. HubSpot suggests:
‘In your email, encourage people to share the offer with their friends and colleagues. To make it easy, use social sharing buttons, and simply ask them to forward it along to friends who might be interested. To make the sharing button visually appealing, make it large and an eye-catching color.’
How it works:
- By sending out an email to the customer segments in your database who you think will enjoy this piece, you gain further exposure, show audiences you understand their pain points and want to offer solutions. If you already send out a weekly email to your mailing list, include a link to your new content offer in this.
- Include a pre-written tweet in the email, so that people can simply click once to share the tweet with their networks.
- Make use of your network. Reach out directly to some friends and influencers in your industry, and ask them to share the content with their audience if they find it valuable – you could always ask them for a quote to put directly into the email as a testimonial, promoting how worthwhile the content offer is, too.
Section 4: Social media
Global social media research for 2019 found that the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year. It is the fastest-growing promotional tool, so if you’re not doing it well, or prioritising learning more creative ideas to utilise it, you’re sure to fall behind other companies who are excelling in it.
How it works:
- Include social sharing buttons – in emails and on the landing page. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to upload your content offer to their personal or business social network accounts.
- When your pillar page and blog posts promoting your campaign, and the campaign itself, go live, create engaging, highly visual and direct social posts to help promote the offer. Include a CTA to make clicking through to the landing page as easy as possible and ensure language is straightforward: people need to understand exactly what they’re being led to.
- Trial different timings, days of the week and frequency of posts. You can find out general good advice for posting to different channels, but to find out what your specific customers respond best to, you’ll have to try experimenting. For example, if most of your audience works 9-5 and live in urban areas, an 8am post might be a great idea as they’re likely to be on buses and trains commuting to work at this time, therefore available and willing to read something.
- Which networks you use will also depend on your customers. Extensive research has been conducted to work out the demographics of social media engagement: in order to work out where your buyer persona most frequently hangs out online, you need to investigate their watering holes then target these social spaces.
- Hashtags are a great way to get your content trending – as well as being able to see who is talking about and sharing your content. Create and promote a relevant hashtag to your latest campaign and encourage people to use it on social channels.
Section 5: Moving image and audio
If you didn’t use these forms to actually create the content, there’s no reason why you can’t use them to promote it. Videos are a great way to promote your offer – and don’t have to be high-spec or lengthy. A short discussion or interview between a team member and customer, a solo to-camera piece highlighting the content offer’s benefits, or a walk-through demo using shared-screen mode are all great ways to use video to promote your content.
How it works:
- There are so many different types of video content out there – so many ideas you could play around with, which can seem overwhelming. It’s been predicted that by the end of 2019, 80% of global internet consumption will be video content. Utilise this medium to promote your campaign.
- With 5 billion videos being viewed on YouTube every day, there’s a staggering amount of content out there. This can mean that consumers become less sensitive to video advertising (which means your has to be really useful to stand out). HubSpot offers guidance about what businesses need to do to create valuable video content in today’s marketing space:
- You can record sound bytes inexpensively and with minimal editing experience to record a helpful discussion around your content offer with an influential guest. We explore how to plan your first podcast in this blog post – plus the huge advantages to using this format.
- Post videos and podcasts to your social channels, as well as YouTube, to increase engagement across your existing network.
Section 6: Your website
Many people overlook how they can optimise their own website to help them promote their latest offers and campaigns. The worst thing about this is that it's most likely one of your biggest marketing assets, already drawing lots of traffic each day.
How it works:
- Think about creating a ‘Resources’ or ‘Library’ area on your website. This is a section in your navigation bar where visitors can find every top piece of content you’ve ever created in one place: the holy grail of fantastic, helpful resources. Don’t make visitors work for it; show them all your content and encourage them to browse: this way they’re far more likely to convert on one of these multiple landing pages, rather than them thinking you only have one resource on offer.
- Create a CTA on your homepage or login screen. Your homepage is likely to be the page on your site that brings in the highest traffic, so take advantage of this high volume of viewers.
- Use related pages within your site as promotional tools. Include a link to the offer on pages such as: your product pages, blog, and thank you pages that align with the topic.
Section 7: People
And finally – don’t forget real people! Again, in our technological, geographically spread-out world, it’s easy to ignore real human interaction as a promotional tool, but it’s really worth remembering. We still care what others think, and despite the fact we might be doing it through a screen, most of the things that engage us best online work on a human level.
How it works:
- Reach out to influencers and interview them, or at least acquire a punchy quote from them about your content offer, with lots of weight behind it. If they’re thought leaders in your industry, just having a personalised testimonial from someone like this will carry huge influence. Alternatively, you could ask influencers to repost your content offer.
- Get your internal team on board – send an email out to ensure everyone promotes your latest offer on LinkedIn and any other professional sites you use.
- Encourage your manager or founder to send out a link to their network to help promote your offer; as someone high up in your company, their reach will extend to some valuable places.
These strategies need to be integrated. Use the same messaging, layout, colours and images to promote an integrated, consistent campaign that users instantly recognise as your brand when they see it. You don’t want to confuse people into wondering what your offer is, or if they already have it – make it stand out and different to everything that’s come before.
Your campaign also needs to have your buyer persona at the heart of it: don’t use all of the above strategies blindly in the hope something will stick. Look back at your persona:
- Which promotional tools would they engage with?
- Where do they already frequent online?
- Where will they see your offer?
- What will make them click and convert?
If you target your audience through every promotional decision you make, you’ll increase leads and grow your customer base fast.
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