So many marketers forego a true B2B content promotion strategy in favor of a “if you build it, they will come” approach.
And that’s understandable. You’ve been told that great content is the key to differentiating your brand. You’ve spent the time (and possibly money) necessary to create something that should stand out to your target audience. Now, all you want is the attention you think your story is worth.
Except all you get is a handful of impressions, a few clicks over the course of a week, and then nothing.
If you want to get the attention your content deserves, you need a promotion strategy that goes beyond hitting publish and posting links to all of your social profiles.
B2B Content Promotion vs. Content Shock
There’s a sad truth that every content marketer has to realize sooner or later.
The world of content marketing isn’t strictly a meritocracy.
We want to think that investing time and creative effort to publish a piece of content entitles us to attention. That as long as we create something interesting and relevant to our target audiences, that we’ll be rewarded with marketing results.
But instead we have to deal with content shock. The concept that emerged way back in 2014 has proven true year in and year out. And today, the problem is more rampant than ever:
“There are only so many hours in a day and even if we consume content while we eat, work and drive, there is a theoretical and inviolable limit to consumption, which we are now approaching.
This intersection of finite content consumption and rising content availability will create a tremor I call The Content Shock. In a situation where content supply is exponentially exploding while content demand is flat, we would predict that individuals, companies, and brands would have to ‘pay’ consumers more and more just to get them to see the same amount of content.”
Long story short? That blog post you spent so much time putting together won’t earn any attention just because you hit publish.
Content shock will never go away. But that doesn’t mean our content marketing strategies are doomed to fail.
There are plenty of marketers getting all kinds of attention on their content. And there’s no reason you can’t take the right approach to content development and promotion and be one of them.
Attention-Worthy Content: The First Step to Effective Promotion
We can’t let content shock discourage us. No matter how tough the competition gets, effective B2B content promotion will always start with one thing—being laser-focused on creating great content.
Call it 10x content. Or pillar content. Or any other term you like. No matter what you call it, your content has to be worthy of engagement, clicks, social shares, and organic search traffic.
What can you do to set yourself up for an easier content promotion process? Create your content with any (or all) of these traits in mind.
Attention-Worthy Content Is Insightful
Which of the following two headlines grabs your attention more?
- “How We Increased Blog Traffic by 400% in 5 months with Zero Budget”
- “The Keys to Increasing Blog Traffic”
The first one, right?
The second headline tells you that the blog post is probably the same old topic you’ve read dozens of times. The information in it is probably valuable. But the headline doesn’t make it seem worth your time compared to all the other content at your disposal.
Call it click bait if you want, but the first headline implies that the article will deliver actionable insights that readers could take advantage of.
This doesn’t mean you can slap a great headline on a mediocre blog post and watch the traffic numbers skyrocket. You have to deliver on the promise. But assuming the blog post explains what the headline implies, you’ll have a much easier time promoting content in Scenario 1 compared to Scenario 2.
Attention-Worthy Content Is Shareable
The ultimate goal is for your audience to take care of content promotion for you.
Sure, you’ll send the links out via social and through owned channels. But then, you hope that the content speaks for itself and the social sharing engine kicks into high gear.
That starts with creating content that’s shareable in some way. What does that mean, exactly? There are a few key traits that could make people more likely to share a piece of content:
- Emotional: The specific emotion might not matter so much. What does matter is that your content hits home for readers. When you evoke an emotional response, readers will be more likely to share the content.
- Authoritative: We all want to be seen as authorities on relevant topics by our audience. When content comes across as more authoritative than the competition, your audience will want to share the insights with their colleagues and followers.
- Validating: People share content because it helps them look better to followers. Whether your content promotes a good cause or helps readers show that they’re on top of the latest trends, you’ll be more likely to increase shares.
- Original: Providing a fresh, innovative answer to audience pain points will help you stand out in the crowd of content. Telling original stories that deliver impactful, actionable takeaways will increase shares.
Social shares may be a vanity metric on their own. However, getting your content in front of more people is never a bad thing if it’s properly set up to convert readers into leads or customers.
Attention-Worthy Content Is Geared Toward Search Intent
There’s more to B2B content distribution than SEO. That doesn’t mean it’s not a critical component of any content promotion strategy.
And it’s not just about finding ways to increase organic search traffic. Going through the motions of keyword research and SEO competitive analysis will help you gain a better understanding of what your target audience is searching for.
When you can strike the right balance between SEO and originality while also matching search intent, you’ll have attention-worthy content that makes promotion much easier. Between the long-term SEO benefits you’ll see and the short-term wins you can gain with paid promotion, creating this attention-worthy content will deliver the returns your marketing team needs.
B2B Content Promotion with Channels in Mind
Do you think about content development and promotion as a linear process?
Before the days of content shock, that probably made sense. The process would look something like this. You’d come up with a unique idea for a blog post. You’d do your research and create the content. And you’d blast that link out across as many channels as possible.
If your content covered the attention-worthy basics, you could drive some serious inbound marketing results.
But those days are long gone. So much great content sinks to the depths of the internet after just a few days, never to be seen again.
The best B2B content promotion strategies also adapt to what works for individual channels. Here are a few to keep in mind.
B2B Content Promotion on Twitter
The secret to promoting your content on Twitter is engagement. You can’t expect to fill your timeline with simple links to your own content and watch the impressions and clicks roll in.
The amount of people who see your tweets depends on how many people actually engage with them. Retweets extend reach to more people. Likes keep your content on the feed (and in the cycle of “in case you missed it” tweets).
But without that initial engagement, you could have a few thousand followers and only see 100 or 200 impressions.
This is why things like subject matter expert roundups work so well when distributed on Twitter. You get an opportunity to tag experts in the tweet and earn some baseline of engagement that will help the content spread more easily.
Not every piece of content you create will be a roundup that’s perfect for Twitter distribution. However, it’s a good first step to engaging with your audience more often. And the more you engage, the more effective your content promotion will be.
B2B Content Promotion on LinkedIn
It’s important for your company to have a presence on LinkedIn. And posting daily links to content on your main page is a great way to show visitors what to expect from your brand.
But B2B content promotion on LinkedIn isn’t really about company pages. This is where your employees will really shine.
If you can get your employees to post more on LinkedIn (especially when they’re aligned with your target audience), you might be able to create an in-house content promotion engine.
In 2020, the LinkedIn algorithm is primed for individuals to gain attention. Even for someone with few connections or followers, you can generate more organic reach than on any other social media platform.
The problem is that LinkedIn often buries links to external content. You don’t want to just ask all your employees to share a link to the latest blog post. That might boost numbers a bit, but it’s not as effective as leveraging employees who are consistently engaged on the platform.
Continuously engaging with your target audience on LinkedIn (without spamming links to content) will make it easier to build trust and generate traffic down the road.
B2B Content Promotion Through Paid Advertising
LinkedIn and Facebook ads are the hallmarks of paid B2B content promotion right now.
Marketers in every industry continue to talk about how organic reach is dead. And now, the pay-to-play model has become the norm.
If you have the budget to experiment with PPC advertising, you might be able to gain some quick wins with content promotion.
Targeting effectively is critical (but that’s a topic for another day). But the content you choose to promote is equally important. PPC advertising can get extremely expensive, so you want to make sure the traffic you’re driving is worth it.
This is where insightful content plays best. The attention-worthy content we mentioned earlier (the one titles “How We Increased Blog Traffic by 400% in 5 months with Zero Budget”) would be a good candidate for paid promotion. It’s an actionable blog post that could showcase a marketing agency’s expertise. Compared to less actionable content, that kind of article could lead to real business opportunity.
PPC advertising is just that—advertising. The CTA has to be incredibly valuable. But the content also has to be packaged in an ad that gets your audience excited to click through.
B2B Content Promotion Through Email Newsletters
There’s a reason why email marketing is still a gold standard for B2B content promotion. It works.
The people you get to opt into an email newsletter are the ones you know are most interested in your content. They’ve given you access to their inboxes and it’s up to you to deliver attention-worthy content that’s both valuable to them and strategic for you.
When you use your email lists to promote truly attention-worthy content, you’ll see open rates and clickthrough rates rise higher than you’d ever get by aimlessly blasting links out on social media.
Start Creating the Kind of Content That’s Worth Promoting
Marketers have started to apply the Pareto Principle to the world of content creation and promotion.
They say you should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it.
Be honest—is that really what you’re doing?
For most teams, the situation is flipped. And that’s why generating results with content marketing seems so tough.
No one said creating attention-worthy, channel-specific content would be easy. But when you do, promotion will flow much more naturally.
If you’re ready to start producing content your audience will love and share, find yourself a writer who can get the job done.