4 Ways to Think Outside the Box When Promoting Your Content

Posted @ Jan 08 2018 by

So, you’ve got a great piece of content for your site — now what?

Effectively promoting what you’ve produced can be just as important as generating the quality piece of content, itself. Think of it this way. If a journalist is puzzled by your pitch email (or worse, your email subject line), the likelihood of your incredible content piece landing on their site is very small. Whether you have a data campaign, a map graphic, or something wholly unique, it will fall flat if promoted inadequately.

Don’t just send as many pitch emails as possible — instead, be intentional and efficient in your approach. Below you’ll find four ways to reimagine your promotion strategy and get the high domain authority backlinks you want.

Conceptualize a profile of the type of writer who would pick up your piece.

This might sound simple, but the point has more depth than you might expect. It goes without saying that when seeking out potential journalists, you’ll look for those who have previously covered the topic of your content piece. For example, if you’re promoting a map of popular beer styles, you’ll target journalists who have written about beer in the past. With the increasingly nebulous category of “lifestyle writers” who lack specific news beats, however, this tried and true strategy leaves out a significant sample of journalists to pitch. This is where the concept of a writer’s “profile” comes in.

In this strategy, the goal is to imagine what type of writer would pick up your piece, even if they haven’t covered the specific topic already. Continuing with the previous example, you could search for journalists who have written stories about Moscow mules, hangovers, guacamole, and more. The thought process, in this case, is: those who write about trendy topics would likely also be interested in something on beer. The other way to look at this is if a reader were interested in this content piece, what else would they be interested in? With that set of topics in mind, you can continue to target journalists beyond those who have written about your specific content topic.

Below is an example of placement on a high domain authority site (84) using this strategy.

Example of an effective writer profile pitch to Uproxx

Forget topics: seek out journalists who pick up content in the format that you have.

This is especially important for pieces like state-by-state maps, or city/state rankings. Again, with so many writers lacking specific news beats, there are many who seem to cover virtually any topic as long as it’s relevant to their readership in some way. That means that many journalists cover the same type of content formats, such as state-by-state maps, even if the topic of it is something completely new to their portfolio. Luckily, this gives content creators the opportunity to seek out writers based on format rather than topic.

For this strategy, you’ll simply search for writers using queries like “in every state,” “the top state for,” “the top city for,” etc., based off of what type of piece you’re promoting. Of course, this approach can be used for various content formats — just use search terms that make sense for your piece. This method gives you an even broader pool of journalists to target, both based on topic and on content format.

Below is an example of placement with a writer who commonly covers map graphics.

An example of a beat-writer picking up a content campaign

Use Reddit to drive traffic.

In your metaphorical bowl of chowder, backlinks may be the clams, but traffic is your potatoes. Of course, you want both for your site. When promoting your content piece, using social platforms to drive users to your website and to spread brand awareness is valuable.

Specifically, Reddit allows you to target potential site visitors based on their interests. By seeking out subreddits relevant to your topic, accept link submissions, and have a significant subscriber base, you can bring in a targeted group of visitors to your site. What’s more? Google Analytics provides information on users’ referral path down to the subreddit, allowing you to see which of your posts got the most traction.  

Google Analytics shows referral traffic from Reddit content promotion

Most important of all, create content that is pitchable.

Great content promoted well will be successful; mediocre content promoted well will be mediocre. At the end of the day, the success of your promotion efforts only goes as far as the quality of what you’ve created. Most importantly, there’s a difference between what’s interesting and what’s pitchable. The simplest way to discover whether a potential content piece could be an effective SEO campaign is to ask yourself: does this provide a news story?

Consider two campaign ideas. One: a map of the most delayed airports around the holidays. Two: a set of caricature illustrations of every NFL quarterback. The former provides a relevant and interesting take on holiday travel easily translated into a news story. The latter idea could be fun but isn’t likely to provide a journalist with a story. Keeping this in mind can help you avoid creating something cool but ultimately disappointing.

It can be difficult enough to stay creative when trying to produce unique content regularly. Don’t let a lackluster promotion strategy prevent you from getting the payoff your hard work deserves. Think outside the box and earn those backlinks!

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