The old cliché “Content is King” has never been more true in the digital marketing world. New, fresh, sharable website content not only builds your brand and generates potential leads, but it also keeps your consumers engaged and connected to your brand.
Generating your content is tough, but once you come up with the killer blog post or case study, how do you generate enough blog traffic to let people know about it?
Over the years, the practice of getting new content out to the right people is an art that I have spent a lot of time personally trying to perfect. With technology changing daily and tools coming and going all the time, it is definitely a fluid process.
Below are a few (not all) of the resources I like to use to let the world know that I posted something new….
SEO is possibly the most important tool in making sure your content gets read. Ironically, I am not going to spend a great deal of time talking about it here. It is a topic that warrants its own post, or series of posts, which I will be tackling in the near future.
For the purposes of this post, just know that your content must always be SEO friendly and your sitemap must be submitted to the major search engines. If you use a blogging platform like WordPress or Blogger, there is a number of awesome plug-ins that will assist you in your SEO efforts.
I have found over the years that search engine traffic accounts for the greatest amount of traffic to the blogs that I manage, but is not reliable for instant traffic. A good approach is to look at search as more of a long-term traffic-sustaining solution and social tools as your short-term traffic generators.
Email and RSS Subscriptions:
Ensure your content can be subscribed to via email and RSS updates. Putting a little extra effort into setting this up in the beginning will pay dividends every time you publish new content. Email and RSS subscriptions are usually automated, meaning when you publish something, your subscribers will find out quickly if the content matches the criteria they selected when they subscribed.
Promote your subscription options by calling them out on your website as much as possible. Again, subscribers are a highly targeted audience for your content and content notifications take no effort on your part, so start building that subscriber list!
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn:
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn should all be solid drivers of traffic to your site, providing you post your material properly in each of them. Make sure your tweet and posts tease the material enough to make readers want to click on your link and read your content.
Also, if you are referencing another brand or business in your content, don’t hesitate to @mention them in your Tweet or post. You never know when a brand will notice your material and share it with their followers, exposing your content to an exponentially larger audience.
StumbleUpon is a great tool to drive semi-qualified traffic to your site. Essentially, users select a specific topic that they are interested in reading more about and then they can randomly “stumble” on pages that have been submitted to that category.
I would suggest always submitting your new content to StumbleUpon. I have found that it is a great source of traffic for new posts and old.
I personally have a decent-sized network on Google+, so posting links to my content there has been a solid traffic generator. You may not be in a large amount of users’ circles, but you should still regularly post your content to both your brand page (you should have one!) and your personal profile. Include a note with your submission that is provocative and enticing for the reader to click on the link.
Use hashtags that you think someone may search on and be interested in your content. More and more people are using the Google+ search feature to find new content, so you should take advantage of it.
Snip.it, Scoop.it, Flud.it:
We have seen a bunch of user-generated news sites and apps pop up over the past year or so. They are usually image-rich and laid out in a very visually pleasing way to target the tablet crowd. They are all socially connected and most post directly to a user’s Facebook timeline.
Snip.it, Scoop.it and Flud.it are all ones I like to use and ones that have generated traffic to my site in the past. Each offers a bookmarklet that you can paste into your browser’s bookmark bar with which you can submit a page by clicking on it.
Of course, you will only be successful in submitting content to these networks if you have compelling imagery in your content. The better the image that accompanies your post, the more likely it will catch a user’s eye and make them want to click on your submission.
Speaking of imagery, here it is, the upstart social network that everyone is falling over themselves trying to find a way to incorporate it into their marketing efforts. So you are probably thinking- “I am not a fashion designer, interior decorator or chef. Why should I care about Pinterest?” Easy, Pinterest, at its core, is about sharing images. You can share content on Pinterest and generate traffic to your site if your imagery is compelling enough.
I don’t share every bit of content I generate on Pinterest, but I do share content. I look for items with good images that I think the target Pinterest demo (Women 25-44) might like or find interesting and pin them. I always include a description in my pin that is descriptive, but a bit of a tease to get users to not only look at my pin, but click-through to my site.
Email is still a major component of any digital marketing campaign and good content is hard to come by, so why not reuse your site content for your email blasts?
You can also increase your blog subscriptions by including a call to action button in your email blasts that brings a reader to a subscription form. This is something that has worked very well for me on a number of occasions.
Finally, depending on the nature of your content, you may want to submit your site to news aggregators. Sites like Alltop are great places to drive qualified, interested traffic . These sites essentially segment the RSS feeds of the sites submitted to them by categories. For example, if I submitted my blog to Alltop and categorized it as “marketing,” and they approved the submission, my new content would show up in Alltop’s marketing section.
Build Your Networks
As always in social media, the bigger and more engaged your following is on each of these networks, the more traffic you will receive to your site when you submit a link. You should be constantly connecting on each of these social networks and finding new evangelists or interested readers of your content. Many of the smaller networks listed above have friend import tools that allow you to find your Facebook/Twitter/Google/Email contacts that have profiles on that network. This is a good place to start.
After that, browse the networks and look for posts that contain content similar to yours. Connect with the users that submit similar content. These are the users most likely to care about your content when you submit it.
Let Others Share Your Content
Make sure that wherever you post your content, there are buttons for each of the tools above, so that your readers will be able to submit your content to their social networks. If you use a blogging platform like WordPress or Blogger, there is a number of plug-ins that offer sharing on most of these networks. Many of the networks also have official buttons that are easy to install by just grabbing a quick code snippet and adding it to your site.
Keep an eye on your analytics. Look at where your traffic for each submission is coming from. You will start to see patterns of what is and isn’t working. Embrace the networks that are working and tweak the ones that aren’t. Odds are, you won’t successfully generate traffic from each of these tools immediately, but, much like everything else in digital marketing, it’s all about monitoring and tweaking until each tool works for you the way you’d like it to.
Image Credit: Guudmorning!