Mmm, fresh content. Fresh, hot-off-the-press content is to a good marketing strategy what butter is to Paula Deen’s cooking. It makes everything work—you can’t have one without the other.
But here’s a dirty secret: anybody can cook like Paula Deen. My mom can cook like Paula Deen. But my mom doesn’t have a best-selling cookbook. Paula Deen does, because she has solid distribution and a great (Food) Network.
And butter. Lots of butter.
If you’re trying to cook up a tasty new marketing campaign, of course you’re going to need great content. But without a content promotion strategy, your campaign is going to go stale. Top blogger Derek Halpern wrote a few years back about his 80/20 Rule, which states that you should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting what you create. While your organization may have split these roles into “content marketer” and “demand generation manager,” the basic idea still stands. If you drop the ball on content promotion, your eBook/guide/whitepaper/blog post will go stale faster than a French baguette.
Since I want you to be successful, I’m going to give you the secret sauce. Heck, I’ll even provide the ingredients, though how you prepare your content promotion strategy roux is up to you.
Content Promotion Strategy Ingredients
The modern marketing strategy is made up of three media types: owned, earned, and paid. The intersection of each medium is what Altimeter considers converged media. A good content promotion strategy will combine various channels. An obvious example would be amplifying social posts with paid spend. I’ll talk more about converged media later, but for now let’s look at the channels that make up each promotional pillar.
Owned Media is just that—anything that you own. That includes all owned content: your website, landing pages, microsites, blog, and your CRM database.
Email distribution lists
What marketing team worth their salt doesn’t have a newsletter? While it’s not super sexy, email marketing is still effective at driving traffic and content consumption. According to a 2014 Gigaom study, email is considered the “single-most-effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention.” Oh, is that it?
Here at Ceros, we have a weekly newsletter where we offer up the content du jour (shill alert: you should totally subscribe). It’s been a tried-and-true channel for us. However, you need to be careful. Don’t abuse the privilege of sending emails. Keep it to every few days at most to avoid content fatigue.
Lead nurture campaigns
I’ve already made the case for email distribution. Add your fresh content to lead nurture campaigns to stretch its shelf life. Live long and prosper.
Outbound email campaign
While we’re on the email marketing kick, why not distribute your content in outbound emails? The days of cold calling are dead. For that matter, cold emails are pretty lame, too. Spice it up. Instead of begging for a meeting, add some value by giving the prospect memorable content.
On the technical front, it’s becoming more ubiquitous than free breadsticks at Olive Garden, but outbound email software like Sidekick, Tout, or Yesware is what you need to spread content at scale. At Ceros, we’ve found these tools to be a vital part of our marketing tech stack.
Who are the people in your database that are in love with your brand? Make a special designation for these folks, and send them a friendly note whenever you have relevant content they would like. If you’re feeling bold, you can even ask them to share. But remember, no one likes a pushy marketer.
When you publish a new piece, consider adding calls-to-action across your owned properties. Whether it’s on your homepage (except in a jquery slider, because c’mon, it’s 2016… plus they’re bad for SEO and UX), on your blog’s sidebar, header (a la HelloBar), or in the site footer, adding a call-to-action to your latest content can help improve conversions.
Here at Ceros, we use HubSpot for our CTAs. You can create great CTAs on your own using a tool like Canva and a bit of HTML, but the great part about HubSpot is that it allows you to create “smart CTAs” that are changed based on a contact’s list membership or lifecycle. If you convert on our “Free eBook” button a couple of times, you’ll see what I mean.