Content lagging? Try these promotion tactics

Review and revise your media list, identify your niche, and don’t be averse to starting over from scratch.

Promotion is key to any content marketing strategy. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to spend time, manpower and resources to create excellent content; you must amplify its visibility.

This is where most marketers fall short.

For those with experience in amplifying content, you know sometimes it’s hit or miss. Though it’s not always the marketer’s fault (due to variables like timeliness or breaking-news cycles), here are ways to address a struggling marketing campaign and revive your promotions strategy:

Strengthen your media list  

You’ve developed an idea, gathered research and produced a gripping and educational piece of content. Now you want to share it with your audience.

It’s easy to pigeonhole yourself with tricky expectations of being featured in the Harvard Business Review or The New York Times. Of course, that’s a nice goal, but not all projects are destined for the big leagues. Pitching the inboxes of writers and editors at major publications doesn’t always pan out, so it’s important to broaden your horizons by aiming somewhere that speaks more directly to your target audience.

Using keyword searches or backlink analytics can open an entire database of contacts tailored for the vertical you’re chasing. Buzzsumo is an incredibly helpful tool for list building:

Buzzsumo web content search

Try using keywords or broad themes from your content to discover writers covering these topics online.

This list-building strategy helps you to diversify your outreach audience and find those writers and publications who would be most invested in amplifying your project. If your goal is simply visibility, don’t limit yourself to CNBC or Entrepreneur. Commercial and personal blogs can be a great place to share your content with an audience that will benefit.

Through this process, you may even find auxiliary projects that focus on the same themes as your own. These can be golden nuggets to help you discover other writers and publications that have covered similar content.

Find the niche

When dealing with a struggling campaign, narrow your focus. If you’re promoting research about company culture and employee satisfaction, don’t reach out only to big-name business writers.

Go for the small-business writers or people covering news on minorities in the workplace. Identify the nuances of your own content. Get to know which topics are gaining traction online, and link those stories to your own.

An additional step to work into your pitch is to outline the imagined article for journalists. Make sure these contacts know how and why your project will serve their audience.

It isn’t enough to just pull a few key takeaways from your campaign and throw in a link. Tailor your pitch and explain why this content is a perfect fit for them and beneficial for their readers.

Of course, journalists will always have their own take on your content, but becoming deeply familiar with the niche you’re working in will improve your outreach skills.

Start from scratch

Sometimes, in order to develop a fresh angle on your content, you have to throw your old strategy into the trash.

Now, this doesn’t mean you weren’t on the right track or that your first promotion attempt was a failure. It just means you should look at things from a fresh perspective.

Become reacquainted with your content. Bring in some help; ask your team to identify what stands out. Go online, and read other articles within your vertical. Read comments to understand what your audience wants. Remember your brand’s story.

The headline you’ve envisioned could be holding you back. By diving back into the research, you might find an entirely different angle to make your project the perfect fit for a new journalist.

For example, in working on a project about internet safety, our team fixated on landing placement with a major tech publication. After 25 pitches, we couldn’t seem to find the right fit.

So, we took a closer look. Instead of relying on tech headlines and statistics, we ran with a single finding: “Men are 3x more likely than women to clear their browser history to hide adult or inappropriate material.”

This single statistic resulted in a placement with Playboy.

Sometimes, it’s not the content itself that’s falling short. Refreshing your strategy could mean the difference between a failed project and a major win.

Your content needs a unique voice, and the task of identifying that voice is in the hands of the promotions specialist. Staging your content properly can result in excellent exposure, brand recognition and, sometimes, virality.

Understanding how your content will resonate emotionally and identifying where your insight will be most effective are the keys to reaching your target audience.

Delaney Kline is a growth specialist at Fractl. 


One Response to “Content lagging? Try these promotion tactics”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    The fresh start many companies will need is not only in marketing but will be guided by great PR firms in answering these questions related to the virus and stock market crises.

    .1. OUR REPUTATIONAL ASSET VALUE. How can we show investors our reputational asset value, why it is likely to grow, and how it may give us above-average advantages as the recovery progresses?

    .2. OUR WASHINGTON PERILS. Since some legislators may seek voter favor by looking at the questions of “who was responsible for the market turmoil” and “what laws can help prevent them from doing it again,” it’s important for a company to do public information now—before more questions of who’s to blame are raised in congress—to increase pubic awareness of how the company is a public asset. Congress is much less likely to harm a company if there is widespread knowledge of how it is a public asset.

    .3. OUR WASHINGTON OPPORTUNITIES. Legislators will be willing—even eager—to pass laws that help protect the public against another market turndown, and against continuation of the present one, so what laws can we try to promote that will benefit the public and our company?

    .4. OUR CHALLENGING QUESTIONS. How should we prepare to answer three challenging questions that important segments of the public may ask: (a) Why didn’t you keep on the payroll more employees who have given years of their life to this company—even though top corporate officers continued drawing full pay and expenses? (b) Why didn’t you conserve corporate assets by releasing more employees when it became clear they were at least temporarily no longer needed? (c) Is it true or not true that of all employees thrown off the payroll, a higher-than-average proportion were minority members?

    .5. OUR MARKETING OPPORTUNITY. How can company products be positioned as good to stock up on now in case another downturn comes?

    .6. OUR TRADE RELATIONS. Should we send diploma-like “Certificates of Public Service Excellence”—colorful and suitable for display in store widows and on pharmacy counters—to retailers we supply who served magnificently the public interest during the turmoil when the public urgently needed these public servants?

    .7. OUR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. Because our customers, dealers and investors in foreign countries may have been hit especially hard by our travel and other bans–affecting our NATO allies plus Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Japan,
    South Korea and others–what can we do in American media to show the huge value of these friends to America? Also to promote legislation and consumer responses that benefit our foreign allies?

    “It will end,” public figures keep telling Americans about the health and stock market crises. After each ends, how our companies make out then may depend partly on PR decisions and actions we take now.

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