Informative, creative, and adapted to the users’ needs: that’s how all advertising should be. But in reality, it’s a different story. People have grown sick and tired of traditional marketing methods, having developed the ability to ignore even the most aggressive forms of advertising. The solution: offer the customer information and high-quality content in order to transform them from a reader...
'Let’s do content marketing!' is something you often here in marketing departments. The thing with content marketing is that you can’t just 'do it', good content requires strategic planning and many articles that help build up the company’s reputation over time and entice demanding readers. Just because a company has decided to run a blog or produce video tutorials, it does not necessarily lead to effective content marketing. The magic word here is content promotion.
Research, produce, publish
When it comes to content marketing, a lot of work needs to go into research, production, and publishing content, even more so than strategy planning. But strictly speaking, the main part of the work begins once you have published an article or video.
If you click on 'Publish', then sit back and relax, you will quickly notice that not much is happening. This is because content promotion and content marketing seeding are essential for reaching potential customers and making sure they see your content. Almost every company is now based on content marketing, but only those that get ahead of their competition and grab readers’ attention, will be successful. Even if your content is high-quality with added value, readers won’t just come by themselves – effective and successful content marketing needs the right content marketing promotion.
You need to define concrete goals before you start promoting content. How successful a content marketing campaign is, depends on the goals you set – whether you want to increase your reach, increase brand awareness, create qualified leads, gain in newsletter subscribers, or win over more followers on social media. Only those who define their goals can properly measure the success of their campaign.
How does content promotion work?
Content promotion generally happens via paid and owned media. Paid media is when editorial content is distributed in exchange for money. Owned media is when content is published via its own channels and platforms. These channels usually include blogs, newsletters, and various social media channels.
In addition to paid and owned media, there is a third media form: so-called earned media, also known as 'free media'. Using earned media is the task of content outreach. In outreach, the aim is to place editorial content on third-party sites for free: in the form of guest articles, interviews, or other editorial reporting.
The forms can also be mixed – one of the best-known combinations is earned and paid media. Native advertising and advertorials belong to this genre.
In the content marketing sector, marketers are speaking less about owned, earned, and paid media, and more about owned, earned, and paid content.
Published on its own website, blog, newsletter, social media channels, podcasts
Publications in papers, magazines, blogs
Content distribution through online advertising, ads, and banners
Earned + paid content = native advertising
Paid publications in online media, mixture of editorial content and advertisement, usually identified as such
Why paid content promotion is important
Using your own channels is a sensible start when it comes to content promotion. But it is difficult to increase your range through owned media alone. Via social media channels or the newsletter mailing list, you can only reach people who have already had contact with the company. If you want to reach potential new customers, you should consider content promotion via paid media.
The problem with content promotion via earned media is that you have little influence on coverage. Of course, earned media contributions have a great deal of acceptance and credibility, but the company only profits when the contributions are positive. The company doesn’t have much influence over what users write. Outreach efforts are characterized by a certain unpredictability and often a lack of scalability.
Paid content, on the other hand, has the advantage that tools and platforms allow calculation. Budget and audience targeting are adaptable and customizable. In addition to the above-mentioned advertorials, which can be attributed to native advertising, there are several platforms and tools that are suitable for distributing paid content. Below, we introduce you to paid content promotion via Facebook, Google services, and via special platforms.
Content promotion with Facebook
The Facebook fan page is an important communication tool for many companies and is part of the owned media sector. But aside from your own Facebook page, where blog articles and news can be shared with fans, Facebook also offers the possibility of paid content promotion with Facebook ads. Considering the enormous reach, the investment is definitely worth it.
Users can find Facebook ads in the right-hand column, as well as directly in the news feed. For content marketing promotion, it’s recommended to place sponsored ads in the news feed and promote the content there. Ads on the right side are usually less accepted by the user – they see them as normal ads and just ignore them.
Via the advertising manager, Facebook advertisers offer various options for group targeting: by location, demographic data, interests, and connections. In this article we explain how to create a Facebook ad.
Promotion via special platforms and services
Everyone has already seen the small ads at the end of news articles or on the right-hand side next to editorial content. These are suggested articles, which the user could find interesting based on the title. Behind these are special platforms that specialize in paid content promotion and content marketing seeding.
The content promotion platforms usually cooperate with very well-known publishers. These 'premium ads' give you a great advantage on the market. While display networks mainly offer advertising inventory on smaller, lesser-known sites, promotion platforms work with popular websites. Popular platforms in the USA include plista, Outbrain, and Buzzsumo.
plista offers a variety of advertising formats. Recommendation formats are relevant for content marketing promotion. These are text-image recommendation ads and content recommendations in the editorial sector, which can also be combined with video and audio ads. In addition, there are so-called indeed formats, in which plista integrates the text and video ads directly into the feeds of the publisher pages. Interactive special formats and mobile formats can also be booked through the provider. More information is available on the plista website.
plista’s algorithms enable behavioral targeting, semantic targeting, and geo targeting, among other things. Billing is dependent on CPC (cost per click).
When it comes to Outbrain, content promotion takes place via the distribution platform 'Outbrain Amplify'. There are, however, specific guidelines for published content, which take 'entertainment value and informational value' into account, according to their own statements. You can find more about this in the official guidelines. The most popular companies that Outbrain works with include CNN, US Weekly, and The Guardian. Billing is dependent on the number of clicks.
BuzzSumo enables users to work out which content is having the desired effect. You can also find influencers in your topic area as well as comparing your content performance with that of your competition. Publishers and brands using BuzzSumo include Yahoo!, National Geographic, Expedia, and The Telegraph. There is a 14-day free trial of all packages on offer. There’s a package to suit everyone; from bloggers and small teams, to big brands and large teams.
Content marketing promotion using Google tools
Several Google tools are also available for paid content promotion, such as Google AdWords and Google Display Network (GDN) advertising. Ads in Google search would have to be posted for informational keywords regarding content promotion – according to studies, clicks on certain keywords are quite low. Google Display Network text ads are more promising. GDN enables targeting by topic, interest, contexts, and other criteria; the tool also shows many ways of optimizing campaigns, which other providers do not offer.
If you want to be successful at content marketing, you need to create high-quality content. You also need to know how to make your content reach the reader, how to push the relevant channels, and how to reach the right groups. It’s worth taking advantage of paid content, except when it comes to owned and earned media. Marketing content basically works the same way as a product or service – you advertise it – and that is the main idea behind paid content promotion.