If you've answered "Yes!" to all of these, congratulations! You’ve taken all the right steps, and you have reason to be proud. Next step, success?
Unfortunately, that's not the reality. Even with the best of SEO strategies guiding your content strategy, and despite your efforts of creating high-quality content, your content is competing in a very tough search engine game. Here’s how to up your game and get your content to make a splash across digital networks.
4Steps to Take Before The Launch of Your Content Campaign
1. Set Your Campaign Goals
Before starting with creating your content, it is important to establish the goal of your content offer, as this will determine the nature of your high-value content offer as well as the supporting content you’ll need to entertain, excite and invite your buyers to engage with your campaign.
You should have a primary goal as well as secondary goals, and these could be linked to Lead Generation, Lead Conversion, Website Traffic and Brand positioning. Ask yourself, where are your buyers in their journey at this point and what is the next step that you want them to take. Are you reaching out to strangers with the goal of converting them to leads, are you nurturing your leads deeper into the marketing funnel, or is your aim to make it easy for those who are ready to buy to take that Big Step.
Remember, whatever goals you have in mind for your campaign, make sure you spell them out as SMART goals, which are:
Specific – ‘More’ is not a number. Attach a number to the leads, conversions or traffic that you want to generate.
Measurable – The great thing about inbound marketing is that results are measurable, so make sure to set goals where performance can be analysed. E.g. Conversion rates on your Calls-to-Action and landing pages, or Likes, Shares and traffic generated by social media posts.
Attainable – Keep in mind that this campaign is only one of many others that you will still run. Set your goals according to what is attainable right now, and leverage your success to spin-off future campaigns.
Realistic – Where setting yourself up for a challenge can inspire you to do great things, unrealistic goals are likely to demotivate you and your team. Take into account the resources and talent that you have at present, and set your goals accordingly.
Time-bound – A goal without a deadline defeats the point, and aiming for ‘some day’ won’t help you to commit to the work involved with getting from point A to point B.
2. Decide on Your Levels of Promotion
There’s no point in labouring away to create high-quality content if it never reaches its target audience. Whatever time you have spent on creating content, you should dedicate yourself to spending the same amount of time on promoting your content.
Label your campaigns internally as basic, enhanced or premium to determine the level of promotional time your content is worth. Consider the following factors:
Relevance – An eBook discussing a highly controversial topic has a higher likelihood of drawing lots of attention RIGHT NOW and, therefore, deserves to royal treatment while it’s hot.
Rarity – Is your content simply redacted from many other sources, or does it give a fresh and unique perspective on a topic? Perhaps there are a lot of search queries on the topic, but not many existing sources supply the need. If your content is unique, fresh, or in demand, your efforts spent on promotion will be well worth your time.
Range – A content offer that delves into the depths of a topic is worthy of a higher promotional level than a checklist or infographic.
3. Have a Networking Brainstorming Session
Now is the time to set your social brain loose! According to the theory of ‘Six Degrees of Separation’, everyone in the world is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. How can you close that gap to get closer to your buyer personas? You may already be closer than you think.
Have a brainstorming session with your team to determine the direct and indirect promotional channels that can lead you to your buyer personas. Directly you already have a number of social media followers, blog subscribers as well as leads that have already shown interest in your brand.
Indirectly you are connected to industry relevant thought leaders that could serve as Reader Personas. These are the folks who are responsible for 60 to 80 per cent of online influence and are therefore very likely to be connected to buyers that have not even become aware of your brand yet.
Here’s how to capitalize on Reader Personas when promoting your content:
Search through your LinkedIn contacts, Twitter lists and think of your friends and existing clients, and compile a list of those who are, a) relevant to your current campaign, and b) have a sizable and engaged social following.
Research your Reader Personas.Look into the type of content that they have shared in the past, and the topics that they have written and commented on. Determine a mutually beneficial promotional agreement. Asking your Reader Personas for a comment or a quote to use in your content offer, or to be interviewed for a blog, would mean mutual exposure.
Reach out to Reader Personas to propose your agreement. Provide them with a draft of your high-value content offer and explain how the agreement would be a win-win situation.
Create content with quotes, comments and reference to your Reader Personas, and supply them with social media and email templates that make it easy for them to share your content.
4. Create a Buzz
Now that you have a promotional strategy in place and the best allies by your side, it’s time to start a buzz as you count down to launch day.
Start a discussion on a relevant LinkedIn group and other social media platforms to gauge the interest of you buyers and keep tabs on the folks who have engaged in the discussion. Once your campaign has launched, it will be easy to share a link of your content offer into a space that’s already buzzing with interest.
If your campaign is launching a premium content offer, such as an annual industry report, you can place a countdown timer on your website to build the tension and invite users to ‘pre-order’ your offer or subscribe for launch notifications.
Ready, Steady, Launch!
HubSpot has created over 2,000 downloadable offers in their lifetime. Through years of experimentation with promoting these offers, they’ve discovered that offers with well-coordinated promotional campaigns generate 72% more leads than offers with no coordinated campaigns tied to them.
The efforts you put into promoting the content that you have taken such care in creating has the potential to skyrocket your campaign’s exposure. Make sure you don’t forget to take these 4 steps before you launch, and the fruits of your labour will be ever so sweet.