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Content Marketing Marketing Strategies

7 Little Known Ways To Promote Your Content in 2021

When it comes to your content marketing strategy, creating and publishing the content is not nearly enough. Though, yes, the stats tell us that content marketing generates more leads at a lower cost, or that 61% of shoppers made a purchase after seeing a recommendation on a blog, with the proliferation, your distribution and promote your content strategy becomes key.

Generating sales and building a loyal customer base continue to be one of the biggest content marketing challenges marketers face today. How do you make your content stand out enough to attract customers, then get them to trust you enough to make a sale ultimately?

Suddenly, a simple social media or basic outreach strategy falls short, and launching a website and blog is only the beginning. So when you’re looking for newer, more unique ways to get your content out there, check out these 7 little known strategies to promote your content in 2021.

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7 ways to promote your content in 2021

Repurpose your content at scale

One effective way to see big results from a content marketing strategy is by repurposing content, especially for startups.

You start by creating a high-quality piece that serves as your pillar content. This can be a long-form blog post or video where you discuss a topic at length, often covering sub-topics as you go.

From this one piece of content, you can create multiple, bite-sized content based on its content. Think things like short deep-dive articles, quote graphics, GIFs, infographics, listicles, even memes, or Instagram Stories. 

How to repurpose content using the Content Pyramid model (Image source)

Here’s an example. Say you published a 3,000-word article all about influencer marketing. In this article, you touched on how to create an influencer marketing strategy, find influencers, and manage influencers, among others.

You and your team can repurpose that pillar content by first creating shorter blog posts about those subtopics. Or talk about those subtopics in an informational video. You can turn the data you curated into a shareable infographic. Or make a square graphic with a quote from one of your insights. You might even repurpose this into short Instagram and Facebook videos that highlight your top points.

There are nearly endless ways to generate repurposed content from what you already have. This is a great way to increase the quantity of content you put out without thinking of new angles all the time.

Mention influencers within the content and then reach out to ask them to share it

Chances are you’ve dropped names of industry influencers in your content, using either an insight of theirs or mentioning them as examples that support your content pieces.

If your content offers a valuable mention about them – say, mentioning them as an expert or best example – get in touch with them to share it. As long as they see that what you’ve created benefits them, they’re likely to be willing to post about it.

One way to get in touch is by replying to their newsletters. But you can also mention them on social media or comment on their blog posts or videos. 

Distribute your written content using Quuu Promote

When you’ve put in the effort to create great content, you want that content to reach as many people as possible. And while paid traffic can be effective, sometimes you’ll want to explore new ways to get organic traffic beyond your existing tactics like social media or email. 

Consider using organic sharing tools for this. For example, Quuu Promote is a content sharing tool that lets you promote blog posts to real people who will then share your post to their network.

When you run a promotion, Quuu Promote will help you reach several content marketers and players in your industry. You’ll reach people with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts who are looking to curate high-quality posts on their own feeds.

Turn your employees into influencers. 

In the 2019 Influence by Numbers report, 42% of respondents said they tried a product or service based on an influencer’s recommendation, with 26% actually making a purchase. 

And while there is merit to engaging with influencers in your niche, sometimes you can see great results just by looking in-house.

Employees can make great influencers for your brand, especially if they talk about your company and products in a very organic, authentic way. 90% of consumers trust content containing product recommendations made by other people, but only about 30% trust content made by the brand itself.

Fashion brand and retailer ASOS makes great use of employee advocacy. Their employees have become in-house ambassadors for their newest collections, where real people create and curate looks that others can shop from the brand.

ASOS uses its own employees as their influencers (Image source)

Use chatbots to help distribute your blog posts 

If your subscribers are on Facebook (and they most likely are), you can push new content straight into their Messenger inbox. This is possible with integrations between your blog’s RSS feed and Facebook Messenger, so subscribers can instantly get access whenever you publish a new blog post.

Using Messenger as a content promotion platform can get you up to 80%-90% of open rates, which is far better than the average 20%-30% open rates from email.

You can set up triggers to send a Facebook message with new posts using an RSS feed. (Image source)

While this is a great platform for content marketers to share added value, be sure not to overdo it. Time your Messenger blasts to be far and few in between, and focus on providing value through your blog posts instead of pushing for a sale.

Write guest posts for sites that are part of syndication partnerships to expand the reach 

Many websites are members of either the same media company or are part of a syndication partnership. There can be many ways content syndication is conducted. Sometimes, relevant content is cross-posted from one site to another with minor changes made by editors. 

But most of the time – and most important for you to focus on – syndication involves a big publication releasing your articles that contain related links to your site’s native content.

To up your chances of expanding your reach, create a guest posting strategy that targets sites that take part in syndication partnerships. Some publications are part of a larger group. For example, Blavity, Travel Noire, or 21Ninety belong to Blavity Inc. Or AOL, TechCrunch, and The Huffington Post are owned by Verizon.

The other type of partnership is where publications are independent of each other but agree to syndicate relevant content. Some examples of this:

  • The Muse has a syndication partnership with FastCompany.
  • Growthmarketingconf.com, LeadFuze, and B2C, UpContent have a syndication partnership.

B2C discloses syndicated articles from LeadFuze and vice versa. 

Check a site’s contributor guidelines because they will often contain any information about syndication opportunities. Many sites will list specific partners, while others might not. You might also find a syndication clause on published article pages (as seen above).

Either way, for the best chances of expanding your reach, pitch titles to these sites to get content seen across multiple publications.

Have a documented content promotion plan in a project management system

Last but not least, keep tabs on your content promotion plan in a project management system. Inside this plan are all the strategies and action steps you may want to take, but you should also include information about possible partnerships and outreach.

Use the project management system to track where you are with your campaigns. For example, if you’re pitching titles for publication to different sites, keep track of the sites where you’ve pitched, whether or not you’ve heard back, or the status of your submitted piece.

Your distribution plan may also include any paid media opportunities, such as tracking potential sites for native content advertising or working closely together for branded content or sponsored articles.

Modern problems require out-of-the-box solutions

When it comes to content marketing, the way to get on top requires more than just quality content. While producing valuable content should be at the heart of your strategy, you need strong pillars for publishing, distribution, and promotion to make sure that strategy pays off. Implement some of the tactics listed in this article, keep experimenting, and soon you’ll see your results skyrocket.

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Marketing Strategies Content Marketing

6 Steps to Start a User-Generated Content Campaign for Your Brand

User-generated content (UGC) is a great way to keep posting branded content on your marketing channels while also boosting customers’ perception of your brand.

So how exactly do you start a user-generated content campaign? In this post, we’ll show you why you should consider using more UGC in your next marketing efforts, then show you a step-by-step process to help you plan your own UGC campaign.

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Benefits of Using User-Generated Content

Want to know why you should be using more user-generated content? We’ve compiled a few reasons.

Can increase conversions

This study Reevoo tells us that people consider content created by peers or “people like them” is more influential than any kind of content a brand may create.

Image source: Reevoo

Of course, you shouldn’t consider that finding as a sign to stop creating your own branded content, but instead, consider user-generated content as content that supplements your original content.

For instance, your brand may promise different benefits and features from a particular product or service. But when a user sees that these claims are backed up by reviews or stories from real-life customers like them, then they are more likely to convert.

Makes customers feel part of a community

Another benefit of user-generated content is you’re able to create a community around your brand. By giving users and customers the space to create content around your brand – from your products to your values – you can create deeper ties that will help encourage customers to stick around longer.

In a Community Roundtable report, they found that the majority of brands who try to foster online communities empowers customers “frequently or all of the time” in the following ways: posting questions, delivering solutions, networking, voicing thoughts, getting noticed, and leading.

Steps to Start a User-Generated Content Campaign for Your Brand

Define your goals

Is this UGC campaign going to be an evergreen campaign? Or will it only run for a limited time, e.g. a contest? Depending on the type of campaign you want to run, you can then set campaign-specific goals for each. 

For example, if you want to run a contest to get more user-generated content, then you might set goals for the number of entries you want to get. 

If you want a more evergreen campaign, think about the number of curated posts you want to publish each week or month. This way, you know how often to promote your UGC campaign efforts to encourage users to create and submit branded content.

Say your goal for an evergreen UGC campaign was to curate one fan- or customer-made post per week on Instagram. This goal then informs the rest of your campaign: how will you encourage fans and customers to post to get featured on your feed? How will you collect their posts? How often will you post about your UGC campaign?

Identify your channels

Next, identify any marketing channels you can use to help you implement and promote your campaign.

Here are a few channels you might already have, as well as channels you might consider adding into your marketing mix for a UGC campaign:

Website

Your website can have key areas that let users submit any user-generated content. For example, you can use forms to let users submit links or photos and videos that feature your brand.

If you’re trying to get more UGC for a specific promotional campaign, you might even consider creating a subdomain for the said campaign. Volusion was able to break down the average cost of maintaining a website and domain and found that this can go from $300 to $12,000 a year, depending on the size of the business.

You can always register for a free domain to help you save on cost while still having a dedicated space to curate user-generated content. And if your goal is to start a new content hub for your UGC campaign, then you’ll likely need fewer tools and features to keep it up and running, unlike your main website.

Long-running UGC campaign by OfficeMax called ElfYourself has existed since 2006. Image source: ElfYourself

Email newsletters

You can make the most of your email marketing to reach users for your UGC campaign. Send broadcasts and emails about any new contests or ways they can submit branded content that you might feature.

Update your newsletter templates to include a section on your UGC campaigns, especially if it’s more long-running and evergreen. 

For instance, you can place a Share Your Experience section at the bottom of each email, to encourage customers and users to leave a review about their brand experience. Or create a section that reminds customers to use your brand-specific hashtags when posting about your products.

Image source: Shopify

Social media

You can create social media ads that retarget existing customers to answer a survey or leave feedback or use social media to promote campaigns like contests. 

Social media is also a popular place to post curated content that will help visitors see social proof from real customers and fans.

Influencers

Influencers and thought leaders in your niche are also great channels to help you promote your UGC campaigns and even get more user-generated content in the long run.

Fans and followers feel closer to these influencers when they purchase products and services that they promote, so build relationships with quality influencers whom you know have an engaged following.

Create mechanics for your campaign

You’ll have to iron out exactly how users can contribute content to your campaign, so you can communicate these to them.

Your mechanics for gathering more user-generated content could be a simple brand-hashtag that gives users of the hashtag a chance to be featured, like how Blavity does this on their Instagram. But you might need to put more thought into more complex UGC campaigns, like contests.

Revisit those goals you had for your UGC campaign. This not only helps you craft your mechanics better but may even help you identify creative ways to get more user-generated content into your campaign.

Consider incentivizing users 

Aside from a UGC social media contest with a prize at the end, there are other ways you can offer great incentives and perks for customers who contribute content like reviews, testimonials, or curation-worthy social media posts.

Sometimes the chance to be featured on your marketing channels is incentive enough for some people, but it doesn’t hurt to get creative and really rake in more engaged users.

Offer a discount code for users who successfully complete a survey that will help you inform your next content marketing strategy. Send free gifts to users who often create social media content featuring your products.

Want to use your existing customers as a case study or success story? Invite them for an interview and give them gifts at the end.

In a campaign by Thrive Themes, for example, they invited some of their active members to become case studies that they would later turn into video content and blog posts to promote their products.

As a big incentive for participating and completing the case study process, they offered users a free lifetime membership for their existing product suite.

Display CTAs on major brand touchpoints

Be sure to display call-to-actions across major brand touchpoints where you’d want to generate more UGC.

One simple application of this can be leaving a CTA on your social media posts and bios asking people to either tag you or use your brand-specific hashtag for a chance to be curated on your feed.

If you sell products on an eCommerce store, add a Leave a Review section on your product pages, and be sure to have the same CTA in any Order Update emails you might send.

In the example below, we also see a unique way that a company encourages users to leave reviews on their website to help make their content more valuable.

Image source: coschedule

This is a fantastic way for them to give readers and users the chance to rate their own experiences to their product.

Keep it legal

Last but not least, be sure to read up on any regulations that may limit or affect your user-generated content campaigns. 

Curate content responsibly and respect other people’s privacy. For example, if a user has a private account on Instagram – and even if you’re following them – and they post a product photo you want to curate, it’s best to ask for their consent to repost their photo.

While we can assume that people who publicly tag our social media accounts and use our brand-specific hashtags generally consent to our brands reposting their content, the same isn’t true for users on a private account.

If you also have contests or campaigns that require people to submit content that you may later use in promotional content, be sure to highlight these terms where users can see. 

Create a separate Terms and Conditions page, or list down any disclosures at the bottom of submission forms.

Image Source: FreePrivacyPolicy

 

Additional Tips for a Successful UGC Campaign

Here are a few extra tips to help you execute a successful UGC campaign for your brand:

Make it easy for your customers to contribute

If you’re relying on customers and users to create content for you – from simple reviews to even bigger projects like fan-made videos – then you’ll want to make things as easy as possible for them.

Make sure your mechanics are clear and simple and don’t take too much effort to understand. 

Also, use tools that will help you streamline and monitor your user-generated content easier. Use customer review software to help you collect and manage customers leaving feedback about your products and services, and make the most of your social media analytics dashboards to track branded hashtags and ongoing contests.

Give credit where credit is due

A good rule of thumb when curating or sharing user-generated content is always giving credit where credit is due. After all, your users and customers own their content – you’re simply reposting or sharing them.

Tag users in their own photos and videos. Make it clear that these content pieces were originally created by somebody else.

One good practice is also to always ask for permission before using UGC for major brand collateral, i.e. a website header or paid commercial. In these cases, you will need to compensate users for their content because you’d be doing more than simple curation.

Also, if a user requests your page to take down their content, then promptly honour that request. 

Take negative reviews as an opportunity

Sometimes in your UGC campaign, you might solicit negative reviews and feedback from unhappy customers.

This actually becomes a good opportunity for your brand to do some outreach and deliver exceptional customer service that will change their brand perception.

A Salesforce report tells us that 62% of surveyed customers will share a negative brand experience with others – so if you aren’t manoeuvring to fix bad experiences, you might just be getting bad press.

By actively soliciting user-generated content, you’re able to encourage users to leave reviews and offer feedback. These are valuable insights: customers are essentially telling you what they love and don’t love about your brand.

Be sure to mitigate negative reviews by reaching out individually to these customers, so you can begin the process of turning their negative experience into a small moment and not a lasting impression.

Wrap up

User-generated content campaigns help you deliver better brand experiences for existing customers while inviting new users to be part of the community you’ve built. Follow the steps above to help you plan out your own campaign, and soon you’ll start seeing the social proof and new content to curate for your brand and business.