There are almost limitless outlets for you to share your content, but that doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. Part of your strategy will be choosing the right channels for your business. An insurance company doesn’t really need to be on Instagram, for instance. Spending time where your audience isn’t is a waste of your valuable time.

Owned

These outlets are those that you “own” and manage yourself to provide value to prospective and current customers.

  • Website: All promotion leads here, the home base for your content. As you build your blog, be sure to categorize posts properly and create internal links where possible to keep people on your website discovering more useful information. Make your resources easy to find and be sure to include plenty of CTAs to help convert visitors into subscribers and leads. Also in today’s day and age, it’s critical that your website is optimized for mobile.
  • Blog: Housed on your website, the blog posts you write and publish help drive organic, inbound traffic. Include clear headlines, quality images, social-sharing links, and CTAs, and follow other best practices we’ve outlined earlier in this guide.
  • Email Database: One of the most important outlets you have is your email list. These are the people who have expressed an interest in hearing from you by signing up to receive updates from your blog, or by exchanging their information for one of your lead magnets. The best way to nurture an email lead database is by sending them timely and interesting content relevant to their buyer persona, mapped where the leads are in their buyer’s journey.
  • Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter): Make sure content is tailored to each social media channel you use, as formatting will be different across each platform. For instance, hashtags don’t work as well on Facebook and LinkedIn as they do on Twitter and Instagram. Post daily (at least during the week), and don’t make it all about you. Keep things relevant to your business, but share industry news, retweet thought leaders, and follow the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of your posts should be informative, educational, or entertaining, while only 20% should be directly selling to the audience. Look at your Twitter account as being a resource for people interested in your industry.

 

Earned

These are channels through which you get exposure via word-of-mouth, as a recognition of your work. You can facilitate earned media or earn it organically.

  • Press: Whether you have a public relations person helping you or the press comes naturally, press is an earned channel of promotion. Make the most out of it and share the press mention on your website and on social media. If you get an influx of new followers on a certain platform from press, acknowledge the new audience and take a moment to introduce your company and what you do in a post.
  • Email and Social Outreach: To get others to promote your content, especially in the beginning stages, you’ll need to reach out to them directly. Compile a list of influencers in your industry, including writers for publications your buyer persona reads—they are more likely than the publication itself to share outside work. Don’t just spam a bunch of people at once, however. Make your message personal, whether it’s via email or on Twitter, and explain why you think that person and their audience might find your article useful. This shows that you know who they are and what they do, rather than just blindly cold-emailing people, and that you want to provide value to their followers.
  • Customer Reviews: Don’t be afraid to ask happy customers to write your business a review, as reviews are very important to help build credibility. For agencies and service businesses, Clutch.co is a very popular website to use. You can also ask clients to leave reviews on Facebook and Google+, which not only builds credibility, but help with discoverability as well.
  • Speaking at Conferences: Identify relevant conferences and contact the organizers to arrange speaking engagements. This positions you as a thought leader in your industry and gets your name, and your company’s name, promoted in conference materials and press.

Paid

Channels that cost money to promote content and amplify its exposure.

 

  • Paid Social: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Adwords are the most popular paid social channels used by brands. It’s very important that you pay close attention to the platform choices you make; for example, LinkedIn is the strongest for targeting B2B prospects. You also need to choose your targets very carefully, and this is where your buyer persona will come in very handy, as social networks allow you to target based on specific criteria like job title, age range, income, and more. Craft thought-provoking advertising copy and invest in design to break through the noise and get your prospects’ attention.
  • Paid Search: Adwords is the biggest and pretty much the only paid search platform worth mentioning. Google holds about 75% of the global search market share, so unless you’ve got a major ad budget, it’s best to focus your efforts on Google before expanding to Bing and Yahoo. Paid search is one of the most expensive paid channels, but also one of the best for capturing high-intent prospects who are in-market for specific products and services, since they’re actively searching for potential solutions to their problems.
  • Sponsored Placement: Contact popular blogs and influencers in your industry to promote one of your thought leadership pieces to their readers (via sponsored post, ebook, webinar, etc). This doesn’t always come cheap, so have a budget in mind and look on their website for a media kit or information about whether they actually accept sponsored content.