Traditional in-your-face marketing tactics have started diminishing. Brands are now publishing content and shifting towards building their own digital media properties.
Nobody can deny the effectiveness of content marketing.
As per Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62 percent less and generates roughly three times as many leads as traditional marketing.
It’s nothing new, though. Brands have been using stories to attract and retain customers for centuries now.
Custom publishing was found in cave paintings as early as 4200 BC.
Right now, the barrier to start publishing is low for brands.
You only need to install WordPress and set up your social media accounts to get started.
But, starting a blog and publishing content will not attract your audience by itself.
Just look at the massive number of blog posts published every day.
Here is a snapshot from Worldometers at the time I’m publishing this post.
Jayson DeMers, founder of Audience Bloom, puts it aptly
The real value of content marketing is in the distribution.
You can’t just publish and pray for your target audience to visit your website.
You need to invite the people who will like your content to your website.
So, where are they available?
You’ll find them hanging around in niche communities on social media platforms and forums.
Let’s drill into 16 distribution strategies on various platforms and look at the best practices for driving traffic from them.
Want to drive hordes of traffic to your blog? Then download this 16 content distribution tactics cheat sheet.
1. Repurpose your post in an infographic or a short video post
You can appeal to your audience’s visual learning skills by publishing infographics and short videos.
Let us have a look at both of them.
They are also great link bait.
Example – Buffer used an infographic from Post Rocket in their article on Facebook’s organic reach. And, they linked contextually to Post Rocket from within the post.
Repurposing your post into an infographic is simple.
- Just write the key points from your article. Then use a drag and drop tool like Infogram or Piktochart.
- Ensure that the infographic fits your brand’s style and blog’s design.
- If you’re ready to spend around 500$, you can also hire a designer from Dribbble.
- Next comes the important part – distribution. You can submit your infographic to some of the following infographic directories.
Here are 100+ other infographic submission websites.
Be careful though.
Don’t republish your infographic on too many low-quality websites.
Adam Connell from Blogging Wizard took an interesting approach. He saw that an expert roundup post was doing well on his blog.
Seeing the popularity of the post, Adam approached TweakYourBiz about republishing the post.
What’s awesome is that he managed to strike a collaboration with 24Slides to repurpose his blog post as an infographic (free).
The repurposed version managed to get 22,000 visitors and 2000+ shares.
There are no rules when it comes infographic marketing.
2. Videos – 100 million internet users watch online video everyday.
Mobile users LOVE video.
Have a look at the mobile statistics shared officially by YouTube (the world’s second biggest search engine).
You can take advantage of this video revolution by repurposing your posts into videos and adding a call-to-action at the end of your videos to get visitors back to your website.
Look at Entrepreneur.com.
They publish Weekly Tips Roundup videos with their contributors.
These are mostly short video interviews with the authors of their top performing posts.
Here is a 1-minute video roundup by Entrepreneur that threw light on 3 of their posts from the week. The video got 3000+ views.
Read this post to get started with repurposing your blog post into a video.
2. Send the article to your email list
Email is a personal medium. People sharing their emails with you have ignited a relationship.
It’s little wonder that for acquiring new customers:
Email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined.
At NeilPatel.com, my traffic from email is engaged and consistent.
Email subscribers are the first to engage with your content and trigger social media sharing.
So, if you aren’t already, then start building an email list now.
You can send a weekly email newsletter to your list like Entrepreneur Magazine does.
Or send them an update for every new post (like I do).
Some people don’t like leaving their emails. So, they consume content in their inbox.
Leo Babauta from Zenhabits deeply understands his audience. Since his subscribers like reading in their email, he sends them his complete blog posts to them in the body of each email.
You can also repurpose your popular blog posts into an email course.
They received 18,185 signups and close to a 60% open rate.
3. Get 2000+ Page Views from SlideShare
SlideShare is the biggest website for creating presentations and an underused platform by marketers.
It gets 50+ million unique visitors every month.
The SlideShare team promotes good presentations themselves. They do this on their social media accounts and their homepage.
Here are steps to get started with SlideShare.
Step 1 – Create slides summarizing key points from your blog post. Work extra hard on the design.
Step 2 – SEO rules apply.
Use keywords in the title and description strategically. Targeting long-tail keywords in slides has particularly been found to do well (even in Google).
Step 3 – Promote the SlideShare presentation through your social media accounts. And, embed it in your blog post as well.
Step 4 (Optional) – If it’s a relevant presentation displaying your work experience, you can also add it to your LinkedIn profile summary.
They appear as clickable links on your profile.
Finally, follow SlideShare’s guidelines to increase your chances of getting noticed.
Getting on Slideshare’s homepage can get you 2000+ page views.
Here is the type of content that particularly works well on SlideShare.
Read Gregory Ciotti’s detailed case study on how he managed to get 10,000+ views on his slides.
4. Get on BuzzFeed’s first page
BuzzFeed gets 170 million monthly page views.
And 50% of its traffic is from the age bracket of 18-34.
And, it’s easier than you think. BuzzFeed has a community section where it publishes crowdsourced stories from users.
The best part is that BuzzFeed pushes the good stories from the community. It promotes the stories through its social media accounts and puts them on the homepage.
Just make sure you tick the “Suggest For Community Feature” before publishing your post. You can submit 1 post/day with the request to get featured.
But can this BuzzFeed community publishing feature help your brand?
Companies like HarperCollins used it as a part of their marketing strategy.
The most awesome example is of Matthew Barby.
He generated 10,000 page views and a few subscribers to his blog by getting his story on BuzzFeed’s front page.
His post got picked up from the community section and received extra promotion from BuzzFeed.
First, on the community front page.
Then, on the category front page.
And finally on the BuzzFeed homepage.
Matthew got 146,000 Page Views on his BuzzFeed article.
Don’t expect that just publishing a high-quality story will get you on the BuzzFeed homepage.
Here are tips from Matthew Barby to increase your chances of getting on the home page.
1. Don’t make it too promotional.
2. As your post passes the moderation stage, try to increase the traffic that your post receives from social media (and thereby your BuzzFeed’s social lift score).
Matthew used paid promotion on Reddit, Stumbleupon, Facebook and Twitter to increase his social lift.
3. You’ll want to treat this like a blog post. So, reach out to influencers and BuzzFeed users telling them about your post. This’ll increase the activity on your post.
Here is the outreach email Matthew used.
- Basic SEO rules apply: So don’t link irrelevantly or use keyword rich anchor texts.
- Don’t use images with copyright issues.
- Lists are the most successful on BuzzFeed.
5. Get thousands of pageviews from Reddit
Reddit is a gigantic online forum boasting an impressive Alexa rank – 30.
It is a gold mine for driving traffic to your website, but you need to be careful.
Reddit users hate spammers…
They don’t seem to have much use for internet marketers in general.
Stratupbros puts it aptly.
Confused if Reddit is your thing?
Maybe these results will give you a confidence boost.
Travis got 625 signups in 9 days for his brand new product. He also got 1,104 clicks from 3 reddit posts.
Further his average daily blog traffic also increased by 5 times (from 20-40 visitors before the AMA to 120-150 visitors after).
Inspired to distribute your post on reddit?
If you are using Reddit for the first time, I would recommend you to go through my detailed Reddit Marketing guide.
Further, here are some expert tips to maximize your Reddit marketing success.
You need a nice looking Reddit profile before starting to post content. Here are some things you can do to build a decent one.
Before posting, have a look at the kind of content that has performed well in your target sub-reddits.
Here are some content types that perform well as per Spencer Haws.
John Smith advises you on not going after the bigger sub-reddits. Many marketers already target them.
The titles for your reddit posts should be informative and long (300 characters is the maximum limit). Including numbers in the title will also help.
Here are some examples.
Don’t post at the peak hours, since the older submissions will occupy the top places at that time.
Use this subreddit traffic analysis tool to ensure you post at the right time.
An upvote will usually get you 2-5 visitors, as per Spencer.
Here is the anatomy of a reddit post that can get you 10,000 page views.
Post your content in relevant sub-reddits organically (not all at once).
And, get a few initial upvotes from your friends on social networks. Or, you could buy upvotes from Fiverr (be careful in choosing your upvote provider).
Here is Greg’s reddit post.
Spencer Haws managed to get a PA 48 backlink from Reddit. He lays down the process.
Want to take a shortcut and go blackhat? Then buy old reddit accounts with good karma by doing this simple google search.
If you are still having some doubts on Reddit Marketing, watch this amazing step-by-step explanation by Lazy Ass Stoner.
6. Hangout on Quora, have fun and build your audience
It’s highly likely that you have found an Oliver Emberton article floating in your Facebook or Twitter feed.
Oliver’s most popular article – life is game, has been shared a whooping 644,000+ times on social media.
But, did you know that until September 11th 2012:
Oliver was kind of a nobody.
His claim to fame was this Quora answer.
What good can a viral answer with 15.3k upvotes on Quora do?
Well, it can get you a book deal.
All of this, within 5 days.
Oliver launched his blog soon after. But his massive following on Quora was still his major audience (in his initial period of blogging).
Here are Oliver’s blogging strategies that earned him 4 million views in the first year.
Do watch Oliver’s interview in which he breaks down getting 4.93 Million Quora views.
7. LinkedIn – A goto distribution platform for B2B marketers
94% of B2B marketers distribute content on LinkedIn.
But, where do you start?
A powerful way to grow your traffic from the platform is by leveraging the LinkedIn publishing platform.
Matthew Woodward repurposed his popular blog post into a 1000 words LinkedIn post.
The article fared well on LinkedIn.
The standout aspect is that staggering 76.15% conversion rate.
What are the strategies that can help you achieve similar success?
Here are some tips from LinkedIn publishing expert Brain Lang.
Ready to get started with LinkedIn publishing?
Then follow these steps by HubSpot.
You can also lookout for non-spammy and engaged LinkedIn groups.
Start discussions on your content pieces there. I regularly start discussions on many LinkedIn groups.
If you can afford to spend more time, then start your own LinkedIn group using tips from Content Marketing Institute.
8. Offer your post as a podcast to reach a new audience
This renaissance has led to 26% of marketers planning to increasing their podcasting activities.
But, only 10% use it right now, so your window of opportunity is wide open.
A huge benefit of podcasting is that your consumers often become regular listeners.
Social Media Examiner offers both an audio and text version of at least one blog post every week.
Feel inspired to launch your podcast?
You can get started by repurposing your most successful blog posts.
- Offer extra value and insights on your post in the podcast episode.
- Make your blog post’s tone more relaxed and conversational.
- Then, hire a voiceover from Fiverr to publish your first podcast episode.
- Or, if you want to record it yourself use a free software like Audacity.
- Then distribute your podcast on the following directories.
Your readers can now listen to your blog posts on the go.
For more insights:
You can read the detailed how to start a podcast guide by Pat Flynn (with 6 video tutorials).
9. Get your post published at Huffington Post
Don’t get scared.
Getting published on the biggest blog in the world is easier than you think.
You know people have been published at Huff Po by pitching Arianna Huffington directly.
- You can start with the Huffington Post’s blog pitch form. Don’t get your hopes too high with this approach though.
- A better way is by directly emailing section editors listed on the about page. Here is a handy Huff Po section wise email directory you can use.
- You can also get in touch with Huff Po accounts on Twitter.
- There are more chances of republishing your post if it has already gained traction on social media.
- Lists and curiosity invoking headlines have more chances of getting accepted.
10. Draw visual readers from Pinterest
Posting a single graphic can get you thousands of engaged visitors from Pinterest.
If you’re a lifestyle brand (fashion, home design and crafts), then Pinterest is a goldmine.
Here are tips from Boost Blog Traffic to get started with building your following on Pinterest.
To increase your chances of success, let’s explore more specific advice.
- Make sure you direct Pinterest users back to your website by keying the source URL in your pin descriptions.
If pins from your website get considerable repins, than they get pushed into the main Pinterest feed.
- The mobile traffic on Pinterest is high. So optimize images for both – mobile and desktop.
- Add a “Pin it” button on your website to trigger sharing.
- Pin between 2-4 PM or 8 PM – 1 AM for maximum repins.
- Use taller images to get more repins.
Pro Tip: Vertical images can take a lot of real estate inside your blog posts.
Save space by inserting a 1 pixel (width and height) image in your post after your feature image.
Watch the video tutorial by Buffer in for more tips.
- Create your Pinterest board like social media blogger Kim Garst. She regularly pins her blog posts and gets great engagement.
- You can also feature your blog writers, like The Next Web.
Wish Pond explains how featuring your writers improves your relationship with your audience.
- Conduct a Pinterest Contest. It can increase your website traffic by 167%.
11. Increase social engagement from Twitter
Twitter is an oldie in the marketing game, but remains very effective (given its 100 million daily active users).
Here is an overview.
- Shorter tweets under 110 characters get more 17% higher engagement.
- Use 1 or 2 hashtags to improve the reach of your tweets
- Send 1 to 4 tweets in a day.
- Infographics receive special love on Twitter
- Tweets with links get 86% more clicks.
- Here is Andrew McCauley’s action plan to triple your traffic from Twitter.
- If you’re a fan of automation, you’ll like watching this video tutorial on increasing your Twitter followers by 1,048 and referral traffic by 159%.
12. Invite Facebook’s 968 million daily active users to your website
You can’t ignore Facebook either. It drives 25% of the overall traffic to websites.
Another awesome tip by Jon is to exclude the people who’ve already read your post from the Ad (it’s a waste to show them your post again).
In case you need more help, here is a guide by Post Planner on driving traffic using Facebook.
13. Reach out to influencers and people you mention in your post
I include 100+ links in every blog post at NeilPatel.com.
Nonetheless, after publishing a post, I reach out to everyone I’ve linked.
Many of them share my post on their social media accounts and increase my post’s reach.
I recommend that you to do the same.
You can use a tool like Buzzstream to take your outreach to the next level.
Watch a video review of the tool by Authority Hacker.
Another handy outreach tool is Onalytica. It’ll give you a list of influencers based on the theme of your content.
14. Submit your post on niche content submission communities
We talked about distributing your content on Reddit – the biggest community on the internet.
You can also submit your content on niche forums and communities. The benefit is that you get more targeted traffic.
- Make sure the community has an engaged audience.
- Don’t just drop your link. Add a description and how your content adds value to the community.
- Don’t just promote your own content. Engage with the community, discussing the industry subjects you find interesting.
- Play by the rules of the community. Otherwise, the moderators might ban you.
Here are a couple of communities for internet marketers and small businesses:
Inbound.org – It’s labeled as the smartest inbound marketing community online and it sure has a great audience.
Have a look at Dharmesh Shah’s Ask Me Anything on growing a startup with inbound marketing.
It has 238 upvotes and 28688 views till date.
Read Inbound’s official guide before posting your content here.
You can learn more from this analysis of 1300 Inbound.org submissions.
By submitting high-quality content, you can even appear in the Biz Sugar Top 10 newsletter.
Engage with others, besides submitting content and you can win a mention as the “Contributor of the week.”
Watch this introduction to Biz Sugar by Illena Smith to get started.
You’ll find some more content submission websites in this article by Shareaholic.
15. Build traffic from non-English blogs
You can take a similar route.
Or, level up the strategy and pitch non-English blogs for republishing your high-quality blog posts.
There are fewer people battling in such niche language markets. So, the chances of your story getting accepted for publication are high.
It’s best to approach blogs in the non-English language that you are proficient in.
Search using the local google domain for the country.
I found this list article when I searched for “the top marketing blogs in France.”
Getting published at these non-English niche blogs will expose your brand to a completely new audience.
16. Add a print button to every blog post
If not, you can always offer your post summary.
Or, you might offer your full post in a printable format.
It’s a way to telling your audience that your content has offline value.
They get an opportunity to refer your content later. They might even share your article sheets with their office colleagues.
Would you not like that kind of exposure?
I thought so.
Then install a plugin like WP-Print and make people feel more connected to your content.
Don’t limit your content marketing efforts to simply hitting the publish button and pushing your content on a couple of social media platforms.
A measly 21% of B2B and 23% of B2C marketers believe that they are successfully tracking the ROI of their content marketing campaigns.
Take the smarter route. Start with distributing your content by using a couple of the strategies I shared in this post.
Use Google Analytics referral section to find out your page views, session durations and conversions from different channels.
You’ll begin to figure out the distribution platforms and strategies that are working for you. Then, invest more time on those channels and start creating the kind of content that gives you a great ROI.
What are your favourite content distribution platforms? Do you use free, paid or an integrated strategy for increasing the reach of your post?