Paid content promotion can be an effective tool for lead generation — but is it really worth it?
Paid content promotion has the potential to transform your quality content into a veritable engine for lead generation. In today’s competitive attention economy, organic promotion strategies — such as search engine optimization — tend to lose their reach over time. Paid content promotion on the other hand, can drive traffic to company websites and help them target a narrower, more specific demographic for whom their product or service is especially relevant.
Of course, although targeting can drive sales, it doesn’t mean that paid promotion will automatically yield results. To see an impact that matters, companies will need the right strategy.
Finding a paid content promotion strategy that works
So how do you design an effective paid content promotion strategy? Although there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, there are a few ways to maximize the impact of your content promotion budget.
1. Promote content that already performs well organically
Create synergy between your paid and organic content promotion strategies by boosting well-performing content. If you have a piece of content that is already attracting interest and driving traffic to your site, incorporate it into your paid promotion strategy.
Some platforms, like Facebook, tell you when you have a high-performing posts, making it easy to see which pieces receive above-average engagement. When you promote these posts, you can more effectively increase the reach of your content, attracting new audiences and introducing new prospects through the sales funnel.
2. Figure out your purpose in advance
As with any marketing strategy, know your purpose when you promote certain types of content. This is particularly important when it comes to pay to play platforms where you need to be selective about which pieces to choose.
Maybe you’re trying to grow your appeal among younger consumers, or perhaps you’re trying to push a new software that targets small business owners. Once you know what it is, find or create an outstanding piece of content that clearly supports that purpose.
3. Choose the right platforms for your purpose
When choosing where to promote content, it’s best to think about what platforms your clients are already using, and where you can better connect to a similar customer base. Paid content promotion platforms typically fall into one of two categories. These are:
- Social media advertising and promotion: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all offer pay to play options. These platforms generally let companies pay to have their posts appear on users’ personal feeds with a small label indicating that the content is “sponsored.”
- Content promotion: Other platforms, like Outbrain, let companies share their content on high-quality websites in sections that direct readers to “related content from around the web.” Embedded on influential sites like CNN, The Washington Post, Fast Company and Time, these content promotion platforms can reach a broader demographic than the one attained through social media promotion.
4. Customize your approach for each platform
Your messaging should be tailored to each platform you use, whether you’re focusing on social media, native advertising, search engine ads, or a different platform. Think about the tone of the platform, and how you can most clearly communicate the value of your content in a way that will make users want to learn more. Consider the use of images, graphics, or even gifs to help amplify your message.
5. Optimize your landing page
The goal of paid content promotion is to drive traffic to your site, but what if your site isn’t working the way you want it to? When it comes to increasing conversions, web design is a critical component that is often overlooked. Ask yourself: Is the CTA clear? Is the site easy to navigate? Can I capture more leads by improving my landing page? Once prospects come to your site, you will want them to stay. Optimizing your landing page is an ideal way to do that.
6. Consider gated content
Gated content is content that users can only access if they provide certain information — their email address or their company affiliation for instance. If you’re looking to attract widespread attention to an insightful article or to an annual report, you will want to provide readers with direct access. On the other hand, premium content such as white papers should almost always be gated.
7. Analyze your results
Before you launch your paid content promotion plan, it’s important to have the right analytics tools in place to assess how well that promotion is working over time. Check in regularly, and ask yourself how your paid content compares to other channels (and to your expectations.) Look at how different channels and messages are working. If some are working better than others, see what you can learn from those channels and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Give your strategy time
As with any advertising strategy, make sure you give your paid content promotion strategy time to create an impact. View it as a long-term investment — one that will need to be adjusted and improved as time goes. Make sure to devote the time and effort necessary to fine-tune your strategy. Make adjustments as needed. Begin by investing a little bit of your budget, and experiment with the right approach before upping the ante.
Once you find your stride, paid content promotion can be a powerful tool and a valuable investment that helps your company grow.