Many B2B sales organizations are starting to expand their investment in content marketing to generate new sales leads, whether it's blog posts, infographics, white papers or other informative content to help customers research their options, learn about industry trends, and make more informed purchase decisions. However, as more content gets created, it's inevitable that the usual channels for content distribution are becoming increasingly cluttered. It's not good enough to take an approach of just publishing new content or sharing a new blog post on social media and then waiting for your audience to find it - there's too much stuff out there competing for attention, and your audience might never get a chance to read your great new article unless you actively work to promote and amplify your content marketing.
Fortunately, there are several great tools and techniques that your company can use to help boost your content and get your message in front of the right audience.
Here are a few key ways to expand the reach of your content marketing, boost the audience for your material on social media, and make sure that your efforts are as shareable and as high-impact as possible.
1. Use Scheduling Tools to Maximize Post Performance
It's nowhere near good enough to just put your latest blog post or infographic out there on social media and hope that people will see it - instead, you need to use the latest social media scheduling tools and develop a strategy around how and when to share your content.
For example, tools like Buffer or Hootsuite enable you to schedule your social media posts in advance, then re-share the same content multiple times after publishing. Through this, you can ensure that you're reaching your audience at the best times of day, when they're most active online and your work is therefore more likely to be seen and shared across the various platforms.
You can use a social media management platform like Oktopost to access analytics in order to get an understanding of how well your content is performing in terms of shares, likes and engagement - you can then adjust your social media scheduling accordingly, based on those engagement levels.
2. Use Social Media Ads
Great content used to be able to gather a viral following of its own, but in today's fragmented and cluttered social media landscape, most businesses need to be prepared to "pay to play".
Once you've created a great piece of content and you're ready to share it, you should also be prepared to spend some money on Promoted Tweets, Facebook ads or LinkedIn Sponsored Updates to help expand the reach of your posts. Social media ads should no longer be thought of as a separate entity from content marketing - if your content is intended to help build relationships with customers and generate sales leads, then it's worth spending money to put that content in front of a bigger audience. And with social media advertising getting more targeted and cost-effective than ever, it's a no-brainer to invest some money in social media ad spending to support your content marketing.
Just like Hollywood movie studios spend lots of money on advertising to promote their new movies, every little piece of content will benefit from its own mini-marketing budget to help get it in front of a bigger audience.
3. Use a Content Recommendation Platform
One of the great opportunities of content marketing is that it enables you to speak to niche audiences who are strongly interested in exactly what you're writing about. Take this niche effect to the next level by using a content recommendation platform like Outbrain, which places your content in front of a bigger audience by setting up your article as a recommended link that shows up at the end of relevant content on other sites. This gives you a chance to capture attention from a bigger audience that is already reading about - and interested in - the same topic as your post.
4. Attach a call-to-action with Sniply
It's great to get a bigger audience for your content, but real success comes from inspiring that audience to take action based on what you've shown them. Whether it's asking people to sign up for an email list or request an online demo, your content and social media posts should have a clear call-to-action that inspires people to start the process of becoming buyers.
Sniply is a great tool for this, because it lets you add a unique call-to-action on every link that you share on social media. You can test multiple calls-to-action and see which ones get the best response - Sniply also has great data analytics and testing features.
Social media is more complex than ever before, but with a better understanding of the social media landscape, you can craft a content marketing strategy that works best for your organization. Keep in mind that it's not enough to simply create great content - you also need a plan to expand the reach and boost the audience for that material to maximize your efforts.
Back up your content with social media ads, smart social media management through analytics, and tie it all together with sales-oriented calls-to-action. With the right approach, and with an integrated paid media strategy, your content marketing efforts will generate more leads and boost sales.
Main image via Shutterstock