You've done it. You've carefully crafted long-form content that blends wit and humor with information and style. You can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to read this thing of beauty, and you know this is going to be very useful to many of your readers. The content sells itself, you think.
Not quite. You need to help get the word out about your long-form content in order to really attract a strong following. You may have a few loyal followers so you need to be encouraging them to share as well. They probably have friends with similar interests who would also be interested in what your writing.
The bottom line is that your fan base will never really grow to the size you want without giving your content some good publicity, but with so many platforms and ways to share, how do you know where to even begin? Follow these easy to steps to use social media to market your content and you'll be on your way to building a bigger community of followers in no time, giving your content the attention it deserves.
Look for a Few Good Keywords
As with every post, you should have about five keywords that will help with SEO. You know this already, and you've already embedded them in your content, links page title and meta description for good measure, but did you know that social media needs these keywords too?
When using Twitter or Facebook to post the link, be sure to include keywords as hashtags. Your brand should at least be one of the hashtags. Your article's main topic and maybe one or two subtopics should be the others, if you have room. Remember not to crowd your tweets and posts with hashtags.
Above all, don't pack your content with keywords, often referred to as stuffing. Readers can tell when a phrase is being used over and over. If they don't know much about keywords, they might think it's just poor writing on your part and stop reading. If they're keyword savvy, they might be put off by what you're doing and close the page anyway. Either one results in a loss of readership for you.
Use Images When Appropriate
When scrolling through their newsfeeds, social media users usually gloss over most of the text. Sure, they read some posts from friends and family, but for companies, sometimes they just scan the post quickly and move on. Your goal is to get them to stop and pay attention to your post, enticing them to click the link and read your wonderful content.
Photo and text: CC-BY-SA 2005 Voyou Desoeuvre
Images don't really help with getting the highest spot on search results, but they do attract social media clicks. Adding an image can easily grab a reader's attention and make them want to find out more. You can post all sorts of a images related to your post, some you take and others you find. Keep the image simple for the most part. You don't want your reader to be too focused on the image. Let it relate to your article and drive traffic.
If you want to expand your outreach to Instagram, you can post photos and add the link underneath. Of course, you want to make sure your image is relevant to the articles. If you're talking about shoes, don't post a picture of a monkey with the link attached. Give your audience something they can repost or comment on to create conversations about your post.
Remember, images are usually a bit larger and take up more space on the newsfeed. It will be harder for your audience to scroll through and skip it completely.
Have you ever had a friend meet a celebrity, major or otherwise? He or she probably uses almost every opportunity to talk about that time he or she was behind Natalie Portman in line at a Starbucks. It's annoying, but people love to namedrop, and when you're publicising your content on social media sites, you should too.
It's smart to use other expert's advice and research in your posts. Though they aren't entirely your words, you can use the information to make a further point or back up your argument. Your readers are bound to know these big names in your industry, so why not show them that you know these experts too?
When sharing your blog link, you can mention the person's name before the link and include links back to the original point of reference. Linking to respectable sites will help improve your link profile, but it would be even better if the expert mentioned you in return. So long as you show respect for the other person's expertise and time, they might be willing to link back to you or mention you in a post.
Share and Be Shared
No form of marketing is a one-time thing. You don't run a TV ad once and hope a lot of people saw it. You run it for months and get new viewers every day.
Content and social media marketing work the same way. Post the link to your article multiple times. They should be consecutive posts, and they should keep repeating themselves. Try to find new angles to promote your long-form content. Look for events happening in the news and try to relate your content to the event.
Your followers also don't live in one time zone, If you live in Australia and post something in the morning, fans in New York City might be getting ready to go out for the night or be turning off their lights for bed, depending on how early in the morning you post. By the time they get back to their newsfeeds, your content might be buried under a pile of updates from friends.
Naturally, you should have sharing buttons on all of your content, but it's also beneficial to add "tweet this" options to quotes and sentences within your post. Add this to your best sentences to strike the reader and encourage him or her to share its impact with their social media friends.