Guest post written by Megan Ritter
So you’ve got your website up and running and you’re creating a lot of content, but for some reason, it just isn’t catching on as well as you would have liked. What went wrong? While it may seem like you’ve done everything right, the truth is that times are always changing, and going viral requires a lot more effort today than it ever did before. If you want to make an impact with your online presence, it will be important to learn how to amplify your content through promotion. Unfortunately, there are both good and bad methods of amplification. You may have been attempting to amplify your message in all the wrong ways without even knowing it. In order to fix this problem, it’s important to understand what went wrong. First, we’ll take a look at some common mistakes that content marketers make and then we’ll propose some solutions to each problem.
1) Putting Too Much Emphasis on Quantity
One of the most common mistakes on blogs and websites all over the world is spending too much time focusing on creating a lot of content. It can be easy to think that more pages will mean more views, and sometimes it does, but that doesn’t mean those views will be will come from your target audience. More often than not, while focusing on quantity will get you more visitors, these visitors won’t likely be interested in engaging with your brand, and that is no way to bring in return visitors or improve your image.
How Do I Fix This?
Focus on quality over quantity. If you spend too much time trying to create a lot of pages for visitors to see and neglect, why would anyone want to spend time on your site? With news aggregates like the Associated Press planning to automate articles that provide the most basic information, it should be clear that there is little room for this kind of content on the web anymore. Modern readers want to see something that they have not seen before– something that the author has put a lot of time and effort into creating. Put more effort into limiting the amount of content you produce, but make sure that content is interesting, shareable, and engaging.
2) Creating First, Marketing Later
A lot of creators start crafting content before they know how they are going to market it. The problem with this is that it doesn’t give you enough control over the success of your work. Without knowing which markets you are trying to reach, your work won’t have any one strong focus, which will ultimately make it more difficult to promote once you finally get to that stage. Focusing on promotion after the fact can be more of a guessing game than an accurate measure of pinpoint precision, which will decrease your chances for success.
How Do I Fix This?
Before you start writing your article, figure out which audience you want to speak to. If you’re writing something about business, aim to release your content around major industry events. Know when and where your target audience is most likely to engage with your work and craft it based on what they would expect. Prepare a plan of promotion with clear goals in mind for reaching out to your key demographic on social networks and through other marketing means.
3) Letting Social Media Do The Job For You
Sometimes it can be comforting to know that social media can do the job of promoting your content for you. However, the truth is that nobody is going to see your work or share it unless you put the effort into it yourself. One of the biggest mistakes a social media marketer can make is to simply promote their in-house content and neglect making a connection with their audience, or with those who may influence their audience. Just because you’ve posted a link to your article on Facebook and Twitter, that doesn’t mean everyone will be jumping at the opportunity to see what you’ve created.
How Do I Fix This?
Reach out to influencers in your audience. You can’t just expect something to go viral just because you posted it on a social networking site. The most important aspect of social media is actually networking with other people. Learn who the most influential people are in your target audience and create a good rapport with them. Don’t just share your own work, share the work of others and become a part of the community. It is only when you are seen as a member of the online community that influential members will take a look at the content you’ve created and perhaps promote it themselves.
4) Marketing a Product Instead of Your Brand
A lot of marketers think that buying ad space on social networking sites is the answer to their problems. While this can increase your chances of being seen, it’s important not to waste those opportunities by trying to sell something. Even if your website is designed to be commercial, sometimes it can be ineffective to create advertisements that are aimed solely at selling a product or service. People who visit a website to purchase something don’t typically stick around for long, and one good deal doesn’t necessarily bring back return customers.
How Do I Fix This?
Focus on getting your brand name out there. Yes, you can bring them in by promoting a good deal, but if you want to keep them coming back, you’ll have to make them remember your name. This is known as remarketing, and it can have an incredible effect on your business. By using cookies and promoting your product or service through the right networks, you can make sure that your brand name is plastered pretty much wherever your viewers go next, which will keep your brand name in their minds for longer. The easier it is for people to remember where they had a positive experience, the more likely they are to return.
Amplification Requires Effort
You can’t just let social media do your work for you. If you really want your website to take off and your work to be seen, it’s important to change the way that you think about creating content and sharing it with the world. Become more social, build your brand recognition, create relationships with influential people and make them take notice of the excellent work that you have done. Once you have done this, your content will finally begin to amplify itself, because your website will be well known and respected enough that you will have become an influential source for your target audience.
Megan Ritter is an online journalist with a background in social media marketing. Using her background in marketing and B2B, her writing often covers entrepreneurship, small business, globalization, and business communications.