Have you nailed down an impressive content creation strategy, but failed to flesh out a good promotional plan? Are you of the opinion that your content will market itself? Perhaps you’re part of the crowd who believe that their job is done once they tweet a link to their freshly published whitepaper. If only content marketing were that easy.
The harsh reality is this: if you’re not implementing an integrated three-pronged approach that includes paid, owned, and earned media, you’re missing opportunities to maximize the impact of your content and the benefits you hope to derive from it. It’s time to rectify that problem—starting with paid media.
What Is Paid Media?
Content promotion via paid media refers to all forms of advertising where a brand or its agents pay to put content in front of established audiences. Channels can range from social networks and news syndication sites to blogs and search engines.
- Search advertising (Google Adwords);
- Sponsorship or native advertising opportunities through content amplification services like Outbrain, Taboola, or Sharethrough;
- Display or banner ads;
- Social network advertising like Facebook ads, sponsored stories, promoted tweets, LinkedIn ads, and featured Youtube videos;
- Traditional advertising;
And direct mail.
The Benefits of Content Promotion Across Paid Media
Besides enabling a brand to reach individuals who are not actively searching for that brand, paid media opportunities also allow a business to target consumers based on buyer persona profiles. These people already have an interest in the products and services the business offers, which makes these consumers higher quality leads. Even though the brand doesn’t own the channel, marketers still have control over the content that is promoted.
The key question every marketer should ask before embarking on a promotional campaign is, “How can I buy visibility and traffic for my selected piece of content while staying within the confines of my budget?” The answer isn’t always a simple one, but the following pointers can help.
Tips for a Successful Strategy
1. Choose the Right Content
If you’re going to invest advertising dollars into boosting visibility and generating awareness, you need to ensure you’re investing in a worthy piece of content. Your selection can either make or break your campaign so make certain the piece you choose is based not only on your budget, but also on your goals. If, for example, your budget is minimal, consider a highly targeted, relevant, and engaging piece of content designed to drive value at the narrow end of your sales funnel where evaluation, leads, sales, or signups may be your goals.
2. Choose the Right Platform
Where will the content you’ve created gain the most traction? That depends on where your ideal prospects hang out online and how well the content you’re promoting will resonate with them.
Does your piece of content fit the style of a particular publication? Would it be better received as a promoted tweet or LinkedIn ad? Perhaps you even created content with a specific network in mind. If you’re not quite sure what will work, test the waters before you blow your entire budget.
3. Target the Right Audience
The audience scale for paid media may be greater than that of your owned media, but are the right people seeing your ad copy? If not, you may have a high click-through rate but very few qualified leads.
Most platforms offer targeting options these days, allowing you to drill down into the specifics of the buyer persona you’re planning to target. It’s the best way to reach decision makers while keeping ad expenses low.
4. Write Irresistible Copy
We don’t have to tell you that a creative, concise, and convincing ad or storyline with an eye-catching image is the way to go if you want conversions. If your content is gated and you’re directing prospects to a landing page, make sure it’s equally as engaging as the ad copy that got them there.
No matter how great your content is, it doesn’t mean that people will find it on their own. Therefore, you must build a promotional plan around the paid, owned, and earned matrix if you hope to optimize your content marketing campaign and drive maximum results. Paid media and owned media can be the greatest catalysts for gaining earned media (which is the most valuable), so be sure to look for meaningful opportunities and don’t forget to measure results against your KPIs.
Do you have a comprehensive promotional plan? Are you using the three-pronged approach or are you winging it? Let us know your thoughts on paid media for content promotion in the comment section.