Creating even the best, most valuable content is not going to be enough unless you put the right Content Promotion Plan in place and implement it. This post discusses the question ‘What is a content Promotion Plan?‘ and what makes a Content Promotion Plan successful.
What is a Content Promotion Plan?
A promotion plan is a step-by-step *process* that answers the following three questions:
Where, how and when you are going to promote your content (and hence your business!)
What makes a *good* Content Promotion Plan?
A good plan is like a good GOAL – it has to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable (Actionable), Relevant and Time-bound.
You need to decide exactly what *channels* of promotion you are going to use (e.g. which Social Media – Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest? , which Groups / Forums, which syndication websites? Medium.com? Outbrain? Slideshare? If you are focusing on guest posting, which blogs will you reach out to?
You know how it is with goals. If you set yourself an abstract goal that you cannot measure, you are not very likely to achieve it. If you say: ‘I want to lose weight!’ – you probably won’t. Even if you say ‘I want to lose 10 kilos!’ – you probably won’t. Only if you say – ‘I want to lose 1.5 kg per week for 8 weeks and I’m going to achieve it by restricting my calorie intake to 1,200 calories with XYZ diet plan’ – you are on the right track.
It’s exactly the same with Content Promotion. It’s also a numbers game. When promoting your content you also need to set yourself a clear numerical goal. This means: how many times you are going to promote each piece of content on each channel and *when* (see – ‘Time-bound’ below). For example: ‘
I am going to Tweet about this post 4 times per week: on Tuesday, when it’s published; on Wednesday morning; on Thursday afternoon and on Sunday night.
– All this to be able to tick specific milestones off your list and measure progress.
Use a dedicated Excel Spreadsheet to fill in the number
Achievable (or Actionable)
How much time will each step on your plan *actually* take? And how much time do you realistically have to accomplish it? This is the biggest problem with setting up a Content Promotion Plan for me. I usually do things that are waaay to ambitious, and once I start doing it it turns out that everything takes 10 x as long as I thought and I basically get easily discouraged (there is a good book by Grant Cardone about it: ‘10X Rule’)
One I start ‘scrambling’ and I realise I can only probably achieve 10% of what I had hoped to do, I get *VERY* frustrated, demoralized and more likely to throw in the towel.
A good Content Promotion Plan should be like a good diet
It should be sustainable. You know how it is – when you’re trying to lose weight and you’re feeling so deprived, that after a couple of days you just can’t do it anymore, you throw yourself at a whole box of cookies and devour it all, and the next day you don’t continue the diet, you simply go back to your old habits? It’s the same story with Content Promotion Plan. Be realistic. If you only have 5 h per week to work on your content promotion, choose one platform each week. If your content is valuable and timeless, it will not expire and you can still promote it on another medium next week.
Use content automation platforms such as Hootsuite or Co-schedule to make it easier, or outsource some more ‘mechanical’ parts of the process to a VA – once you have the Plan on paper, it will be possible to outsource quite a lot in fact – even to your own kid for some extra pocket money ? (yes, I think I’ve mentioned it before – I love child labour!)
Make sure you select the right promotion channels to your business. Where is your target customer hiding? You should know that from week 1, when we discussed Exercise 1 on page 5 of the DIY Marketing Guide. Yes, the one about getting to know your target customer. It doesn’t make sense to promote your content in groups or on forums that are not relevant to your target customers. Also, it does not make sense to promote your content in a *way* that is not relevant to your target customers.
Give yourself a *clear* deadline how you are going to promote each piece of content. Moreover, you need a deadline for each *channel* you are going to promote it for – as with the Twitter example:
e.g. I am going to Tweet about this post 4 times per week:
- Tuesday, when it’s published;
- Wednesday morning;
- Thursday afternoon
- and on Sunday night
Write your Content Promotion Plan down!
Do you need it on paper? Even if you *know* exactly what you are supposed to do, you should have your Content Promotion Plan written down in an Excel Spreadsheet. You can download an editable copy for free here.
Better still, I would advise you to:
- print your Content Promotion Plan out and hang it above your desk. It’s much harder to forget about it when you can actually see it as a *physical* piece of paper. All the time.
- post your weekly plan it in a group that allows you to post your goals (e.g. DIY Marketing Guide on Facebook allows you to post your goals every Monday!). This works wonders for accountability! Trust me, I’ve used it 😉
- get an accountability partner / post on accountability websites like LifeTick or StickK. You can even set a financial penalty for not achieving your goals that will be deducted from your card through direct debit every week 😉
Ok, hope I have encouraged you to make a plan 😉
For the rest of the week, I will be posting about the different elements of Content Promotion Strategy, especially the ‘Where?’ (Channels) and ‘How?’ (methods).
Stay tuned for:
- WHERE to promote my content? Overview of *ALL* promotion channels or the complete Content Promotion Plan step-by-step.
- Groups and Forums. How to promote your content on Facebook, LinkedIn and in Forums?
- Syndication websites
- Guest posting + outreach
Where and how?
- Which channel is best for me? Choosing social media and promotion channels for your business type/ industry.
- How to promote my content? Focus on: language and storytelling.
- List of Facebook groups by industry where you can promote your content
- List of LinkedIn groups by industry where you can promote your content
Happy Content Promotion Planning! P.S.: Don’t forget to get yours here!