The Frugal Guide to Content Marketing (Part 3): How To Promote Your Content With ZERO Budget

Over the past fortnight, we’ve been blogging our three part series on generating shareable content on a frugal budget.

In Part One we covered off the best ways to hack free research and find topics that your audience actually care about.

Part Two looked at the anatomy of the most shareable content and uncovered ways to leverage your audience, once again, for free.

This week, part three, the final in this series addresses content promotion on a zero dollar budget.

Nick Eubanks says it best:

Nick Eubanks:

Nick EubanksThat’s right; contrary to popular belief - content is not King.

So who is the true King?

Promotion. (Click to tweet)


[Via SEOauv]

Publishing merely great content isn’t enough anymore. Lots of others are publishing great content. The challenge is differentiating your content somehow. And how do you do that?

By putting it in front of exactly the right audience.

Here are 11 ways to do just that with exactly ZERO dollars.

 

1. Pitch your content for round-up link building

Our first strategy for content promotion happens to be one of our favourites.

The premise of round-up link building is simple; find blogs that wrap up the best content over the last day, week, month, or year, and pitch your content to them for inclusion next time round.

Here's how to find these blogs:

Go to Google and use these search strings:

“keyword” + “weekly link roundup”
“keyword” + monthly link roundup”
broad niche + “link roundup”
“keyword” + “Friday link roundup”
broad niche + “blog roundup”
“keyword” + “link roundup”
“keyword” + “best articles of the week”
keyword “top posts this week”
keyword “Monday link round up”
keyword “top posts this month”
keyword “Friday link round up”
keyword “weekend link round up”
keyword “best posts of the week”
keyword “best posts of the month”

Next, you want to weed out the duds. Some of these blogs did roundups at some stage, and then abandoned it after some time.

The easiest way to weed them out is to use the "Search tools" feature in Google, and limit results to those from the last year.

Round up link building

Once you weed out the duds and found websites that fit your content, the next step is to reach out to them.

Recommended readings:

How to Get Traffic and Links from Blog Roundups [Traffic Generation Cafe]
How To Push Your Articles To “Link Roundups” Without Even Thinking About It [Blogger Jet]

 

2. Get listed as a "Best-of" in your niche

This is an alternate take on the round-up link building technique.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of resource pages in every niche, and they are absolute goldmines for content promotion opportunities.

Here's how you can find them on Google:

“keyword” + inurl:links
“keyword” + “other resources”
“keyword” + in title:resources
“keyword” + “resources”
“keyword” + “helpful resources”
 “keyword” + “useful resources”

Quick tip: use broad keywords. For example, if your content is about "vegan protein powder", you might also want to try using "bodybuilding", "fitness", "health" to gather more results.

In case you're wondering how to find their email addresses, there are a lot of resources on this already:

How to Find Email Addresses [Life Long Learner]
14 Ways to Find Any Email Address in 10 Minutes or Less [Moz]

Tools to find email address:

Norbert
RocketReach
Email Hunter

Recommended reading:

Step-by-Step Guide to Resource Link Building [URL Profiler]

 

3. Quora-ing

Quora is a destination, along with SlideShare (or LinkedIn for that matter), where you can grow your brand and position yourself as an authority.

Answering questions on Quora is pretty straight forward.

After you publish a blog post, go to Quora and find questions related to your blog post by typing in the keyword or related keywords into the search box.

Answer questions on Quora

You can automate this using an IFTTT recipe, just as Daria from dapulse explains quite elegantly in this post.

Automating Quora with IFTTT

Pro tip: Choose questions that a lot of people want answers to. Be as helpful as you can, but don't publish the whole post. Post a summary of your post. If people want to read the full post, they need to visit your blog or website for the rest.

Recommended readings:

The Marketer’s Guide to Quora [Kissmetrics]

 

4. Answering questions on relevant forums

Similar to our Quora strategy, the goal here is to find questions that are related to your blog content topic on relevant online forums, be as helpful as you can, and summarise your post.

Here are some search strings that you can use:

Keyword “Powered by BlogEngine”
Keyword “Powered by Blogsmith”
Keyword “powered by Typepad”
Keyword “powered by scoop”
Keyword “Powered by PHPbb”
Keyword “Powered by vBulletin”
Keyword “Powered by SMF”
Keyword “powered by Simple Machines”
Keyword “powered by punBB”
Keyword “powered by expressionengine”
Keyword “Powered by Tagbox”
Keyword “Powered by DRBGuestbook”
Keyword “powered by bbPressPowered”
Keyword “Powered by PunBB” register.php
Keyword “powered by vbulletinpowered”
Best forums to follow in [your niche]

Or alternatively, type in your keywords or general topic on these sites:

The Biggest Boards
Boardreader
Omgili

 

5. Contribute to online communities in your niche

Almost certainly, no matter your business niche, there will be an online community that you can be a part of and contribute.

Keyword - contribute.

Don't just join these groups and submit your post. Play an active part in these groups. Engage with people. Be helpful. Submit helpful resources.

Give more than you take.

Submit to online communities

Start by finding communities that match the interests of your target audience. Great places to find these groups are:

- Facebook groups
- LinkedIn groups
- Relevant Subreddits (e.g. /r/webdev, /r/web_design, /r/entrepreneur)
- Relevant content aggregation sites (e.g. Hacker News, Inbound, Growth Hackers, Web Designer News)

Here are some stats for one of our blog posts

Blog post traffic

 

6. Monitor alerts and offer your content

When a potter is in the process of making a jar using wet clay, it's easy for him to add or remove certain things.

But when the clay hardens up he’s unlikely to make changes.

That unusual analogy works for a webmaster too; when a post has JUST been published, he/she may be inclined to make a quick update.

Here's how you can take advantage of this to build high-quality links.

Monitor mentions of your brand, keywords, round-ups or competitors using any of these tools:

- Google Alerts
- Twitter search
- Talk Walker
- Social Mention
- Mention

Once you find a site and content that you think is a good fit, reach out to them.

 

7. Email your sources to help amplify content promotion

Sending out an email to your subscribers should go without saying.

Your content should ideally have outbound links to a few GREAT resources. Emailing your sources accomplishes a number of things:

1. They're aware their name is mentioned
2. They're aware their content is being linked to
3.  You increase the chance of your content being shared or linked to from their sites and/or social media

Email your sources

You may find it easier to get in touch with them via a direct message on LinkedIn or Twitter too.

 

8. Schedule and share 'snippets' on social media

Your followers are online at different times.

Sharing your content multiple times increases the chances of your content being seen by people who might actually miss your content the first time around.

But here's the kicker:

Sharing the same content can be seen as spam.

So, how do we get around it?

By creating multiple different snippets of the same content, and mixing and matching different imagery.

In case, you’re wondering why you should bother creating visual assets, check out this post from Samuel Hulick of UserOnboard. That post has less than 120 words, but it’s gotten almost 6k shares!

UserOnboard share counts

One of the driving factors is this image:

UserOnboard - Features vs Benefits

The topic, features vs benefits, is nothing new. What makes this post different than the others is that image. Samuel put a different spin on what is usually a ‘text-heavy’ topic.

These snippets/visual assets could be quotes, statistics, headings, or simply variations of the title.

Once you've done that, schedule your post to be shared over the next several weeks or months.

For example; here’s what we posted when our Content Marketing Mistakes post went out

Schedule on social media

 

A few days later, we posted this (quoting Noah Kagan)

Schedule on social media - snippets

Tools to create your visual assets:

- Canva
Pablo
Snappa
Pic Monkey
Be Funky
Stencil (previously Share As Image)

 

Recommended readings:

7 Steps in Creating a Winning Social Media Marketing Strategy [Sprout Social]
Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps [Convince and Convert]

 

9. Mention your sources when you're sharing

Remember those influencers/sources that you mentioned in your article?

@Mention them when you share the content on social media. Chances are they will see the content and many will re-share.

Mention sources

 

Recommended reading:

5 Influencer Marketing Strategies That Need To Die (And What You Should Do Instead)

 

10. Value-adding blog comment

We know what you may be thinking:

"Blog comments are spam!"

If you do it the right way, it's called adding value, and you might even open doors to bigger opportunities. Just like Ryan Stewart explains in this ahrefs post.

One comment of his led to Robbie Richards tweeting his content and got him featured on Richards’ next blog post.

One blog commenting method that we highly recommend is Michael Pozdnev’s BFF method. To summarize his method:

Michael Pozdnev:

Michael Pozdnev1. Define a blog post that you want to promote
2. Search for similar topic blog posts
3. Start with the blogs you read the most
4. Find posts that have at least 10 or 20 comments
5. Use the Scrape Similar extension capabilities (scrape the commenter data)
6. Find the contact email address
7. Build a relationship
8. Reach out to bloggers
9. Boom! You’ve got new friends, shares, comments and subscribers

Recommended readings:

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Comments That Open Doors with Popular Bloggers [I Wanna Be a Blogger]
8 Blog Commenting Mistakes You Need to Avoid at All Costs [Neil Patel]

 

11. Repurpose content. Submit to Medium, Slideshare, Vimeo, etc.

Repurposing your content into a completely new format does a couple of things:

1. You may reach wider audiences of people more inclined to this alternate format (e.g. video consumers over blog readers)
2. You are extending the life of your original content idea emphasising your expertise on that idea.

Here are a couple of ways you might repurpose your content

1. Republish a blog post onto Medium
2. Turn that into a slide-deck and publish on SlideShare
3. Turn that slide-deck into a video and submit to YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and other online video communities.

 

That’s all folks

So there you have it; our three part frugal guide to content marketing. As you’ve seen, you don't need a huge budget to do content marketing. In fact, you don't any budget at all. You just need time, lots of hustle, and some tactical planning.

Do you have any tips and tricks you're willing to share?

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