Content Promotion Strategies For Start-Ups

For the last 6 months or so I've been working on my own SaaS start-up, Outseta. Most of my time to date has been spent on content marketing, in an effort to build a relevant audience of early stage SaaS businesses prior to our product launching later this year.

After several years of leading marketing teams, I found myself once again in the familiar position of being a sole contributor... I am our marketing team. And while the fundamentals of writing quality content have changed little over the years, the most effective strategies for promoting quality content seem to always be evolving. The best content marketers - the ones driveing revenue results for their companies - have a solid understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) as well as a few content promotion growth hacks up their sleeves.  

Simply put, I was in need of a refresher. I needed to brush up on my content promotion skills a bit.

On top of that, I've been consulting with a number of other companies who are focused on making content marketing a bigger and more effective component in their customer acquisition strategies. I've found that these companies inevitably understand the importance and process needed to create high quality content, but the overwhelming majority fail to spend enough time promoting the content they are creating. Everybody has heard the adage "spend 20% of your time creating content, and 80% of your time promoting it" - but no one lives this. I've also been guilty of this to a degree.

What follows is the awesome piece of content you created generates very little return for your business. Inevitably the pendulum swings back with the question "What do we need to do to promote our content? How can we get out content to rank in search engine results more effectively?"

I've found myself consistently sharing links on this very topic, so I decided to pull together a round up of the articles I've found valuable on the topic so far this year. If content promotion is on your mind, these posts are a crash course of sorts on actionable content promotion strategies.

 1) How We Ranked #1 For A High Volume Keyword In Under 3 Months - This post is a case study written by Brad Zomack, former Director of Content Marketing at Pipedrive. The post details the procedure they used to rank #1 for a high volume and highly competitive keyword, "sales management." Long story short - with a deliberate strategy and a hell of a lot of hustle, you can rank for those uber competitive keywords... just make sure ahead of time that the juice is going to be worth the squeeze. 

2) 7 Brilliant Content Promotion Strategies - This article from Ameer Rosic is solid. Most of these are tried and true outreach strategies, but this article turned me on to snip.ly for the first time, which I'm excited to play around with.

3) 18 Super Secret Tips For Generating Buzz - This slideshare is from David Hauser, Co-founder of Grasshopper and Chargify. The general message that David conveys is that hiring a PR agency can be a big waste of time and money for an early stage start-up. Instead, he recommends a series of guerilla style tactics that almost anyone can execute on.

4) A Step By Step Guide To Integrating Long Tail Keywords Within Blog Post - This article (and the next two as well) are from Neil Patel. Arguably no one on the planet knows as much as Neil when it comes to promoting content or getting content to rank effectively in search engine results. Long tail keywords can be easier to rank for, and if thoughtfully selected can help you intercept traffic that has buying intent for your products. 

5) How to Connect With Social Media Influencers When You're Not Popular - Influencer marketing is not something I've historically spent a lot of time or energy on. That said, I just happened to stumble across this article shortly after I wrote Customer Success. Unit Economics. Then Growth. on Outseta's blog. Borrowing from the article, and with some opportunistic luck, I was able to get several influencers to promote this post. It's been our most successful blog article to date.

6) How To Find 50 Backlink Opportunities In Just 20 Minutes - Whenever I'm talking to someone new to the concept of SEO, my pitch goes something like "High quality content naturally generates backlinks to your website. Backlinks to your website are the single most effective way improve your SEO rankings." But how do you actually go about building backlinks aside from just generating quality content? This article explains how.

Bonus content - Once your content is ranking and effectively bringing qualified traffic to your website, chances are you want that traffic to enter and progress through your customer acquisition funnel. This video of David Skok's presentation on Optimizing The SaaS Funnel from the 2017 SaaStr Annual Conference is great. My favorite takeaway - stop designing your customer acquisition funnel the way you want it to work, and instead design it the way your prospective customers would like it to work.

That's a wrap! I hope these links were useful to anyone interested in promoting their content more effectively.