You spend a ton of time developing great content. Whether it's a blog post, a podcast or an informative video. But do you put an equal effort into getting that material noticed by your audience?I was recently on a podcast. When the show was going live, the host forwarded an e-mail to me. There was no graphic, no tweetable quote to send on their behalf, not even a share button on the page where the podcast was hosted. Just a brief message that "your episode is now live" and a link.
Well whoop-de-doo. So it's now on me to come up with the effort to spread the message? For someone who wants to grow an audience, this is bad behavior. I did come up with a graphic, and some text to share it. But I assure you, I am the exception. Most folks would just compose a basic tweet (if that), let it go once and that would be the end of it.
It's probably pretty obvious, but after the host took the time to:
1) Invite me on the podcast
2) Schedule the date and time
3) Forward me the info about the episode
4) Conduct the interview
5) Edit the audio and post it online
6) Notify me of it being live
Why would you not invest the time to help promote it? Why not add a #7 - Create Promotional Content - (and make it easy to share) to the list?
In old media terms, this person is creating Sixty Minutes and hoping someone will stumble upon it. Don't advertise it. Don't put it into a TV Guide. That it'll be so amazing, that everyone will notice. That's a massive long shot.
If you are spending time creating awesome content, and hoping it will grow legs and chase down some readers, you're wasting your time. Having compelling content will only help you to the extent that people are able to see and engage it. You have to be willing to spend time promoting your work.
How will you do that? Here are some tips:
1) Use Tweet Jukebox to share your posts on a rotating basis. Hopefully you are already doing this. If not, take your previous posts, podcasts or videos; and organize them into a jukebox of tweets. Ideally, you will then use #2 to ensure that you get the maximum bang for your posting rotation.
2) Develop eye catching shareable media, that'll get people to look at your content. This relates to my earlier e-mail about testing to see what gets traction. Use photos or visuals to draw the audience's attention. Text alone is no longer enough. Find the ways to get your audience to engage. You don't have be perfect, but you should be trying to ensure that what you do is actually noticed.
3) Beware of the trap of efficient graphics. - It's tempting to brand your posts, podcasts or other posts with similar graphics. That way you can drop in the information related to that post or episode. There's a major problem with that approach. The overall look of the graphic is so similar, that it will overwhelm the new content, and people will think it's something they have already seen. There goes the traction on that piece of shared content. Mix it up. People notice things that SURPRISE them.
Make sure you get the maximum reach out of your content. Put the extra effort into getting good distribution. It may be hard to accept that you have the double duty of both producing and promoting content, but it'll probably feel worse to create great content that doesn't reach many people.