Have you ever heard it said you should spend 20% writing content and 80% promoting it?
When I first began blogging, I started by sharing with my friends and family on Facebook and sharing on Twitter.
Okay, that took two minutes.
…And I spent four hours writing the da’gum article.
I’m just a tad bit short. Even if I promote the article another 16 times on Twitter, still not there.
In this step-by-step, how-to guide, I want to show you a simple “hack” I learned using Content Marketer and Buzzsumo to gain an additional 509 shares to an article (note – I counted Twitter shares before the API death).
To make this a little more challenging, I’m going to show you how I did it with this article from the unsexy world of data.
Not exactly a topic most of us jump out of bed for. But I want to show you how this strategy is possible in any industry.
So here we go…
Start with great content
I realize if you’ve been in internet marketing circles for a while, you’ve probably heard this: “create great content.”
There’s a lot of truth to that. It’s a lot easier to push a boulder down a hill when you’ve already got momentum.
Influencers want to share great content. But connecting with the wrong influencer wastes your time and their time.
Why is connecting with the wrong influencers a huge waste of your time?
People follow influential personas because they are knowledgeable in their fields of expertise.
I might listen to what Donald Trump has to say about running a business, but I’m less inclined to listen to him when it comes to great hairstyles.
Leech off the success of other viral articles
I start by choosing 2-3 keywords. I’ll use these to search BuzzSumo for the most shared articles on their site.
If you aren’t focusing on certain keywords to rank in Google, the easiest thing to do is pick a few key words in the title.
So for our example, the title of the article is: “10 Industries That Are Changing Because of Data,” so the keywords I’ll use is “change data industries.”
Here’s what the results looked like after I sort by total Twitter shares (you’ll learn why I do this in a moment):
I go through the front page results and find 5 relevant articles. I can then click on each share button to see who is sharing the articles I care about.
Using a Buzzsumo pro account (which you can get a 14-day free trial if you like to try it out), I can download a list of influencers who shared the similar articles as a .csv. Or, you can write down each twitter handle and upload them to Content Marketer.
Personally, I like to focus just on influencers. Usually I find those with an average RT of 0.3 or higher to be worth reaching out to.
Pro tip: Save each .csv file as the name of the article to easily keep track of your work.
Often I take each relevant article and add them into the original article I am planning on promoting.
- Since I found it helpful and relevant, so would any other readers.
- This is a way to help the authors of the original articles.
Remember: if they wrote one article on the topic, chances are good they may write another one.
Including their article helps their SEO. While you cannot expect that if you do something nice to someone else, if it doesn’t take too long to help someone, why not do so?
I often apply Adam Grant’s 5 minute rule:
Find a great article? Share it.
Come articles worth sharing with your audience? Include it in your next article.
Now you should have a few spreadsheets of influencers who shared similar articles to the one you are writing. Compile the lists into a master spreadsheet and delete duplicate entries.
Preparing to launch
This is where things start getting exciting! Upload each of your spreadsheets into Content Marketer by uploading a .csv.
While it matches the information, I’ll click “check on this later” and begin to uploading the other .csv files.
After Content Marketer finds all the emails, you may think your ready to begin your outreach.
Don’t touch the red button!
At least, not yet :).
It’s important to filter your results first. Otherwise, you may get flooded with spam flags, which will kill your future outreach opportunities.
First, I like to go through the emails and verify them using the free tools Rapportive + Get SideKick. With both of these platforms, all you need to do is create a new email and insert the email address.
Alternatively, you can see if their account is also associated with Google+ when hovering your mouse over their name. I’ve found this to be a great supplement to Rapportive, increasing the number of accurate emails I have by about 10%.
If the email was incorrect, usually you will find it using one of these permutations:
If you need more direction, my guide on how to find the perfect email address should give you more direction.
Now that you’ve found the email, start creating your email outreach templates. Alternative, you can use the ones already created in Content Marketer.
There can be a lot that’s said here about the do’s and don’ts of influencer outreach. For now, here’s a simple list I use before sending out an email:
- Give specific information what your email is about in the subject line.
- At the same time, keep the header intriguing enough to open the email.
- Include a simple explanation why you are emailing them.
- Keep the email brief.
- Provide only one clear call-to-action. The more you ask, the less likely you’ll get any of your requests.
When I first began with email outreach, I used Crystal Knows. Through its reminder system, Crystal provided me direction when my emails were not focused.
Need an email template? Try this:
Subject: NAME, thought you might be interested in this…
While doing research, I saw you recently shared [Title of similar article] on Twitter, one of my favorite articles on TOPIC.
First, thanks for sharing that! Second, would you be interested in taking a look at my article on TOPIC?
Launching in 3…2…1…
When I first sent out cold emails, I nearly wet myself. Okay, maybe a little exaggeration.
But I realized that if I wanted to my articles in front of my audience, I needed to get out there and start promoting each piece.
I still get nervous when sending out emails, but each time I do so, it becomes easier than the time before. But I realize that in order to stand out from the crowd, I need to be willing to do what others won’t.
But the possibility of getting a 252.4% increase of shares (from 202 shares to 711), to me, it is well worth getting over the fear to sending out those emails.
What have you found to be an effective way to promote an article?
I’d love to hear your insight in the comments below!