We all want our content to reach more people. We all want our content to live on, and keep bringing visitors to our site long after we've published it. Most brands do the basics, they publish a blog, and cross-promote articles on social media. Some brands take it further, by publishing on social platforms like LinkedIn Pulse or connecting their blog to Facebook Instant Articles. Companies who are serious about driving leads and winning customers online have adopted an inbound marketing strategy that drives traffic, captures leads, and moves those leads down their funnel using lead magnets and calls-to-action on their website, and blog.
We've found, however, that most companies aren't using some of the best content promotion techniques available to them, even though they're free! We think they're so valuable, that we add these sites, tools, and strategies to the content strategy we create for all of our clients. In this article, we'll share these seven easy and free ways to get more traffic.
1 - Add Links to Social Bookmarking Sites
Promote all content on social bookmarking sites. Social bookmarking sites like Reddit and Digg, and StumbleUpon. These social bookmarking sites are used by many as one of their primary sources of news, information, and opinion. Adding links to these sites give you access to those audiences! At the start of 2105, StumbleUpon was the fourth best traffic generating social networking site, behind Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. As you know, mileage will vary. We get 4-7% of our traffic from StumbleUpon alone.
It's not 20%, but it's not bad either, especially considering that social bookmarking sites are free.
2 - Add Calls-to-Action to Links You Share
Tools like Snip.ly let you add calls-to-action to every link you share.
The ways these tools work is simple. You paste in a link and the tool shortens the link and displays a call-to-action anytime someone clicks it.
Link sharing CTAs are great for promoting lead magnets with every piece of content you share, your content, or curated content. They're also great for promoting events and getting sign-ups. Different tools have free and paid options that provide additional features such as custom branding, analytics, and promotion options. We use Snip.ly, but there are many similar tools to choose from including:
When reviewing the tools be sure to check out how many clicks and conversions you get at each price point (or for free), and if the tools integrate with CRM and email automation software if you plan to use the tools to collect sign-ups.
3 - Add Banner Calls-to-Action to Your Website
Simple website banner ads can be compelling and are usually easy to add to your website.
If you're doing inbound marketing right, you should have calls-to-action on each page of your site related to the content on each page. Website banners stand out because they're at the top of the page. They're the first thing visitors see. They also stand out because they are consistent across your entire site, making them an omnipresent advertisement on all of your pages.
You can use website banners the same way as link based calls-to-action, but they are particularly nice for driving sign-ups, or your event. GoAnimate has a good article where they compare the 6 Best, Free Banner Making Tools.
4 - Use Pinned Posts on Social Media Networks
Pinned posts are a great way to promote on your social channels. The great thing about pinning a post is that it will stay at the top of your page's feed until you unpin it. That means, whenever anyone visits your page or profile, it's the first post they'll see!
Dhariana Lozano wrote a great article on how to pin posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. We recommend keeping your latest blog post, content offer, or event as a pinned post.
5 - Make Your Social Media Page Banners Calls-to-Actions
Another way you can leverage your social media channels for some free promotion is to change the page banner of your social media profiles into a CTA graphic. This lets everyone know about your latest offer or event. Facebook is especially well suited to this because you use their Calls-to-Action buttons to link to the landing page related to what you're advertising. All you need to do is design a banner that describes your offer and points to the button on your page.
Not all page banners are as well suited to this as Facebook, but you can usually find a way to use the banner to promote your latest offer or event. If you're using pinned posts, you can combine the two and have your banner point to the pinned post that has a better description and a link to the landing page.
6 - Answer Questions on Social Q&A Sites
Another set of promotional sites that are worth looking into are social question and answer sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, and many others. How do you use a Q&A site to drive traffic? Simple, use the blog posts you're already creating to answer questions posted on the site. Every time you publish a new post, search for related questions. Answer those questions and link back to the relevant blog post for additional information.
This can often be done in as little as 30 minutes after publishing a post, and from that point, the traffic will start streaming in. Wishpond wrote an article about how they use Quora to generate traffic, and the numbers are startling.
7 - Have Employees Share Content on Their Social Channels
One thing every marketer and business is trying to do on social media is get more reach. Employees can be built in reach. Encourage employees to share your latest articles, content offers, and news about upcoming events on their personal social channels. Employees are often eager to talk about the exciting things their company is doing, this gives them the opportunity to do just that. Every employee that shares your content will be extending your reach to a new group people.
Over to You...
We've had great success for ourselves and our clients using these sites, tools, and strategies. Give them a try, and let us know how they work for you by leaving us a comment. For more conversion optimization tips, download our strategy guide below.