Bloggers and content marketers often rely on engaging articles, infographics and other types of content to attract audiences. Ideally, people like the content so much that they share it with their friends, family members, and co-workers.
In some cases, though, you have to do more than introduce brilliant content to the Internet. You may have to pay a company, or channel, to promote your content in ways that will reach more viewers.
Before you decide to use paid promotions to boost the visibility of your work, you should learn about choosing the right channel, setting a budget and tracking the success of your campaign. Without these skills, it's unlikely that your paid promotion will have the desired effect.
Deciding to Use Paid Content Promotions
Content creators often turn to paid promotions when they don't see the results that they expected. If you wrote a funny, insightful article about the most recent TV lineup, you might expect thousands of people to read it. Unfortunately, quality doesn't always attract readers.
When content doesn't get the traction that you think it deserves, you can use paid promotions to expose your work to a larger audience. Other businesses have to advertise their products and services, so it's not surprising that content marketers have to pay for promotions, too.
Choosing a Channel for Your Paid Promotion
Facebook and Google stand out as the most popular option for spreading paid promotions. Facebook has more than two billion monthly users, making it the world's largest social media platform. With that many potential viewers, it makes sense for you to choose Facebook as a channel to promote your content. Google performs more than 4.4 billion searches per day, making it the largest search engine. For perspective, the second-largest search engine (Bing) only performs 874 million searches each day. The number of times that people interact with Google makes it a good option for most content promotions.
It's important to think about the features each channel offers before you decide which one to use. Facebook Advertising lets you target users by demographics, interests, connects and behaviors. For instance, you can have your promotion target men in their mid-30s who show an interest in gaming apps.
Google AdWords takes a different approach by targeting people who use specific search terms. For example, if you write an article about entrepreneurial opportunities in Colorado, then you might choose keyword phrases like "business in Colorado" or "startup in Boulder." When someone uses these terms, Google will put your content at the top of its results.
Facebook Advertising gives you a little more control over how you manage your campaign, but Google AdWords does a good job of targeting people who show an interest in your content's topic. Either could work well for you.
Other channels you should explore include YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Setting a Budget for Your Promotion Campaign
Always set a budget before you start a paid promotional campaign for your content. Without a budget, you can easily accumulate hefty fees that will hurt your ROI.
The amount that you include in your budget largely depends on how much money you can afford to spend and how many people you want to reach. A small business should expect to spend a couple hundred dollars. Larger companies can spend thousands promoting content. Just choose an amount that you can afford. Start at the low end of the scale, though, since you can always add money later if you want.
Facebook makes it easy for you to stay under budget by letting you establish daily and lifetime amounts. If your content starts to go viral, then you may want to spend a little more money on promotion. If you're disappointed in the campaign's performance, then you can decrease the amount that you spend.
Google AdWords also lets you set a daily budget. Somewhat confusingly, though, AdWords will let your campaign spend up to twice of your average daily budget. You aren't financially responsible for the extra views and clicks. Unfortunately, AdWords doesn't let you set monthly or lifetime budgets. Since the service uses your daily average budget as a base, you could end up spending more than you planned. Keep that in mind if you decide to use Google to promote your content.
Tracking the Success of Your Campaign
Facebook, Google, and other platforms have features that will help you track the performance of your campaign.
When promoting content on Facebook, you should pay close attention to these six metrics:
- Referral Traffic
Facebook Ads Manager makes it easy for you to track these metrics over time so you will know whether you're reaching your goals.
Google AdWords also gives you the ability to track several important metrics, including your:
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
- Cost per conversion
- Quality Score
If you want a quick snapshot of your campaign's performance, you can just look at the quality score. The other metrics, however, will give you greater details about how well your campaign works and how much money it costs.
The internet grows so quickly that your content can be lost in the shuffle. Using paid promotions can increase your content's visibility. It doesn't ensure that your campaign will suddenly become successful, but it can give you the upper hand as you struggle to improve a brand's recognition and grow your audience.
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