The data on long-form content is in, and the results are clear: Research shows it gets more shares and conversions and performs better in search engines than shorter content. But it also takes a lot of work and time to create. If you’re going to make long-form content part of your content strategy, then you want that hard work to pay off.
Whenever you create an amazing piece of long-form content you’re proud of, create a strategy to effectively promote it to your audience at the same time.
Bottom line: For people to read your long-form content, love it and share it with their followers, you will need to distribute it on as many channels as possible. Here are a few tactics to consider.
When you quote or reference an industry influencer in a piece of content, they’ll often appreciate the mention and share the love by sharing the piece with their audience. When you’re working on a long-form piece of content, consider getting in touch with a few relevant influencers to see if they’re willing to contribute a quote or have a short interview with you to help share the piece.
Once your content is published, contact everyone mentioned to let them know they’ve been featured. If you did an interview with them, send an email. If you simply referenced a business or a piece of content from another brand, you can tag them when you share the piece on social media to get their attention.
Meta, huh? In the same way you use your content to promote your products, you can use your content to promote other high-quality pieces of content. Your piece of long-form content touches on a number of different topics. Pull out a few of the smaller topics it addresses and create shorter pieces of content around them. Then you can include CTAs within that content or at the end of it to drive people to your long-form piece.
You can also use the content you’ve already created to lead people to your long-form content piece. Revisit your old blog posts and articles to look for opportunities to link to your new long-form content. Any content you have that performs well now can be put to use in helping your newer content gain traction.
You can even branch into different types of content to promote your long-form content. For example, you could craft a webinar that covers some of the same territory as your long-form piece and then send your long-form content in an email follow-up to everyone who attends. Or if you re-purpose sections of your long-form content into helpful videos, you can use those to drive people back to the longer piece, as well.
This is an obvious way to promote your content, but it bears mentioning because it’s the easiest way to get more eyes on it. The people who follow you on social media are already interested in what you have to say, so they’re one of your best options for gaining some of those first likes and shares.
You can’t just drop a link on each of your social media platforms and think you’re done here, though. Think carefully about how to use your social media presence to get people interested in your long-form content piece.
Even more than your social media followers, the people who sign up for your email list have signaled that they like your brand and want to stay up-to-date on what you do. You should definitely let them know when you create an awesome new piece of long-form content.
Create some teaser copy for your list that communicates the value of the content and encourages them to click through. If you have segmented email marketing lists, you can even craft multiple messages that appeal to the different priorities of your different lists to better convince the recipients of each one to click through and check out your content.
Your content doesn’t have to live on your blog alone. You can use pop-ups (or HubSpot Lead Flows) and CTAs throughout your website to point people toward your best long-form content. You want to be thoughtful about how you do this, though. Try to keep it to pages relevant to the topic the content covers, and stick with behavior-based pop-ups so people will see your content at times when it’s useful to them, rather than when it feels like an annoyance.
Guest posting is widely regarded as a good way to build links and grow your audience, but you can also use it more directly as a way to promote a specific piece of content. Pitch guest posts to relevant publications with subjects similar or related to the topic you covered in your long-form content piece.
Look for natural opportunities to link to your long-form content in the guest post itself and include a CTA for it in your byline. Consider creating a dedicated landing page for people who come to your site from the guest post so you can tailor your messaging based on what you know about the site’s audience.
You’ve already paid for the content (whether in time or money), so it may feel frustrating to pay to promote it as well. But if you want to get a return on the investment you’ve already put into creating the content, then paying to make sure it reaches more people is often worth it.
Consider which social media platform makes the most sense for the content you’re promoting and the people you want to reach. One of the big benefits of social media advertising is that you can target your ads to specific types of people based on factors like demographic data, interests and industry. That makes it easy for you to really hone in on the people most likely to click and share your content.
Your long-form content answers specific questions people in your audience have. When they go searching for the answers to those questions on Google, search ads give you an easy way to make sure your content is one of the first options they see.
It costs money, but it can bring you relevant leads you already know are interested in learning more about what you do.
Whether through groups on social media, subreddits, slack groups or online forums—people have found a number of ways to form online communities to connect with like minds. In most industries, you should be able to identify a community or a few where people in your target audience gather to share resources and advice with each other.
Online communities can be a way for you to connect with your audience and promote your most valuable content pieces, but you have to be careful how you use them. If all you ever do is drop a link, you’ll look more promotional than helpful. But if you actually get involved, then sharing a link to your best stuff now and then will be appreciated and could drive some more traffic your way.
If, in contrast, all they have to do is make two clicks to share it with their own social network, that’s an easy choice to make. Include social sharing buttons on your website for all your content. And consider pulling out key lines and snippets from the post and making those easy to share. If you scatter a few different “Click to Tweet” CTAs throughout the post, you’re giving people even more opportunities to easily share your content.
The more work you put into creating a piece of content, the more important it is to make sure your audience can find it. For every piece of long-form content you create, develop a strategy for promoting it to your audience and encouraging them to share it with their networks as well. If your piece is really good, then once you do a little work to boost its visibility to start, your readers will help take it from there.