Content Promotion Avenues & Tools
If you’ve been reading our blog even for a little while or have attended one of our webinars, you know just how much we stress the value of content. In essence, content is the driving force behind every marketing tactic — even PPC, which drives traffic, but if the content isn’t providing searchers with the information they need, then they won’t convert.
While it’s more difficult to attribute leads strictly to content — it’s the backbone of your company’s digital presence. It impacts your business in multiple ways — by enhancing SEO, brand awareness and ultimately engagement that translates into leads. When your company has decided to invest in content marketing, it’s essential that you choose the right channels and tools to promote it.
Once upon a time, “experts” started telling us that email is dead. Look at your phone and check the mail app — how many emails are waiting for you? Email is potentially oversaturated, but it’s certainly not dead. While we all know the pain of an overflowing inbox, email is still an excellent avenue for reaching your audience — just think about how many marketing emails you ended up opening today.
With the volume of emails hitting people’s inboxes, it’s important to choose the right content to promote to the right list of contacts for both customer acquisition and retention. Growing your email list is essential to success and pruning those contacts regularly is key since stale lists definitely won’t get you the results you’re looking for. Sending the right amount of varied content is also crucial. Offers and promotions lend themselves perfectly to email since it’s a strong conversion-based channel, but if you’re only blasting out hard sell emails, you’re missing an opportunity. Some more educational content can help build brand awareness and grab the interest of customers higher in the funnel.
There are many tools you can use to send marketing emails to large lists. We find that the most popular options in our industry include MailChimp and Constant Contact. At Energy Circle, we personally recommend MailChimp for our clients. It’s cost-effective and intuitive, with comprehensive reporting. The customization, templates, and ease of use allow for content to really shine.
Your company probably already has a Facebook page, maybe a Twitter account and perhaps you’ve even been thinking about diving into Instagram. While it’s important to have a presence, in order for it to be effective, you need to make sure you’re maintaining it with appropriate content.
Social Media Advertising
One of the most effective content promotion channels for brand awareness in HVAC, home performance and solar is Facebook advertising. It’s important to remember that you might not see many leads coming directly through this avenue because many people on Facebook are still too high up in the funnel — they’re not actively looking for your service. However, when they do start their search, they’re that much more likely to remember and choose your company.
The content that tends to do best on social media isn’t making a hard sell — it’s informational. Video, in particular, does well. Just remember to keep it short — under a minute is best and make sure there are captions for viewers that don’t have their sound turned on.
Creating advertising campaigns on Facebook is an extremely effective branding avenue and you don’t have to spend a lot. In fact, you can also promote content through boosting.
Organically, no one would have seen this post. However, with only a small boosting budget the same post can reach over four thousand potential customers. Just imagine what $5 a day for one week could do with a great piece of content for your company. It’s an inexpensive and reliable way of getting in front of a targeted audience.
Organic Social Media Promotion
Promoting your content through organic channels is essential to maintaining your online presence. So while posting your content on Twitter generally won’t result in much traffic or leads, it helps customers engage with your company. Although links on Twitter are nofollow (meaning they shouldn’t influence search engine results), studies have shown that tweets that get engagement actually have a positive effect on search rankings. Due to the social signals that search engines take into account, posting fresh content on Facebook, Twitter, Google and even Instagram is key for both rankings and engagement with your customers.
We get lots of questions about Instagram, and while it’s not necessarily a marketing avenue that will result in leads for the HVAC, home performance or solar industries, it’s a tool that can be effective if your business makes a point of creating the right content. Posting high-quality images and videos of your jobs, your crew and the day to day operations will help to personalize your company, so homeowners know they’ll be working with real, knowledgeable and caring people and get insights into what to expect when they hire you.
This Instagram post does a great job showing what someone could expect from an energy assessment. It makes both the company and the service tangible.
It may seem overwhelming to remember to post to so many various social media channels regularly. Fortunately, there are useful tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite to help you manage your content on those platforms, allowing you to schedule in advance and keep everything organized in one place.
Contributing your content to other online outlets can go a long way. Although it won’t necessarily be in front of your target audience (in the case of an industry publication that’s generally read by other professionals), your company’s name will be out there and you’ll have the chance to brand your business as an expert on another high domain authority site. Guest blogging generates backlinks to your own website helping increase your search rankings. Sharing your recent guest post on social media can engage your audience, and any retweets or shares will also act as social signals to search engines.
Measuring & Optimizing Results
Now that you know which content promotion avenues exist and work in your industry, it’s time to use them. But even before you start creating content, you need to know what its purpose is and where you’ll end up promoting it. Is that promotion meant to drive leads? Will that video help you build brand awareness?
Only then can you determine which promotion channels will help you achieve your goals. For example, a special offer with an associated email and Facebook ad campaign is more focused on lead generation. While a video with seasonal homeowner tips that can be sent out in an email and boosted on Facebook, while simultaneously being posted on Twitter and Instagram, will aid in generating brand awareness.
Think through how you’re going to use each piece of content, what your definition of success for that piece is and then start promoting. You’ll soon see what types of content are working on which platforms.
Make sure you’re actively checking performance in Google Analytics with tracking URLs and tracking phone numbers, and remember to look closely at where your traffic is coming from.
The information that will be available to your business once you’re actively creating, promoting and measuring the performance of content will allow you to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly — ultimately making it more successful.