The 12 Hottest Tools for Content Promotion

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Content marketing is nothing without good promotion.

Many people furiously write great blog posts, hoping an insane amount of new customers will magically find their content.

It doesn’t work that way.

Promotion was important before content marketing became hip. And it will be important long after we move to the next wave of marketing.

Promotion will still be there – waiting to be used by those that want to succeed… by those that want more business.

1. BuzzSumo

Top Content for Social Media Today on BuzzSumo

I use BuzzSumo for three things primarily. The first thing I love to use is the Top Content tab.  I can put in a competitor blog’s URL and quickly figure out what the best content is for that blog that my ideal audience is sharing. Then I can write an even better article.

The second thing I love about BuzzSumo is the ability to quickly find who the Top Influencers are for a certain subject.  I use that to create a list of people that I want to mention on blog articles or just to know who I want to try to connect with.  I’ll promote some of their content and try to get on their radar – then ask them to promote something for me.  This usually works really well if you take the approach of being a genuine human being.

The third thing I love about BuzzSumo is the ability to keep track of when each new article goes live and how many shares it has.  It seems a little more real time to me than using Google Alerts, and it gives me a lot more information about who shared it and where it was shared.

2. ContentMarketer.io

Content Promotion Tool for ContentMarketer.io

If you write a really solid article, chances are you linked to a few other really great articles written by really great people.  You ideally even mention them by name.  If you’ve ever written a great tool roundup piece (like this one), then you have a whole host of people and companies that would probably love to share your content – they just don’t know you mentioned them.

Right now you probably have some spreadsheet with their email address, Twitter handle, or a link to their contact form – then you go to each one of them and let them know you just mentioned them.  This is great (if you aren’t doing this – you need to start), but if you are doing this, then you know how tedious this can be, how long it takes, and how infrequently you get the response you want.

ContentMarketer.io lets you paste the URL to the article you wrote and seconds later it gives you a list of all the email addresses, Twitter handles, and contact forms for you (which saves you hours of having to manually find them).  Then it makes that even better by providing you with proven templates that you can load, customize and send out to everyone at once.  I’ve used it a few times and it’s taken promotion from a few hours to a few minutes, all while increasing my response rate.

This tool is currently still in Alpha – but this is probably the most exciting tool I’m using right now. You can request early access and at least get on the list so you can know when it’s available.

Disclaimer: This is a project of Sujan Patel, my former boss (and friend) at When I Work – so I used that connection to get into the Alpha testing.  Writing about this though is entirely voluntary because it works like some kind of amazing magic (he will probably be surprised to see this article go live).

3. Buffer

Buffer Tool for Content Promotion

I started using Buffer early last year and I can’t believe I ever tried to run social media without it.  My favorite things about Buffer are that I can add all my social media profiles to the account, and when I add something to share, I can select which accounts to share it too.  So instead of having to share it 10 different times, I can upload it, and have it shared on 10 places at once.

It obviously gets so much better than that though.  I can program the times that it shares the content for each channel so that I can have it share things on Twitter 7 times a day when my audience is more active, and only twice a day on Facebook when I know my audience is more responsive there.

The last thing I love about Buffer is that it tells me which of my posts did the best and I can automatically add them back into the queue to be shared again – saving me a ton of time.  I haven’t upgraded to get the full analytics yet, but when it makes sense for me financially – I will do it in a heartbeat.

4. Zapier

Connect Slack Chat and Buffer Account with Zapier

Zapier is great.  You can connect several programs together to automate what they do together.  I use both Zapier and IFTTT for different things based on which one does it better for the task I’m looking to accomplish.

One of my favorite things I have set up on Zapier is a way that allows me to automatically add things to my buffer when they are tagged correctly in a Slack chat group.  For instance, if someone adds a link to a slack chat I’m in, and they add #share at the end of it, Zapier will grab that, load it into my Buffer as the next scheduled update to share.  This helps me promote my friends even if I’m busy working on a project that day and can’t check Slack until later on.

5. IFTTT

Social Media Automation with IFTTT

There’s a lot of crossover with Zapier and IFTTT, so you will have to just browse around and see what elements you like from each service.  I have a TON of IFTTT statements set up (you can see some of them on another post I wrote called, Automate Your Twitter Account Today, Finally), but my favorite one is when I post a picture on Instagram, instead of having Instagram tweet it out as a link, IFTTT grabs the image and tweets it out as an image – which is much more appealing and increases engagement big time.

6. Zemanta

Use Zemanta for Paid Content Promotion

No matter how big or small your blog is, you want more traffic and you want that traffic to be qualified.  Zemanta is one of my favorite paid tools for content promotion.  You can add your articles to their feed and they promote them on contextually relevant sites, blogs, other articles, and help find places where your customers are hiding.  They have a really big network and can work with you to find the right nooks and crannies that fit your audience and budget needs.

7. Twitter Ads

Screenshot of Twitter Ads Platform for Content Promotion

Twitter ads are so easy to set up.  If your audience is on Twitter at all, you should seriously consider using Twitter ads.  You can segment who you serve those ads to based on a keyword, hashtag, someone that they follow, and so much more.  It gives you the ability to really fine tune your audience so you can find hyper relevant people to see and share your content for a great price that is completely flexible and determined by you.

8. Facebook Ads

Use Facebook Ads for Content Promotion

Facebook ads are still one of my favorite places to share quality content.  I typically get Facebook ads with a cost under 10 cents per click, and often as low as 5 cents per click.  Facebook also pretty much knows everything about everyone, so you can create a hyper-relevant audience just like with Twitter, and probably even better.  Target people that you know will like your content and Facebook will even give you a Relevance rating between 1 and 10.  The more relevant you are, the more Facebook will promote it, the cheaper it will be, and the more conversions you will get.

9. Outbrain

Use Outbrain for Paid Content Promotion

Outbrain and Zemanta have a lot of crossover, but you really get the most bang for your buck when you use both of them together.  Essentially you let them promote your content on their network of over 500 million people each month, as related articles on highly relevant blogs and news sites.  Outbrain can drive traffic to your site from some really high profile websites – giving you more qualified traffic.  When I worked at When I Work, we added our blog’s RSS feed so that we could pretty much just leave it on autopilot.

10. StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon Paid Content Promotion

StumbleUpon is a great service that we sometimes forget about as marketers.  I’ve had good success with both the paid and free versions.  In fact, a recent article we published about Brushless Motors received almost 2,000 visits on our small blog.

It’s very easy to use.  You log in, add a page, select the category that it’s relevant for and submit it.  The rest of the work is done by StumbleUpon and their awesome users as they stumble onto your article and recommend it.

11. HelloBar

HelloBar Collects Email Addresses

I love HelloBar for two reasons.  My favorite reason is that it’s so incredibly easy to set up.  It took me less than five minutes to set it up on my WordPress site and have it connected to my MailChimp account.  The second reason I love it is because it’s still one of the most effective ways to collect email addresses without being a pop-up.  If you do content promotion, then you know how valuable that email list is – and you know that you need to have good tools to capitalize on every visit to your blog.

12. CoSchedule

Schedule Content Promotion with CoSchedule

The thing that impresses me most about CoSchedule is the repeated sharing of blog posts.  Don’t waste all your energy on promoting content once, and then moving on to the next blog post – continue to promote it for the life of that article.  Promote it more frequently on Twitter, a channel that doesn’t care too much if you promote the same piece of content 3 times in one day, and promote it less frequently on Facebook – where people will hate you if you post the same thing repeatedly.  Instead of having to figure this out all on your own, use CoSchedule to help you figure out the ideal posting times for each channel – and then automating it to simply be done for you.

Conclusion

There are a million more tools out there for Content Promotion, these are just the ones that I love and use.  The key here is to find the content marketing stack that works for you and figure out how to maximize your reach with those tools.  It’s a blend of figuring out what to post, when to post it, how to promote it, and how to keep that momentum going.

I know you probably use a few other tools and I would love it if you could tell me what those are in the comments below.

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Showing 24 comments
  • Rob Carpenter

    Great list of content marketing tools. Long time fan of them all, except I haven’t had the chance to try out ContentMarketer.io yet even though I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about it.

    Two other tools that my team at Hitshop.io can’t live without…

    Pitchbox – This has gotta be the most powerful outreach tool out there (though it seems like ContentMarketer.io has some shared features). You can find content information for writers for any topic, automate outreach campaigns, and manage responses and a pipeline within the app.

    Publicate – My team creates 4x the amount of content with this tool. You can easily curate content into a “publication”, and then share that publication anywhere: as a stand alone page of curated links, embed in email to make a curated email newsletter, embed on a website to make a resources page, embed in a blog to create a round up blog post. I just love it.

    Here are all the tools my team uses to accelerate content marketing efforts (a few others you don’t have listed): http://bit.ly/1Lv6Ypc

  • William Harris

    Wow – awesome! I just checked out those tools – Pitchbox and Publicate – really great tools. Now I have to test them out 🙂 Thanks for sharing your list with me Rob!

  • Soumya Roy

    Really good collections. We use many of these tools, and many are new to us. Now we can try some other tools and monitor how contents perform on them. We strongly suggest every content writers and marketers to repurpose their contents and distribute them on different channels and mediums. At PromozSEO, content repurposing helped us a lot.

    • William Harris

      That’s great to hear! Yeah, I agree that repurposing your content should be a big focus for content marketers as well.

    • Arpit singh

      Hi William,
      Great list. I have already used some of the tools that are very effective and valuable. Now time to try out some paid tools which I found in this list like, Zemanta. Thanks for sharing….

      Have a nice day….

      • William Harris

        Hey Arpit – that’s great, I’m glad to hear that this post was helpful to you. Have a great day as well!

  • Oliver Fisher

    Check out our new content promotion tool http://www.publi.sh. Free online marketplace for downloadable content such as ebooks and guides, a great way to read, learn and share!

    • William Harris

      Nice, Oliver! That looks great – just checked it out!

      • Oliver Fisher

        Thanks William, glad you liked it.

  • Matthew Rupp

    I LOVE finding superb, genuinely USEFUL, awesome content like this 🙂

    It takes a LOT of sifting to find the good stuff. I can relate to the time and energy you put into this. I was looking for resources to add to the ‘content promotion’ chapter of this guide – http://www.sawwebmarketing.com/massive-guide-to-dominating-google/ I think I will just put your link in that chapter and nothing else! 🙂

    Take care,

    Matthew

    • William Harris

      Awesome Matthew! Thanks for the compliments – I’m glad it helped. I’ll have to check out your guide here soon!

  • Tamas Torok

    Hi William,



    Thanks for collecting these great tools. Really nice piece! I regularly use Buzzsumo and Buffer and the magic happens when you connect Buffer with IFTTT. 🙂

    As far as I see the most difficult part of content marketing is content promotion. It takes time and a lot of effort (analysing performance, deciding what to share and where, building relationships with others)

    Currently, we are working on a product which uses predictive analytics to recommend content for promotion. It basically tells marketers what (content), when and where to share on social media. It could increase social sharing by 80%. It would be great if you could check out and tell me what you think: http://www.brandvee.com/maya

    We’re currently in public beta so feedback from you guys is more than welcome!

    • William Harris

      Awesome – I just checked it out and signed up for the beta. I agree – promotion is absolutely critical to a successful content marketing strategy.

  • Tamas Torok

    The magic happens when you can combine different tools with IFTTT recipes. I connected Twitter with Buffer by using an IFTTT recipe and now everything I post on Twitter is automatically added back to Buffer and re-shared later.

    In the last months we have been working on optimising social media promotions, resulted in creating a content analytics chatbot.

    It uses predictive analytics to recommend content for promotion. It basically tells marketers what (content), when and where to share on social media. It could increase social sharing by 80%.

    We’re currently in public beta so we would be very happy to hear your feedback: http://www.brandvee.com/maya

  • Polly

    K-Meta is a keyword research tool that does provide some great insight into your keywords. They provide organic results for specific keywords, the site and a snippet from the page. The snippet from page, is what you can use to spark a new idea or topic for your content.

    • William Harris

      That sounds great Polly – thanks for letting us know about it!

      • anuja

        Excellent list mate, gives me a good starting point in finding something that fits my needs. Amazing and resourceful article to promote a content. I hope you will update us like this.

        • William Harris

          Hey Anuja – I’m glad to hear that. Keep pushing forward and let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Barrie North

    That’s a neat trick with Zapier, to cross post when you tag it. I have used it to do a trigger when someone posts in a channel, but didn’t think of using a tag. Thanks!

    • William Harris

      Thanks Barrie – always trying to figure out ways to automate the boring stuff 🙂

  • Robin Khokhar

    Hi William,
    I have used Buzzsumo and Buffer, both are amazing tools and are a great help. And surely I will try the ones also.

    • William Harris

      Thanks Robin – that’s great to hear. Let me know if you run into any good ones that I’m missing!

  • Rob Powell

    Great article, William. Even just the tips on how to use BuzzSumo and ContentMarketer make the article worth reading. Thanks!

    • William Harris

      Hey Rob – thanks so much! Glad you liked it.

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