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Articles Are the Best Advertisements. Are You Promoting Them?

Articles are highly lucrative advertising opportunities. If successful they return a continual stream of users while also increasing your own site’s rankings in search results. We liken these to race cars. They zip around the track causing all to stop and watch. But they start off like flyers, passed out on the street to passersby many of which are given but a cursory glance.

Every new page on the internet, including articles, starts off as unranked. For the articles that feature your startup to be successful you can join alongside the publisher to increase its ranking. This post describes 11 ways to promote your featured articles and includes a longer discussion on how and why it’s such an important part of your marketing efforts.

The Simplest, Easiest, and Free Promotion Methods

Articles either get an initial seed of views when initially published, or a continual stream of them over time. In order for your PR & Content Marketing campaigns be successful you want all your placements, mentions, and content to be ranking in search engine results so they will keep gaining traffic. An unranked page receives limited traffic and is quickly lost to the internet. Here’s how to increase the chances your post becomes a trending article.

  1. Share it on social media. Include relevant hashtags and tag the author or publication so they can like it as well.
  2. Pin it to the top of your social media channels. This is a great way to build likes, shares, and views while also establishing your credibility.
  3. Schedule it to be shared multiple times throughout the year on social media. Use Buffer or Hootsuite for easy sharing and scheduling.
  4. Leave a comment on it. Comments are the best type of votes and the longer and more thoughtful it is, the more “stars” you are giving that article. Search engines know this and rank articles accordingly.
  5. Include it in your newsletter.
  6. Add it to your email signature.
  7. Cite, quote, and link back to it on your blog, press page, or any of your content marketing campaigns. Linking to your article is the #1 way to tell Google that an article should be highlighted in search results. We make every attempt to include quotable quotes that are easy to include in other documents.
  8. Answer questions on Q&A forums such as Quora and include a link to it. We used to do this on Yahoo Answers and received a fair amount of traffic from it.
  9. Republish it altogether if the site allows it. At Vyteo we do allow featured sites to repost their articles. Just wait at least a week after the original is published and include a link back to the original when reposting. See this FAQ for more info.
  10. Create a spreadsheet of all your placements and track their Domain and Page Authority over time. (See below for more details on DA/PA, but they mean exactly what they sound like.) Once you see the discrepancy between the two numbers it will compel you to increase them. You want the Page Authority of your placements to be equal to or higher than the Domain Authority for the site that it’s on. Your site’s DA is directly related to the DA/PA ratings of all the pages that link to it. As your site’s Domain Authority increases, so does its search traffic volume.

Pay to Promote Your Placements Just like Any Other Ad

  1. Run paid advertising campaigns with your article on networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Outbrain or similar. This both gets the word out about your company and increases your article’s value as it acquires more likes, shares, comments, views, and links back to it. All of this leads to your article becoming trending.

The Two Paths of Articles

Since 2009 we’ve featured many startups- over 500 of them. Articles take one of two paths.

  1. Gets views right when they’re published
  2. Gets views consistently over time, primarily from search traffic

The divide in viewership between trending articles and those that aren’t is enormous. On the low end we have articles struggling to get to 100 views. On the high end they reach 15k views and keep rising. You might be tempted to think you’ll have better fortunes in more popular publications. To be sure, seek those out. We prepared a guide on how to do so here. It’s super exciting to land them, but the same hundreds-fold divide exists with Tier 1 publications as well. More often than not unpromoted articles are inconsequential and have negligible impact regardless of the publication. It is the same as if you built a landing page on your own website and never promoted it. Search engines won’t rank it and users won’t find it without some marketing effort. Thus every PR campaign should be accompanied with a promotion campaign of your hard earned placements. If not your articles will usually only receive the minimum amount of views for the site that they’re on.

Trending articles over time are the Holy Grail of PR, Content Marketing, and SEO alike. Almost every other marketing initiative stops as soon as you stop promoting it. Articles however can keep rolling in the views if only they’re given a strong initial push. Right now our top articles were written years ago. Nobody’s doing any promotion for them and hasn’t for a long time. You want all your placements, including the ones on Vyteo, to reach that status. It’s a wellspring of traffic and exposure coming your way for years to come.

Have an Amplification Checklist for Each Placement

Publications, including Vyteo, do everything they can to market themselves. Running an extensive individual push for each article can be many times more time consuming than writing the post itself. When a post is published we have a checklist of amplification steps to drive traffic to it. Ours is posted above. The goal is to find the outreach methods that are most effective to reach your audience.

Every New Post Is a Landing Page With Its Own Keywords

The thing about some blogs and news sites is that every article is different. Vyteo is basically a website full of 500 separate landing pages each needing its very own dedicated multifaceted marketing push. Not counting searches for specific companies, as of this writing Vyteo’s most frequently searched keywords are topics relating to startups we’ve featured. Each new post is a new topic with a new audience and new search terms to target. Although we’re currently putting a lot of work into ranking for terms such as “startup reviews” we’ll always have a vested interest in ranking for the subject matter specific keywords of the startups we feature. This makes startup teams the best allies in promoting articles since all their marketing efforts (blogs, press pages, social media, etc.) are contextually relevant with our article. They’re also the direct benefactors as their posts gain more traction. The same keyword-specific relationship is true with every site that features your startup and is why it’s particularly helpful when you link to your posts.

Wall Street Journal in Stand

The Many Ways Articles Are the Best Advertisements

  1. Articles are online for years. To contrast, when you run a search or display campaign once it’s over, it’s done. You get no ongoing ROI.
  2. Search and display ads are limited in what you can say. The one is just keywords and a few text snippets. The other is usually just a graphic and sound bite.
  3. Articles give a full description of your product offering.
  4. Articles can contain graphics, video, slideshows, and any other creative enhancements to draw in users.
  5. Articles can be promoted to both your current customers and also prospective ones. They can be cited, quoted, and referenced everywhere. They can be used with paid promotion campaigns, and also shared directly with your audience across all channels.
  6. Articles gain in value over time. The more people who comment on your article, share it on social media or social news sites, and link back to it, the more clout your article gets. Search engines will rank it and in turn send it more traffic.
  7. Articles are the primary external factor in improving your search rankings. The more contextually relevant articles you have linking to you, the higher your own site will rank. The higher the ranking of those specific article pages, the more it improves your rankings.

Increase the Page Authority of Your Placements

Although a full SEO guide for startups is forthcoming, a quick overview illustrates how your promotion efforts make an impact quantitatively. Domain Authority and Page Authority are the leading metrics to gauge the SEO rankings of a domain and the pages within it. You can install the Moz Toolbar to check the DA and PA of any domain and page on the internet, or you can use their Open Site Explorer to check them individually. Both are numbers from 1-100 on a logarithmic scale. 1 is inconsequentially small and 100 is for the few sites at the top. DA and PA are related but they aren’t rigidly coupled. Each can be higher or lower than the other. You can have an article with a Page Authority of 46, on a site that only has a Domain Authority of 30. You can also have an article on a site with a Domain Authority of 100, and a Page Authority of your post of 1. When you get a new post be it in The New York Times or Vyteo, it starts with a Page Authority of 1. As soon as your article is live, the race begins to increase it.

The important thing to realize is that it may not be that New York Times placement that becomes trending. It may well be the industry specific publication that becomes your biggest breadwinner. Since you never know which of your placements will become the highest ranking and best referrers, promoting all of them regardless of the clout of the publication is the best strategy.

OK We Admit Article Amplification Can Be a Thankless Chore

The reality is increasing the Page Authority of your placements isn’t always a glorious task. There may not be roaring crowds around to cheer you on and the victory at the end doesn’t have a checkered flag followed by champaign bottles being opened. It’s a slow returning investment and just another to-do on a marketer’s list. Dutifully leaving comments, links, shares, and more shares, feels like trying to fill a well with pebbles. And it’s not even your well, just one that you hope will overflow into your own. When people get busy it falls to the wayside, ourselves included. With a little bit of promotion though the results can be invaluable in your overall outreach strategy.

What ways do you promote your hard earned placements? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

  • Ksenia

    Thanks for posting this – very useful! I had to glance over the free stuff first cause I just cannot help it :) You are absolutely right about the continual stream of promotion as the perfect tool to get the kind of visibility you want. It’s a very insightful article! Keep ’em coming!

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