Editor’s note: A new version of this post is now available.
I produce a lot of content. Not for the fun of it (although I genuinely do enjoy most of it), but because I want it to increase awareness of my personal brand, drive traffic to my site, and generate leads.
To boost the odds of that happening, I have to ensure that my content gets in front of as many people as possible, and to do that, I have to promote it.
As with most things in life, it’s much easier if you have the right tools at your disposal. Here are 19 of my favorite tools (and pricing – though many are free) I use in my content promotion in 2017. The first group encompasses promotion tools, while the second group identifies tools to help in the promotion process.
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IFTTT hooks together apps and websites so you can create processes to automate pretty much anything, including sharing content. It stands for a recipe that dictates “if ‘this’ happens, ‘that’ should happen” in response.
For example, when you publish a new blog post (the “this”), an update automatically posts to Twitter (the “that”).
IFTTT is compatible with major blogging and social media platforms, so you can use the tool to automate sharing new content to pretty much any platform.
How much does it cost? Absolutely nothing
CisionPoint (or Cision for short) is a comprehensive PR tool that facilitates press release distribution and makes it easy to monitor and analyze news coverage. Its most useful feature (for content promotion at least) is its media database, which it says contains profiles of 1.6 million journalists.
How much does it cost? Pricing is unique to each user. What I can tell you is that it doesn’t come cheap. Before it implemented bespoke pricing, a one-year license cost $5,700.
Outbrain is a content syndication tool that pushes your content out across multiple top publishers. You probably have seen and clicked on content promoted by Outbrain – even if you didn’t realize the company was behind it.
How much does it cost? Works on a CPC (cost-per-click) basis, with a minimum spend of $10 a day
Taboola works very (very) similarly to Outbrain, but it offers different publishing outlets. If you want to maximize the reach of your content, it’s worth using both at the same time.
How much does it cost? Works on CPC basis, with a minimum daily spend of $75
Circulate.it lets you leverage your team to help promote content. You curate content (yours and others’) and it’s sent to your team in a daily email update. The best part is they can share the content to their social media profiles in a single click. Removing that barrier to entry makes it far more likely your team will play ball.
How much does it cost? $9 a month for limited features and up to 1,000 monthly shares; up to $99 a month for features and 20,000 shares
Amplify is similar to Circulate.it in that it’s designed to boost your social reach by encouraging your employees to share more of your content (and making it really easy for them, too). Amplify also allows you to track who’s sharing most often and who has the most successful posts.
How much does it cost? Hootsuite Enterprise subscribers can pay for access to Amplify; it’s designed for bigger agencies so it won’t come cheap, but pricing is decided on a case-by-case basis.
One of the first rules of content promotion is to make it as easy as possible for others to share your content. For this to happen, including sharing buttons in your content is key.
It’s important that those sharing buttons are featured prominently and look good. On that note, if yours still look like this, it’s time to upgrade.
Social Warfare is a WordPress plugin that offers attractive sharing buttons proven to boost shares and, unlike many other sharing buttons, never slow down your site.Sharing buttons should be featured prominently & look good. Upgrade with @warfareplugins, says @SujanPatel. Click To Tweet
How much does it cost? Free; pro accounts start at $29 a year (for access to all features, including Twitter cards and in-post tweetable quotes).
Triberr connects groups of people who are interested in and create content on similar topics (called “tribes”). They share content to support other tribe members’ content promotion efforts.
How much does it cost? Free
Viral Content Bee shares some similarities with Triberr in that it’s a community built around content promotion. You share content other members have produced and, in return, they will share content you’ve produced.Get groups w/ similar interests to promote your #content. Use @Triberr & @vcbuzz.@SujanPatel. #productivity Click To Tweet
How much does it cost? Free
Medium is an open publishing platform that allows you to publish articles on almost any subject. Think of it like a blog that anyone can post to. Best of all, you’re free to repost content originally published. Do this and you get instant access to a new and big audience (SimilarWeb reports that the site gets close to 100 million visitors a month).
How much does it cost? Free
BuzzStream is a content marketing CRM. It helps organize and streamline content promotion. You can build lists of contacts and manage your relationships with each one and even send emails from within the tool. You can also create email templates and track whether your emails are being opened and your links are getting clicked.
How much does it cost? $24 a month for up to 100 contacts; $229 a month for up to 100,000 contacts; $999+ for custom packages
Edgar is a social media scheduling tool with a bit of a difference. Unlike platforms like TweetDeck and Hootsuite, which require you to add new content if you want to keep sharing, Edgar is “an automated queue that never runs out of content.”
Once Edgar has shared everything you’ve added, it reshares older updates that your followers might have missed.
How much does it cost? $79 a month; $588 a year
Promotion-related enhancement tools
Bitly creates shortened links to track the performance of your content once you promote it. Just be sure to include a bitly link – not the actual URL – in your content promotion. If you create a custom short link for each content promotion campaign, you can track what works well and what doesn’t.Create a custom short link for each #content promotion campaign so you can track it. @SujanPatel. Click To Tweet
How much does it cost? Free for general use; enterprise packages for branded links
OptinMonster helps you build up your email list. This is, for me, key to promoting my content by ensuring that I’m getting it in front of people who care about my content. OptinMonster does this by helping you build high-converting lead-generation forms.
How much does it cost? $9 to $29 a month
How to Build Your Email List: The (Better Than) Ultimate Guide
You may be familiar with Moz’s Chrome extension, MozBar, although you might not think of it as a content promotion tool. I find the ability to view a site’s domain authority at a glance to be invaluable when qualifying sites that I’m considering promoting content to.
How much does it cost? Free
The New Marketer’s Guide to Perfecting Your Content Promotion Process
BuzzSumo is perhaps best known as a content discovery tool, but it’s also excellent for identifying influencers who might be interested in viewing and sharing your content.
To switch over to this part of the tool, just click the “influencers” tab at the top of the page. Then, simply search for your topic of interest. You can filter the results according to the type of influencer you want to approach.
How much does it cost? Free limited access; $79 and up for pro accounts
An 8-Step Process to Use Influencers to Elevate Your Brand
Your subject line almost single-handedly dictates whether your email gets opened. Zurb shows how your subject line, as well as your sender name and pre-header text, will render on popular mobile devices.
How much does it cost? FreePromote your #content with a great subject line. @Zurb helps you test it for mobile, says @SujanPatel. Click To Tweet
18. Ninja Outreach
Ninja Outreach helps you find influencers and identify opportunities (more than 5 million influencers in its database). It then allows you to automate outreach, track your contacts, and organize your campaigns.
How much does it cost? $49 a month for an individual account; up to $599 for an enterprise account
Sniply allows you to enhance every link you share (whether your own content or someone else’s) with a call to action. Use the CTA to encourage the viewer to visit your site and consume your content.
When people click on the Sniply-generated link, they can view the article you shared and see a CTA.
How much does it cost? $29 for a personal account; $299 for an agency account
What content promotion tools are you using that I’ve not included here? It’d be great if you could take a minute to share details in the comments.
Create, Distribute, and Share: 15 Essential Content Marketing Templates
Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute