This is part of our series on hub & spoke content marketing. Begin here: Executing The Hub & Spoke Content Marketing Strategy
You’ve crafted your content. You’ve published it to your website. Now what?
Sadly, that’s where a lot of marketers stop. They figure, “It’s on the web now. Google will sort it out, right?” Not so much.
After spending a lot of time creating great content, you can’t just hope for the best. You have to drive as much traffic to it as possible so it does its job of pleasing your current audience and acquiring new fans.
This need is especially important when you’re employing the hub and spoke content marketing system. The hub and spoke system is adept at capturing leads and delivering tremendous value. This means that every minute you spend promoting hub and spoke content has a better ROI than any minute you spend promoting traditional blog posts.
Here are four important tactics you need to implement.
1. Email your hub and spoke package to your subscribers.
Anytime you create content, you should tell your fans. They already follow you, so they’ll definitely want to see it. Your first step is to send an email to everyone who already subscribes.
There are three ways to go about this.
One method is to announce each article as it is posted. This is the traditional way a brand’s content is spread to subscribers. You publish an article then send the email.
This method lets everyone see your content the moment it’s available. The sooner your subscribers know about it, the sooner they can share and link to it.
However, there’s a drawback. If it takes you too much time to post the next article in the series, the comprehensiveness of the package is broken. The articles feel like isolated blog posts, which is what the hub and spoke system tries to avoid. Furthermore, if your subscribers see similar topics week after week with no end in sight, they might unsubscribe if they don’t enjoy those topics.
The second method is to wait until all of the articles in your hub and spoke package are posted, then drip them to your subscribers over time. Yes, this means you’ll have to wait to see blooms of traffic, but your overall traffic will improve once your subscribers realize that you’ve put something massive together for them.
If you decide to drip your hub and spoke package, send an email each day or every other day. Make it clear that this is a series by including phrases like “1/8” or “3 of 10” in the subject so they know a) this email is part of the group, and b) the group ends eventually, so don’t unsubscribe.
The third method is to send one email with a link to your hub landing page. Generally, this won’t get you the kind of engagement you want because you’re only sharing one page. Only use this method if you know your subscribers are averse to receiving too many emails (which isn’t the case in most demographics).
2. Schedule one-off and “rolling” social media posts.
Naturally, you should post all of your content to your social media profiles. Getting the best engagement from your social posts is beyond the scope of this article (Kissmetrics has a great guide), but we can show you what has worked for Audience Ops.
Here is the posting schedule we use for our company and our done-for-you content service clients. Don’t forget to include links with each post!
- Article publish date at 10 AM: Post the article’s title.
- Article publish date at 11 AM: Tweet at anyone you mentioned in the article with something like “Hey @soandso, we mentioned you in our recent post on [topic].”
- Article publish date at 4 PM: Rework the title into something interesting. Use hashtags.
- Article publish date at 9 PM: Rework the title into something else that’s interesting with hashtags.
- Article publish date + 1 day at 10 AM: Turn the title into a question.
- Article publish date + 1 day at 3 PM: If you used a content upgrade in your post, mention its title after something like “FREE DOWNLOAD.”
- Article publish date + 1 day at 9 PM: Rephrase the content upgrade tweet into something more personal like “Did you grab our free guide/resource/template/checklist on [topic]?”
- Article publish date + 2 days at 1 PM: If you used a tweet-text plugin within the article’s content, post that copy.
- Article publish date + 3 days at 4 PM: Post something about the article’s subtopic.
- Article publish date + 26 days at 2 PM: Post the article’s title.
- Article publish date at 10 AM: Post the article’s title.
- Article publish date + 1 day at 12 PM: If you used a content upgrade in your post, mention its title after something like “FREE DOWNLOAD.”
- Article publish date + 3 days at 3 PM: Rework the title into something interesting. Use hashtags.
- Article publish date + 8 days at 4 PM: Turn the title into a question.
Those are the most common social networks for SaaS businesses, but you might use something more obscure. If so, follow the same format.
Our schedule is just a recommendation. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your own posts. Try to be engaging, compelling, and interesting. Ask questions, be provocative (if that’s appropriate for your business), and touch your fans on an emotional level.
Finally, we recommend that you adopt a “rolling” social media schedule with a select group of posts. The best tool for this is Edgar. Edgar lets you create a library of posts that can be randomly or sequentially posted based on your own schedule.
For instance, let’s say you had eight articles in your hub and spoke package. You would create a category for that group and posts for each article within that category. Next, set posting times. You might decide to post once per day at 3 PM or twice per day at 10 AM and 2 PM.
Once you set your posts and posting rules, Edgar will continue to post your social media content indefinitely. This is a great way to keep your content fresh in the social world without tediously reposting it yourself over and over.
3. Work with influencers to capitalize on their audiences.
Influencer marketing is a powerful strategy, especially if you’re a new brand without an audience of your own. By getting your content shared by influential people, you can leverage their brands to drive traffic to your website and convert some of them into leads and sales.
The ideal influencer is someone who shares a similar audience, but isn’t a direct competitor. Don’t waste your time reaching out to influencers with massive followings. They get dozens of cold emails every day. Instead, find influencers with audiences just slightly larger than yours.
Cold outreach after you’ve created your content is rarely effective. Even when it works, it takes a lot of time and your emails are mostly unreturned. It’s akin to begging for a share or a shout-out.
Instead of asking for favors from people you’ve never met, start by building partnerships with influencers. In a partnership, both parties receive something.
Reach out to influencers before or during the creation of a particular piece of content. Ask them to give you their thoughts, opinions, anecdotes, or quotes. Ask them to supply you with links to their content that you could include in yours. Tell them all the ways you’ll promote the content yourself so they know you’re truly invested in it.
Once you’ve published the article with their supporting content/quotes/links, send the influencer a message telling him or her that it’s live. Politely request that they share the article to their fans, but don’t be pushy about it. You are trying to build a long-term relationship that can lead to lots of cross-promotional opportunities, not completing a one-off transaction.
4. Interact with like-minded people on community websites.
Community websites are spaces on the web where users can post their own comments. 15 years ago we would have called this category “forums,” but that word isn’t sufficient anymore. As user interactivity with websites has grown, community websites have evolved.
Posting on community sites is grassroots work. It’s feels like sales because you’re often talking and engaging with one or a small group of people, but it’s really marketing because your posts are available for anyone in those communities (which could be millions of people) to see. They also appear in Google search results.
Facebook and LinkedIn Groups
Facebook and LinkedIn each have features where users can join or create forums around their own topics. Groups come in all sizes, so make sure to find one that has enough traffic, but is also relevant. Create your own discussion threads or reply to other people. Include links to your own content.
Quora is a website where people submit questions and other users reply with answers. Use this site to answer other people’s questions. Make sure to include a link back to your website. Quora is also a great place to get inspiration for hub and spoke topics.
Forums still exist for niche communities, though they are slowly being taken over by Facebook and LinkedIn groups (because people spend a lot of time on their preferred social media network anyway). Your audience may spend time in a particular forum. If you find one with a large audience, start posting helpful content. Be mindful of any self-promotional rules.
You shouldn’t spend too much time promoting a single piece of content. If you invest too much into just one piece, you’ll rob resources from creating new content.
Lay out a process for promoting content based on your results and your preferences. If you prefer to write 20 tweets, do it for every article. If you like to drop links in three Facebook groups, do it for every article. But once you’ve completed your process, move on to the next piece of content.