You’ve written a blog post, hurrah! Hit publish and sit back as the audience laps it up, your site races up the rankings and the leads roll in.

If only!

Whilst many business owners now understand the benefits of having a blog on their website, many aren’t utilising it properly. A blog is of course a fantastic way to drive traffic to your site, but are you really promoting your work enough to reap the full benefits of content marketing?

The truth is, there’s no secret potion to make your content go viral. You’re going to have to do part of the work yourself. By ensuring your content is engaging and relevant, using your own social platforms and tapping into influential online communities, you can boost your reach to make sure you’re getting the most out of your blog posts.

If you’re guilty of content marketing hit and run, here’s our top tips to maximise the impact of your branded content:

Build up your social presence

Sharing each blog post on your social accounts may seem like an obvious action, but you’d be surprised by how many businesses still skip this step!

It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason, so get to know your followers a little. Tap in to conversations and communities to seek out opportunities. For example, we might see people on Twitter asking some questions about their website analytics. This would be a great opportunity to share our digital knowledge and help them out, maybe we could even link them to one of our blog posts that contains more information on the topic.

Invest some real quality time in your social media marketing to boost the reach of any content. By tracking social analytics, such as peak feed traffic times and click-through rates, you can use this to inform when’s best to share a post.

Make you content ‘share worthy’

If you’re still obsessed with the idea of your audience doing the legwork for you, it all comes down to whether your content is ‘shareable’. When someone shares your content it shows that they’ve found it educational or entertaining, and they’re proud to be associated with your brand.

Educational content can be a great way to show your expertise, but to become a thought leader you really need to keep you finger on the pulse of the industry.

People often find it easier to create entertaining content that depicts their products as a solution or aspiration. However, you really need to create something special and on trend, as the internet is saturated with this type of content.

The final point, being proud of your brand, is possibly the trickiest element to measure. It all comes down to your buyer personas and what your audience are really into. Are you targeting the right people? Your content could be incredible, but if your brand doesn’t match the lifestyle and ethics of your audience, they won’t be motivated to share it. For example, you probably wouldn’t catch vegetarian bloggers sharing content from a cosmetics brand that isn’t cruelty free. If your content isn’t being shared by your audience, evaluate if you’re really aiming for the right type of consumer.

Don’t be afraid to repurpose

There will be times when evergreen content becomes newsworthy again. This provides a great opportunity for you to re-share the article on your social platforms. You shouldn’t be scared to repurpose content as long as it’s relevant and interesting to your audience.

Of course, you don’t want to use your social channels simply to churn out content and bombard your followers with links, but when the time is right, you should be making use of each platform.

Use content aggregators

There are plenty of sites such as StumbleUpon and that can act as a catalyst for your branded content. Putting your content out there into the big wide world can increase brand awareness, so why not take advantage of these sites that catapult your content into the eyes of consumers?

Work with influencers

Just as a journalist would quote experts in their field in an article, you can embed tweets and ask influential thought leaders to comment on your piece. This not only gives them a boost by showing them you value their opinion, it also opens up the possibility of them sharing your content with their following.

You may want to use our first point about being active on various platforms before contacting them for quotes. If they see you’re genuinely passionate about a particular subject or issue, they’re probably going to be more inclined to talk to you.

Content marketing isn’t easy, but the benefits are certainly worth the effort in the long run. It’s no quick win, you’ll need to nurture your blog and social media following to really get the most out of your blog posts. Just don’t fall into the trap of posting and running.

Lee Wagstaff