What Is Content Promotion in Marketing?

Christy Walters


October 31, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

two women sitting at a desk looking at a tablet with a brick wall in the background preparing for content promotion

You’ve probably heard the often-misquoted line from Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come.” The idea behind the quote is that bringing something of need into existence is enough to attract an audience. It’s a fine premise for a film but not a reality for content marketing. Creating and publishing content for your channels isn’t enough to get the audience to come to you. Not without a little extra help. That’s where content promotion comes in. Today we’re looking at what content promotion is and how it helps bring people to your brand:

What Is Content Promotion?

Content promotion is a marketing process where you distribute your content resources to paid and organic channels. The purpose of content promotion is to get your pieces in front of as many people in your target audience as possible and capture their interest. Doing so, along with creating the best quality content possible, helps your brand stand out from the competition.

Brands and companies of all sizes use content promotion to boost content exposure and reach campaign goals more effectively. Content promotion is still a type of inbound marketing. Even though you’re putting in the work to push your pieces out into the world, you’re not trying to hook your audience and drag them back to your channels. Instead, you’re simply putting your content in their everyday paths. You can expect them to find your content interesting and visit your channels on their own.

Why Should Your Team Use Content Promotion?

Without content promotion, your brand relies on SEO, organic search, or pure chance for your audience to find your pieces. Even big corporations with tons of clients or followers that could leave content discovery to chance know this isn’t a sound marketing practice. You’re creating content for a reason. And that reason isn’t just to let your pieces sit and collect dust, waiting for someone to find them. If you want results from your content marketing, take action. Content promotion is the way to make that happen. Here are other benefits of engaging in content promotion:

  • Increasing organic traffic: The more places you share your content online, the better chance you have of people returning to your website for more.
  • Finding new audiences: With a widespread promotion strategy, you can appeal to your current fans and followers, and find new ones.
  • Attracting qualified leads: When your content appears in targeted, curated spaces, you have a better chance of it finding people who really need your products and services rather than casual readers or viewers.
  • Building brand awareness and authority: The more people see your company name in different spaces, the more likely they are to remember it. And when they consume your content and realize your company knows its industry, they trust your advice.

How Does Content Promotion Fit Into the Content Development Cycle?

Content marketing development is a five-step process.

infographic of content development plan with content planner at the second step

Image via ClearVoice

Content promotion falls into the last step, content distribution. After you’ve developed a content strategy and created a plan to execute it, you make and publish your content. But we’ve already said that just publishing something isn’t enough to draw people in. Unless your audience is checking your site every day out of habit, they’ll never find your new pieces. Or even old pieces that are still relevant.

You’re not done with the content marketing development process until you distribute your content to places your audience does check every day out of habit. That means sharing links to social media. It also means making sure all your content is in Google’s index and perfecting your SEO strategies, among many other distribution tactics you can use.

Related: How To Create a Content Distribution Plan [With Template]

Are Content Promotion and Content Syndication the Same?

Although they may sound similar, content promotion and syndication aren’t the same things. Content syndication is a type of content promotion. Through this method, your team finds partners to republish your existing content on other websites, platforms, or channels. While you could use content syndication as your only form of promotion, it’s a more narrow strategy.

Promotion involves a variety of different paid and free avenues to share your pieces with audiences across the web. It’s best to use content syndication and other methods together to get better audience reach and engagement.

Related: What Is Content Syndication in B2B Marketing?

Where Can You Promote Your Content?

Content promotion takes place on a variety of platforms and channels that fall into three major categories:

  • Owned media: Channels and platforms your company owns and controls
  • Paid media: Channels where you pay to share or display your content to the audience
  • Earned media: Channels where your content receives recognition and promotion from the audience rather than from your brand’s direct efforts

Here are a few channels and methods you can use to promote your content in any of these three categories:

Content Partnerships

Content partnerships are those created between one or more brands to develop original content that appears on a non-owned website or channel. Guest posting, sponsored content, and branded content are just a few examples of common content partnerships in many industries. In these arrangements, your company creates new content for another channel or website, and that host site publishes the pieces. They include an attribution and link back to your brand’s website to promote your company.

While these partnerships are often a form of paid media, you can earn them, too. Sometimes there isn’t an exchange of money for these services, but a trade. You create content that another brand publishes on their website and they do the same, where you publish their content on yours.

Related: What Is Branded Content?

Content Distribution or Syndication Networks

Content distribution and syndication networks allow you to share existing content on new websites or channels. Similar to content partnerships, you work with other organizations to get your content to appear on their channels. This option is different, though, because you’re not creating new content every time. Instead, you’re sharing pieces you’ve created and published to your own site, just in a new location.

Most content distribution and syndication partnerships fall under paid media, but you can earn them in certain cases. For example, smaller blogs or news organizations may approach your team and ask to share your content on their sites with proper attribution.

Display Ads

Display ads are a form of paid media that appear on websites across the internet. They look like digital billboards and typically appear at the top, bottom, or sides of a webpage. They may also include pop-up ads or on-scroll ads that appear as someone is reading another piece of content. Display ads come in many shapes and sizes. You can tailor them to target specific demographics or locations across the web to spread your messages to the right audience.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an owned marketing channel that allows you to connect with your audience directly. Instead of pushing content out onto feeds and advertising space hoping the audience sees what you share, you know the content goes directly to their inboxes. Email marketing is still inbound marketing, as long as your audience consented to receive messages from your brand.


Influencers work primarily on social media channels to promote and share products, services, and content for brands. They fall into both the paid and earned media categories, depending on the partnership. For paid influencers, your company typically creates a contract with the individual. That contract specifies how much money you pay them to promote your content to their network of followers. The contract also states how many posts they share, what type of content they share, and on which channels.

You also have the option to earn influencer promotion by creating helpful or outstanding content, products, or services. In these cases, influencers may find your content on social media or through other channels thanks to different promotion techniques. They share the content because they want to do it, not because you paid them. If you find you already have these types of influencers in your network, you can contact them and set up more formal agreements to get them to promote your content further.

Related: Influencer Qualities To Look For To Promote Your Brand

Online Forums

Answering questions in online forums or comments is another way to promote your content across the web. This method often uses content links to take curious audience members back to your website or blog to view helpful or relevant pieces. More than just content promotion, answering questions on online forums is another way to engage with your audience and provide them with solutions to problems and pain points. Engaging in this type of value exchange helps build thought leadership and trust in your brand.

Paid Social Media Ads

Though social media as a content promotion channel lets you promote content in your followers’ feeds, paid social ads let you appear on anyone’s feed that fits your campaign demographics. With social media ads, you choose parameters for who you want to see your campaign. This may include audience demographics, location, or interests.

Then, after paying for ad space, social media platforms share your content to the feeds of any registered or relevant user that fits the profile you designed. This is a good promotion option if you want to grow your audience based on the information you know about the people who already enjoy your brand.

Social Media

Social media is one of the most common and widely used content promotion channels in digital marketing. It falls within both the owned and earned media categories. Your brand has control over what content and messaging you share. But depending on audience interests and relevance, the content could go viral. Then, members of your audience may choose to share it on their own feeds.

There are many social media platforms available to add to your content promotion strategy. It’s important to research which ones are best for promoting which types of content. Consider where your audience spends the most time and is most engaged when picking channels for social promotion.

Related: 3 Dos and Donts of Social Media Marketing

What Factors Should You Use To Evaluate Promotion Opportunities?

Just because you can promote your content a certain way doesn’t mean you should. Not every content promotion method is right for every company. It’s important to have a checklist of factors to evaluate whether a specific promotion opportunity is right for your brand. Factors to consider include:

  • Aesthetic: How does using this promotional method look to your audience? What does using this method say or allude to about your brand?
  • Messaging: Who controls the messaging in this promotion opportunity? Does it convey the right information to the audience?
  • Performance metrics: Has this promotion method been successful for your brand in the past, or does it yield successful results for your competition?
  • Relevance: Does using this promotion method align with your content, industry, and audience?
  • Timing: Does the start time or length of the promotional campaign suit your needs and help you reach your brand goals?

Can You Use Tools for Content Promotion?

There are plenty of tools that exist to help make your content promotion efforts easier. Here are a few categories of tools to consider:

  • Marketing automation tools: These tools allow you to schedule and publish content promotion campaigns in advance across channels. These tools save your team time so that the promotions go out when they need to without a team member having to share each piece of content manually.
  • Analytics and metrics tools: This group of tools allows you to track the success of your content promotion campaigns. The more data you have, the better you can tell if you’re meeting your brand goals.
  • Outreach tools: Outreach tools help you connect with content partners, distribution and syndication partners, or influencers. Use them to find the right partners or opportunities to share your content on different platforms or channels around the internet.
  • Link tracking tools: Link trackers allow you to measure and monitor the performance of your links across the internet. Use them to determine which promotional methods receive the most engagement.
  • Email marketing tools: This tool group allows you to create, schedule, and track all aspects of your email marketing campaigns. Learn how your direct marketing resonates with your audience and adjust your promotional tactics accordingly.
  • Social listening tools: These tools allow you to look for brand mentions across social media platforms, even without direct tags. Use them to help find earned media opportunities across social channels.

Stay Up To Date on Content Promotion Tactics With CopyPress

New content promotion techniques arise all the time. That’s thanks to the developments of new channels, social platforms, and technologies in digital marketing. If you never want to miss an update on the latest and greatest content promotion techniques, subscribe to the CopyPress weekly newsletter. In each issue, we discuss a hot content marketing topic. We also provide resources to tools, downloads, and high-quality information so you’re always ahead of the competition, no matter what curveball your content marketing throws at you.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

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