Promote Your Blog to Increase Traffic

If you are looking to promote your blog to increase traffic then this comprehensive blog promotion strategy is a must.

Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or not, you can immediately appreciate Starbucks from the moment you step inside.  The fresh aroma of roasted coffee beans awakens you as soon as you crack open the door.  Then, the soft lighting and soothing music encourages you to sit down, relax, and stay a while.  Finally, the friendly staff make you feel right at home making sure your experience is nothing short of spectacular.  In fact, every single detail of this experience was carefully thought out.  Why do you think that is?  Because in the physical world, your senses sell.

 

Over the Internet, we don’t have the luxury of sharing by smell or taste (at least yet), but we do have the ability to touch the minds of others, with our carefully selected words.  But, those words don’t mean anything if no one is reading them; just like that fresh roasted coffee scent means nothing if you never open the door. 

 

In other words, just because you have a website, and you’ve started putting up some content (articles, marketing materials, etc.) that doesn’t mean that anyone is reading it!  If you want to make sure that your content has an audience, then you have to first attract people to your website!  But how can you do that?

 

Thinking about the Starbucks example, all of your senses are leveraged to spread the message of “come drink our coffee.”  Each sense acts like a pathway, leading your brain, step-by-step to the front desk of the store where you exchange your money for a taste of that fresh roasted goodness.  Over the web, there are numerous pathways that you can use to promote your business called media channels; a channel is simply a method for delivering your message to your audience.  You can leverage these channels to attract potential customers into your step-by-step process all the way to your cash register.

 

In our last guide “How to Promote Your Business Online: The Definitive Guide,” we showed you exactly how to craft your message to get people interested, and we touched briefly on a few channels like:

 

If you haven’t read this guide yet, I strongly urge you to do so first before continuing here.

Introduction: What is Content Promotion?

Today, we’re going to dive a lot deeper to understand what all of these channels are, and how you can use each effectively to increase traffic to your blog.  But before we do that, let’s see what an effective content promotion strategy could mean for your business:

 

And these aren’t telling the whole story.  These examples are reflecting paid advertising only.  As we are going to learn in a moment, paid advertising is only 1 piece of the promotional pie. 

 

Content promotion is the act of getting your message in front of your audience through the right channels.  A content promotion strategy is a recipe for determining how much of each channel you need, and when to use each, to generate the most new leads for your company.  The four factors for effective content promotion are:

  • sharing the right message,
  • with the right person,
  • at the right time,
  • through the right channel.

What You'll Learn in This Guide

  1. Section 1: Why Do I Need to Promote My Content?
  2. Section 2: Types of Content Promotion
  3. Section 3: Promote Your First Article to Generate Traffic
    1. Stage 1: Think About Your Audience
    2. Stage 2: Get Your Earned Media
      1. Step 1: Find and Research Similar Content
      2. Step 2: Find Sites Linking to Your Competitors
      3. Step 3: Organize Your Influencer Data
      4. Step 4: Contact Influencers
    3. Stage 3: Make the Best of Owned Media
      1. Step 1: Publish to Your Website
      2. Step 2: Share on Social Media
      3. Step 3: Share via Email
      4. Step 4: Get Creative to Increase Traffic
    4. Look for Other Content Distribution Possibilities
  4. Section 4: Tips for Developing Your Content Promotion Strategy
  5. Section 5: Advanced Content Promotion Strategies
  6. Section 6: The Importance of Measuring Results
  7. Assignments: Test Your Content Marketing Skills
  8. BONUS 1: List of Content Marketing Promotion Channels
  9. BONUS 2: Great References for Further Reading

 

Section 1: Why Do I Need to Promote My Content?

How often do you find yourself paying attention to banner ads on websites, TV advertisements, or radio ads?  The answer is probably not very often.  But when was the last time you checked your Facebook?  Let’s take this a step further, if I asked you to recall the last TV commercial you saw, you probably couldn’t.  However, if I asked you to tell me the last thing you read on Facebook you probably could.  There’s a reason for this, we’re all tired of the old ways of direct brand and product promotion. Instead, we seek valuable, entertaining and engaging information.

 

Still not convinced? Maybe the following figures will shed some light on what content promotion can do for your business:

  • B2B buyers use whitepapers, case studies, webinars and e-books to make purchasing decisions. Nearly 75 percent of B2B buyers say that they’re now using more content to do product research than they did one year ago.
  • Companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads than the ones that don’t.
  • More than 70 percent of marketers are currently increasing their content promotion budgets.

 

Section 2: Types of Content Promotion

Now that you understand the importance of doing content promotion, it’s time to take a look at the different types of channels available. Your content promotion strategy should leverage a mix of these three types of media channels:

  • Owned media: refers to your own channels like your corporate website, blog, forum, and email marketing list.  Owned media is anything that you have control over.
  • Earned media: refers to word of mouth promotion, the social media buzz generated by shares, and the blog posts created by famous bloggers and authors about your brand.  Earned media is anything that someone else creates on your behalf that you didn’t pay for.
  • Paid media: refers to all forms of traditional advertising both in the online and the offline realm. Such media includes print publications, website ads, display ads, paid search, radio and television ads.  Paid media, just like the name suggests, is any promotional medium that you paid for.

 

When it comes to promoting your blog to increase traffic, the right blend of these three media types is fundamental for success. Keep in mind, however, that earned media can boost the credibility of your brand significantly versus owned or paid, because people tend to trust the opinions of others over content generated by a particular brand or advertisement.

 

Finally, remember that effective content promotion should incorporate both online and offline techniques. Some traditional channels (like specialized magazines, or good old fashioned networking) can help you target the right prospects and deliver the right message. Don’t discredit such possibilities because of the innovative promotional techniques stemming from online mediums.  Use the CEO™ Framework to test each channel: the frequency, volume, time of day, and of course results of each promotion can help you determine which channels work and which ones don’t for your specific niche.

 

Section 3: Promote Your First Article to Generate Traffic

In our last guide you learned how to create your first article.  Now, we are going to learn about a few different approaches that you can take today to promote that article.

 

Stage 1 - Think about Your Audience

The first and the most important prerequisite for success is to truly understand your customer. Think about all of their problems, their goals and aspirations, what makes them tick, and most importantly what makes them decide to buy.

 

What kind of audience are you targeting? What are these people interested in? Think about a particular problem that this audience has and aim to provide a reliable solution.

 

Let’s look at a scenario for Tracy, a wedding planner that wants to land new clients using the internet.  The best place for her to start is to define who her ideal clients are:

  • What age group are they? 
  • What kind of budget do they have?
  • Where do they live?
  • What decisions will they need to make?
  • When would be the best time for her to get introduced to them?

 

For our example, let’s say that she only offers her services in the state of New Jersey, and her best clients have a budget of $20,000 to $50,000 and are between the ages of 20 and 30.  When do you think the best time in the buying cycle is for Tracy’s clients to learn about her?  After they get engaged, after they have set a wedding date, at some other point?  The answer is that the earlier in the buying process she can introduce herself, the bigger the influence she can become in their buying decision. 

 

Armed with this information Tracy has determined that the best time to start creating a relationship with potential clients is before they even get engaged.  Now that she knows this, how can she find people who don’t even know they need a wedding planner yet?  The answer is to dig deep into her client’s needs to understand what problems they are facing before they get engaged.  Some problems could be:

  • How to pop the question?
  • Where to get the best value for a wedding ring?
  • How to find the right place to propose?

 

Also, she can start thinking about where her potential clients might be during this phase in the buying process, like:

  • Shopping around at jewelry stores
  • On social media sites
  • In meet up groups for young couples (like young-adults.meetup.com)
  • At colleges or universities, perhaps preparing for college graduation

 

Equally as important, Tracy needs to consider where these potential customers are not.  A dating website, for example, would be too early in the process.  The idea here is for her to find places where someone who will be in the market for wedding planner services in the near future is going to be.

 

Assignment 3A

Take 15 to 30 minutes now to go as deep as you can into who your ideal customer is, and when the most influential time(s) to meet them are during their buying decision. 

Decide what kind of problems they are facing, where they might go for answers, and what kinds of questions they are probably asking.  Make sure to be as specific as you can; the more you think of now, the easier everything will be down the road. 

 

Let’s say that Tracy has created an article on “10 tips to make your marriage proposal unforgettable.”  Once the article is just about ready to publish to her website, she needs to start planning how she will promote it so that people will find & read it.

 

Our method for doing this is called the AIM™ Method, which stands for Announce, Inform, and Measure.  The AIM™ Method is a powerful way to craft problem / solution statements so they pique your audience’s curiosity.  Announce means crafting a message that grabs someone’s attention about a problem they are currently facing.  Inform means to let that person know that you have the answer to that specific problem they have.  Lastly, Measure means that we need to create a compelling call-to-action, and then track the results of each promotional piece we create to see how effective it is at bringing in new business for us.  Ideally, when we’re creating promotions we should be testing a number of them in parallel at as small of a scale as possible to find out which ones work the best.   Once you know what is working, cut what doesn’t work well, and gradually run the best ones in front of larger and larger audiences.

 

In Tracy’s example, she can begin crafting her AIM™ statements based on the title of her article, the audience she is targeting, and the medium in which she will be promoting.  For example, let’s say that she is going to post her article to Facebook.  She could write a series of posts linking to her article on different dates & times like:

Post #1:

            Don’t Look Like a Fool When You Pop the Question

            Click here to access these 10 free tips to make sure your proposal is unforgettable!

Post #2:

            Tips for the Perfect Marriage Proposal

            A practical guide for getting the girl of your dreams to say yes

Post #3:

            Make sure she says “I do,” before you even ask

            Download this FREE guide to the perfect proposal today

Post #4:

            45% of marriage proposal’s end in disaster

            Don’t become a statistic!  Download our free guide to the perfect proposal now!

 

On some mediums, like Facebook™ you can also add images to the mix.  When possible, always do this.  Image updates receive 2.3X more engagement than those without.  In this case, Tracy can not only test the text for each of these status updates, but also try a number of different images with each to see what works the best.

 

Also, try to integrate as much of the following into each promotion as possible without sounding spammy or unauthentic:

  1. Use the same vocabulary that your target audience uses.
  2. Make your calls-to-action time bound whenever possible.  This dramatically increases impulse urges.
  3. Insert words like “FREE,” “NEW,” “SAVE,” “PROVEN,” “GUARANTEE,” and other power words that are hardwired into our brains to drive interest.
  4. Use rhymes, alliterations, or other types of repetitions to make the promotions more memorable.
  5. Use quotes, facts and statistics to establish credibility and attract your audience.
  6. Make calls-to-action specific: “Click here,” “Download,” etc. 
  7. Try testing different capitalizations.  As you can see from the samples above things as simple as capitalizing some words, or not capitalizing any can have an impact in how noticeable a promotion is.  Experiment with different capitalizations to see what your audience responds best to.

 

Lastly, once you figure out what works, don’t be afraid to change it up!  Slight tweaks could keep your information interesting to maximize engagement.

 

There are a lot of other great guides to writing excellent ad copy.  For more ideas on how to write effective headlines and ad copy, see Marketing Confession’s post on 11 Copywriting Books for Entrepreneurs, or CopyBlogger’s post on good copy.

Assignment 3B:

Take 15 minutes to brainstorm as many AIM™ statements as you can for the article you’re planning to promote.  Later, test them each by getting feedback from real people in your target niche to see how your statements impact them.

Before we move on to the next step, don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that every article that you write needs to be promoted the same way.  Not every article or piece of content that you create will be worthy of heavy promotion.  Remember to consider where the article your thinking about sits within your customer’s buying cycle.  If it is a guide meant for later in the decision making process, or for after a decision to buy has been made, it may not make as much sense to promote it, or the channels in which it is promoted may need to be adjusted.  More information about building a full marketing and sales funnel will be provided in our next guide, “Secret #3 – Leads, Leads, Leads,” so make sure you’re subscribed to our email list so that you don’t miss it.

 

Stage 2 - Get Your Earned Media

Getting influencers on your side is one of the biggest ways to boost the effectiveness of your content marketing. Nielsen statistics suggest that 90 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations.

 

So, what does it take to get influencers on your side?

Step 1: Find and Research Similar Content

For a start, do your research. Look for content that’s similar to yours. How much buzz has it generated? Where has the content been shared? Tools like BuzzSumo can be used to analyze web content (either by keyword or by competitor URL) and how popular it is. The tool will give you information about Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ shares. It also provides details about backlinks for a specific period of time.

 

Looking back at the wedding planner’s example, let’s see some of the top articles out there in that niche.

 

  1. Go to BuzzSumo.com.  In the search bar, type the concept for your article.  In our example we’ll use “tips for proposing.”  How to Promote Your Blog with BuzzSumo

    From here, we can not only see the headlines of other successful articles and how many social shares they got, but we can even see who shared them!

  2. For example, click on the “View Sharers” button next to any result that has more than 20 Twitter shares.  Now we can not only see how many shares, but also who shared each article. 
  3.  With a paid membership to BuzzSumo, you can click on the “Export” button and download the full list of influencers.

For our purposes, you should copy the top 10 articles (both headings & URLs) and at least 25 influencers into a new Excel file.  This list is your first step to creating a database of influencers for your market.  These influencers are going to be the people that we will reach out to in the next steps to start building relationships with in the hopes that they may start to share our articles.

 

Step 2: Find Sites Linking to Your Competitors

Continue with your backlink research. Tools like the MOZ Open Site Explorer will give you detailed backlink reports for the URLs you gathered in the last step.  Search the links that you found in the previous step to see other websites that have linked to these pages in Open Site Explorer.

 

Also, you can use Twitter to do additional research about trending topics and the top influencers in the niche you’re interested in. In fact, you can even paste the URL’s in the search bar of Twitter to see more people who tweeted about the articles you found in Step 1.  These social network members are the people that you need on your side, the ones that will help you gain your earned media. Look for trends and patterns – what kinds of content are they sharing, what topics do they focus on and how does their audience respond? This data can help you plan how you will reach out to each influencer.

 

Take the time to consolidate all of this backlink and social media research into your Excel database so that you can use it in our next steps.

 

Step 3: Organize Your Influencer Data

Now that you have your database of influencers, it’s time to put this information to good use.

 

The process of contacting influencers and building relationships with them can be simplified through the use of the right tools. Possibilities like BuzzStream enable you to further your influencer research, get their contact information, create a well-organized database, discover new social influencers and even manage your relationship with each influencer. BuzzStream offers a free trial that you can use to acquaint yourself with the interface and all the powerful features of the platform.

 

In lieu of using automated tools, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty by:

  • Visit the social media profiles of industry influencers and contacting them personally.
  • Finding a contact email and using it to send them a note (could be available through LinkedIn or other social media).
  • Using the contact forms available on influencer’s websites to introduce yourself and leave a note.

 

One other method you can use to get an influencer’s contact information is the online who-is database.  Just remember, don’t be a creep here!  The goal of gathering this information isn’t to stalk; it’s to use their information to introduce yourself in a non-invasive way to establish a relationship.

 

Take time now to organize your influencer database before moving on to the next step, which is:

Step 4: Contact Influencers

This one is the most important and probably the most challenging step – how do you contact influencers and what does it take to make your message stand out and get read?

 

Make your first inquiry unique, brief and intriguing. Avoid clichés and common pleasantries – be genuine, introduce your project and tell influencers how helping you will help them. Here’s an example email template you can rely on to simplify the communication:

Hi (Name),

My name is (first and last name) and I’m the owner/manager of (your website).

Just wanted to say that I love your (blog/social media profile/website). I particularly enjoyed reading (title) and the manner in which you presented (topic). Seeing that we are both so interested in this topic, I was hoping to solicit some feedback from you for an article I’m working on.

I’m very new to blogging and am in search of real experts like yourself to give me feedback and help me improve.

You can see my article here: (URL), titled (title).  My real goal with this article is to point out (key point).

Any and all feedback that you have is greatly appreciated!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards,

Your Name

 

When using a template like this, be sure to customize it as much as possible.   Also, try to keep your focus on the value for the person you’re reaching out to and keep the first message as short as possible.  How can your content help them and boost their credibility?  How can it help their readers?  Is there something else you can offer to them now or down the road?  The goal here is that you’re not just trying to get a link or a mention.  It is to build a relationship with these influencers so that they will work with you for years to come.

 

If you don’t hear back from these influencers, or if it takes a long time, don’t get frustrated.  The people you are reaching out to are probably extremely busy; remember that a friendly attitude will get you much further than anything else.  A simple one liner follow up email a few days to a week later on non-responses should be sufficient.

Assignment 3C:

Follow the steps above to create your database of similar articles and influencers.  Then, customize the email template above into 3 different versions and send them to 30 different influencers. 

For 5 days, track the response rates to each of your three templates to see which one works the best.  Then, continuously reach out to more and more influencers to continuously grow your influencer network.

Stage 3 - Make the Best of Owned Media

To leverage the power of your owned media, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Publish to Your Website

Pay attention to formatting, make sure that you have a catchy title and always accompany your posts by at least one image. Articles that have images get 94 percent more views than the ones featuring solely text.

 

Step 2: Share on Social Media

Use the 4-1-1 rule: for every one self-tweet or promotional post on social networks, you should re-share something relevant and post four other niche pieces from alternative sources. The rule will diversify your content curation and keep your audience engaged.  Also, it’s a great way to re-post some of the information from the influencers you’ve reached out to in previous steps.  Read more about the 4-1-1 rule here.

 

Step 3: Share via Email

Traditional email newsletters are great for popularizing your content. Remember that this list is people who already know you and your brand, so tailor your message accordingly.  To get new subscribers, provide some incentive that will stimulate people to sign up for your newsletter – a free e-book, an educational video or any other relevant giveaway.

 

Step 4: Get Creative with Distribution

There are so many other possibilities for promoting your content. Add a relevant URL to your email signature. Your website should also be featured on your business cards. If you’re a member of a professional forum or a community, add the URL to your signature there, as well.

 

Look for Other Content Distribution Possibilities

Where else could you be distributing your content? A good strategy includes many other channels that all help you reach the right crowd.

 

For a start, you need to be an active member of specialized forums and relevant social media groups. Look for industry-specific communities and become a valuable member. Don’t just share your content, contribute to the discussions and you’ll get the interest of other members.

 

Websites like SlideShare are also great for popularizing your brand and creating engaging content. Through SlideShare, you can put together presentations that contain calls-to-action to join your mailing list. Popularize your SlideShare content through social media, especially if you want such pieces to go viral.

 

Apart from doing social media marketing, you should try social bookmarking websites, too. Some of the most popular and effective possibilities include Digg, Reddit, Delicious, StumbleUpon and Scoop.it.  Before using any of these social bookmarking sites though, be sure to read this article with tips for using social bookmarking sites effectively without being considered “spammy.”

 

Finally, look for specialized websites like the ones of industry organizations, local news sites, Facebook groups, Meetup groups, specialized membership websites and networking possibilities. Once you become a member and you start building relationships with others, you’ll also find new possibilities for sharing your content.

Assignment 3D:

Brainstorm 10 additional channels you can use to reach out to your customers aside from on your website, social media pages, or email.  Think about how to change your messaging and your AIM™ statements to fit each of these of channels and then try all of them!  Track your results - what works for you & what doesn’t?  Also, just because something doesn’t work once, doesn’t mean that it won’t work again with minor changes.  Try changing around your titles, credibility markers, images, and anything else you’re leaving in your promotional postings to get the best response rates.

Warning: be careful what and how you’re promoting anything.  The key is to make sure that you aren’t considered spammy or it could hurt you and your brand image.  Think from your customer’s perspective, is what you’re sharing truly valuable?   Are you presenting it in the best possible way?

Section 4: Tips for Developing Your Content Promotion Strategy

All of your efforts should be strategic. Sporadic campaigns will never deliver the desired results, which is why you need to come up with a long-term plan for the creation and the distribution of your content.

 

For a start, try the free content distribution methods and measure their effectiveness. The impact of online activities can be measured instantaneously – take a look at Google Analytics and the insight tools that many social media platforms feature. These tools will give you a better idea about the types of content that produce the best response, along with the demographic profile of your audience and its engagement.

 

Closely monitor how each of your activities are impacting traffic. Don’t expect instant results – content marketing requires time and consistent effort to start delivering results. Still, if you notice that particular topics are generating a lot of interest, you can use that data to refine your strategy.  Remember to leverage the AIM™ Method and the CEO™ Framework.  Start small with each channel and then as you find what methods work for you, accelerate them.

 

Finally, remember to think about your audience. Content promotion is all about niche targeting rather than addressing the needs of a general, yet moderately interested audience. Our next e-book “Secret #3 – Leads, Leads, Leads” is going to take these concepts further and address exactly how to design a content funnel that will turn leads into sales by targeting the right person, with the right message, at the right time, through the right medium.  Be sure to join our mailing list to get access to this guide as soon as it’s released.

 

Section 5: Advanced Content Promotion Strategies

Several advanced techniques will take your content marketing efforts to the next level.

 

The first strategy to think about is growth hacking. Startup marketer Sean Ellis coined this concept, which focuses on doing marketing beyond traditional advertising opportunities. Growth hacking uses creativity, social metrics and analytical thinking to produce huge growth within a short period of time.

 

The Airbnb story is one of the ultimate growth hacking examples. Airbnb is often considered the poster child of growth hacking. The company enables anyone to convert a spare bedroom into a hotel/motel room and an opportunity for rent. The founders of Airbnb leveraged the power of Craigslist to popularize the idea. Anyone who wants to post a listing on Airbnb is also given the option to create a Craigslist entry, which creates dozens of inbound links for the Airbnb platform. In the past, there were no easy and automatic Craigslist automation possibilities, which has led to the popularity of the Airbnb feature. Currently, the website features listings in more than 190 countries.

 

Spotify is another company that accomplished massive growth. It attained results through Facebook integration. The growth hacking success was based on an extensive music catalog, a freemium business model, a massive launch in the US and an exclusive deal with Facebook. Today, Spotify has more than 50 million users. Of these, 12.5 million pay for premium membership.

 

The Spotify example shows that growth hacking may sometimes require a serious budget but the results could ultimate a phenomenal ROI.

 

Apart from giving growth hacking techniques a try, you may consider incorporating paid channels into the mix. The most popular ones include:

  • Press release distribution networks that will submit your stories to dozens of websites
  • Facebook paid ads that give you a possibility to do extensive targeting
  • Google AdWords

Outbrain, Taboola and Ideal Media: content popularization platforms that rely on a massive distribution networks to grow your audience
 

Make sure you’re happy with your conversion rates from free channels first, before investing into paid distribution.  I have found that it is very easy to lose a lot of money very quickly if you’re not careful.  Take it from me, in my first business, I lost over $3000 in less than a week without getting any results!  Spend your time getting your content and your base promotional strategies right before adding paid promotion to your mix.

 

Section 6: The Importance of Measuring Results

With traditional marketing, you don’t get to measure results until after the execution of a campaign. Online promotion and content marketing on the other hand, enable you to track performance while the campaign is taking place. Pay attention to your results to figure out whether you’re reaching the levels you’re expecting. If you’re not, modify your content distribution plan to boost effectiveness while it’s still running.

 

Google Analytics is the most important tool you should be using on a daily basis. It gives you crucial data about traffic, sources of traffic, audience demographics, audience engagement and behavior. All of this data will reveal just how effective your content strategy is and which components are delivering the best results.

 

Want to learn more about the metrics that matter the most and how to read this data? Our upcoming e-book “Secret #5 – Analytics” will teach you everything you need to know about effectively optimizing your content marketing strategies.

 

Want to learn the secret to creating killer content?  Download this 16 page guide now, plus gain access to the entire "How to Promote Your Business Online: The Definitive Guide" series for free by completing the form below.

 

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Test Your Content Marketing Skills: This Section's Assignment

Are you ready to put your newly earned skills to the test? Use these assignments to promote your article and start building relationships with influencers today:

Assignment 3A

Take 15 to 30 minutes now to go as deep as you can into who your ideal customer is, and when the most influential time(s) to meet them are during their buying decision. 

Decide what kind of problems they are facing, where they might go for answers, and what kinds of questions they are probably asking.  Make sure to be as specific as you can; the more you think of now, the easier everything will be down the road. 

Assignment 3B

Take 10 minutes to brainstorm as many problem/solution statements as you can for the article you’re planning to promote.  Later, test them each by getting feedback from real people in your target niche to see how your statements impact them.

Assignment 3C

Create your list of similar content pages, links, and influencers names & contact information in Excel.  Customize the template above to write personal message to 10 new influencers per day and track the results of your messages.  Find out which emails get responses and which ones don’t, then craft your message accordingly, just like your promotional headlines.

Assignment 3D

Brainstorm 10 additional channels you can use to reach out to your customers aside from on your website, social media pages, or email.  Think about how to change your messaging and your AIM™ Problem statements to fit each of these of channels and then try all of them!  Track your results - what works for you & what doesn’t?  Also, just because something doesn’t work once, doesn’t mean that it won’t work again with minor changes.  Try changing around your titles, credibility markers, images, and anything else you’re leaving in your promotional postings to get the best response rates.

Warning: be careful what and how you’re promoting anything.  The key is to make sure that you aren’t considered spammy or it could hurt you and your brand image.  Think from your customer’s perspective, is what you’re sharing truly valuable?   Are you presenting it in the best possible way?

 

BONUS 1: List of Content Marketing Promotion Channels

a.      Online Promotion Possibilities

i.      Owned Media

  1. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn profiles
  2. In-store media
  3. Corporate website
  4. Mobile apps
  5. Email signatures and email newsletters

ii.      Earned Media

  1. Community sites, specialized forums, blogs, etc.
  2. Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn groups
  3. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ mentions, shares and likes
  4. The websites, blogs and social media profiles of influencers

iii.      Paid Media

  1. Search engine marketing and paid search
  2. Facebook ads
  3. Paid mobile apps
  4. Content promotion networks (OutBrain, Taboola, Ideal Media)

b.      Offline Promotion Possibilities

i.      Owned Media

  1. Brochure, leaflets, catalogs
  2. Retail stores
  3. Self-promotion

ii.      Earned Media

  1. Word of mouth promotion and referrals
  2. Mentions in news and specialized publications
  3. Involvement with local organizations and industry associations

iii.      Paid Media

  1. TV advertising
  2. Radio advertising
  3. Print advertising (magazines, newspapers)
  4. Cinema
  5. Outdoors (billboards)
  6. Website banners
  7. Direct mail promotion
  8. Tradeshow participation
  9. Event participation

 

BONUS 2: Great References for Further Reading

Topic

URL for More Information

Leveraging paid media

http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/how-to-promote-your-content-across-owned-earned-and-paid-media/

Paid, owned, earned - over time strategy

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-lusk/how-to-define-and-use-pai_b_4634005.html

More ways to promote content

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/17-advanced-methods/

Using BuzzStream effectively

http://pointblankseo.com/buzzstream-outreach

More ways to promote

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/paid-earned-owned-content-promotion

Tips for using StumbleUpon

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/stumble-upon/8425/

How to use Buzzstream & Buzzsumo

http://www.buzzstream.com/blog/buzzsumo-buzzstream.html

Using the big social bookmarking sites

http://www.quirk.biz/resources/howto/137/0/Part-3-Social-Bookmarking-and-Aggregating---Avoiding-overload

Expert opinions on ways to promote content

http://buzzsumo.com/blog/20-experts-promote-content-hitting-publish/

More ways to promote

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/03/26/content-promotion

More ways to promote

http://boostblogtraffic.com/content-promotion/

Promoting with social, email, and SEO

http://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/content-promotion-strategy/

Great tool to see a "visual map of the social media landscape"

http://conversationprism.com/

Airbnb case study

https://growthhackers.com/companies/airbnb/

Spotify case study

https://growthhackers.com/companies/spotify/

The 4-1-1 rule

http://tippingpointlabs.com/twitter-is-dead-long-live-twitter/

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