If you publish a post and no one is around to read it, did you write anything at all?
Sadly, creating a beautiful website and writing amazing content (usually) isn’t enough to get your business started.
You need to get your message in front of the right people and convince them of your awesomeness.
ENTER: An effective marketing and promotion strategy that spreads your message like wildfire and magnetically draws in your target audience to come and check out your offer.
Roadmap to a Successful Online Business – Part XI | The Number 1 Marketing & Promotion Strategy to Boost Your Blog
Before we dive right in, let’s look at what the Solopreneur Safety Net can help you with. I’ll make it quick, I promise!
In a nutshell: If you are toying with the idea of building your own online business as a blogger or infopreneur but are feeling totally lost and don’t know where to start – you have come to the right place! 🙂
My mission is to help you get out of that confusion and overwhelm and break things down for you, so you can follow along easily. My Roadmap to a Successful Online Business blog post series will take you through all the major steps of building your blog or online business. Download your FREE step-by-step business guide that gives you a quick overview of the whole process and let’s get going!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means when you purchase something through those links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions expressed here are my own!
What’s the Difference Between Marketing and Promotion?
Marketing and promotion are closely related, but they aren’t the same thing. How so? Marketing is the bigger, overarching concept of researching your market and competitors, matching your offer to your ideal customer, testing and tweaking your offer and pricing – until you hit the sweet spot.
Promotion, on the other hand, is a means to achieve your marketing goals. By promoting your offer you create awareness and introduce your offer to your ideal customers. Makes sense? An effective promotion often gives away something for free (hello opt-in freebie) to hook people in and – when they liked the initial freebie – sell them something later on. Hook, line, and sinker.
So let’s take a quick look at what to include in your overall marketing plan.
What’s a Marketing Strategy?
Your marketing strategy should be part of your business plan and something you think about early on in your online business journey.
To create a marketing plan and strategy, try answering these questions:
- What’s your status quo (where are you right now in your business journey)?
- What’s your long-term goal?
- Who do you want to sell to (target audience)?
- What do you want to sell them (your service/product)?
- How is your offer different from similar offers (your unique selling point)?
- Which opportunities can you seize to use your unique selling point as a competitive advantage?
- What weaknesses do you have to address to make your business more successful?
- How do you get from your status quo to your long-term goal?
Oh my. It’s certainly harder than it sounds… While some of these points will be relatively easy to define, like your status quo or your long-term goal, others, like identifying opportunities or finding ways to actually reach your goals, are more elusive.
To address these points, a little market research and competitor research will go a long way.
Probably the most important point is to figure out is your target audience. Your mission is to really understand them and offer something valuable to them.
After all, you don’t want to scam them, you want happy customers, right? Create an ideal client avatar, to better understand their needs. You can check out Hubspot’s Make my Persona to do this (it’s free).
Blog Marketing and Promotion – Why Bother?
Because – to my mind at least – promoting and marketing sucks. While I enjoy doing the creative part, promoting it is not my strong suit.
I know, that’s something that’s holding me back and I had better change my mindset towards it. Pronto. It just seems such a drag…
The constant game of following, liking, sharing – it’s like kindergarten all over again: I share your stuff, but only if you share mine first. Or: I follow you, so you’ll follow me – but then I’ll unfollow you, haha. o_O
Not my cup of tea. Sometimes it eludes me why social media are called SOCIAL media…
Anywho – I heard there are also a handful of awesome, decent people – like your humble self – out there, who are actually interested in supporting others and connecting with them. 😉 Please make yourself known in the comments so that I can stalk you online. Collaboration over competition every time! *fist bump*
Coming back to the question: Why bother promoting your blog? Because you didn’t spend all that time and energy creating epic content to let it go unseen and gather dust. Your content deserves to shine.
Marketing and promoting done right bring your dream audience right to your virtual doorstep, ready to be impressed.
Therefore, stop bitching and bite the bullet – create a blog marketing plan that makes an impact (yes, I’m talking to myself AND you here ;)).
The Number 1 Marketing & Promotion Strategy for Your Blog
What are some good marketing strategies, you might be wondering. Well, there are strategies like paid media advertising, where you pay for ads to reach your customers. Or there’s direct selling – contacting people and asking for the sale.
I think most people hate these two kinds of marketing. In a world flooded with ads, most of us reached a state of ad-blindness. As for direct selling – is there anyone who truly enjoys doing that??
But there is a type of marketing that beneficial for you AND your potential customer: content marketing.
What is content marketing and why is it awesome?
Content marketing is what a lot of bloggers and infopreneurs do these days: The creation and digital distribution of valuable free content designed to help a specific group of people.
Of course, this isn’t as selfless as it sounds. People are still trying to make money here.
But instead of spamming people with annoying ads, they market relevant content and offer valuable promotions like ebooks, cheat sheets, services, checklists, tutorials, etc – that actually help people.
That way they create brand awareness and credibility, prove their competence and create leads without having to hard sell. Give value to get value. Sounds fair to me! 🙂
So when you decide to go down that road, you can spread your blog content through different online marketing channels like social media marketing, email marketing, video- or YouTube marketing, or search engine marketing.
Let’s briefly go over these options.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing – as the name suggests – uses social platforms to deliver targeted content and promotions (duh).
To get the most out of this, you’ll want to identify the main social platforms your target audience uses. Don’t try to be everywhere. Your day only has 24h, remember? For a start choose two or three that make the most sense in your context and work with them. Don’t spread yourself too thin. If you don’t get the results you want or you find yourself getting bored – go ahead and try other ones.
What if you have no clue where your target audience hangs out?
If your content is very visual based, try Instagram and Tumblr.
If your content is text heavy, Facebook, Twitter or Medium might be better choices for you.
The only platform I would recommend to EVERYONE, regardless of their niche, is Pinterest. I honestly believe every topic can do great there and drive a ton of traffic to your website. Check out my Pinterest for business blog series, to get a headstart on this platform.
Once you grow a list of interested followers, you can send them more of your valuable content and promotions. Don’t overdo it though. I’ve subscribed to lists and been bombarded by sales pitches like there was no tomorrow – don’t do that! I unsubscribed those lists like a bat out of hell. And so might your subscribers.
Video- or YouTube Marketing
I bet you’ve noticed, video is the flavor of the month. Video is EVERYWHERE. From IGTV, Facebook live to YouTube – video has grown incredibly popular. Even with Google. As Google focuses more and more on user experience, it rates video content highly because users love it. In other words, embedding short videos into your website earns you SEO brownie points. No wonder that video marketing is booming right now.
Like some numbers with these observations? According to market intelligence specialists from Aberdeen
video marketers get a whopping 66% more qualified leads per year and increase brand awareness by 54%. (Understanding the Expanding Benefits of Marketing with Video – Update: sorry, I had to remove the link, as this report is no longer available)
I get it: People get to see the real you, which builds trust and credibility. Moreover, content like video tutorials is usually much easier to follow than their written counterparts. And people love sharing videos. Seems like pros all around?!
Well, it’s one thing to consume and enjoy video content, CREATING it is quite another… Not something that has introverts like myself bouncing with excitement. Also, let’s not forget the additional skills you need to master.
Nonetheless, video marketing is certainly something to think about and maybe start including in your promotion strategy.
If you are already sold on the idea and just need a way to figure out how to go about it, feel free to start by checking out this Skillshare class and enjoy a two-months free Skillshare trial to further your knowledge. You are welcome. 🙂
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing is a part of online marketing that focuses on increasing the visibility of websites in search engine results, either via search engine optimization (SEO) and/or via paid ads (search engine advertising aka SEA).
Increasing your search engine ranking will help you generate organic traffic to your website and thereby increase your pool of potential customers.
While it’s up to you whether you decide to go down the paid advertising route or not, SEO is not up for debate, I’d say. You should definitely implement SEO best practices as part of your promotion strategy right from the start to save you the hassle of having to change everything later on.
Wanna learn more? Check out how to use keyword research as part of your SEO strategy.
- You need a blog marketing and promotion strategy to help you increase your reach and attract potential customers.
- A marketing strategy helps you define your goals, target audience, offer, and unique selling point.
- Content marketing lets you help your target audience by providing valuable content and turn them into loyal customers. No sleazy hard selling required.
- Content marketing channels include social media marketing, Email marketing, video marketing and search engine marketing.
Now go on then, mix and match your perfect marketing strategies, choose ways to promote your blog and create a killer blog marketing plan to make an impact with your superb content. 🙂 I’d love to hear your strategies in the comments.
And don’t forget to generously spread the word by sharing this post with everyone on every platform.
Obviously, if you’re interested in analyzing my Email marketing strategy from an insider perspective, all you need to do is hop on my Email list. 😉 Looking forward to sending you refreshingly useful weekly Emails.
XIII: 6 WORK-LIFE BALANCE TIPS FOR SOLOPRENEURS