Writing blog posts is one thing, promoting them is another. And although Great Content is the cornerstone of blogging success, promoting your posts is just as important. The question then is: ‘How do I promote my blog posts?’

Back in 2010 I did a post called ‘Shameless Blog Promotion’. I always send it on to clients to help them get going with promoting their posts. But it’s 2013 now. Some things have changed. So, time for an update!

I have condensed this rather lengthy post down into a 9 point action list for you to take away. Below the image you’ll find much more details.

How to promote a blog post

Optimise: SEO checklist

The process of promoting your blog post starts before you publish it. Knowing your target audience, gaining insights into their needs and writing unique content that add value to them is the very essence of blogging.

But there are also some tactical thingies you need to get right so your blog posts are found in search engines. Here are some helpful tips to help you optimise your blog posts for Google:

Copywriting SEO tips to help you get your blog posts found better (part I)
Copywriting SEO tips to help you get your blog posts found even better (part II)

So now that you’ve published your optimised blog post, and it can be found in search engines, you can now start with your shameless blog promotion ritual.

Syndicate across your company outposts

Your post is on the company blog, so you can now share it across your company’s outposts across the social web. Needless to say you can have many, but be sure to cover your:

  • Facebook page
  • LinkedIn Company Update (with a targeted update to your followers)
  • Twitter channel (using the right hashtags!)
  • Google+ company page (adding an insight or summary)
  • Pinterest channel (because of course you’ve used an amazing picture, right?)

Needless to say, your blog should also have a RSS feed so that people can subscribe and your latest post is automatically pushed out to them.

Share with your personal network

Next to your company’s social outposts, you can also share it across your own personal network. Again, you’ll have your favourite channels, but obviously you should consider a status update in LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ as well as sending out a tweet on Twitter.

Also, consider adding a link to the fresh blog post in your company email signature!

PR with your immediate network

The best way to start promoting your content is to start with the people closest to you – your friends, family, colleagues and closest network. Ask them to retweet, share or like your post.

Make sure the content you are asking them to share adds value to them and their network. So be selective! And be personable. Drop them a personal email or give them a call. Like any good PR would do :-)

Also, make sure you are building on your email list. Even when it’s your personal network, colleagues and friends. Again, be personable. Ask them what they value most.

Social bookmarking

Social bookmarking is not as hot as it was back in 2010. Still, if your content fits the channel, social bookmarking sites can still be great traffic generators. There’s loads of them, but the most important ones are: Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and Delicious.

Also, make sure your blog gets listed with blog search engine Technorati.

Content curation

Content curation has been a hot topic in the social media space for a while now. Content curation means that you are continually finding, organising and sharing content of a specific theme or topic with your target audiences. There are many tools available. These are my favourites:

Scoop.it is a great tool for curating a topic over a sustained period of time. Storify.com is a great tool for curating news worthy stories. Get your account going, and make sure your fresh post gets added to these channels each time to increase visibility and reach! Here’s a handy little tutorial on Scoop.it to get you going.

You can also consider to submit the feed of your blog for submission on aggregation service Alltop or send in your optimised RSS feed for promotion on Flipboard. However, make sure your blog is publishing frequently and your content is nothing less than great.

Engage in discussion groups

Now your blog post is getting shared by your network, sent out to your email list, added to social bookmarking services and some curation platforms, it’s time to start activating some people through some good old engagement and conversation.

So, post your fresh blog post in relevant LinkedIn groups, get on Google +, join and post in relevant communities, and if possible consider adding your post to an answer thread on Quora. Remember, the web is social. Nothing wrong with engaging people and asking them for their opinion.

Comment on other people’s blogs

Now that you’re already engaging with people on social media channels, it’s time to expand the conversation to relevant blogs. Get onto Google or Google Blog search & Technorati, find relevant blog posts and join the conversation in the comment section.

However, when you leave a comment on somebody else’s blog, make sure it’s a genuine and relevant comment. Leaving a link to one of your blog posts in the comment section of somebody else’s blog is OK, but contribute to the conversation above anything else.

Any more tricks in the bag?

There’s many ways of promoting your blog. You just need to figure out what form of  promotion best fits your content and objectives.

Let’s look at a few more options:

Guest blogging:

A classical tactic of promoting your blog is Guest Blogging. The upside of blogging on someone else’s platform is that you are reaching a new audience. The downside is that it’s very time consuming, and well, erm … it’s not your platform ;-)

Either way, make sure you do it well!

Content syndication:

Content syndication enables you to spread your content across different networks. The upside is that you are potentially reaching new audiences. The downside is that you are giving up some control over your content.

My advice is to take the time to research all the different options. And look before you leap.

Reformatting your content:

Depending on the type of post you are publishing, a tutorial, an opinion piece, a review or an industry commentary, think of ways to reformat your content. Your post can also become a powerpoint presentation on Slideshare, a PDF download on Scribd or a video on YouTube or Vimeo.

Reformatting your content helps to increase reach, find ability and traffic to your blog.

Advertising:

Advertising your blog content is maybe a bit unconventional. However, since Facebook rolled out their targeted advertising platform you can now amplify your best posts via your Facebook Page to your network of Likes and their friends.

Out of all the Facebook advertising options, these ‘Promoted Posts’ have the highest CTR. So, adding Facebook advertising to the Shameless Blog Promotion checklist makes sense!

A round-up

I have condensed this blog post into a 9 point action list of stuff you need to do before you publish your post:

  1. Optimise: SEO checklist before you publish
  2. Syndicate: to your company outposts
  3. Share: with your personal network
  4. PR: with your immediate network
  5. Bookmark: e.g. Digg, StumbleUpon
  6. Curate: e.g. Scoop.it, Storify
  7. Engage: e.g. LinkedIn groups, G+ discussions
  8. Comment: on other blogs
  9. Advertise: Facebook Promoted Posts.

Consider all the tricks in the book, but focus on your actual content, adding real value and having relevant conversations!

After having read this post, are there any major tactics I left out? Looking forward to you comments!

Thanks for reading, happy blogging & enjoy your shameless blog promotion. You now know how to promote your blog posts!

Joe PesciOne of my favourite marketing 2.0 quotes of all time comes from Gary Vaynerchuk, the video blogger, who so successfully built his wine business through social marketing. He says:

There is no substitute for caring for your audience, your customer and your clients. And… you need to have an actual business model to support and sustain it.

This really is the secret of successful marketing on the social web.

If you care for your customers, offer them great products and services, exceptional customer service and an overall satisfying experience – you create a happy customer. And happy customers create more customers.

Below is the video with Gary’s interview where he said what I just said he said ;-)

I’ve placed this clip on my blog before, and back then I received comments from people who said that they had a hard time making out exactly what Gary had to say.

That’s partly because the interview (by Monty Metzger) was conducted on a really busy street, and partly because Gary sounds like Joe Pesci on a marketing mission.

Since I placed this clip on my blog before, I felt obliged to add a little extra value. So you can download a PDF with an English transcript of the video, below; just in case you are having a hard time hearing exactly what Gary had to say. I had great fun puzzling it together.

Download video transcript: Gary Vaynerchuk on the secret of his success [PDF]

It’s a word I hear a lot. I even use it myself sometimes:

Leverage.

I like the word.

Leverage

Sounds and smells fluid & rubbery. But it actually means to do the opposite. It takes power and muscle to leverage one thing towards the other.

I sometimes hear people say that they want to: “Leverage the power of social media”.

Is that possible?

Well, yes it is.

But certainly not with a Quid Pro Quo attitude. I recommend trying a warm and heartfelt “Are you being served?” instead.

Trust, Relationships, and happy clients: that’s the real stuff you can leverage in social media.

Organising events is a great way for SMEs to build awareness, connect with their target audiences and establish positioning within their industry.

But organising a great event – with mutual value for everyone involved – is not easy. Quite often basic principles are overlooked.

Here’s a practical little checklist to make sure that the event you organise is worth the effort of organising and attending it!

1. Make sure your presentations connect to the target audience needs

My first advice is to make your event as targeted as possible. If you are targeting MDs or CEOs, talk about your vision on the industry or new strategic opportunities for their business. But if you are inviting medium level executives, make sure your presentations help them with the problems they are facing every day.

2. Live up to the expectation

Don’t make big claims that you can’t deliver on. Quite often events are advertised with slogans such as ‘The secret of success in social media’ or ‘How to make your online strategy work’. When you make claims like that, make sure you deliver on them. If you don’t, no matter how well the event was organised, your audience will end up being disappointed.

3. Have your attendees promote the event for you through social media

Once you have established a list of attendees, make sure they can promote the event for you. Publish teaser content on your blog or in social media channels such as YouTube or Slideshare. Connect with your attendees on Twitter and Linkedin. Ask them to share the content with their network. And oh yes, make sure the content is valuable, not just marketing blurb!

4. Keep on publishing throughout the event

Also during the event, allow attendees to send updates and photos to their followers and friends on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure you give them the hashtag you have claimed for your event on forehand. And of course, make sure they have access to high speed internet throughout the entire event.

5. Take good aftercare

Now that you have your audience engaged, make sure you leverage that. Publish a presentation or a video with the biggest insights of the event. Reconnect with your attendees in social media. Invite them to share. Ask them what they thought of the event to make your next event even better.

So, in a nutshell:

Publish valuable content, connect with your audience in social media and engage them in a conversation.

Happy organising!

Biggest opportunity B2C social mediaAmazingly, ‘social media’ still remains a mystic phenomenon for many B2C companies. This is because most B2C companies and brands traditionally market their products and services through advertising & promotion.

As a result, most companies enter into social media for all the wrong reasons. They see social media channels, such as Facebook & Twitter, as a great opportunity to get their ad or site in front of as many people as possible.

But is that really the big opportunity of social media?

[Read more...]

While I was searching in Google for the term ‘social media marketing’ Google Suggest gave me the term ‘social media marketing for dummies’. And that means people are appearantly searching for that.

Social Media Marketing Dummies

Google Suggest is a really handy tool to get a grip on long tail searches and it is also a source of inspiration for blog topics. And that’s why I am now writing this post for  ‘social media marketing for dummies’.

[Read more...]

This morning I’m giving a presentation for the social media event organised by Onbegrensd Talent. More about Onbegrend Talent here (Dutch only).

The deck I’ll present is above. The purpose of my presentation is to help flip people’s headset.

Why?

[Read more...]

As a marketer, your number 1 objective for the social web is to get found, right?

If you want to get found you know you should optimise your content and your website. But! You should also optimise your social media channels. So, where to start?

[Read more...]

Since about two years already, YouTube is the number 2 search engine in the world – straight after big daddy Google. In addition YouTube videos are also found directly in Google search result pages.

In order to get your videos found, make sure you optimise them to your keyword strategy!!

[Read more...]

Culture leadership social media marketingAt the bottom of this post you will find a nice little video with a collection of infographics made by Mark Smiciklas. He makes cool stuff. So check out his Intersection marketing blog for more.

In the vid below he gives 19 examples of ‘Social media best practices’. My favourite image is #4 at 50 seconds.

This will give you a really good insight into where you need to focus as an organisation.

[Read more...]