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!

Great content is the secret to marketing success on the social web. That’s what all the gurus and expert blogs tell you. And it’s true; great content is what drives people to click, share, follow, subscribe, donate and buy. And Google seems to like great content as well.

But what exactly IS great content?

When you now go online and search for ‘what is great content’, you will not find an all-encompassing definition of what makes content great. And that is perhaps logical. Because as always… ‘it depends’. Also, content is great, when someone thinks it is great. Just like with music. Or film.

Still, some music is loved by many and some stays undiscovered. Some pieces of content get found and shared like wild fire and some die-off the moment you publish them. So, what is the secret? What happens if you dissect a great piece content? What do you find? What are the fundamental elements that great content is build on?

Just yesterday, Steve Seager published a model called The Anatomy of Great Content. The model is intended as a discussion piece for B2B marketers and strategic communicators to help improve the quality of future content.

The Anatomy of Great ContentI think it’s especially great to use as a sanity-check against your existing content!

I want to zoom in a bit on the first 3 elements: targeted, valuable & structured. In my experience, this is where marketers struggle most to get it right (‘great’ that is!). These elements are all about ‘messaging’. About what you actually plan to say.

1. Targeted

The web is about reaching people directly. One on one. You always have a real person sitting on the other end of the screen. So, you need to write your content for individuals not markets or segments.

Take a look at some of your existing content and ask yourself: WHO is this written for?

2. Valuable

The web has gone social for a good while now. It’s not about Quid Pro Quo any more. Instead you gotta give to get!. Figure out exactly what your target audience really needs and where you can help. Do research, look at your data, talk to your sales people and get the facts. It’s about their needs!

Take a look at some of your existing content and ask yourself: WHAT is the real value of this piece of content to the person I am targeting?

3. Structured

Everything you do as a publisher on the social web, starts with the question ‘what do I want to achieve?’. Then you ask ‘with who’ (targeted!) and ‘how’ (offer value!). Then you need to factor in who is saying it (your positioning) and what you are selling (specific aspects of your value proposition).

If you want to tie all that up in a great piece of content, and keep doing that, you need structure. Just like with music. Or film. A great film usually has a great story (that’s you!), great actors (that’s your staff, clients, prospects & stakeholders), great plot points (that’s the themes and topics you are talking about) and great dialogue (that’s you engaging in a conversation with your target audiences).

The combination of all that is what makes you love a film. What makes you remember it. And tell your friends about.

So as a last, but vital, sanity check against your content:

Take a look at some of your existing content and ask yourself: does it stick?

As for the other 4 elements in the model: atomised, optimised, activating & measurable… don’t bother with those until you get your messaging right! Because you hardly ever see a great film that solely relies on great photography, camerawork and special effects. Now do you?

More context and additional information download the E-book below:

DOWNLOAD THE PDF: The Anatomy of Great Content: a content marketing model for B2B marketers and strategic communicators.

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!

It was clear from the start that Google meant business when they announced the launch of their social network Google +.

Now, six months later, Google is taking rapid steps to further integrate Google + into the heart of the Google ecosystem: its’ search engine.

As of today, G+ users can choose to blend G+ results in with the normal Google search results. This means that content shared in G+ makes it straight to the first page of Google.

Google Search Your World Personal Results

You can read more about it in this article in Mashable.

But, how will this impact your business now and in the future?

[Read more...]

SERP 1 blog postAs we know, SERP 1 is the Holy Grail of marketing. It means that you are the number one result in Google for the terms you want to be found on.

I recently scored my first SERP 1 in Google on a very competitive keyword. Yaay! I thought it was a good idea to take this blog post and use it as an example to educate and inspire you – so you can start writing your own chart topping blog posts.

[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...]

Here’s a classic social media marketing cartoon, first published on Eloqua’s blog (a company for demand creation software) in a guest submission from Valeria Maltoni, business strategist. Check it out:

Eloqua Maltoni Social Media Cartoon

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Just last week, Google started testing their much talked about social network called ‘Google Plus’.

Emerald Sea painting inspiration Google Plus

At first I was really surprised to see Google launching this product under the Google brand name because ‘social’ just isn’t a part of Google’s brand DNA. Google is about search. To ‘google’ even became a verb.

So, if Google wants to grab marketshare in ‘social’ it would be logical to launch it under a different brand name, right? Just like they took a bite out of the browser market using the brand name Chrome.

But after reading this article in Wired, I understood better why Google is launching this social network under their own brand name:

Google is repositioning itself.

[Read more...]

This week Google started ‘field testing’ it’s new social network called Google Plus with a limited group of users. As a result, the whole internet is now talking about Google Plus.

But getting people talking about their products has never been Google’s problem.

The problem has been in developing ‘social’ products that people actually use. Products like Google Buzz and Google Wave have never been adopted by a mainstream world wide audience.

[Read more...]

Below is one of the most useful Content Marketing infographics I have seen to date. It’s put together by Eloqua an online ‘demand-generation’ company in the UK and designed by creative agency Jess3 in the US. (Sending kudos and some keyword rich anchor text their way as gratitude -  if you don’t know what I am talking about go here.)

The infographic tells you what types of content you can best use, based on your business objectives and your audience needs. It also indicates the key performance indicators for the different stages of the buying process.

Take a look, then check out my comment and a cliff-hanger below.

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