Methods and Tools to Promote Your Blog Posts

Field of Dreams by Flickr Creative Commons User mwlguide

Writing posts is not all you need to do

So you write posts for your corporate or personal  blog. You’ve learned how to make your posts interesting and  you create content [photos, videos, infographics, podcasts, articles] regularly to provide information to your loyal clients and attract new ones. You may be doing this to enhance your SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and increase traffic for targeted customer needs, search phrases and keywords.

But blogging is not an “If you build it, they will come,” scenario. You have to do as the newsboys of the last century did and stand on the digital corner to promote your blog. If you don’t, you’re wasting valuable effort and time. You can dramatically increase traffic to your blog by using a few tools:

  • Social Media
  • Blog Feeds or Syndication
  • E-mail marketing

By planning carefully before each post and using the stats you gain after each post, these tools and tips become the keys to your pay-off in the end.

Planning Your Post

Before you send your post out into the cyber-sphere, it’s important to have a strategy for how, where, and when the message will go. Depending on the subject of the content and who you want to target, it could be sent to all sorts of sites and platforms.

Audience Research & Your Influencers

While it’s not always possible to conduct an in-depth investigation into the types of audiences you want to reach, you can make inferences and study data you have available to you. Many analytics dashboards, like Hootsuite, require payment for their services, which is what hinders people from using them. Using Tweetdeck doesn’t necessarily give every detail you may need, but it’s a good start to figuring out who your top influencers are. Those are the ones that will pay the most attention to what you post and interact with the content, making others more likely to see it as well.

Building the Anticipation

Releasing a post blindly doesn’t go nearly as well as talking it up beforehand to the people who will look forward to it the most. Find out who pays you the most attention, and let them know you’re putting something great out there soon so they can be on the lookout. Update them if a date changes or if the content will be on multiple sites. As long as you’ve done your research, this will prepare your own personal VIPs for what you’re about to pitch their way.

Now, let’s take a look at some of these tools you can use to promote as well as track the progress of your posts to get the most out of them:

Social Media:

Facebook Pages

You can easily link your blog content to your Facebook Business Page with the application Networked Blogs or at a minimum you can manually post links to your blog’s latest articles.

Twitter

Using Twitter you can write interesting leads and connect them with shortened URLs that provide trackable stats to measure your results using Tweetdeck. You can schedule your tweets to show up in your stream so you know they go out when your readers are most often viewing your content.

Linkedin

Use Linkedin as a conversation outlet to promote posts especially if your goals include increasing business to business awareness and leads. If you’re a regular participant in industry specific Linkedin groups, you may find this to be one of your most engaged audiences.

Pinterest

Every bit of content you create must have a visual component which help illustrate your concept or content. Distributing and promoting your posts to your Pinterest account either on your shared boards or your own boards will help increase awareness of your content among a widely female audience.

Goo.gl

Goo.gl is a link shortening service from Google. The service gives you a wide array of statistics related to the consumption of your content. Shortened URLs also use fewer characters to announce the release of content. The benefit of Goo.gl is that you get dynamic statistics regarding your content’s visitors. To use, you input your long link and create a shortened, trackable URL for blog content which you use in place of the long URL. From there, using the shortened URL, you schedule it on Facebook or Twitter.

Remember when you create your scheduled share, you must write a very compelling headline to get the stats to climb.

After posting you may review statistics for each URL/article to analyze best days of the week and geo locations where your interactions most frequently occur. Always review your stats to understand identify which audiences are more in tune with what you’re putting out there.

Blog Feeds and Syndication:

RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

Almost every blog has a built in RSS feed, which uses multiple standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information, like blog posts. If yours doesn’t, you might consider looking into making that change (instructions can be found online for all types of browsers). This allows readers who like your content to subscribe in their choice of reader, pulling your content to them no matter how you post it. One of the most popular readers is Feedly.

Feed distribution

Feedburner, a feed distribution service owned by Google, provides great stats and shows how your feed has been used and how many clicks back to your site your post inspired.

Another popular feed distributor is Feedblitz, which offers more opportunities to manage and share feeds and track statistics.

E-mail:

Signature

How many emails do you send a day? While there are plenty new ways to cyber-communicate, email is still a primary tool, especially among businesses. Provide a link to your blog in your email signature so it’s being made available to just about everyone that may get interested in following it frequently.

By using these tools you can dramatically increase your blog’s readership as well as track what’s working for its visibility, what isn’t, and who’s watching. After all, you aren’t just writing for yourself or the business. You’re cultivating a blog you want to see take off and give results for all your hard work.

Read www.buzzstream.com/blog/content-promotion-campaign-plan.html for more on planning and tracking the progress of your blog’s content.

Photo credit: flickr creative commons user mwlguide

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Watch Your Words-A Diatribe in Response to #$@*

Press release

Press releases gone bad

In the Charleston area there are several quasi news services allowing business owners to distribute their press releases to a wider audience.

Charleston Regional Business Journal has started their new BizWire and there is also Alan Cooper’s LowcountryBizSC. Each provides a mechanism for anyone to submit a story or release.

Great you say, until we begin to read items which are poor examples.

Consider this description of a new firm’s services as recently posted,

“[firm name redacted] intends to leverage innovative technology and marketing with outstanding service to provide a distinguished value to clients.”

If we tried, I don’t think we could have crammed more of 25 of the most overused words or phrases you want to avoid in a press release.

Use clear language in all your communications

Choose words that are precise and convey exactly what your firm does. One wants to know:  What is leverage? Does it mean use? What is innovative technology? In some emerging countries it’s possible that fax machines are still innovative technology.

Watch your words

Even more specious is this statement opening a marketing firm’s announcement of merger with a print services provider:

“The days of needing to farm out services are over for Charleston-based marketing specialists…”

Would you ever want to admit that your firm has farmed out services? One doubts it. One would have provider networks, or collegial networks of service providers.

Stop. Full stop.

People, your words matter. Buy a dictionary. And get a thesaurus or at least use those available online or contained within your word processing program.

Avoid catch phrases and corporate speak. Just because it sounds cool is no reason to use trite expressions.

Word out.

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Don’t Gamble Away Your Brand Name: Buy Domain Names and Hold ‘Em

Purchase your brand's top level domain names and hold them

How valuable is your brand name?

You may think you’re not a gambling person, but if you don’t own all your brand’s top level domain names, you’re sitting at the table, and throwing away all your aces. You could take a bit of advice from The Gambler

If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

Value can be fixed based on transactions, visits to your website and sales history. But a brand has value which extends beyond mere monetary transactions.

When you purchase your domain name for your brand, did you purchase every variable for it? If you only purchased one variant of it, you may be “out of aces” and leaving your business vulnerable to brand exploitation. As an example, no one would be better one than Ted Cruz*.

Don’t let your brand name be hijacked

Ted Cruz announced that he is running for President as a Republican candidate. His conservative stance upsets many on the left and in the middle. Opponents of his candidacy took advantage of available domain names related to the candidate’s brand/name. And It didn’t take them long to get busy with mischief. Because the Cruz campaign didn’t purchase these domains, there is now a bit of PR kerfuffle for the team to pay attention to when they probably would rather be working on other aspects of their candidate’s campaign.

The mischief makers redirected the domains they purchased (which should have been purchased by Cruz and his campaign long ago) to websites which are antithetical to Cruz’s platform and stated views.

  • readyforcruz.org is redirected to plannedparenthood.org
  • tedcruz.com has a message in support of President Obama
  • tedcruzforamerica.com is redirected to healthecare.gov

Anyone can purchase a domain name.

Back in the height of the housing bubble in 2006, homeowners who were disgusted with their homes constructed by a major national volume homebuilder, purchased a domain that was negative towards that homebuilder. They posted a website at that domain declaring for all the world how much they hated their homes and the builder. Even today,

  • www.kb-homesucks.com is still proclaiming for all to see how much these homeowners hate the builder.
  • www.kbhomesleak.com obviously states certain owner’s dissatisfaction.

Go beyond .com

When you purchase your brand’s domain name, purchase all available variants of it that you can afford. Include .com, .net, .org, .biz, .us and more. While you may never use these domain names to refer to a website, you don’t want to leave yourself vulnerable to pranksters or even competitors who decide to hijack your good brand and use it for their benefit.

As Kenny Rogers sang, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em.”


*We are not stating any partisanship nor support for any candidate by authoring this post. We are merely using this situation as a teachable moment for all business owners.

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Go Mobile Now or Risk Google Search Rank

Man using mobile device

Go mobile now

According to MarketingCharts.com In the United States, “three of every four US mobile subscribers aged 13 and older owned a smartphone during the 3-month period ending in December 2014.” The data comes from a comScore study published February 9, 2015.

People are using mobile devices to search and interact with websites in increasing numbers. In 2014 Google announced that mobile friendly websites would be denoted in search results.

MobileSearchResults

On February 26, 2015, Google announced that as of April 21, 2015 the search engine will be, “expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.” It won’t be long before Google begins demoting sites which aren’t mobile friendly in rankings in favor of those sites which are mobile friendly.

Google will do this because the search dominator wants to serve consumers useful, helpful information that works for them. That is Google’s first and highest priority. Everything they do regarding search ranking is based on websites’ meeting this criteria. In the past sites which contained malware, or poor content have been demoted. We have seen the same for sites which have backlinks to poor quality websites. Now we will begin to see the same loss of rank for sites which aren’t mobile compatible.

Google’s tools

Google provides tools to use to determine if your site is mobile friendly. If a site is mobile compatible, the tool displays an emulation of how the site appears and a message that the site is mobile friendly.

Facebook-google mobile compatibility test

If the site is not mobile friendly, this is what you’ll see:

Not mobile friendly

The results of sites which aren’t mobile friendly are detailed in the results.

If your site is not mobile friendly, what should you do?

In order that your firm’s site rank well in Google search results after April, you must upgrade your site to one which is mobile compatible. That means you can update the site with a new responsive theme, or add a separate mobile only site. Of these solutions, we favor a responsive site which conforms to devices.

You can make your site mobile compatible with software, which is acceptable, but is not quite as good a solution as a site which is natively responsive and conforms to the device.

Learn more by reading Google’s guide to creating mobile friendly websites.

Need help creating a mobile friendly site? Contact us.

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Kolter Homes Selects Charleston PR & Design

Charleston PR & Design, LLC welcomes Kolter Homes as a new client. CPR&D is providing public relations consultation to increase awareness of the advantages of life in The Ponds.

Kolter Homes, a privately owned firm based in Florida, purchased The Ponds from Greenwood Development in 2014. The Ponds is a distinctive Lowcountry community near Summerville, S.C.

Located some 22 miles outside of historic Charleston, South Carolina, lies The Ponds. This charming Southern community allows you to enjoy the simple pleasures of life without giving up modern day conveniences. Eventually encompassing 1,950 new and stately single-family homes, townhomes, and custom-built homes, its distinctive Lowcountry architecture features Southern vernacular detailing and welcoming outdoor porches. With moss-draped specimen live oaks, tree-lined streets, a waterfront amphitheater, a 1,100 acre conservancy area, and extensive paths and sidewalks, the serene landscape provides unlimited opportunities for recreation and bringing neighbors together.

Kolter is noted for their superior home plans and their active adult communities located in Florida, Georgia and in Myrtle Beach. Kolter’s Cresswind active adult community is now selling at The Ponds.

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