Blogs have many reasons for being, but one not frequently discussed is their use as a marketing tool. In an earlier post, I noted that blogs provide a small sample of what you have to offer. In marketing, you always want to build on established foundations, and leverage brand awareness already created. Therefore, a good blog post can be taken to a higher sampling level.
- Go Retro
- Reach Out
RSVP – This is essentially following up on a previous conversation or interest you know someone has. If a prospect or client likes the Jets and your post is on their chances to make a SuperBowl run, then send a link in the post in a very personalized email. Or, if a reader or prospect just got a new dog, and you have a funny post about your dog, dust it off and send a link to it as part of your congrats to them in being a new puppy master.
You are using your blog as an RSVP to followup and let the recipient know that he or she is on your mind. This is a classic sales technique that lets you stay in touch with a prospect on a personal level.
Recycle — This technique is similar to the RSVP, but leverages your archives. If a customer is talking about a topic that you wrote about a year ago, do some research leg-work on their behalf. Go into your own archives, find the link and send it to them as followup to your conversation with a “thought you might find this of interest.” The fact that it’s from your archives shows that you were thoughtful about this topic long before the last conversation and gives you credibility as someone who has been on the case longer than just the last week.
Go Retro – Just because blogging is a digital medium, don’t be afraid to go Retro. Create a pdf of an insightful post, Reprint it (yes, print it out), and (OMG) snail mail it to customers or prospects. Again, this maximizes your archives, but also lets you reach customers who may not yet be blog savvy or comfortable. In marketing, no one medium ever saves the day, so you are making sure to layer your message across medium to allow the message to break through. Even if the person has already read the blog post, the direct mail can serve as a reminder of one of your areas of expertise.
Reach Out. Blogging is not a Field of Dreams. If you write it, they will not automatically come. Therefore, you have to reach out and let people know about posts. Use your email list to send out a notice with a link to a specific post. Give the recipient a tease about the topic, i.e. “Thought you’d like this post about the 4 ways to market your blog. Here’s the link. “
What’s the 5th R? Marketing is a never-ending endeavor. Don’t let old or new posts linger on the vine. Nurture a following for them by employing the biggest R technique of all – Reinforcing value. Use one or all 4 of the R’s above in sequence, as needed, or all at once. The key is to value your own content, and leverage it to keep the message fresh, and your connection with people, readers and prospects fresh and personal.