Blogging is a crucial part of an online marketing strategy, allowing you to connect with readers and get important information on how your products and services stack up with customers. But in order for your content to make an impact, people have to read, comment, and share. How do you gain subscribers? Let’s take a look at the seven top strategies for finding and keeping readers for your blog.
Photo Credit: Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-morrow/-10-tips-to-improve-that_b_10721856.html)
1) Get By With a Little Help from Your Friends
Blogging is about creating a social network, and the best people to help you spread your message are other bloggers. They’re already invested in creating a strong online presence, their interests overlap with your company’s market sector, and they have plenty of practice developing a strong community of fellow aficionados.
How do you get bloggers on your side? If you comment on their posts, or link to them on your blog with comments of your own, you can start a conversation that will drive traffic to your site. They’ll feel appreciated, and they’ll pay you back by sharing your content. Look for bloggers with shared interests, and be expansive. If your company provides customized software solutions, look for technology bloggers who post reviews.
2) Guest Posts from Coast to Coast
Guest posting is an even more proactive strategy for harnessing traffic to other blogs and sites. You can look for opportunities to guest post by searching for blogs and companies like your own, or you can use a guest posting service that will help you find the best blogs for submitting guest posts.
3) Community Connections
A blog is a capsule community of people who share an interest or an affiliation. You can build on their loyalty by giving them a sense of community. Start a conversation by including a “Call to Action” in every post that will inspire readers to share their own insights in comments. Respond to comments as quickly as possible. Consider follow-up posts to highlight inspired comments.
Model friendly, respectful dialogue with commenters. When you see a link in comments, follow it and leave a comment on the source blog. If possible, look around for forums on related topics. If you can participate consistently, other forum members will be curious to read more of your work.
4) Details on Display
If you can create a dedicated subscription landing page, customers will be much more likely to sign up. Let customers know what they can expect to gain by signing up. Do you plan to offer business updates, detailed product information, marketing tips, news coverage, promotions? These details will help you capture interest.
Readers won’t sign up if they can’t see a sign-up button, so display your subscription button and email opt-in form at the top of your blog. This strategy will lower your “bounce rate,” or percentage of visitors who fail to click through. You can also include a pop-up encouraging readers to input their email contacts.
For added emphasis, include sign-up information at the end of each blog post. You can integrate these details into a footer that gives readers a short blurb about your company and the services you provide. An abbreviated version of this footer makes a great signature line for marketing emails. You can even include sign-up information in other materials, like e-books, infographics, business cards, and paper brochures.
5) Strategic Social Media Engagement
Include a link to your blog on the header of your website. Promote your dedicated subscription landing page on social media so that your followers can see it. Whenever you publish an update on your blog, link it on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media account with a short caption, image, and link. Add social sharing buttons to every post to promote social media engagement, and make sure they’re easy to see. This protocol will ensure that readers share your blog posts on their own social media pages.
6) Content Commitment
Readers tend to make blogs part of a regular rotation, and the best way to make that happen is to provide content on a regular basis. If you can commit to posting at least once a week, preferably on the same day, customers will make it a habit to check in with your blog. The more frequently you can post, the better. Posts don’t have to be long text articles every time – you can mix it up by including photographs or short videos.
Quality is just as important as quantity, and this is where you may benefit from professional help. A digital marketing firm can provide you with eloquent, polished, SEO-optimized content for your blog, freeing up your time for more important tasks. However you choose to generate content, it’s important to remember that you will gain loyal subscribers with quality, not just quantity. It’s also important to make it easy to navigate your blog. Include a sidebar with tags, and create archives by month and subject so that readers can dive in.
7) Sweeten the Sign-Up Deal
Everyone loves a free sample or a sweepstakes. Give readers an incentive to subscribe by offering them something in return. Create a virtual “card draw” for a free book, small product, or low-cost company swag like a mug or a tote bag. You may also want to offer a limited-time discount to customers who sign up.
Another way to increase subscriber interest is to hold a contest with prizes. Maximize marketing firepower by tying your contest to marketing and social media – “Best Instagram Photo,” “Best Short Video,” and “Best Customer Selfie,” all combine customer interest with advertising value.
Gaining subscribers for your blog is a straightforward process. If you make it a priority to capture customer interest with every update, streamline the subscription process at every stage, and leverage opportunities for reader “buy-ins” wherever possible, you’ll be on your way to growing your subscriber list and spreading the word about your company!
Are you interested in learning more about increasing subscribers for your blog and other integrated digital marketing strategies that can help you grow your business? We recommend a consultation with a dedicated team of digital marketing professionals who will provide you with the expert advice you need to build a digital marketing plan. Contact Square 1 Group for a consultation today!