8 Ways to Promote Your Content to Grow Subscribers and Sales

Let’s just get this out of the way.

Publishing content to your blog is not content marketing.

Your blog is the cozy, decorative foyer for your website visitors to stop in, wipe their feet, and get a feel for your brand.

But for your content to do work — like bringing new website visitors, attracting and keeping email subscribers, and converting shoppers to customers — you need to send it out into the world.

That’s where your blog content promotion strategy comes in.

With smart content promotion tactics, you’ll not only get more qualified traffic, leads, and customers, you’ll do it at a much lower cost.

Here’s the best part. It’s not difficult to do.

Actually, it only takes a small tweak to things you’re already doing.

For example, if you’re running promotional Facebook ads now, just swap some of those for content ads. Do you use email marketing? Include your blog content and watch your click-through rates soar.

We’ve listed eight of the smartest places to promote your blog content. You don’t have to do them all right away. In fact, we’ve listed the ones that will have the greatest impact first.

Start with the channels you already know. Oh, and let us know how it goes.

High-Impact Promotion Strategies

If you only use three promotion strategies for your blog content, make it these. We’ve watched hundreds of online businesses use them with great results.

1. Social media ads

Feature your content in targeted Facebook and Instagram ads to reach the right people at the right moment for a low cost.

Why it works:

Your product ads are great at attracting shoppers looking to purchase right now. Content ads attract the other 98% of your audience. And they do it at a really low cost. In fact, traffic from Facebook content ads costs about 90% less than traffic from average Facebook ads.

These are people you can nurture with retargeting ads and through email.

And the best part? They’ve self-segmented.

Meaning, by clicking on your ad featuring an article about the 10 toughest hikes in the U.S., you know this visitor is a good match for your heavy-duty hiking boots.

Benefits of social media ads:

  • Target niche audiences
  • Increase brand awareness/grow trust
  • 90% lower CPC than average Facebook ads
  • Drive traffic with CPC campaigns or grow your email list faster with CPL campaigns

2. Organic search

Optimize all your original blog content for SEO so it’s the first thing shoppers see when they search relevant terms.

Why it works:

Organic search isn’t technically a promotion channel. But publishing search-optimized content is one of the most powerful ways to land a top spot on search engine results pages (SERPs). This is an extremely valuable source of traffic with a high buying intent.

In addition, the lift in domain authority you can get from publishing relevant content will also bump your product pages up the SERP.

Benefits:

  • Free marketing channel
  • The value of search compounds over time
  • Builds your domain authority, which helps boost your product pages on Google as well

3. Targeted email sequences

An email sequence is a series of emails built specifically to nurture your subscribers as they reach certain points in the sales funnel. Like abandoning a cart, for example.

Include content in sequences that target shoppers who haven’t engaged with your product pages yet, or who have just purchased and might not purchase again right away.

Why it works:

When someone abandons their cart or browses your product pages, you might send a sequence of product emails and discount emails to convince them to finalize the purchase.

But when a subscriber hasn’t actively engaged with your products yet, it’s not the time for a hard sell. A combination of product content and blog articles will result in better email open and click-through rates.

The benefits:

  • Free marketing channel
  • Automated — build it once and it runs on its own
  • Email sequences drive 16x more orders than “batch and blast” emails

Other Effective Promotion Strategies

The first three strategies are your power moves. But they’re not the only ones that will pay a dividend. Here are five more ways to promote your content and grow your business.

4. Organic social media

Post content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites to stay in touch with your followers and keep them engaged.

Why it works:

Organic reach on social media just isn’t what it used to be. But the ease and $0 cost of posting content on your social media pages makes it a no-brainer.

Organic posting keeps your fans engaged and your brand top-of-mind. But it also has another interesting effect.

Shoppers perceive businesses with active social media accounts as healthy and interesting. It’s like looking in the window of your favorite store and seeing lots of people shopping, chatting, and asking questions.

Plus, if you mix content in with your promotional posts, you’ll build trust with your audience.

Benefits:

  • Free marketing channel
  • Fill your social media calendar with interesting content
  • Reach new people by encouraging followers to share your posts

5. Newsletter

Improve newsletter open and unsubscribe rates by including content your audience looks forward to reading.

How it works:

Your email subscribers opted in to your brand, making them one of your best audiences. But if your emails are one product promo after another, those shoppers will see your brand as spammy, and you’ll lose many of your most dedicated followers.

Instead, provide helpful and entertaining content to that audience. That way, you can nurture shoppers that aren’t ready to buy and keep past customers engaged until they buy again.

Benefits:

  • Free marketing channel with high ROI
  • Balance content and product promotions to maximize engagement and sales

6. Paid search ads

Promote content that educates people about your solutions at the exact moment they’re looking for answers.

Why it works :

Some people use Google when they’re ready to buy and just want to know the best way to do it. But many are still in a consideration phase, learning about the best solutions and features to solve their problem.

Your educational content can be the knowledgeable guide that leads them from confusion to conversion. Using Google to promote that content will get it in front of the right people at the right stage of consideration.

Paid search is usually best for companies with a high average order value (AOV) because Google Ads can get pricey.

Benefits:

  • Reach people in the consideration stage of the sales process
  • Promote bottom-of-funnel content like product buying guides and gift guides

7. Partnerships

Join forces with affiliates or other brands with the same target audience who will promote your content on your behalf.

Why it works:

You’ve worked hard to build an audience. So have other complementary companies in your field. You can leverage each other’s hard work to quickly reach new audiences that might take a long time to build on your own.

Additionally, you’ll be placing your content in front of a new audience that already trusts your new partner.

Benefits:

  • Reach new audiences quickly
  • Readers are more likely to engage with content recommended by a company they know and trust

8. Forums

Promote your content on free forums like Reddit, Slack, Quora, Facebook, and beyond.

Why it works:

It doesn’t get much more niche than subreddits and Facebook groups (we’re looking at you, Ominous Tracksuit Facebook Group. If you have content that can help these niche readers, you can build trust with the perfect audience fast.

Marketer beware. Join in the conversation with the goal of being authentic and helpful. If you join only to promote your brand, you’ll be downvoted, thumbs-downed, and downright kicked out of the group.

Benefits:

  • Free marketing channel
  • Build authentic relationships

Your content works like a marketing master key. It fits into almost every marketing channel and opens the door to website visitors, email subscribers, and customers.

But if you leave that key sitting in your blog, it won’t unlock anything.

Smart content promotion techniques will unleash the potential of your blog content.

Of course, as a small business, the first challenge is finding the time to publish professional-level content. And then understanding the effect it has on your business.

That’s where Matcha comes in. In minutes, you’ll be publishing the craveable content that gets your shoppers to click and convert. Plus, you’ll see exactly how it’s impacting traffic, email list growth, and revenue.

Written by Rob Glover for Business2Community and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Featured image provided by Prateek Katyal

A Guide to Video Marketing

Video is a digital marketing trend that is here to stay, with online videos making up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022. That’s 15 times higher than it was in 2017! So, what is video marketing? Put simply, video marketing is a marketing strategy that integrates video into your marketing efforts to promote your brand, products or services.

Why is video marketing important?

We’re living in a digital first world, consuming more video than ever before. With 78% of people watching online videos every week, and 55% viewing online videos every day, video can no longer be just one part of your marketing plan. It should be central to your campaigns. Simply churning out a poor quality video, for the sake of it, doesn’t equate to an effective video marketing strategy and is unlikely to grab the attention of your target audience.

How do you create a video marketing campaign?

  • Purpose – You need to decide the purpose of your campaign. Whether you’re driving sales, increasing brand awareness or sharing your story, clear goals and measurable objectives will help to shape your campaign and determine its success.
  • Audience – Who are you targeting and why? Understanding your audience is key to developing campaign assets which will engage your target audience. After all, there’s little point spending money and time executing a digital campaign, if you’re targeting an audience with a message which is totally inappropriate and irrelevant.
  • Channels – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or your website, it’s important to define the channels you will be deploying your campaign across. Why? 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, while 60% of Instagram Stories are watched with the sound on. Therefore, determining your campaign channels at this stage will ensure your video content is optimised.
  • Creation – Once you have defined your purpose, audience and channels it’s time to get creative. This is the part where you can turn your vision into video assets for your campaign. When it comes to filming and editing your video, it’s important to consider the quality. A poor quality video could do your brand more harm than good, so investing in the production of your video will help you drive better results and return on investment (ROI).
  • Execution – There’s little point having a beautifully crafted video if no one sees it! Developing a strategic deployment plan will ensure your videos are shared effectively, at the right time, to the right audience. The results will speak for themselves.

Whilst there’s no secret recipe to success, keeping your audience front of mind at the planning stages will keep you on track. All videos are not created equal. Quality matters and time spent planning your strategy and approach will help you reap the rewards.

What are the benefits of video marketing?

  • Improves SEO – A website is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google if it includes video. Why? Search engines love video. They’re looking for content that engages site visitors and videos do just that.
  • Builds trust – Video is a great way to create a personality for your brand and organisation. It enables you to connect with your target audience whilst building rapport and trust. 64% of consumers will make a purchase after watching branded videos on social platforms,⁵ showing trust built through video, leads to sales.
  • Increases brand awareness – Social video gets shared 1200% more than text and images combined, exposing your brand to new audiences. If targeted effectively, video will drive increased impressions and engagements, increasing brand awareness.
  • Boosts conversion rate – Video should always be seen as an investment. A high quality, powerful video will help to impact consumer behavior, driving qualified leads. According to Hubspot, including a video on your landing page can increase your conversion rate by up to 80%.
  • Drives website traffic – By improving SEO and increasing your activity on social media, video increases organic search traffic on a website by 157%.

Written by Neil Wood-Mitchell for Business2Community and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Featured image provided by Nick Youngson

5 YouTube Components that Brands Need to Optimize

“What is YouTube?” Punch that question into Google, and the most common answer you’ll find is “a video sharing website.” While that is true in a sense, it’s actually a little misleading.

Yes, YouTube is a website where you can share videos. It also happens to be the second-largest search engine on the internet right now.

Calling it a “video sharing website” makes it sound like a social network akin to Instagram or Vine. And who talks about SEO for Instagram? Content is so ephemeral on these platforms that trying to optimize for a hashtag or search term is almost pointless.

Unfortunately, many people seem to mentally place YouTube in the social media bucket. In fact, YouTube has much more in common with Google than other social sites (it’s no coincidence that it’s owned by the same company).

Thus, when you create content for YouTube you need to be thinking about rankings, not just likes and views. People use YouTube by typing in keywords. Its algorithm then uses a number of factors to rank them in search results, just like Google.

The case for creating video content is obvious. One HubSpot study shows that 45 percent of people already watch an hour of video each day. Media agency Zenith reports that video consumption is likely to grow on average by nine minutes per day each year until 2020.

With over a billion users (around one-third of the internet’s total users), YouTube is likely to be the most popular video platform for the foreseeable future. If video content is part of your marketing plan, you also need to be thinking about YouTube optimization.

If video content is part of your marketing plan, you also need to be thinking about YouTube optimization.

With over a billion users (around one-third of the internet’s total users), YouTube is likely to be the most popular video platform for the foreseeable future.

The good news is that optimizing a YouTube channel is much simpler than optimizing a whole website. In fact, YouTube basically provides you with a template. In addition, optimizing your videos for YouTube gives your videos a higher chance of ranking in regular Google searches.

Keywords

First off, you’re going to want to associate your video with a keyword, preferably one with a lot of traffic. There are many tools that will give you YouTube search data, but the two I prefer are Ubersuggest and Google Trends. Just make sure you’re looking at YouTube search data specifically. You can also use this data to get content ideas for new videos.

Once you’ve found a keyword, type it into YouTube, and take a look at the top few videos. In order to compete, you’ll need to create enticing titles and thumbnails that are just as engaging (but hopefully more so).

Make sure you include your keyword prominently in both the title and the video description. Also, make the description as detailed as possible and include background information on the video, bios, links to social accounts and anything else you think is relevant.

Transcripts

Always remember that despite being a video platform, YouTube still uses the text you provide to understand and categorize your content.

The more information YouTube has, the better. Create a full and accurate transcript of the video. If you use YouTube’s automated transcript tool, make sure you manually check that the transcript is free from errors and correctly time stamped.

If possible, upload transcripts in other languages to increase your reach to non-English speaking audiences.

Subscriptions

The most important metrics for YouTube are watch time and subscriptions. If people subscribe to your channel based off a particular video, it’s a sure signal that it’s quality content. Use YouTube’s card feature to add a call to subscribe to all your videos, along with links to landing pages if appropriate.

Watch time

There’s a common misconception that videos should be around one and three minutes. While short-form videos work for some content types, don’t be afraid to stretch out and create longer videos.

Watch time is a key metric that YouTube uses to evaluate your channel. When you consider that YouTube’s overall goal is to get people to spend more time on the site and watch more ads, you can understand why YouTube’s algorithms tend to reward long-form content.

Playlists

Another trick to boosting your channel’s watch time is to create playlists. As you probably know, when people find a curated playlist of content they like, they tend to stay on the site longer.

Your playlists can include other people’s videos or be made up entirely of content from other channels. Any playlists you create will contribute to your channel’s watch time and raise its standing with YouTube’s algorithms, so go crazy.

There are other things you can do with your channel to ensure YouTube regards it favorably. For example, if you post high-quality content consistently (weekly or even daily), you’ll likely be rewarded by YouTube’s algorithms.

You’ll also want to make sure that your channel is properly branded, looks appealing and has an engaging banner. Fill out the About section with as much detail as possible, and make sure you include links to all relevant sites and social media accounts.

Of course, a big part of optimization is tracking your rankings. One trick that most people don’t know is that you can add your YouTube homepage to Google Analytics.

As people consume more video on the internet, YouTube is likely to become more important for brands looking to engage with their customers. Those who begin optimizing their video content and channels now will benefit in the years to come. Those that ignore the opportunity are likely to be left languishing in the backwaters.

This article was written by Stephan Spencer from Adweek and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Written by Adweek for NewsCred and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Featured image provided by NewsCred

How to Choose Colors for Your Brand Identity (and Why It Matters)

A strong visual brand identity is a powerful force. In a crowded marketplace, it can help you stand out, communicate who you are, and—ultimately—entice people to form a connection with you.

Color, of course, is a significant part of that visual identity. But choosing the right colors for your brand shouldn’t be done arbitrarily. Here, we’ll break down everything you need to know about branding through color and offer our best tips to help you create the perfect palette.

How Color Benefits Your Brand

Coor isn’t just an aesthetic element; it’s a true branding tool. When used well, color enhances your brand experience at every touchpoint, from your product design, to your website, to your content. If you’re trying to make a good impression from the jump (and, of course, you are), there are many ways color can increase your impact and benefit your brand.

1) Differentiation

There’s a reason color TV took over the world. Color naturally grabs attention and makes things more enticing. In fact, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, highly saturated color elicits arousal, thus capturing attention (and, in the case of the study, affecting the perceived size of products).

Because color is inherently appealing, it is an easy way to draw attention and—more importantly—differentiate yourself from your competitors, whether you’re trying to stand out on a store shelf or in a social feed. (Many brands have done this so well you don’t even realize it. Just try to imagine Apple without its signature minimalist white or Google with a monochromatic icon.)

2) Emotional Response

Color is particularly powerful because of its ability to elicit emotional responses and influence people’s moods. If you want to cultivate a particular emotion or reinforce your brand value, color is an effective way to do it.

For example, Honda reportedly increased sales 35% in one dealership by closing sales in a room with a soothing blue palette. Similarly, a Virginia Tech study found that using red on webpage backgrounds influenced consumers to bid more during an online auction.

Remember: Long-term brand success depends on the relationships you build, and an emotional bond is at the core of every relationship. Whether you want people to view your brand as a trusted advisor, a security guard, or a fun best friend, color can do a lot to elicit those emotions.

3) Comprehension & Engagement

Your brain is prewired to process visual content faster than text. Hence, visuals are particularly effective when you want to communicate nonverbally. When you use elements like color in your design, you can make things easier to understand. Whether you highlight notable information in an infographic or use color in a data visualization, you can make it easier to engage with and synthesize content, helping people understand (and recall) information more easily.

In fact, research has found that adding color can enhance content comprehension by up to 73%.

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Additionally, because color makes content more attention-grabbing (and, therefore, more stimulating), research has found that readers will spend more time looking at color images than black-and-white ones.

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When you’re trying to communicate information about your brand—at any stage of the buyer’s journey—using color effectively can drastically enhance your content, increasing its impact and, hopefully, compelling people to take the action you want.

That said, while there’s no doubt that color is hugely beneficial to your brand, no single color will magically increase your page views or social media shares. To increase your chance of success, however, you should think strategically and intentionally about how you use color.

What to Know Before You Choose Your Brand Identity Colors

Having helped many brands craft their visual identities, we’ve found that finding the right colors doesn’t start with picking palettes. You need to think about your overall brand goals, what you’re trying to communicate, and how you can use color to do so.

1) Consider Your Personality

Color is highly subjective, but it absolutely elicits an emotion. What do you want to say about yourself? Bright, bold colors are expected if you’re playful and fun. Muted tones will lend an air of seriousness and sophistication.

Again, while color can be subjective, certain meanings have been traditionally ascribed to different colors.

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2) Think About Who You’re Trying to Reach

You know who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. But how can you communicate that to the people you’re targeting? What colors are they likely to gravitate toward? (For example, a children’s toy company probably wouldn’t do well with the all-black branding of a luxury men’s fashion line.) Also, think of who you’re competing against. How can you use color to stand out?

3) Think of Your Emotional Benefits

What product or service do you sell? What feeling do you provide? Happy and light? Serious and professional? Consider how you can cultivate that feeling through color.

4) Consider How Your Colors Will Be Used

Some colors don’t render well on screens, so be cognizant of how you’ll be using them. You want to give designers the right tools to work with.

Once you’ve thought through these important factors, it’s time to start playing with color.

How to Choose Colors for Your Brand Identity

Whether you’re starting from scratch or updating your existing palette, here are the simple steps to follow to find the right colors for your brand.

1) Start with Color Inspiration

Whether it’s a color tool, image, or Pinterest board, explore color imagery that speaks to you. Luckily, there are a ton of color inspiration sites and tools to help inspire you. Some of our faves:

  • Adobe Capture CC: Helps you turn photos into color palettes.
  • Branding Color Quiz: Quiz to find out what colors are good for your company.
  • Colorhexa: Provides information about any color.
  • Colorhunt.co: Hand-picked color palettes.
  • ColourLovers.com: A great site for color geeks.
  • Colr.org: Tool to play around with color palettes.
  • Coolors.co: Color scheme generator.
  • LOLColors: Curated color palette inspiration.
  • Paletton.com: Tool to create color palettes based on color theory.
  • Pantone Color Finder: Helps you locate specific Pantone colors.
  • Color Palettes of the Fortune 500: Explores the primary and secondary color palettes of major companies.

2) Start Playing Around

Experiment with monochromatic, analogous, and complementary pairings. Create contrast. Add light and dark tones.

3) Identify Your Dominant and Accent Colors

The palette you create is up to you, but we recommend you stick with:

  • 1 main color
  • 2 primary colors
  • 3-5 complementary colors
  • 2 accent colors

Remember: You want to offer enough options for designers to play with but not enough to overwhelm them.

What to Do Once You’ve Chosen Your Colors

Now that you have your brand palette selected, you need to make sure it’s applied consistently. You should also make sure your colors fit seamlessly into your overall visual identity, as everything from your logo to iconography should work well together.

To keep everything consistent…

  • Create a full brand style guide that includes real-world examples for easy application.
  • Try our tips to design a logo with less stress.
  • Find out how to choose the right typography for your brand.
  • See our step-by-step guide to building a brand identity to fill in any gaps.
  • Follow our visual identity checklist to make sure you have all your bases covered.
  • Bookmark these 100 tips, tools, and resources to create a great brand identity.

Written by Katy French for Business2Community and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Featured image provided by Anthony Rosset

Stop Forcing Product Into Retail!

The single biggest factor to the growth of Pinnacle Brand Management in the last 3 years has been the fact that brands are waking up.  Owners, Presidents and Sales Managers have grown over exhausted with attempting to use the same tactics of selling with decreasing sales results.  Where Pinnacle has grown the most is on the naturals side of the business. This is because there are more brands but also for the simple fact that selling into grocery, specialty and nutrition stores has completely changed over the last five years and naturals, from our research, is slightly behind in the direct to consumer approach.

I was talking with a Sports brand owner yesterday and he was telling me that he got so frustrated trying to sell into retail that he started fresh with a new brand planning to be direct to consumer only.  With only six months of dedicated direct to consumer marketing, and really just a few direct to consumer sales, his phone was ringing off the hook with retail buyers. I said sarcastically, “you mean, you didn’t call them incessantly, begging them to bring your product in and sell them product below cost to get it on the shelf?!?!”   He laughed because he knew Pinnacle took a similar approach with one of our brands and got the exact same results.

Product innovation aside, retail buyers could care less about your product or the pricing you give them.  What they care about the most is if it will sell. Price, especially for retail, isn’t the most important factor since consumers can most likely buy online for less.  What is the most important is if there is a demand for the brand/product. Stores no longer create demand…..and to be honest, I don’t think they ever did! Brands are solely responsible for creating demand and stores are just a place where people can purchase. 

If you want to increase retail sales, dedicate your time to increase demand.  Leverage social media, digital marketing and content creation to make your product and brand very desirable and retailers will come to you, you won’t have to go out and get them.