Blogging is a great marketing tool for presenting your products and company cost effectively. But the fact is that just keeping up with your posting schedule and providing great new content can take a significant amount of time and effort, especially for small businesses without budget, employees with spare time or dedicated headcount. Further, if you stop at just blogging, you’re not going to drive measureable results that achieve your business goals.
24 Low cost tips to promote your blog
Small businesses including local stores, professionals and start-ups almost by necessity lack experienced marketing resources. So they need to leverage every other aspect of outreach to drive blog readers. The most important step is to start looking for low cost/no cost promotional opportunities for your blog. It’s easy but it’s not always obvious. Here are twenty-four low cost ideas to help you get started.
- Include your blog URL on everyone’s business cards. Go one step further and put a QR code to show that you’re on top of the latest trends.
- Grab people’s attention with a graphic and URL on your shopping bags. Don’t just stick with a simple URL that can be invisible since everyone does it.
- Put a blog related flyer in your bags and packages. Entice readers with a copy containing information from your blog.
- Offer customers a discount coupon for registering to get your blog’s email newsletter.
- Put a sign in your shop window to promote your blog and include a special passerby offer. Make sure that your signage grabs attention while remaining in line with your business.
- Include a blog link and a call-to-action in everyone’s email signature file. Make sure that you can change these signature file URLs centrally.
- Have a sign-up sheet next to your register to collect email information by hand. Don’t forget to simultaneously gain permission to contact signees.
- Add blog information to your products’ packaging by using stickers.
- Create a handout for visitors using a few of your best how to articles as a take one in your place of business.
- Promote your blog and its URL on your physical bulletin board. If appropriate, show off a customer of the week. Remember to get people’s permission.
- Promote the blog via customer service using mentions on written emails and phone hold messages.
- Include a blurb about your blog on bills, receipts and other forms of customer facing materials.
- Ask suppliers and distributors to promote your blog. Remember this should be a two way street. You need to offer to help their promotion efforts in return. Think coordination.
- Make a decorative sign promoting your blog and its URL. Hang it in a critical area with a lot of traffic like a conference room or, even, the restrooms.
- Use the outside of your company envelopes to get people’s attention. Again use more than just the URL. Have a call-to-action. As a direct marketer, we used the outside of envelopes to take advantage of blank space.
- Place a computer in a public place in your location so customers can check out your blog and register for emails.
- Program a text call-to-action for your blog into the printer function so customer printouts promote the blog.
- Partner with a local not-for-profit and to cross promote your blog to their membership via emailings and physical mailings. Remember that you will need to show mutual benefit.
- Write a column for a local newspaper that helps build interest in your product and your expertise. For example, an “Ask the Gardener” feature can answer readers’ questions. Include a mention of your blog in their your column bio with a link back to your blog.
- Work with a local school. For example, you can offer a series of talks or demonstrations related to your offering and use the opportunity to promote the blog through their communications channels.
- Offer to help one or more of your local houses of worship and cross promote your blog through their communications vehicles.
- Use other tools creatively to promote your business. If you spend a lot of time in your local Starbucks, why not put a URL with an attention getting sign on your computer so people see it as they pass by?
- Include your blog address on nametags at live meetings instead of your company name.
- Make t-shirts or caps with your logo to promote your firm. Wear them and give them away.
As this list shows, promotions don’t need to be expensive or a lot of work. Rather they require the thinking broadly about how to integrate your blog promotion into your current business practices and promotional efforts.
Do you have any ideas to add to this list? If so, what are they? Please add them in the comment section below.
Tip of my hat to Mack Collier and Becky McCray who inspired this thinking with their BlogChat on Sunday, December 5th. Please join the conversation on Sundays at 9.00pm east coast time.
Photo credit: luisvilla via Flickr