3 Ways to Boost Your Small Business BlogDon’t just own it, earn it or pay for it — do all three.
You’ve put a lot of time into creating content for your small business blog, but if people aren’t finding and reading your posts the effect on your business will be minimal. If you want to get your blog in front of more eyeballs, you’ll need to come up with a distribution plan.
“If you don’t have a strategy or make a plan for getting your content out there and distributing it, then you’re not getting the most use out of your content,” said Lauren Fairbanks, partner and chief content strategist for S/G Content Marketing. Here are a few tips she shared for putting together a strategic content distribution plan that will amplify your blog’s reach and grow your audience.
Leverage your brand’s “owned” media channels
First, make sure you are making the most your brand’s distribution channels, known as “owned media” in the marketing community.
“Owned media is essentially any content that you have control over, where you host the content and you publish it yourself,” explained Fairbanks. Your website, blog, social media channels and email newsletters are all examples of owned media.
To leverage your owned distribution channels, think how you can mention blogs in your regular customer communications. For instance, don’t only push new blog posts to social media. Also highlight recent posts in your email newsletters, give a shout out to your latest article on your website’s home page or even add a link to the post in your email signature.
Think outside the box for other places you can “own” content. Platforms like Medium or LinkedIn Publisher are great places to create teaser posts that link back to the full post on your website. Another option is to turn your blog posts into YouTube videos and link back to the original post in the description.
Earn inclusion in other publications and the media
The next piece of the content distribution puzzle is “earned media.” Earned media is about using free publicity to get more traffic to your blog. The most obvious example would be getting quoted in the press or referenced by another blogger or industry publication.
Fairbanks said earned media is about providing information and insight that his helpful to other writers, “essentially ‘earning’ inclusion in other people’s content.” The key to promoting with earned media is to write good, insightful content on your own blog, and share that with industry publications and your media contacts.
Guest posting is another to amplify your own blog. Rework a particularly insightful blog and pitch to industry publications and sites that accept guest contributions.
Sacha Ferrandi, founder and head principal at real estate finance company Source Capital Funding, said he actively contributes to the blogs of his realtor partners. “Guest posting allows us to get in front of readers who are actively looking for real estate information, thus they may also be interested in learning about real estate funding. Not only does this get our business in front of a new audience, but it also helps us build valuable authority within our industry.”
Sites like HARO and Profnet for Experts are also great places to connect with reporters and journalist looking for experts to provide comment — and it never hurts to ask them to include a link back to your own related blog post.
Pay to promote your content to new audiences
Once you’ve expended your free owned and earned distribution opportunities, consider putting some money behind your blog to promote it. This is called “paid media.”
The most common way small businesses leverage paid media is with social media advertising, said Fairbanks. Promoted social posts are both easy and affordable, and can also be targeted to a very specific audience, which can help boost your click-through rate.
Also check with local outlets and industry publications for advertising opportunities, such as including a link to your blog in their email blasts. You can also pay to provide “advertorial” content on their websites that include a link back to your site, which is essentially an ad written in the editorial style of a news article.
Fairbanks said paid content recommendation platforms like Taboola and Outbrain can also direct more traffic to your blog. But for those, she said, only pay to promote posts that have broad appeal. For more niche topics, she recommended sticking with industry publications or partnering with an online influencer.
Small businesses should strive to have a good combination of owned, earned and paid media, as “all three tactics really need to be utilized in order to get the most content amplification,” said Fairbanks. Being strategic with where you distribute content “will help increase traffic to your blog a lot more quickly than just waiting for people to find it through organic search.”