Get a jump start with market research analysts based ways to drive attention & traffic.
Building a blog and putting great content on it is not necessarily enough to get people to visit.
To ensure a steady stream of traffic & visits requires market research and a plan. Interested visitors reading what you have to say and to keep coming back, is the goal.
The question is: How can you generate a buzz for your blog?
Creating interest in a blog or site, you have a number of options at your disposal. Some will cost money, but a few are completely free and grassroots in nature.
Market research based options include:
- SEO, pay-per-click ads
- Incoming links
- “old school” & print marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Giveaways and contests
Let’s take a look at each of these options & how they can help you build traffic.
PPC is the form of online advertising that is typically offered by such search engines. When you select this vehicle for advertising, your ads will appear on sites that are related to your niche. Essentially, ads appear on a site based on that site’s own keywords. If you sell baby blankets and blog about it, ads might appear on a site dedicated to parenting, for example.
Pay-per-click, SEO advertising can be very useful for building traffic. These ads offer quite a few advantages, including:
- The cost: Pay-per-click campaigns only cost you money when readers on another site “click” through to your blog. This means if the ads don’t work, you don’t necessarily have to pay for anything.
- They develop targeted traffic: If your ads appear on a parenting Web site, for example, the visits they generate will typically come from people who are already interested in learning more about your baby blankets.
- They are easy to establish: Companies that offer pay-per-click advertising make it very easy to get a campaign started. Google will, basically, walk you through the entire process. They even teach you how to word your ads for maximum effectiveness.
Incoming links boost brand exposure & authority:
As you build up the content on your blog, one of the best forms of advertising is completely free. When other bloggers or Web site owners quote and link to your content, you gain free exposure. You can ask other site owners to link to your content & hope they respond. The best way to get this type of exposure is to posts “killer” content others want to link to.
The advantages of incoming links to your blog and its posts include:
- Free exposure: When another Web site sees your content and wants to reference it, you gain exposure to that site’s visitors. This can be incredible for your own traffic numbers and doesn’t cost you a dime in the process.
- Credibility increases: The more sites that link to your content, the better your credibility is likely to be. When others start seeing your blog as an authority on a subject, your brand name will gain exposure and its reputation will only benefit.
- Ranking increases: Search engine ranking does involve more than the use of SEO. Many search engine companies like Google also pay attention to the credibility of blogs and Web sites when formulating their rankings. The more incoming links your blog has from sites that rank high, the better your rankings are likely to become. When you manage to combine a careful SEO campaign with efforts to establish your brand and its supporting blog’s credibility, the more likely it is you will rank high as an authority site on your chosen topic.
On the Internet, incoming links to your site are sort of like word-of-mouth advertising in the real world. The more positive links you have, the better the buzz about your brand is likely to be.
Traditional off line marketing, print marketing, & “old school” branding:
While you may not want to pay to drive traffic and interest in your blog, sometimes it your best investment. As part of your market research & plan, it can pay to at traditional advertising. Agencies specialize in campaigns that include both online ads, newspapers, radio, & television. Depending on your goals & budget, traditional campaigns can pay off .
A full advertising flight that includes both online and offline components can be beneficial for your efforts because of its:
- Potential reach – If it is your desire to reach a lot of people quickly, going both online and offline with advertising for your brand and blog can work extremely well. A single multipronged campaign might be able to reach more people in a few days than you’d be able to reach in weeks or months using more passive modes of advertising.
- Demographic targeting – Companies that specialize in both online and offline advertising tend to also be quite adept at targeting specific demographics. If you are trying to pull in 20-something parents and 70-something grandparents to read about your baby blankets, advertising pros will know how to make this happen.
- Value – When an advertising flight works as expected, its potential value to your branding efforts can prove priceless. The customers reached in a single campaign can turn into repeat visitors (customers) and they can help you create further buzz through word-of-mouth advertising.
Affiliate Marketing Has Its Perks
While this form of advertising won’t work for every brand effort out there, it can be very useful if you are trying to promote particular products or services. Affiliate marketing works by having others act as your salespeople on the Internet. Affiliates advertise your blog and your products on their own Web sites and gain a percentage for each successful sale made through their referrals.
Affiliate marketing is similar to pay-per-click advertising, but it can create an even bigger buzz for your products or services. Affiliates, for example, often gear their own Web sites to pre-sell the products or services they represent. This can have a snowball effect that’s positive for your brand and even more positive for your bottom line – even considering the percentage you might have to pay affiliates for successful sales.
Giveaways And Contests:
There is no denying the fact that people love freebies. This is especially so online. If you want to generate a lot of interest in your blog and the brand you are trying to develop, running periodic contests and offering giveaways can be incredibly useful. Contests can include chances to win the products or services you are branding. Giveaways might include “starter” products or even free eBooks and other tools readers might be interested in.
The benefits of using giveaways and contests to promote your brand and your blog include:
- The buzz they generate
- The chance to gain new visitors (customers) who might not have otherwise taken the time to look at your blog or even your brand
- The free advertising that can be created – other Web sites and blogs will often write about contests and giveaways that might be of interest to their own readers
- The chance to develop loyalty among visitors who take the time to check out your products or services
When your intent is to build a brand through a blog or any other means, advertising is important. Consider some of the bigger brands out there and pay attention to how much they actually put into advertising. Even companies that have reached the “household name” status still put a lot of time, energy and money into advertising well after they’ve been established. This is to help ensure that that their brand name remains in the forefront of customers’ minds and that new customers are constantly gained.
While you might have budgetary constraints, do try to use a multipronged approach for advertising. The more places you can get your brand name advertised, the better. If money is a concern, focus on cultivating free advertising options such as basic SEO, word of mouth and incoming links. Should money not be an issue, a combination of free and paid advertising techniques can help build brand recognition and ultimately help you succeed in your efforts.