Every Santa Barbara business wants to drive traffic to their site.
It’s not easy because it takes sustained effort, but it’s not terribly difficult, either. And it has nothing to do with luck.
It has to do with:
1.) Your ability to create good copy. (No sweat – you can do this.)
2.) Using the tools available to you (read: internet leverage)
3.) Making friends (Santa Barbarans are famously gregarious).
4.) Your awesome Santa Barbara Website
That’s not too bad, right?
Let’s get into it.
More than anything, people are looking for a reason not to pay attention to your post. They’re asking themselves right now if you’re wasting their time. If you’re anything like me (and you are), the first thing you did when you saw this post was:
1.) Scanned the headline to see if it was worth your while.
2.) Scanned the contents of the page to see if you were right about it actually being worth your while, and
3.) Jumped to conclusion sentences to see if the message was packing any punch.
Let’s talk about #3 first. Creating a sustainable blog is all about writing content that people actually use. Ask yourself if you’ve targeted your ideal client, if you’ve identified their pain points, and then go out there and solve their problems.
If you do that, all that’s left is promotion, and that’s what this post is about.
Start with 5 good posts. Before you jump into outreach, make sure that you actually have some good content on your site that’s usable, because if and when people read your stuff, they ‘ll likely click around and you want them to be impressed by what they see so that they’ll tune in for the future.
Makes sense, right? Ok, so
I recommend that businesses just starting out in the content marketing game start with 5
- Groups: Choose relevant and targeted groups to join. Be interactive within these groups. I recommend narrowing down to 5 where you can really grow your presence and expertise. In addition to this, make sure you create your own group and invite connections to join!
- Advertising: Recently, I’ve found a new love for sponsored updates! Use sponsored updates to help promote any special offers, whitepapers or webinars you may be running. I’ve also done the self-served ads on LinkedIn and have to admit, I’ve not had any outstanding results, but this isn’t to say you shouldn’t test. Make sure you run targeted ads, with a targeted landing page along with at least 6 different ad variations.
- Twitter – Hashtags will be your best friend here! You can use a simple tool like Twubs to help identify popular hashtags and also participate in ongoing conversations. Make sure to also leverage Twitter lists for marketing segmentation as well!
- Facebook – Since hashtags are so new, I haven’t heard nor experienced a ton of positive engagement from them yet. However, I will say the way to win with strong Facebook engagement that then increases your potential for trafffic, leads and conversions is to push ads! Again, make sure your ads are targeted, relevant and tied in with a landing page.
- Instagram – Just as the case is with Twitter, hashtags are your best friend here too. You can use tools like Statigram to identify popular hashtags. Visuals are everything here so spend a little time making your images compelling. Apps like PicLab and PicFrame will help with your creative process!
There are two ways to approach blogging:
- Focus on growing your own blog. HubSpot has been open with saying that they saw a huge increase in traffic to their website after publishing 5+ blog posts per day. Of course, not everyone is able to do this, but the idea behind blogging is that you are consistent with it. A good starting point is to ensure you have at the very least 1-2 blog posts per month.
- Push for guest blogging. This is a bit more time-consuming, but start by reaching out to the influencers within your industry. Make sure you propose topics that are relevant to their blog and that you’re also active within the community. Know that a part of gaining traction with guest blogging is also within relationship building, so don’t go in just thinking: “What’s in it for me?”
Be creative with your webinars by partnering with other companies or professional individuals to present on topics you know are trending. Also, leverage the feedback you receive from your community as a way to plan out your upcoming webinars. Areas you should place promotional CTAs:
- Landing Page with webinar registration
- Thank You page after webinar registration
- Beginning of webinar and after webinar
- Email follow up post webinar
Whitepapers and eBooks
This is another route to provide free education for your target audience. You can easily promote your whitepapers and eBooks using targeted landing pages as well as featuring them on specific blog posts. The great thing about whitepapers and eBooks is that you can reuse the content within them to write multiple blog posts.
Leverage topics that you know your target demographic is interested in hearing. To be more specific, focus on topics that will pull an emotional response such as motivation and inspiration within business startups. There’s nothing more powerful than empowering others to push for their own success. Also, have a CTA that will drive people to take action so that you have a way of capturing info for remarketing purposes.
Offline traffic can be a big part of online traffic – marry the two. Use events as a way to build relationships and expand your network. More importantly, events will serve as a way to also meet other influencers within your industry. This is a great way to ask for simple things such as interviewing them, guest blogging, storytelling, podcasting, etc.
Some of the businesses I’ve encountered have complained about email being dead, while others are finding great use of it. I’m with the latter. Email marketing – when done correctly – can yield very positive results. Just as everything else in digital marketing, you have to be patient with testing and understanding what works as well as what doesn’t. Here are some recommendations that must be done:
- List segmentation
- Test different subject lines
- Tie in with targeted landing pages
- Use as another avenue to drive engagement both with prospects and customers
A great example that immediately comes to mind are Moz’s Whiteboard Friday. These are quick, educational videos that cover a variety of topics within digital marketing. The great thing is that the Moz team takes the times to listen to what their readers and fan base want to learn more about. From there, they create these great videos to teach and educate. Apply the same methodology to your own video marketing plan.
Optimize all of your landing pages and your website for the keywords you want to rank for. More specifically, optimize for keywords you know your target demographic is searching for. Use tools like the Google Keyword Tool, SEMRush, and UberSuggest to research keywords. You can even dive in deeper by using Moz’s Open Site Explorer to see the specific backlinks to your site or even a competitors. From there, you can leverage the keywords found on those pages to your advantage.
Always execute this tactic with targeted landing pages and multiple ad copy. The path to conversion (note – conversion is how you define it for your business – could be a form filled or a direct purchase) has to be as direct as possible. In other words, sending traffic directly to your homepage will most likely yield in money wasted with very low results.
Have suggestions or recommendations on other ways to drive traffic to your website? Post them in the comments below!