Whoever is still using press releases and spending money on ads is definitely not getting the bang for their buck. That’s because the majority of consumers and businesses are not paying attention to these marketing channels. Instead, they are on other channels seeking out more from brands than a press announcement or sales copy. Today’s audiences want helpful and relevant content that delivers something of value to them.
While this desire may seemingly present a challenge, it also offers you an incredible number of ways in which to promote your community and drive traffic without spending money. Here are some strategies for promoting your community and driving traffic to your site:
To promote your own community, you should join others who, in turn, will share yours. Think of it as social platforms for bloggers to find, interact, and share with each other. It’s a great way to drive traffic without having to stay on top of all the changing SEO rules.
Plus, you can learn a lot from other bloggers in the process. You’ll be able to get more backlinks this way and rank higher thanks to the support of other bloggers. They are looking for the same from you so be sure to return the favor where it makes sense. Some examples include BlogEngage, Blogging.org, DoSplash, and InBound.
Social Media Sharing
Every blog post should be shared on your personal and business social media accounts, profiles, and feeds. Each post has an extended life, which means you can continue to share it every few weeks or months. Use a site like Buffer to help you schedule these recurring posts. This helpful social automation platform allows you to shuffle the posts so that they appear at different times on various social media platforms.
Incorporate new tools on Facebook like chatbots to share content through Messenger. Go beyond the Facebook and Twitter accounts, too. Use an image from your blog post as a post on Instagram. Sign up for relevant groups on LinkedIn so you can post your content there. Quora is a question-and-answer social site where you can also share your content.
Social Bookmarking Sites
Next, sign-up for social bookmarking websites, which allow users to store and share Internet bookmarks. This typically involves sites where you can organize and categorize various pages and sites of interest. Social bookmarking sites include CiteULike, Digg, Reddit, Pinterest, Google Bookmarks, and others.
You’ll need to create an account on these sites and then start adding your posts so that they can be shared with others.
When it comes to other relevant blogs, be active. That means commenting on others’ blog posts and including a link to a relevant blog post on your site that validates your opinion. You can also serve as a guest blogger on other blogs. In exchange, you can list a short bio that features a link to your own blog. This encourages those readers to come read more from you.
You don’t always have to generate new content to attract traffic. Sometimes, it helps to recycle your existing content by syndicating it on other websites. There are numerous sites that accept previously published content, including LinkedIn or Medium. You’ll also be able to find industry-specific syndication sites with a quick search engine query. When you do syndicate content, include links back to your blog and share the news that you have other incredible content located there.
Media Mentions/Thought Leadership
Your participation in other media sites can also build interest. Those in the media are always looking for thoughtful insights to add to their articles. For example, HARO (Help a Reporter Out) provides a way to answer journalists’ questions that may garner you a spot in their article as a quote or mention. This mention also includes a link back to your blog or site to generate more traffic.
You can also start pitching various organizations that like to receive content from others that offer valuable insights into trends, industry outlooks, and specific data. This includes the Young Entrepreneurs Council and publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, and others. You’ll need to show them your existing content and illustrate what you have done to data in building an audience.
Collect email addresses and build a database that you can use to alert those interested to newly available content within your community. People still read emails and like getting information this way. They can easily click on a link in the email to go straight to that content from their laptop or mobile device.
This way, you are driving the traffic to your site. You may also find that these emails get forward to their contacts when they think the content will be of value. Constant Contact is an ideal tool to use for this tactic. Here are a few other top email marketing companies to work with.
You can start engaging more with the community you have built to date. For example, use WiseStamp to add your blog posts and URL to your email signature line. Make sure to add the latest blog posts to any forums, groups, or email newsletters you manage or work with. Also, submit your blog posts to the wide range of RSS directories that help expand your community through new subscribers. Make sure to schedule all this out on your calendar.
So Many Free Tactics to Pursue
As you can see, there are numerous ways to build your community and generate traffic for free. It simply requires great content, time and effort, and access to a world of tools, platforms, and technology. You’ll be able to start generating an instant return from many of these tactics, which can help build further momentum with Ning!