In the digital era, it is easy to assume that the more traditional methods no longer apply, but if you are trying to broaden the appeal of your blog then the best way to do so is to combine traditional with digital marketing methods.
Before you create any sort of marketing strategy for your blog, you need to ask yourself which forms of marketing are best for you and your blog. The answer to that question will depend to a considerable extent on the type of audience you are trying to appeal to with your blog. Some audiences – typically but not exclusively the younger set – are better reached using digital methods. It would be fair to say that these audiences would almost expect to be marketed to using digital technology, such is the extent to which digital platforms have become integrated into their daily lives. Other audiences would be better reached using a combination of digital and traditional methods, not least because these types of audiences are equally at home using traditional media or digital media, and they may even have a preference for the more traditional ways. Some of your target audience may well have a limited social media footprint, for instance, so to reach out to them means using more traditional methods.
When it comes to determining how best to reach an audience, another key consideration is the nature of the blog itself. Is it a blog intended to support a business or are you an individual blogger, writing content for a more general audience? If it is a blog supporting a business, for example, then your marketing mix would more likely include more traditional elements of marketing, such as informing your customers directly that you have a blog with content that may appeal to them. This direct marketing could take the form of a mail shot, a tweet or Facebook post, or even by you telling your customers face-to-face.
In one sense, a blogger has no alternative but to incorporate traditional marketing methods into their promotional strategy because those same methods are as integral to digital marketing as they are to any other type of approach. Essentially, these “traditional” methods of marketing represent the basics, so it is very much a case of ignoring them at your peril. This is something that was also covered in a similar traditional publicity vs. content marketing infographic an article here.
At the core of marketing is the exchange of something – a good or service – intended to satisfy a human need or want. The value of what is being exchanged is the consumer’s estimate of the extent to which the product or service can satisfy their needs or wants. By extension, therefore, the success of any marketing strategy is in how persuasive it is that something is of great value to the end user – in our case, the reader of a blog. That value proposition has to inform any marketing approach, digital or otherwise.
If your approach as a blogger is to integrate traditional with digital marketing methods then you may want to consider some of the following examples:
When it comes to direct marketing, methods vary from face-to-face to social media posts, but the combination of traditional and digital that would work best for your blog depends on who you are trying to reach. You could tell friends, family, colleagues or customers, if you have any, that you have a blog, but if your target audience is international travelers, for instance, then how much traction are you going to gain by telling those around you that you have a blog they might want to look at? Marketing via social media would be much more appropriate for such an audience. Without detracting from the appeal and potential impact of direct marketing face-to-face, that is something you could leave for an occasion such as a convention or business meeting, when the likelihood that people who would be genuinely interested in reading your blog or would gain something from it would actually be there for you to engage with them directly.
As a key marketing approach, advertising has to be part of your mix, but in the race to embrace all things digital, traditional advertising has become somewhat overlooked. That is a mistake, because traditional advertising continues to have a sizable reach, whether it is newspaper, magazine advertising, radio or television, or billboards and posters. Think about the last time you saw a strategically placed and arresting advertisement, in a newspaper or the side of a road, for example, and consider the impact it had on you. Digitally, advertising has to be similarly focused, so ensure that you fully understand the basics of online advertising. Online adverting can take the form of organic search or it can be paid search, where you select the keywords and phrases that will lead to your ad, and then buy those through a bidding process for the particular keywords. The selection of keywords makes paid search a targeted form of advertising, drawing on the same principles of traditional advertising that ads in the wrong place reached the wrong audience.
If you want a concrete example of a blog and website that successfully combines traditional with digital marketing, then As Seen On TV easily fits into that category. Even the name As Seen On TV suggests a combination of the old with the new as far as marketing is concerned, with visitors to the site assured that they are buying the product they saw on television. The clever thing about the As Seen On TV website is that it takes the comfort and assurance of something traditional and familiar – television – to consumers, and combines it with digital to create a strong and appealing brand to consumers.
Digital marketing is seen as the future when it comes to reaching an audience, but even with a digital marketing platform such as a blog, there is considerable merit in incorporating traditional marketing methods. In combining the two methods – traditional and digital – you can develop a truly successful marketing strategy for your blog.