Blog Post Promotion : A Complete Checklist

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Putting your post on the wildness of the web and imagining that the world will find it, is much like stepping outside your house to hum a bit, and then waiting for a music director to spot your singing brilliance.

It’s tempting to believe otherwise, but we all know the myth-busting truth – no matter how hard you worked on writing a terrific post, you’ve got to sweat and hustle a whole lot more to get it noticed!

And to make that a little easier, we’ve got you a comprehensive, step-by-step checklist of all the 41 odd things that need to be done once a post has been written. Here we go!

I)
blog post promotion tip 1 - enrich your post

1. Add images

Visual content attracts 94% more views and also helps with search engine optimization. You can use pictures that are illustrative (that go along with any of your text), informative (that add more value to the content, such as statistics, infographics, etc.) or decorative (for example, when images are used as headings).

2. Add memes/ GIFs

Humor is believed to be the driving factor in around 32% of the world’s viral posts.

Promote your blog post by targeting humor
Emotions triggered by viral posts. Source : OkDork

Memes and GIFs are easy to make or find (MemeGenerator & Giphy respectively), and add a fun, human touch to your content.

3. Add videos

Apart from being more engaging, videos are also easier to rank on Google. You can make your own videos to go with your posts, or you can embed existing resources from the web within it.

4. Add a downloadable resource

Freebies are delightful (no stats needed for this one!). You can intersperse your post with relevant free resources – customizable templates, summary documents, worksheets, printable checklists (like the nifty one I’ve put up right at the beginning), etc.  If you let the download happen after a ‘sign-up’, this can also be a great way to capture leads.

II)Blog Post Promotion 2 - Optimize for Search Engines

5. Select the right keyword to target

This can be done through Google’s free Keyword Planner.  Choose a long-tail, low/medium competition keyword to improve your chances of ranking for it (catch more tips on keyword research here).

6. Insert the keyword at relevant places in the body

Make sure that the keyword appears in the first paragraph of the post. Do not overdo it (Google penalizes ‘keyword stuffing’) or let it sound forced (compromising user experience).

7. Make sure the URL is short, clear and has your keyword

Read more on best practices for URL optimization.

8. Write a clear, compelling title that has your keyword

It needs to be clear (describing what the post is about, using your target keyword) and clickworthy (which is different from clickbaity). Here’s how you can write a surefire headline. Google only displays the first 70 characters of a page’s title in the search results, so try to stick to that limit.

9. Write a clear, persuasive meta description that has your keyword

The meta description describes your post to readers browsing through results. While Google doesn’t regard it as a ranking factor, it is largely considered useful to have your keyword in the meta description. Most importantly, however, make sure the description is magnetic enough to drive clicks. Google only displays the first 156 characters of a page’s meta description, so try to stick to that limit.

blog post promotion with meta description
The meta description for LeadSquared’s website.

10. Use headings & subheadings

This helps users as well as Google get a grasp of what a long post is about.

11. Optimize images by using appropriate file names, captions and alt text

If you want your images to show up in Google’s Image Search, 1) name your images clearly (not IMG3611, but ‘red mercedes’, for example), 2) provide helpful alt text (this is what people will receive when your images don’t load or if they’re visually impaired), 3) provide descriptive captions.  Master more image optimization hacks here.

You can spot them by searching your target keyword and moving towards the end of the page, in the ‘Searches related to <>’ section. Using closely related keywords will give Google a clear idea about the topic you’re writing on. The same caveat again : sound natural.

Linking to other insightful (external) posts on a topic not only makes your post more worthwhile for a reader – but also gives Google an indication to what your content is about. Too many links, however, may make your post look like the product of a link-exchange program, so be careful.

According to Neil Patel, the founder of KISSmetrics, internal linking :

Aids in website navigation, defines the architecture and heirarchy of a website, and distributes page authority and ranking power throughout the site.

It’s a relatively simple task and can benefit you a good deal. If you’re wondering how to go about it, here are seven internal linking commandments you need to abide by.

III)

Blog Post Promotion 3 - Align to goals

15. Create a shortened URL for easy tracking

This can be done using Google’s URL shortener or Bitly. These look neater, take up less space (for example, on Twitter), and also help you delve into critical insights, such as which medium got you how much traffic.

16. Add relevant offers on the blog page

A blog is (in most cases) of no use if it doesn’t get you the right leads. Create a powerful CTA by putting up offer widgets (top or sidebars) that give readers something in exchange for filling up a form. You can offer newsletter subscription, e-book downloads, webinar access, etc. in return for the details they’d be filling in.

blog post promotion with offer widget
This is the offer widget that appears next to our posts on real estate marketing.

Make sure your offers are aligned to the blog post next to which they appear.

IV)

Blog Post Promotion 4 - Promote on owned media

17. Include a link to your post in your email signature

Preface the link with a compelling one line copy. Do this for at least a week, or until your next post is up.

19. Showcase the latest content from your blog on your website 

If you have a widget that already does that, you don’t need to do anything about this. In case you don’t, consider adding a link to your blog post somewhere on the website – only if it’s relevant to all of your visitors (for example, we cover industry based content as well as general marketing stuff, and only the latter is relevant to all of our visitors).

Blog post promotion on website example
Example of a website that showcases the latest post from the company blog.

20. Create, schedule & share snippets out of your posts on Facebook & Twitter

Give your audience a preview of the content they’d be getting to read if they click. You can do this by highlighting a vital statistic, or an infographic, or a catchy ‘quote’ from your post. Do not use the same snippet repeatedly – create at least 10-15 of these and share them over time (you can schedule this using a tool like Buffer). Also, tailor content according to platform – witty on Twitter, professional on LinkedIn. Use hashtags so that you get found!

21. Publish on LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, merely sharing through the company account is not sufficient. Publish your post on LinkedIn Pulse – your connections will be notified and this will be particularly helpful if you want to posit yourself as a thought-leader on the company’s behalf.

22. Share stand-alone images on Pinterest and Instagram

If your image makes sense and adds value on it’s own, provide it a caption with a link to your post and post it on Pinterest and Instagram. Particularly recommended if you write for a photo-savvy audience (for example, travel businesses), or if you create lots of infographics.

23. Add your post to your next newsletter 

24. Send out emailers to customers/leads

Be relevant. Make sure you’re not sending a real estate post to a fashion store owner. Offer the post as a helpful resource you ‘thought they might like’.  Also, do not do this for each post you write – as they haven’t signed up for such emails – only for the ones you think are really, really good.

25. Circulate your post within your company (or with the appropriate team)

This can help you get some easy social shares, and also actually benefit the team.

26. Email your post to friends who might be interested

Ex-colleagues or others in the same industry. Again, don’t do this too often – you don’t want to be a spammer. Share the post only if it’ll be genuinely useful. As a thumb rule, ask yourself – would you have appreciated someone else emailing this post to you? 

V)

Blog Post Promotion 5 - Collaborate with others

27. Request social media influencers to share your post

Use a community like Triberr (or simply search your industry hashtags and browse through the top accounts on Twitter or Facebook) to find such influencers. Reach out to them via email, requesting them to share if they liked the post. You could also ask them for a quote before you write the post – incentive to share for them, more value for your readers.

Run a quick Google search/ activate Google alerts for terms relevant to your post. Link to the genuinely value-adding ones in your own post, and then reach out to them, asking them to link to your post if they liked it enough. 

29. Leave insightful comments on such articles

Comment on such articles, with or without a link to your new blog post. If you’re not including a link – make sure you’re trying to spark a mutual relationship and adding insight with your comment. If you’re leaving a link – be tactful, invite feedback, and ask for nothing in return.

30. Contact authority sites in your niche for syndication opportunities

This includes renowned online or offline publications that are held in high regard. Pitch to them with your (best) articles, and try to get them published on their site with a credit and a backlink to your post/website. Take care of canonicalization to make sure your SEO isn’t affected.

VI)

Blog Post Promotion 6 - Share on communities

31. Share it on Medium 

Medium is a great way to find readers for your blog, but go for this only if a sizeable proportion of your audience is on it. Put up the first few paragraphs of your post as a teaser and then link to your blog.

32. Post it on knowledge-sharing communities in your niche

For example, to get our marketing related posts a wide audience, we share them on GrowthHackers & Inbound. These communities allow for article links to be shared with a short description.

33. Share it on Reddit

Only if you’re a very active member (on that particular subreddit); the community is such that you’d get nothing out of it you just post links to your own blogs and vanish. Ask, answer, help, comment, and then share your links.

Again, don’t make your profile look like a spam fest, where you’re only answering questions full of links to your own blog. Post genuinely helpful answers on multiple topics before you get around to promoting your blog post.

35. Post on relevant forums

As with other online communities, forums will also serve as a good avenue for marketing when you actively, genuinely participate in them apart from self-promoting your links.

36. Post on active groups on social networks

Facebook & LinkedIn groups that are active and spam-free can be a good source of traffic.

VII)

Blog Post Promotion 7 - Repurpose it

37. Create an e-book

If you’ve written a really comprehensive post, consider making it into an e-book. You can run PPC ads for it or sell it on Amazon. You could also provide it as a free downloadable on your website.

38. Create a PPT

Put it on Slideshare, AuthorStream, and other presentation sharing sites. This helps you get found if people search directly on those websites.

39. Create an infographic

Particularly useful if it is a step-wise guide, a checklist or a data-heavy post. Infographics can make complex posts easier to understand and retain. They also have a ‘long-term’ quality – if there’s information readers might want to refer to repeatedly, it’s much simpler to download an infographic rather than going through a long post when required.

And making an infographic is super easy with neat tools like Canva. Once done, you can put it on photo-sharing websites as well as within your post, to increase its visual appeal.

40. Create a YouTube video

YouTube is the second most visited search engine in the world after Google, and this clearly indicates a strong inclination towards video based content. Many people directly search for things they want to understand, on YouTube. Besides, as discussed, videos stand a better chance of ranking on Google as well. So consider taking your post’s material and creating a video out of it, through tools like Powtoon.

41. Host a webinar 

Webinars are an excellent way to generate leads, build a rapport with existing ones, and address their prospect queries in real-time.  You can do this easily through GoToWebinar, using the PPT you created from your post.

…and we’re done!  Hope this helped – do share your thoughts in the comments section!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a huge checklist to get busy with :)

P.S.: Some of the above activities may not strictly classify as blog post promotion. For the sake of clarity, I’ve divided the work a blog post demands into two stages – 1) writing, and 2) promotion, where ‘promotion’ implies everything that’s to be done once the post has been written.

Have you thought about what can  you do, as a marketer to improve your digital marketing for the coming year 2016? Well, that is exactly what we analyse in this webinar. Join Prateek Shah – a digital marketing trainer as he enumerates 16 ways to perfect your strategy! The webinar was a resounding hit. Due to the number of questions from our enthusiastic audience, we have split them into two posts. You can access the first part here. This is the second half of the Q&A session. For those of you who couldn’t attend it, you can view a recording of the webinar here.

View the Recording

Question 1

Can we work on digital marketing only through messages and GSM (through phone?)

Not entirely no. We still need a little bit of online assistance for digital marketing. By looking at only message and GSM, you will be losing out on PPC and email marketing – two powerful tools required in the marketing mix for any company.

Question 2

What are the best practices in digital marketing for a B2B company?

  • Stop spamming – target your audience specifically and send them content they are interested in. Sharing content because you have it, for the sake of sharing is definitely classified as spam.
  • Integrate offline and online channels of marketing – Recently published a campaign on newspaper? Well, promote it online as well! More the channels, better the reach.
  • Personalization – Don’t send generic emails or offers to all. Take the time to know your lead a bit better. Right from the form of addressing them to perhaps sharing custom content and tailoring services to their requirements – show your leads that you are genuinely interested and remember them.
  • Context – Yes. It is understood that ultimately you are promoting your services. But try to make it as relevant as possible to the prospect and keep your content and pitch in context.

Question 3

How to increase traffic to lead conversion?

That’s a very broad question. Your tactics will depend upon the product, the industry and how you are selling it. As a general rule of thumb, provide value – adding content behind a lead capture form. Keep in mind two things –

  • The content behind the form should be of interest to your prospect. No one would want to sign up to read, say, your company’s core values. So think of e-books, white paper downloads, a free trial, perhaps a free consultation or a discount – something that encourages the visitor to take the effort to sign up.
  • Keep as little fields in the lead capture form as possible. Usually, the user name and the email id would suffice. If you need more information, you can always mail them for it or get it through progressive lead capture.

Question 4

I work at a Builders company and we have 2 properties that are dry on leads. What is an alternate way, apart from content and posters, to draw interest on my campaign?

Think of watsapp sharing and promoting. Numerous builders and real estate agents are sharing information about their property through their mobile phones. So ensure that you have a watsapp sharing link on your content. Also, instead of constantly selling, offer useful information – like 3 things to ensure before you buy a house and general tips for home owners. This will generate interest and keep your audience hooked. You can also refer creative real estate marketing ideas for more.

Question 5

Can we generate the B2B leads through social media? How to effectively use Twitter, Fb and LinkedIn for the same?

Of course! It doesn’t matter if you are a B2B company – social media is not something you can afford to overlook. The biggest advantage is that you don’t have to build a community or hunt for prospects – the audience is already there. All you have to do is build a solid online presence and update frequently. Have you tried using the Facebook Lead Ads that have been recently rolled out? Also check out Twitter Ads. This is a bit more expensive, but if a lot of your audience is on that platform, you can definitely invest.

If you have content to share, go ahead share it on social media. You can also hold contests and announce give-aways and discounts for the winners. That will definitely promote interest.

Question 6

How can we improve open rate in E-mail marketing?

Focus on three things:

  • Subject – Yes, a subject line has to be interesting and catchy so that the recepients click on it. But the subject should also give the gist of the content inside. Totally unrelated subject lines used solely to capture attention are to be avoided.
  • Sender name – an aspect that is generally overlooked. Receiving emails from a nobody or from a faceless company will generate little interest. Have name, followed by the company name to give context to your emails (perhaps you met him at an event, perhaps you remind him you offered him a service).
  • Send from different email ids – . An email from a CEO’s account will definitely get opened as opposed to a mail from any other staff.

You can also get more useful information from this webinar on email -marketing.

Question 7

How can we use SlideShare and AuthorStream for lead generation?

SlideShare is a pretty good tool to use. You can use it for content re-purposing – a very effective strategy to reach more leads with the already awesome content you have. However, it is more useful in the long run and short term benefits might not be much.

Question 8

We are already using FB for lead generation. We want to step it up, any suggestion in terms of targeting?

Well, be as creative with your targeting as possible. Target influencers and decision makers. If you are an education company, target the parents (and the students). If you are a B2B company, target people with the job description who can make a buying decision.

Question 9

We are into Health Spa business. We send out 2 emails every month with offers. However email open rate is still an issue. Can you give us tips?

Stop sending offers. People don’t want to buy all the time! Send them interesting content or tips like “5 exercises you can do to keep you healthy at your work place” or “How to eat healthy while managing a busy work schedule”. The more interesting it is to the audience, the more likely they are to click on it.

Question 10

I agree that impressions are not the bench mark of a successful ad. But how to ensure conversions?

We have already seen that for conversions, context and relevance are important. You can’t put up an add for sweaters in summer! To add to that, also ensure that once the user clicks on your ad, he is taken right to the product page and not a home page where he is again forced to search for what he wants. Check your bounce rates. If it is pretty high then it shows that your visitors are not getting what they want when they land on your page.

To make them click on your ad, make your CTA as attractive as possible – it is the item that should stand out the most and be right beneath the hero shot. Boring, passive words like – “click here” or “subscribe” will get lesser attention.

Question 11a.

We are an Institute trying to enroll students. People submit their details but have not seen results in admissions.

Honestly speaking, marketing can only do so much. Conversions ultimately happen depending upon the the product. Relook the product, the services you offer and see how you can improve it to add value. Also check your process after obtaining leads. You can perhaps identify what you are doing wrong after leads come in.

Question 11b.

Would email campaigns that engage the students with information about the institute be helpful?

Yes. Definitely. Also try partnering with a few companies could help. Also, look up this webinar on education marketing. It will give you some ideas of your own.

Question 11c.

We are an Entertainment related institute. The course we offer is Sound Engineering, so what is the best option for targeting audience?

Targeting specifically through Facebook and other channels might be difficult as people don’t give out such specific details (unless asked “are you interested in sound engineering?”). So your leads have to be generated through organic traffic. Google Ads is your best bet. Try also blogging and sharing content.

Question 12

How to get the most from Google Adwords?

There is another webinar on Google Adwords that LeadSquared has conducted with an expert. I am sure it will help you.

Question 13

Simple tips to develop website for start-ups?

Try Indiagetonline. It is a host creator with google collaboration. You can always try WordPress as well. It is simple and easy to set up. For e-commerce companies, bazaar.com is a cost effective way to get online.

Question 14

Reddit is a very underused platform when it comes to digital marketing. How to use Reddit to build an audience?

Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Scoop.it  are options you can try. Try to participate and have a presence. It is majorly also for promoting your own website. If you dont own a website, it might not be relevant. Also, be patient. Don’t expect miracles. Plus, your content has to be truly globally relevant to do well on these platforms.

Question 15

How to overcome competitors?

Check out this webinar on how to stay ahead of your competition. You can get some actionable insights.

Question 16

What is the best digital domain for connecting B2B companies.

LinkedIn. Without doubt. Check out LinkedIn Pulse for blog posts and content related to B2B.

Question 17

Is it the right time to start a digital marketing company?

This is a very interesting question. We are slowly approaching a saturation point in this sector. Only if you have a clear vision for the company, know how big you  want to make it grow and know the industry well should you venture into it.

Question 18

What are the best tools for extracting website audit report?

So, website audit tools crawl the website – one link and one page at a time. The give their findings as  a report – the output format varies with every tool. So depending on your requirements pick the tool you want. There are web based and desktop based tools that you can use, a concise list of which is given below. Source: Raven tools blog.

Desktop programs

  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider v2.3
  • Beam Us Up v1.0.0.0
  • Xenu’s Link Sleuth v1.3
  • Microsoft IIS SEO Toolkit

Web-based

  • Google (Webmaster Tools & Analytics)
  • Raven Tools Site Auditor
  • WooRank
  • DeepCrawl
  • Moz Pro SEO Web Crawler
  • Alexa’s Site Auditor
  • Site Condor

Last week’s session on ’16 Simple Ways Marketers Can Get Better at Digital Marketing in 2016′ was one of the most successful webinar sessions we have ever had. Guest speaker Prateek Shah, Founder of Digital Defynd shared his expertise on digital marketing and addressed several questions asked during the session. However, there were so many that we had to write two posts on it. In case you missed the webinar, you can find it here:

Digital Marketing in 2016

View the Recording

We have also summarized some of the questions asked during the webinar, below:

Question 1

Any tips on targeting rich people for a luxury furniture brand?

There are multiple targeting options available. Try using several platforms. In case of the free ones, you could post pictures of the furniture on Instagram or Pinterest. In case of Facebook targeting, use options like ‘FB Payments (Average Spend is more), Household Composition, Job Title and so on. You could also use names of popular brands that they might be interested in.

Question 2

How to generate quality leads by digital media for the newly started web design companies?

Advanced search on Twitter would help. Otherwise, go to Truelancer.com or Freelancer.com. Apply for work there. Recently Truelancer.com got funded. They are doing well so I think it would help. Running ads on Facebook would also help.

Question 3

Which are the top tools for digital marketing in 2016?

I found this great article that lists the tops tools for digital marketing for different digital marketing activities. Take a look: 37 Digital Marketing Tools That Make Life Easier

Question 4

Suggestions for top tools for quick lead generation?

LeadSquared should be at the top of your list :)

Digital Marketing in 2016

Apart from that, you have HubSpot, Infusionsoft, Marketo, Salesforce and several others. However, a responsive website, social media presence, and a business blog would probably make lead generation quicker.

Question 5

How successful Hindi news publications are on social platforms? Especially on Twitter?

I don’t think Hindi publications have a very good audience on Twitter. I would personally recommend you to do more and more stuff on Facebook. In fact, create Facebook groups for discussions and then promote your publication. In addition to that, write great content so that you can share it via WhatsApp and have a WhatsApp share button included on your website. Do that and your readership will definitely go up.

Question 6

Can you suggest the best third party tool to analyze social data? How can we find out who shared our content? 

I would recommend BuzzSumo. It will help you find out who shared what content, how many times it was shared and on which platforms it was shared.  You could also try Keyhole or Socialbakers.

Question 7

Talking about WhatsApp marketing, how can a brand benefit from the same? Can we expect website visits from WhatsApp?

You can definitely expect mobile visits from WhatsApp. If you have noticed any of the websites these days, they all have a WhatsApp share button. They have that because a lot of people are sharing stuff on WhatsApp. We can’t track it effectively right now but let’s hope that Facebook gives us some way.

Question 8

How do we present our product to a mass audience?

It would really depend on what the product is. But on the outset, presentation through social media, email marketing, website (widget) and business blog would help. You could target people through ads as well. Again, the type of product would define the type of audience.

Question 9

How to target students for engineering admissions?

Facebook targeting is the way to go. Target age groups 16-18. Location and interest based targeting are preferable. You could target their parents as well.

Question 10

If we share content on Facebook, including a landing page, will Facebook restrict circulation? What should be the strategy?

Facebook does restrict some circulation, about 1% to 5%. Concentrate on great content. Don’t just post content because you have content. Post content when you have great content.

Question 11

Which are the effective remarketing tools in the Indian market?

If you are talking about Facebook ads, you can go to AdRoll.com. Facebook also allows you to do retargeting directly. Similarly, there are other retargeting platforms like ReTargeter. I’m not too sure about the Indian ones in particular which can help.

Question 12

How to do hyperlocal marketing? Is there some tool to do it?

As OPEN Forum describes it, “marketing to a defined local geographic area, usually a small area such as a region, city, neighborhood, zip code or even a block.” Hyperlocal marketing allows marketers to use a smartphone’s GPS data to geographically target audiences for the purpose of delivering relevant ads. You could also take a look at this very informative post on hyperlocal advertising by Marketing Land. Twitter’s Advanced Search, Meetup and FourSquare are popular tools for hyperlocal marketing. This webinar recording on geotargeting might give you more inputs:

Digital Marketing in 2016

Question 13

Any real estate email marketing tips?

Stop selling. Let me explain this. I got a mail from a major company from one of the major CEOs who was in a major scuffle with the investors. That whole email had this huge image of new properties, new townships, ‘buy from us’ CTAs and I was of course not interested.

What we need to ask ourselves is, ‘Can I actually engage the audience with some interesting discussions? Can I send them some Diwali decoration ideas or maybe send them ideas of Christmas goodies for their loved ones?’ While I do that, I sell.

The problem is that most people don’t understand that kind of marketing. So let’s try to do that type of marketing and automatically your open rate will go up, your clicks will go up and people will start trusting you as a brand. It’s all about generating relationships with email marketing or digital marketing.

Here at LeadSquared, we have worked on a couple of real estate-related documents. You might find some value in them as well:

Question 14

How to grow the traffic of the website which doesn’t have much content, like an event website?

Partner with more and more people who have a good amount of readership and content because then you don’t have to worry about how will people get to know about our event. You have to worry about the number of people you partner with and how did they help our word to be spread out to more people. That’s a great way to reach out to people especially when you aren’t a content heavy website,  and when people don’t have an inherent need of coming to the website for any kind of content.

Question 15

How many posts per day should we share on Facebook? Should it be related to the product or could it be on anything?

News websites would post about 5-10 per day. The Logical Indian does about 4-5 posts a day. A B2B brand will do one post in one week and I’m not talking about posting on Facebook yet. That depends on who you are and what you do. I would say posting over 3-4 times a day on Facebook would work.

As for the content/post, you can talk about the industry as well. It does not have to be just about the product. You can target your customers, by providing content that is of value to them or information that they might need. You can also pick a specific topic/product/industry and share posts abut that from someone who is well-known and is an expert on the subject.

You can check out our second FAQ post on this webinar (Part II) here.


For more information on digital marketing, check out our webinar on ‘Paid Digital Marketing Year End Checklist!’

Last Friday was one of the worst days I had in quite a while.

After a long day at work, and wading through the infamous Bangalore traffic, I found that instead of spending a relaxing quiet evening at home, I had to entertain guests. Yes – my Sonakshi Aunty and her daughter thought it would be a good idea to visit me without notice! While I whipped up a respectable dinner and played the enthusiastic host, I couldn’t help but think (very uncharitably) that this aunt of mine would have made a very bad email marketer.

Sending an email to some one’s inbox also seems like visiting someone at their house. The nicer the guest you are, the more favorable the impression you make on your hosts, the happier they would be to have you the next time.

Playing a good guest every single time is challenging for any business. Not only do you have to toe the line (be the good guest), and stand out (otherwise, your emails don’t get read or you lose your customer to the competition), but you have to be extra credible as well – especially if you are selling something even remotely related to health and finance.

Now the good news – I am here to give you some fundamental, but absolutely essential tips to be that wonderful email marketer who’s always welcome in the subscriber’s inbox! And you can trust me on this, as it was I who had to endure the really long evening with my darling auntie. These tips are basic, but this is where most email marketers trip and fall, and find it hard to recover. This is what you need if you want that fail-safe email marketing strategy!

Etiquette #1: Don’t Email Uninvited

You might have heard this a billion times before, but believe me, it’s that important. Ensure that your recipients have subscribed (read agreed) to your information and want to see it.

Sending an email to a prospect who has not subscribed for it is tantamount to arriving as an unexpected (and unwelcome) guest or, showing up at a stranger’s house and expecting to be entertained!! It is poor courtesy and can thoroughly annoy the recipient. Worse, it can land you in trouble if the prospect thinks that you have violated his privacy.

A totally clever way of encouraging sign-ups for your mails is by having an auto-check box at the end of your lead capture form. Ok, it is a little bit sneaky. But it works! Exit pop-ups, slide-ins, and top bars are all excellent ways to encourage subscription to your emails.

Email marketing strategy

 

Etiquette #2 Don’t forget “opt out” option

That means, allow for an unsubscribe link at the end of your emails. It shows that you value your customer’s choice and have confidence in your content to make them stay. More importantly, it is required in the CAN-SPAM guidelines! Otherwise, your emails will go directly to spam!!
Email Marketing Strategy

The above email is something I directly fished out of my spam box. In fact, this is what gmail told me, when I opened the message. So, it’s your job to ensure that you aren’t being categorized as a spammer.
Email marketing strategy

And, don’t worry about getting unsubscribes. If a lot of people unsubscribe, then focus on your email strategy – not on removing the unsubscribe button. That is a definite ticket to the spam folder of your recipients mail box.

Also, have you checked (and rechecked) your form of addressing your customer? Calling a Ms by a Mr. or making spelling mistakes in their names or even worse, writing it out in lowercase letters are all obvious pitfalls that you can avoid.  Yes, am aware that your mail merge will take care of it. Just ensure that the data in the system is correct. Speaking of mail merge, have you included a fallback option for the first name in that system? In case the lead first name is not included in your data, then the email will go out as “ Hi @[Leadname]” or something of that sort. Disaster!!

Etiquette #3 Don’t send worthless ‘offers’

Providing an offer for your email lists is rather like the wine or dessert you take to a dinner party – a humble token to tell your hosts that you appreciate them and make them inclined to like you. A good “wine”/ offer would make sure that these people get excited about your visit.Email marketing strategy

This offer is crisp, precise and requires only an email id to avail! The fact that there are no *conditions apply or a long form to fill, are a definite win.

Beware of lousy offers, though, as they might have the opposite effect. Lousy offers are categorized as those whose benefits are not immediately obvious, or those whose benefits are simply not worth it!

Here is an example.

Email marketing strategy

In this email, the offer is pretty obvious, I mean, I get a 150/- bucks off. However, notice that the items on sale (given in the image) are all high end stuff, things for which a measly 150 bucks wont make a difference. A Rs 150/- off on a 2000 bucks item is pretty pointless. It is also followed by a ominous *T&C button – something that might not let me avail the discount because of some tiny one-liner somewhere.  All in all, this is an offer that really did not excite me or add value to the slightest! In fact, my reaction to getting this email was annoyance. I thought I was being taken for a ride and did not appreciate it!

So keep it simple. Keep it obvious and above all, make sure the content you send matches your offer. If the same offer was for a box of chocolates or even a deodorant, I would have been slightly more interested. At the very least, even if I didn’t make a purchase, I would look forward to future offers.

Etiquette #4 Don’t send random content

Did you know the most exasperating part of the whole evening? It was the awkward silences. Being miffed at the whole situation did not make me a good conversationalist and I could see that she was also quite at a loss for what to say.

I am sure you would face the same challenge while sending out an email. The recipients might not be responsive – at all! Then, it’s upto you to change your strategy, and keep up a steady stream of content that they actually engage with. Here are a few guidelines of what to write in those exchanges, lest you come across as either repetitive or boring.

  1. Offer value or entertainment

    There are two things that people would engage with – something that they find funny or just interesting, or something they get a direct benefit from. A typical newsletter for say, a cosmetic surgery clinic would talk of the latest trends in the industry, perhaps have some gossip column on which celebrity has performed what surgery, tips for readers who have undergone a particular treatment, or discount coupons or even a free consultation. Notice that all these things serve one or the other purpose – entertainment or value.

  2. Keep them involved, by keeping them at the center

    Planned for opening a new store? That’s great. Am sure you must be excited. However, your recipients might not be as excited about your store itself, than about how it would impact them. Share your excitement, but keep your prospects at the center of it. Build up the excitement for the event with teasers, perhaps sneak peeks of great discounts to be had etc. Send them regular (not too much) emails on what to expect and when. Make them as eager for the event as you are!

  3. Running contests:

    Contests and giveaways are always a hit! They serve both the purposes – entertainment and value. Ensure that the prize is attainable and the process as short as possible. No one would want to play “The best dressed party animal” for six months! Keep the ball rolling and end it soon. When you end it, remember to make it as transparent as possible. See if you can get the winner to contribute to some articles or even photographs. That will help your audience in believing the outcome and encourage them to participate in the next one.

Etiquette #5 Don’t talk at them

One thing I got talked at that night, was about gods. I am not kidding. I was told in detail about the various temples around, which ones to visit especially if you need “moksham” etc. For an atheist, it was really irritating. Imagine the number of people you would annoy if you send them content not suited to their requirements! So, be smart while sending.

The best way to go about it would be to target your audience right. If you send an exclusive  bridal offer to everyone on your list,what do you think the male part of your audience will do? Unsubscribe most likely, or mark you as spam. This email that I received was exactly like that.

 

Email marketing strategyQuite apart from the appalling lack of personalization, what surprised me about this email was that I am not a researcher! I sit here writing blogs (like the one you are reading right now) and somebody thought it would be a good idea to mail me an invitation for submitting my research paper?! Very badly done, to say the least. If you are doing the same thing and randomly mailing whomsoever you please, I suggest you think again. Spend some time analyzing who will appreciate your offers the most and target them specifically. It’s very simple to do with all the technology available to you.

Segment your lists!  The most obvious way to send targeted emails to people is segmentation! While a master list is all well and good, breaking down your email list to different segments  based on the geographic location, time of joining, their gender or even their engagement index is ideal. For instance, check out this email:Email marketing strategySo this mail is an example of maintaining just one master list and shooting it off to everybody in it. Yes, I belong to that Alumini Association. However, I have no interest in a conference, least of all something that talks about linking our national waterways! Had they sent it to someone still in the academic sector, who has some civil engineering background and is interested in national and environmental issues, they would have had more luck. I was not even in the same city! To me, it was just one more mail in my spam folder. Let us suppose that you want to launch an offer to your customers, providing a discount for women, in a particular location during Diwali. Send it through email to those who are only your women customers in that specific location. Telling all and sundry about the great spa offer you have for only a certain set of members might make your other customers feel ignored.

(Find out what kind of content to send for successful email marketing)

Bottom line – the more interesting and advantageous it is to your readers, the more chances of them staying interested and reading your emails, instead of marking it as spam.

Etiquette #6 Don’t be short-sighted

Have you thought of your mobile customers? Sending an email loaded with great content and high quality video or images that is not responsive to a mobile phone is a serious oversight. The search trends and communication patterns have changed. 47% of emails are read through phones. Don’t ignore them! If your email is slow to load or doesn’t show anything but website links, well, I can confidently wager that the bounce rate is going to be high. Worse, it might not get clicked on the next time (even through a laptop). So, watch out!

Bonus Tip: Have you tested it?

Different things work for different people. The time of sending the email, the day in which It was sent, the kind of subject line used – all matter and all differ from business to business. With every email campaign you run, test it for all these parameters (and then some) before arriving at an optimal value for yourself. Make sure you use a trusted email marketing software to help you with it – something that lets you personalize, segment and schedule your email campaigns ( I use LeadSquared email marketing software).

Well, that’s that folks! These easy methods will remarkably affect the numbers of your next email campaign. You can also quickly read up on email marketing best practices before you launch it!

Or, you could just call up before going for dinner.

16 Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas

You’re late for office. Again.

Sweaty, irritable, and stuck still in a deadly traffic.

The driver is intently reading his newspaper, the conductor is humming along with the radio, and most passengers are gladly catching up on their morning sleep.

Yawning, you look out to your left, and spot this :

Boring real estate billboard

“These advertisements are such a curse”, you think to yourself, “poking your face each step of the way!”

Then you look out to your right, and see this:

Creative real estate billboard

Woah! Now you’re shaken out of your slumber, trying to catch every bit of text on this brilliant billboard.

This is the power of creative marketing – and it’s an especially critical nut to crack in real estate, where choice is abundant and developing a distinctive competitive advantage is tough.

To help you get started, here are 16 super fresh and creative real estate marketing ideas that you can try, and draw inspiration from:

1. Make every home tell a story

real estate marketing ideas

Weave a brand around every property you want to sell/rent. Identify the kind of person a particular house would most appeal to, and then create ads, videos or descriptions that speak directly to him. Use spell-binding images and write copy that sounds like your intended market. Such targeting will help highlight the best features of your property to the people most likely to buy it.

For example – is it a sunlit, airy, sea-facing house, sprinkled with tasteful paintings, with an ancient wooden bookshelf right in the centre? Sounds like the heaven any creative soul would crave for! Position it that way using a caption like, ‘Now, you’ll never lack inspiration’, along with a tempting shot of your property.

You can also prepare brand videos for each home and curate them on a YouTube channel.  Here’s where you can check out a complete list of online real estate marketing strategies.
 

2. Use videos

video marketing real estate

Create a teaser video that shows them what’s it like to live in a particular property. Focus on highlighting different areas of the house, how a family can use them, as well as the neighborhood and the local hotspots. This will help your prospects see it as their home, and not just as another house.

Make sure it’s a story-driven, heartfelt video that strikes the right chords with your prospects. Since that will take a professional agency and lots of resources, this strategy can be used for the most ripe leads – the ones that are almost on the verge of closing the deal, but are experiencing last minute jitters, or taking too much time to give an answer, and so on.

In fact, you needn’t fret over the expense at all, because 1) there are lots of simple tools to help you make videos yourself, and 2) there is a lot you can get out of a well-made film. You can use it as a YouTube ad, as a testimonial on your website, as a part of the welcome email you send out to leads, and anywhere you need to demonstrate your professional edge.

Bonus: Here are 8 Trends Will Dominate Real Estate Marketing and Lead Gen in future.

3. Highlight property features

highlight your property's features - real estate marketing 101

Buying a home is as much of an emotional decision as it is a financial one. Sometimes, the smallest of things can make a prospect fall for a property immediately!

Identify and highlight a ‘speciality’ about the home, based on your target audience. For example, if your property has a sprawling garden, highlight that as a key feature to a family looking to avoid clutter in a big city.  Tell them how it brings nature right to their doorstep, and how it can be the perfect playground for their young kids. In conversations, refer to it as ‘the garden house’ to cement that association.

If the property does not have any extraordinary feature, you can try adding distinctive items that will catch the eye and win the heart. It can even be something as simple and delightful as a swing!

4. Advertise near beautiful homes

advertise near beautiful properties

Have you ever seen a house so gorgeous you wished you lived there?

This is a very common feeling and particularly heightened when you’re looking for a place of your own.

You can distribute flyers or put up posters near the best (or even famous) houses in your city. A simple line like ‘Want a house like that?’, provided with your phone number, can be a strong call to action for a prospect passing by a beautiful house and marveling at it. Remember – guerilla real estate marketing is popular because it pays off. Explore it!

5. Attend or sponsor your client’s housewarming

attend/sponsor your client's housewarming

It’s the one occasion where your calibre as a real estate agent/developer is on full-display, with a living example to prove it – and that’s why you must attend it.

Your client will likely show guests around the new home and receive generous compliments. If any of the guests are looking for a place themselves, he (your client) might personally recommend and introduce them to you. They’ll certainly remember you as the person behind ‘that great deal’.

If you aren’t on terms personal enough to be invited to the party, offer to sponsor it as a part of your services. As a sponsor, you’d get the chance to attend the party and make the most out of the incoming praise. You could also arrange for a small promotion at the party – for example, a box full of your business cards, covered with a poster that says, ‘want a house like this one?’; or distributing a branded welcome gift, etc.

6. Associate with a charitable organization

associate with charitable organization

Partner with a local NGO or charity to donate a certain amount of money, every time you close a deal. This can be an incentive for prospects to buy from you and not others (lots of numbers show CSR directly improves sales) – particularly if they’re nearing the end of their buying cycle, and are confused between a couple of equivalent-seeming options.

For example, you can strike a strong chord with your prospects by partnering with an institute that works for the homeless – at this stage, they realize more than ever the value of having a home, and could empathize deeply with people so deprived.

7. Personalize every showing

personalize every showing

A person looking for a house will probably see many, many properties in a single day. They’ll reject some at first sight, forget a few the moment they exit, and ponder over the remaining for weeks until they take a final decision.

To ensure faster decisions and better recall, make your showing memorable for the prospect and add a personal touch to the property. Scatter handwritten messages (on post-its) and candid pictures throughout the house, illustrating how it is to actually live in the house.  It will help them envision their life in that home and spark an attachment with it.

8. Sponsor events for relevant private clubs

sponsor events for private clubs - real estate marketing ideas

Identify the kind of social clubs your prospects are most likely to be a part of, and sponsor events for them. For example, if you’re selling luxury real estate, you can target a club with wealthy CXOs as members. On the other hand, if you’re selling budget apartments on an EMI basis, you can target a local couple’s club.

9. Partner with hotels to target city newcomers

partner with hotels

Hotel occupants can be divided into two main types – those who’ve come to the city for a one-time purpose, such as tourism, a business conference, or the like; and those who’re new to the city but looking to settle in it.

This second category of people represents a critical opportunity for real estate agents, because they’re likely to be house hunting while temporarily putting up at a hotel. However, this group is a relevant target only if you have properties to rent – as most people will buy a property only in a city they’ve been in for a while.

You can partner with the hotel for mutual promotion. For example, the hotel can place your posters, fliers and business cards at prominent places, while you hand out their card/coupons to each client (because people can come to a broker before booking a hotel, as well).

Alternatively, you can collaborate with the hotel to organize a tour of the city, or an informational event to help newcomers settle in with ease, targeted towards people who’re new to the city.  Such tours/events can be advertised (through hand-outs, vehicle marketing on cabs, billboards etc.) near airports or railway stations.

10. Handout summary cards after showings

handout summary cards after showing

After each showing, give your prospect a neat card containing all the important details about the property (add a few high-quality pictures if your budget allows). This will not only be immensely useful to a person scouting through a number of houses daily, but will also make sure they don’t forget your property amidst all the other choices.

This is particularly useful if you are a real estate agent showing the prospect multiple properties in a day. By giving them these hand-outs, you’re helping them organize their house-hunt for free, so they’ll definitely appreciate your service more because of it.

11. Advertise near railway stations and airports

advertise near railway stations and airports

If your budget does not allow for hosting such events or tours, you can reach out to city newcomers independently, without partnering with hotels. This can be done by advertising your services near airports or railway stations. Apart for the ideas mentioned previously, you can also strike a commission-based arrangement with the cab drivers near such spots, in which they personally recommend your service to each passenger.

12. Address common pain-points in your ads

address home buyer's / home owner's painpoints in your ads

Typically, real estate advertisements tend to focus on all the good things about the property. A reverse approach can help you deliver a sharper impact, and reach out to passive prospects. These are the people who are unhappy with their current houses, or planning to switch sooner or later, but haven’t decisively started looking yet.

Create ads that speak right to their pain points and offer a feasible solution. Restricted lifestyle at a PG, pollution, too far from office, strict society rules, unsafe locality, etc. are the kind of problems you can target. For example, ‘You know you hate being a paying guest. Feel at home in XYZ.’ is a caption that will appeal to any person suffocated in a PG and wondering if they should switch. Be sure to provide them a quick way to contact you,  in the ad itself.

13. Distribute your contact details offline

distribute your contact details

No, your prospects are not simply staring at a billboard, scouting the internet or sitting in your office. They could be asking the watchmen of a society they really liked, if they knew of some vacancies there. They could be asking the shopkeeper that looks trustworthy about reliable brokers in the area. They could be asking around their office/college for such contacts.

Getting yourself listed is not a job that ends on the internet. Identify the people who are likely to be in touch with your prospects before you, and try to partner with as many of them as possible. In fact, reaching out to facilities teams at large offices, administrative teams in schools, and security or management teams in prominent societies need not be complicated, as they will not expect anything in return. You can just ask them to keep your cards and give them out to people who inquire.

14. Give your prospects the whole new deal

real estate marketing tips

House-hunters are stressed souls. They might be smiling with you in your office – but their mind is wearily thinking of the next steps – paperwork, relocation, furnishing, interior decoration, repairs, house-warming, what not!

Now, suppose you offer to help them with any or all of these things, for free or for a tiny fee. Can you imagine how much faster you would close that deal?

Strike mutual partnerships with businesses catering to the same market as you. If that sounds too time-taking, just maintain a database of all such service providers; and give your prospects a list of contacts, customized to their requirements, once they seem fairly inclined to buy from you.

15. Take care of your prospect’s commute

take care of your prospect's commute

If you’re a real estate agent, take full responsibility for the prospect’s commute as they hop from one property to another. Quite often, agents rely on public transport or simply walk along with the prospect if they’re showing properties in an area.

While this can be okay if the distances are short and the number of properties to see, small – it can be a very bothersome experience when such is not the case. Therefore, make sure you have your own car or arrange for a cab for home-show days. Position this as a complimentary service you provide to all your clients, and you will see deals closing faster and recommendations rolling in!

16. Host an informational session for city newcomers

host an informal session for city new comers

Home buying is a very complex process, and most people do not have the time or interest to pour over the detailed resources on the internet. Any home-buyer would naturally prefer a physical session any day, which will not only make things easier to understand, but also help them get their queries resolved instantly.

Organize an event to educate them about the home-buying process and the things they need to consider at every stage. You can split your costs by partnering with other businesses catering to the same audience – for example, furniture providers, interior decorators, loan financiers, etc.

I hope you enjoyed pouring over these creative real estate marketing ideas, and will try them and twist them to come up with juicy ones of your own!

Which one did you think has most potential for your business and why ? Do let me know in the comments :)

In our last webinar, guest panelist, Deepak Kanakaraju (a.k.a DigitalDeepak), talked about inbound marketing and what marketers can do to make it effortless and worthwhile. He also discussed the importance of content marketing and lead nurturing best practices to convert visitors into leads.

In case you missed it, you can watch the recording below:

Inbound Marketing

Visit our blog for more webinar recordings and marketing blog posts.