Many forget that promotion is part of marketing.  It is often viewed as a poor, unsophisticated step-sister to those actively engaged in the fine art of marketing, but it is and should be a critical part of your marketing efforts be they online or offline, for B2B or B2C businesses.
The truth is that for a promotion to be successful and produce bottom line results, it requires the same kind of planning and attention to detail that any marketing campaign does. How many products need to be sold or distributed?  How many additional customers, email subscribers, etc. Think about the seasonality of how your target audience uses or when they are most aware of your products.  Every business has some seasonality or rhythm to it.  What is the seasonality of your product or service? Another option is to explore partnerships with other business owners.  Perhaps they would be interested in joining your promotion and they have a product or service that will enhance your promotional offering. Will your promotion be an in-store event or an online event?  Will it include a noted personality?  What type of displays, signage will be needed? Which media channel performed the best – offline advertising, PR, website, social media, etc.?
Did you meet your measure of success?  What could you have done that would have made your promotion more successful? You want to use this experience to make your promotions better.  So spend the time necessary to evaluate and learn. Can you think of any other steps that will ensure your promotion will be a success?  If so, or if you have some experiences with promotions, share them in the comments section below.
If you found this post interesting, join our list of readers and feel free to share this post with others. Sheila HibbardSheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. An information packed e-course that will get your social media efforts moving in the right direction for your business. It’s easy to knock direct mail marketing especially with the conveniences provided by cost-efficient strategies such as social media and SEO.
According to the 2012 Channel Preference Survey conducted by ExactTarget, 65% of recipients are converted into customers of businesses that sent out those mails, only a percent below e-mails (66%). Regardless of how old or traditional a marketing strategy may be, it doesn’t presuppose its irrelevance.
For marketers and business owners treading through the murky waters of direct mail, below is the five-step diagram that not only covers the basics and intermediate steps for this type of marketing strategy.
Build a mailing list. Collect the physical addresses of the recipients with the help of a sign-up sheet.
If you are interested in learning more about these five steps, then you must download our free e-book entitled “Direct Mail Marketing Basics.” The e-book goes in depth with all the steps and provides examples on how you can apply these on your own campaign in different industries. As we work with companies to develop a regular content marketing and social engagement routine, blogging is always key. We would like to think after hitting “publish” on a new post that the seas will part, angels will sing and Moses will lead customers straight into our shopping carts.  But that’s obviously not going to happen. Rather than rely solely on search engines and a handful of subscribers to pump up your organic volume, content publishers need to establish syndication connections and plan for some targeted promotion to ensure that each piece of content gets noticed by key influencers and your ideal customers. Your content may be good as is, but a little keyword research and integration can have a big impact on search engine rankings and traffic.
Facebook Business Page – In your applications area, search for the “Social RSS” application and get it set up to publish your content to your Facebook page wall automatically. Plaxo – Although not as popular, Plaxo is another great business networking site that makes it really easy to “add a feed” and plug in your blog content automatically.
Ning Community Sites – If any of your fishing holes are built on the Ning platform, you can plug in your feed using the “Add RSS” widget included on your profile page. Other Social Networking Sites – There are many other social sites that allow you to plug in your blog’s RSS feed.
This step used to only apply to posting links on Twitter, but with the addition of analytics (click-through tracking) on many of the URL shortening services, posting a shortened URL on any of your social sites is a smart strategy. Check your URL shortener account for click stats, geographic and referring site data after your link has been up a while. If your content covers multiple topics, create a different status update for each topic and then spread those out over the course of a few days. Don’t forget to ask your followers to share or retweet the link.
Productivity Tip: There are many tools out there that allow you to set up and schedule your updates to go out anytime in the future (Hootsuite, Twuffer, Later Bro). Most social networking sites and online forums allow content promotion as long as it’s valuable, relevant to the community, and not blatant self promotion. A great strategy is to write a compelling headline or question as your forum post title, then include some thoughtful commentary followed by your shortened URL. While this technique doesn’t have the horsepower it used to, posting your content to popular social bookmarking sites (Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious, etc.) can still be a great source of traffic, backlinks and overall exposure.
Providing helpful, valuable comments on other blogs can be a great way to generate traffic, develop relationships, build a following and add backlinks.
Genuine assistance is one of the best ways to build a community of loyal Twitter followers.
Another powerful little technique is to add your latest blog post headline to your email signature. If you have an e-newsletter, you should be incorporating at least some of your blog content.
Building relationships with other bloggers in your space and asking them to blog about or link to your post can be a great way to expand your reach.
As with most tasks in life, the first time through this list might be tough and time-consuming.
Brody is an online marketing consultant, blogger, podcaster, and co-creator of DivvyHQ, a cloud-based editorial calendar application that helps you manage your content, ideas, editorial teams and production schedules all in one place. Join Over 150,000 of your Peers!Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Launch Your Own Content Marketing Program FREE! Comprehensive advice that all good marketers should be following, at least as long as time allows. Another thing I also believe is key is engagement, so responding to your commentors and building dialogue, builds loyalty, more content and brand awareness.
Great question Codrut…One of the greatest things about social media is the access it gives us to influencers. I don’t know where this metaphor originated, but think of building relationships like making deposits and withdrawals at a bank.
Also, what graphic software do you prefer that help to create images as the one inside this post? I don’t typically worry about using logos since normally my intent is promotional in nature (positive).
If you’re going to use photos, either take them yourself, buy them or pull them from a site with a creative commons license.
I recommend using the TinyMCE plugin to gain more formatting options for the general content, but do use headings for the section breaks.
One of the things I suggest to my training clients is to use TinyMCE to try different font faces, sizes, and colors to find something suitable for the top three heading sizes. Great tips Brody, I was pleased to learn that some of these I already do, while others are an opportunity for improvement. I have to confess…I mentioned having that ability (connect your feed to your FB page), but I also have disconnected that piece.

BufferWhat a better way to start off the weekend with a nice article regarding the marketing planning process for blogging.
Things will influence you in life and will help you come up with unique and original ideas when blogging. Execution – It always amazes me how much work we put into launching a successful blog yet an unsuccessful execution halts everything. Your right many people think blogging is easy when in fact it’s a part time and sometimes a full time job! It’s very obvious who these bloggers are as their blogs haven’t been touched in months haha! Very well consructed post and I totally agree that if you do not have a plan of action for your blog you will just be spinning your wheels. Don’t ever lose track of the fact that marketing plans are living and so the information in them is liable to change from time to time. Another key part of your plan is your budget for all business activities with projected expenditures. Some very large industries, such as liquor and tobacco, are completely dependent upon in-store and event promotions to market their products.
Did you give yourself enough time to get all of the pieces in place?  Could you have used another day or another week?
She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. However, what direct mail lacks in flexibility, it nonetheless makes up for arguably the most important metric used to gauge any marketing strategy: results. The fact that direct mail marketing continues to produce leads and sales to your business is a testament to direct mail’s effectiveness, if not timelessness. Taking time to learn about the requirements for sending out your mail makes the process much more convenient for you.
Arguably the most neglected aspect of direct mail, the success and failure of your campaigns depends on the data drawn from your tracking efforts. Once you have the figures of your direct mail marketing campaign, you must interpret them according to the different metrics you have set for it. A strong corporate blog can pay big dividends in the form of increased customer engagement and search engine rankings.
After a while, a search engine spider will come along and your post will begin jockeying for search-engine position among the thousands of other web pages related to that same topic. This really simple syndication method allows you to automatically feed your blog’s content to many different places, including many social networking sites. When your RSS feed URL is plugged into your social networking sites or profiles, hitting “publish” on your new blog post initiates an automatic “push” of that content to those sites.
Once you have established RSS connections on your social sites, you shouldn’t have to do it again. Sure, you could just type your blog post’s headline into all of your social site’s status boxes, include your shortened link and call it good.
To maximize the likelihood of your followers seeing and reading your new post, you may need to send multiple updates on different days and at different times. I’ll often schedule four to five updates with different headline variations all at once to post throughout the week. If you’ve just finished a blog post on a topic, now is the perfect time to do a quick search to find other blog posts on the same topic.
Many email platforms now have nifty little apps (Wisestamp for Gmail) that will pull your latest blog post headline into your email signature automatically.
Reciprocating promotional efforts can have a big payoff in the form of high-quality backlinks and big jumps in search engine rankings, blog traffic and subscribers. Setting up accounts and getting to know the interface and functions of the various social sites may make your brain hurt. It’s unfortunate when I see companies put so much time and effort into creating a solid content strategy, developing their editorial process and consistently publishing great stuff, but then it just sits there.
I typically see large spikes in traffic and conversions on the days I’m promoting a new post. CMI’s 2016 Content Marketing Playbook has tips, insights, and ideas that can help increase your success with 24 of the top content marketing tactics.
I’m aiming to do many of these things, and it really helped to see them organized and trimmed down into actionable steps. I wish it would sync your signature if answering email on another computer, but beggers can’t be choosers. Now, I’d like to ask further, since it looks like you took some time here to edit this post. To create a graphic like what I included in this post, you really need a program that allows you to import multiple graphical elements onto an artboard and manipulate them as independent layers.
I guess some bloggers might be afraid to include trademark names or logos into their graphics, is this something to worry about, or what do you think?
It will really goof your SEO and RSS feed in some places if you don’t use these two things properly.
A lot of people think that the blog post ends when you hit publish but really it just begins. Some I’m already using and some others are great tips to begin to implement in my marketing mix. Like you said, I prefer to have the freedom to customize the Facebook wall post and that customization can make a big difference. If these strategies were implemented on every new blog post, that site would have plenty of link juice to help it rank for the most competitive keywords. You did a great job of pointing out each of the things that we need to do once we’ve posted our blog posts to get eyes on the post.
This can be very good seeing blogging wears thin after a few months and unique ideas become harder to find. This way you can specialize in what you do offering better products or services to your readers or end consumers. If you’re going to be serious about your blog and trying to make some money from it (or whatever your blogging goal is) you really have to plan it out before just diving into it. They try out blogging with blogger and eventually become self hosted and running live with wordpress. I think I should read all of your posts, I have a few questions for you, I hope I can find time soon! For example, this will happen because the things you project and the things you expect to happen are hardly ever entirely accurate. This is where whatever personal experience you might have can be quite helpful for your budgeting.
Once you see the numbers you shouldn’t be surprised if you do not know how you should go about accomplishing the things you need to accomplish.
Obviously this is their choice but you ought to avoid making this mistake yourself as well.
Here Are Some Realities Of Business OnlineAffiliate on How To Succeed With Affiliate MArketing?
Therefore, if you want to maximize the promotions of your business to your target market, you may want to seriously consider holding a direct mail marketing campaign.

You can also place the sign-up sheet at points of purchase or shop entrance to increase visibility and likelihood that people are going to sign up. The appearance and packaging of your mail, consistent branding, colors, layout, and compelling call to action are integral parts that compose a powerful message to the recipients.
Also, comparing different mailing services, which include printing and sending out your mail, allows you to find the most affordable mailer available that suits your budget.
Direct mail is tracked using URL shorteners, 1-800 numbers, and coupons, among others, to gauge the number of people who responded to the campaign. Sure, your post is probably groundbreaking, but Google might not figure that out for months. This can significantly expand your reach and save you hours of time versus posting content manually. You’ll also want to use different headlines each time since you may get banned from Twitter for sending the same post multiple times.
When it’s posted and I’ve created a shortened URL, I might jump on Twitter and do a search for a phrase like, “need help promoting my blog.” Scanning the resulting tweets will probably offer me several opportunities to help people who are reaching out for help.
Send them an email with the shortened URL and a note, “thought this could really help your business.” Then check the analytics to see if they clicked on it. You may just find that you need to do some follow-up blog posts on a topic that received a lot of clicks.
And if this influencer is really a key piece of your puzzle, then it may take months of genuine engagement to plant the necessary seeds. How do you find the built-in blog editor you’re using, or have extra editing tools that helps with making your content scannable?
When we build websites, we make sure to include several heading styles (h1, h2, etc.) that give us different font sizes and colors to play with.
You also want to make sure that the program you use has the ability to optimize the final image for the web. If you do a Google Images search and find a stock image from another website, that doesn’t mean you can use it. Content is just words and pictures without an audience!’ You just took it a step further and that’s all good! It is always important to look at everything together rather than just looking at them in isolation. I have gathered some really nice examples and compiled a chart to help you, my readers to better understand how to market your own blog. Understanding your audience (readers) and delivering and fulfilling a need is of most importance. I can tell you put a lot of thought into your posts and I (and I’m sure all your other readers) appreciate that.
The marketing plan is very straightforward and I like how you explained the internal and external blogging influences. The reason you do this is to have a plan that will help motivate you into taking actual action. The budgets for your advertising and marketing are different and varied and they will ebb and flow.
It is going to be so much better if you save for this toward the end of your planning process.
Because this is about your future it is also quite important to come up with some of the more realistic projections you can. The business world these days is cut throat and competitive and so you should use every tool you can find to your advantage. If you’re into much into the meticulous process, you can always from a list vendor a list of highly targeted people who will receive your mail.
Based on the results, you can have a much better understanding of your direct mail campaign’s performance and learn which among the things in your campaign that needs tweaking. You never know when a prospect, vendor or client might read a post that sparks a conversation or creates an opportunity.
These are vital for creating section heads and sub heads that help readers scan the content. As always businesses do this everyday for new products I’m simply applying it to blogging. I like to think my readers are here reading my blog waiting for my next intelligent article to share. Perhaps you didn’t care but I made a management decision to post something off beat and fun.
There are more goals for your marketing plan obviously but this side effect is certainly nice when it comes to setting up your objectives and your goals as well. You will not complete your plan overnight, but working on it one step at a time will get it done.
The result is often a new Twitter follower, a new subscriber to my blog and a blog comment. Moreover, the results should be significant increases in activity, traffic, rankings, reach, opportunities and overall sales.
We have to create objectives and plans appropriately to meet and achieve the needs of our readers. Marketing plans are obviously more involved; for instance, they also include expenses and profits for your plan too. You need to keep watch over the activity that these plans bring up and note what happens within the pages of your plan. I just had a client that got nailed for pulling an image from somewhere and incorporating it into their online newsletter. A little application that would let you plug in information about how you would like the headline to appear on your Facebook page, on Twitter, etc. The point here is to post in your niche, consistently and control your blog as needed to meet your objective.
Estimating your profit margins is important because without this you won’t be able to figure out your budget. On the advice of Facebook gurus like Mari Smith, I stopped using RSS of any kind, including apps, to auto-populate my biz page there. This is a great time to look at your growth and see if it’s the right direction stated within your marketing plan and marketing plan process. What this means is that your plans need to include the most important information about the products and services that you are trying to market and advertise.
The plans make up the center of your business so it’s normal that this would contain all of the sensitive information about what you want to sell.
This also makes it easier to find the core information about your products and services when you want to promote or advertise them.

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