How Content Is King but Promotion Is Queen in Growing Your Blog [B2B Beat]

The "Building Blogs" Series Examines the Power of Promotion

May 22, 2016

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth installment in our “Building Blogs” series. In the fourth installment we showed how our demand generation team contributed to the growth of the blog’s subscriber base.

It is said content is king. No argument here.

But does this king have a mate? For blogger P.J. Feinstein the answer is an emphatic yes. “Content is king,” she says, “but promotion is queen.”

We subscribe to this way of thinking at the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog. We’re marketers, after all — true believers and passionate practitioners of marketing to marketers. We certainly don’t publish a blog post without a plan to promote the heck out of it. And we’re equal opportunity promoters, telling our audience know about our most recent blog posts via email, via social, and in person.

Here are some of the promotional tactics we've used to grow our blog subscribers by almost 30x over the past 18 months and our traffic by almost 50 percent over the past year. 

Email Promotion

Email may be a traditional channel, as far as digital marketing goes, but it remains an effective one. We email the bulk of our blog subscribers daily to alert them to posts that were published that day. We launched a weekly digest option about six months ago, and it immediately became very popular. It now accounts for about 20 percent of our subscriber base. Being in front of our audience — people who have shared their email address with us — with useful content on a daily or weekly basis is a powerful thing.

Social Promotion

Social promotion is critical to driving traffic to the blog. At LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, we use two main Twitter handles — @LinkedInMKTG and @LinkedInB2B — to make our audience aware that we have posted new blog entries. We’re not content with just Tweeting about each post once. We Tweet about each post several times, because we’re confident that our audience will benefit from our blog posts (even though we’re not confident they’ll see our Tweets each time).

We also use Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks to promote blog posts, but the cornerstone of our promotion is LinkedIn, which is ideal for communicating with the professional audience we target. Our audience is on LinkedIn, where content has become central to the platform. There are 9 billion content impressions per week on the LinkedIn platform. And note that there is 15 times more content in the LinkedIn feed than there are job postings.

Central to our reliance on LinkedIn is our use of the Linked Marketing Solutions Showcase Page, which recently passed 100,000 followers. A LinkedIn Showcase Page is similar to a LinkedIn Company Page, except the Showcase Pages are for specific business unit, brands, products, or initiatives. We use our Showcase Page to alert our audience to relevant content, such as ebooks, videos, and, of course, blog posts.

For instance, we promoted a recent blog post, Stephanie Sammons’ “4 Tips for Turning Your LinkedIn Profile Into a Powerful Marketing Tool,” on the Showcase Page. At last count, the Showcase Page had delivered more than 25,000 additional impressions for the post. 

These additional impressions are organic only. We also convert some high-performing blog posts into Sponsored Content, which helps boost their impressions and their performance even more. You can read more in more detail about our content marketing approach on LinkedIn in this blog post, “Introducing Your New LinkedIn Marketing Tactical Plan.”

In promoting our blog posts, we also use another effective LinkedIn tool, “Elevate,” to harness the power of our colleagues and their social media reach. LinkedIn research shows that content shared by individual employees on their own LinkedIn accounts generates click-through-rates twice the average of content shared by companies. We make sure to upload every one of our blog posts into Elevate to enable employees to share the post on LinkedIn, Twitter and elsewhere.

Promotion Opportunities Are Everywhere

I’m not shy about promoting the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog, because I believe the content we publish here is useful, helpful, and entertaining for marketers. When any members of our team speak at events, we usually include a slide that instructs audience members how to subscribe to our blog. When that presentation slide deck is posted on LinkedIn SlideShare, that deck reaches an entirely different audience who are also encouraged to subscribe to the blog. I also include a link to the blog’s subscription page at the bottom of every email I send. And our team even puts our emails to work when we’re on vacation or traveling for business by including a link to the subscription page in our out-of-office automated responder emails.

And I’m not going to miss one final opportunity to promote the blog. Subscribe now to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog to keep pace with the latest in digital marketing! 

Photo: Adrian Askew