There’s a long list of so-called no-no’s when it comes to blog marketing:
- Don’t use pop-ups
- Don’t sell in your blog posts
- Don’t promote your blog posts too often
- Don’t ask for a social share in exchange for expertise
- Don’t write long blog posts
- Don’t write short blog posts
- Don’t post weekly
- Don’t post monthly (confusing I know)
And this is the short list!
Here’s What Happens When You Follow the Rules…
The #1 problem every business has online is “obscurity.” There are millions of new posts, websites, videos and podcasts published every day. The majority of this content looks the same and is marketed the same way.
Bloggers that follow the “me too – netiquette friendly rules” will get the same results as everyone else –
Failure. Anemic Traffic. Nonexistent Subscribers. Disillusionment. Crickets.
Readers Have Finely Tuned “Boring Detectors”
Cognitive researchers often point to our brain’s hard-wired penchant for ignoring information that doesn’t change. In our distant past, we learned that moving grass could be hiding something that wanted to eat us. So, we learned to ignore anything that wasn’t unique or didn’t change.
In the last 100 years we’ve adapted this skill to quickly identify information that is unique, changing, and visually interesting.
This is why:
- Banner ads don’t work – We’ve seen them before
- Sidebars don’t work – We’ve seen the content and won’t glance again unless something has changed
- Subtle marketing messages – We react to urgency and explicit benefits. Subtle gets ignored.
I’ve learned the hard way that “best practices” from the marketing community are so over-used that they have little chance of getting noticed by readers. Basically best practices train readers to ignore the tactic!
That’s why I routinely test tactics that make most of my peers uncomfortable. My logic goes like this:
If the marketing community hates it then it’s likely my readers will love it. tweet tweet
The Winner’s Mindset
The most successful business marketers use the Test, Evaluate, Act approach (T.E.A).
Test: Set up an experiment to observe how readers respond to new tactic.
Evaluate: Review your testing data. Remove emotion, assumptions, and personal bias. Let the data speak for itself. Be careful to not explain away data that contradicts your personal point of view.
Act: Use the data to inform your next move. It’s perfectly reasonable to not implement a tactic because you believe it violates your business approach, culture, or long-term goals. Just realize that the tactic works and you are choosing to not implement it based on your beliefs.
The T.E.A Approach also empowers you to try new marketing tactics. Now when you see a new tactic you can say –
“Let’s test it and let my readers decide”
Using this approach led me to:
- Find my publishing sweet spot (3 posts a week)
- Discover the best way to get reader sign-ups (check out the box below this post)
Accelerate this blog’s initial growth using blog post templates (a huge no no at the time)
Promote products and creating a new business using pre-sell posts (a controversial approach that my peers still hate)
Use smart curation to scale my social media activity leading to over 1,000 new (real) Twitter followers in one month
…and more secret stuff that I only share with clients.
There has been a few tactics that I decided to not use because they weren’t right for Pushing Social even though they worked extremely well. For example, I used to show all new visitors a “Welcome Gate” that offered a book in exchange for their email address. Although the tactic worked, I felt that the process was too disruptive.
While “Welcome Gates” are very effective, I decided that they don’t work for me. That’s all.
Confusing Preference for Fact
Every marketer has a list of tactics they love to hate. The problem is that preference is easily confused for fact.
I hate Social Locker and I’m sure my audience hates it too.
I hate Leadpages Landing Pages and I’m sure my readers will too
I hate webinars that sell a product and I’m sure my prospect will too.
I hate popups and using them makes me look like a spammy internet marketer.
While these proclamations may be true, we are still a long way from them being fact. Right now they are just a strong preference – your strong preference.
But their is something more troubling lurking in these statements –
I once worked with a team that routinely thought that they could guess our customer’s needs by considering what they liked. Essentially they thought they were our ideal customer. I can safely say that every decision made from this “target market of one” premise was wrong.
Here’s the deal –
You may know your audience best but predicting what they will like and dislike is extremely difficult. Save yourself the trouble and use the T.E.A. approach instead.
You don’t want to be the idiot who misses out on new customers because they based their entire marketing strategy on assumptions, conjecture, hunches, and poorly applied analogies.
Try the Unorthodox
I’ve listed my top 4 unorthodox tactics here.
Take a look, Remember T.E.A., and put them into action.
Can you do this? Tell me about it here.