Guest article by KG Changunda
How to improve your blog; what the 4 Ps of marketing can do for you
This article was spurred by a conversation in a Clubhouse room. As I listened to Bloggers narrate their struggles and problems and people in the Room tried to give solutions I found my mind wandering back to school. I spoke about how the problems bloggers had mentioned could all be solved by consulting the good old marketing mix. The 4 Ps of product, price, place and promotion of the traditional marketing mix are powerful tools in getting your blog more views, more interaction and overall being a fulfilling exercise. So here we go;
The 4 Ps
I would like to offer a little background to the 4 Ps here. Developed by E. J. McCarthy in a book published in 1960 they are a model or way of looking at the marketing activities of a business and how best to organise them. The idea is your approach to combining the four factors (product, price, place and promotion) will give you the best idea of how to allocate your resources in a way that gets your product bought. There have been extensions to the four Ps (another 3 Ps were added) but we will perhaps visit that in another blog. Let’s get into it.
Firstly you have to look at your blog as a product. So ask yourself “what does my blog do?” By this, I mean what it does for the readers. Does it give them new recipes for food items they know and love? Give people tips for dealing with relationships? Perhaps you keep people up to date with popular culture developments in your country? There is no such thing as a wrong product unless it doesn’t have customers.
Your goal at this point is to come up with a product statement for your blog. Things to include should be what it does, who it does for, how and possibly through what medium. “My blog helps young people who are looking to start businesses with great ideas and tips through 700-1000 word articles delivered daily” is an example of a good product statement. Now that we have defined it we can move on to the trickiest part. Notice how the product statement also looks at issues of when and how the product is shared. This acts as a commitment statement for those who struggle to blog regularly.
This one is difficult to approach. Most of us avail our blog content for free so we would assume there is no price attached to it. However, we need to consider a few things.
Firstly, the time taken to leave everything else a person could be doing at that time to view your blog is a cost.
Secondly, you must also consider your platform. If I post blog links on Twitter I am asking someone to leave Twitter to view my blog. That is a cost. Still, on the subject of platforms, not all platforms are friendly. Medium gets a lot of hate.
Also, consider what it will take for someone to communicate with you on the platform if they want to engage. Complicated sign-up processes are a cost. Now get me right. There is nothing wrong with having these or other costs such as brightly flashing and pop-up ads attached to your blog.
The question you must ask yourself is whether the value you provide is worth it. I gave the specific example of not being able to break the news in the modern day of the internet but rather being able to offer simplification and disambiguation of the news.
This came up in response to a comment by one blogger who said “people don’t read” and as such, they found it difficult to encourage people to read their blog. But is that true? I think not. In my experience, people read daily. I have been contacted by many people about how much they enjoy reading my blog posts. I see people reading and talking about reading all the time. People are certainly doing it.
So perhaps the problem is rather speaking to the wrong people or speaking to them in the wrong place. In business, great marketing is not just about finding the right people but also finding them in the right place. The fast-food customer and the lean meal customer are usually the same people but at different points in their day, week, month or year. Approaching people in places where they are more likely to be receptive to the type of content you are offering.
So work out where your people are found and where they are most likely to be receptive to your content and message.
Last but not least this is one of the first things I look at when talking to content creators who are struggling with getting traction for their content. This has a lot of crossover with place so I will not dwell too much on the crossover areas. It is extremely rare for people to respond to a prompt the first time they see it. People usually require multiple inputs before they pay attention to something.
So what I recommend here is finding a way to use multiple inputs to get attention to your blog. Secondly, people don’t go around the internet clicking on links just because they have been placed before them. My advice here is to give people reasons to click on to your blog.
•Small excerpts or perhaps a summarised picture slide show on Instagram.
•Consider useful things like info-graphics and even polls.
Give people a link and they might click, Give them a link and a reason to click it and they WILL click. Also, consider what exactly your people respond to. Refer back to your product statement and do some research into what your people will respond.
•Provocative images or titles perhaps?
When you combine these 4 elements, these 4 Ps you have yourself a marketing mix for your blog. This will give you an idea of how to align your activities to get the best mileage for your blog. Just like in marketing for businesses the best results go to those who understand their customers best.
About the author KG Changunda
Accounting | Finance | Editor & Writer @ZimStartUpBiz | Non-practicing Blogger |