*This is going to sound quite boring and dry, so please bear with me if you do bother to read.
Have you ever read a digital press release in which the company (Company A) distributing the release will link several different companies or organizations within the release?
Have you ever seen those links, taken the step to go to the linked company pages (Company B) and see what releases that company has put out? That company will have their own release on the same subject and at the bottom of their release, a link that takes you back to the initial company’s (Company A) website.
This is cyclical marketing. For every company you promote, you’re gaining more promotion in return.
In marketing, it’s one of the easiest, and smartest, things you can do to gain promotion and grow your audience. It’s a tactic that companies use all the time – whether money exchanges hands or not. It’s a tactic that I used ALL THE TIME at my previous job, in press releases, on social media and on our website. From something as simple as a tweet that says “Check out or Friends” to something as fancy as a “Here’s our 100 page Media Kit printed by Company L”.
It seems straightforward and simple… because it is.
It works for companies and can also work for bloggers. If you’re looking to grow your audience and don’t necessarily know how to go about it, I strongly recommend considering this as an option to try and increase your reach.
Here’s how I’d explain it:
First, you find your tribe. It’s cheesy, I know. Find your people (generally between 2-5 people is the optimal inclusion rate. When you go above five you run the risk of losing attention). These are people who’s beliefs may or may not align with yours, but they’re people who can put their own twist on a topic. Once you’ve found them, start a conversation about something that interests all of you. It could be a product review, it could be an outlook on mental health, it could be an opinion about pop culture, politics or religion… whatever it is, find one subject that all of you can write about. Make sure that it’s a popular subject. Don’t pick something obscure that people won’t want to read. The goal here is to pick a subject that’ll appeal to your audience, and to the audience you’ve not yet met.
Each of you writes a post. Each of you edits the posts. At the bottom of your posts include a note that reads ‘This post is done in paternership with Blogger X, Blogger Y and Blogger Z. To see their perspectives on these subject please click on the following links.”
Schedule your posts for the exact same moment. If you’re in different time zones, make sure that you’re aware of the difference so that you can pick an optimal time for everyone.
Your readers will read your post, and, if you’ve done your job well enough, have interest in checking out the opinions of those you partnered with to make the post. And each of their posts will direct their readers to you.
Let’s say that you, Blogger A, have 100 followers. You’re struggling to reach a new audience and you’re looking for a means to grow your blog. You take on this opportunity. and find three friends to do it with.
Let’s say that Blogger X, Blogger Y and Blogger Z also all have 100 followers each. Whilst it’s estimated that roughly 10 percent of that audience could overlap, that sill leaves 90% of the audience who has not yet heard of you.
Blogger A (you), in one post, promotes Bloggers X, Y and Z to your audience of 100 people. In return, Bloggers X, Y and Z are promoting Blogger A(you) in each of their posts, which is 270 brand new readers being reached (300 people – 10% or, 30 people).
270 new people that are being reached without spamming, without purchasing followers, without being sneaky or underhanded. It’s just honest, open promotion. If you do it right, it works.
- You need to write about something that will garner attention, something popular, something that people will care to read your perspective of, and the perspective of others. So don’t write about how cheerios are gross. Pick a topic that matters. If you don’t, no one’s going to care.
- You have to post at the same time. If people click on the link to go to someone’s blog and their post hasn’t been made yet, the cyclical promotion will stop dead right there. So, if you’re in different time zones – say one of you lives in Florida and one of you lives in California, you need to schedule to ensure the Floridian posts at noon and the Californian posts at 9 am.
Cyclical marketing helped me, in my last office, grow the twitter profile from having 200,000 followers to 600,000 followers in just 12 months. Granted it was an established company so the brand name played a help in that growth, I did posts of this nature several times a week. Posts we paid for, posts people paid us for, posts no one paid for we just did as a means to reach new people and showcase our brand… whenever I saw a partnership that posed an opportunity for growth, it became a part of my Twitter calendar.
I have experience first hand just how much value these Cyclical marketing initiatives can benefit a company. Celebrities do this too! All the time! Now that you’ve read this post, you’ll realize it when you see it happening more often.
It’s simple. It’s smart. It works.
Yeah, yeah, yeah – for a subject that’s sole purpose is to make things sound better, cooler or more appealing, explaining the structure behind marketing is boring.