Clambr's Richard Marriott got "50 Experts" to weigh in on "How to Promote Your Blog with Just 3 Tools." It's a big page that's now at 53 professional web marketers, SEOs and marketing bloggers. But I think their choices of blog marketing tools and their rationales for using them, which also reveals some of their approaches to blog marketing, offer useful insights for musicians, music businesspeople, music writers and music marketers who are creating content, building brands and spreading the word through blogging.
"50 Experts Reveal How to Promote Your Blog with Just 3 Tools" comes at a good time for me as I begin a process of getting organized for the New Year. I'm investigating new and old social media marketing tools for various projects and will be sharing what I learn here at Hypebot in 2014.
The blog marketing post covers a lot of ground but little of it is specific to music marketing. So here are some key tool groups and observations that I think are especially relevant for marketing music-related blogs with some notes about future coverage at Hypebot.
Email Marketing & Newsletters
Email marketing was considered a key approach with AWeber topping the tools list. That makes me want to take a second look cause AWeber seems more generally on the decline compared to MailChimp which came in a distant second to AWeber in this group. MailChimp's free tier gets multiple mentions for those on tight budgets.
I'm getting ready to reinvestiate FeedBlitz for both email and RSS management. RSS tools did not make it on the list which makes sense. RSS feeds are now a basic feature more than a core tool.
I will also be checking out self-hosted Wordpress email plugins for email marketing and newsletters though that will likely include plugins for hosted email services like MailChimp or FeedBlitz.
Social Media Networks
Twitter topped the social media network mentions with Facebook lagging behind and Google+ barely appearing. Twitter definitely makes sense, especially for content and blog marketing, given its broad reach and focus on short messages with links that can lead directly back to one's own blog.
Given that social proof is becoming a more important part of SEO, all of these networks are relevant in that realm as well, especially Google+.
We'll continue covering the big players and also following the emerging world of messaging as it grows in importance.
Social Media Management
Tools for managing one's social media presence were cited more than any particular social network, which makes a lot of sense, especially for professionals who are often managing multiple accounts.
HootSuite topped the list of social media management tools and it certainly seems to be a fave among music marketers as well. They've done a good job of keeping up with a wide range of networks as well as offering 3rd party apps with reach beyond Twitter, Facebook and Google+ into music-relevant networks like SoundCloud, YouTube and Instagram.
Buffer came in second.
I'm hoping to take a closer look at tools like HootSuite that integrate various services by either connecting with a lot of sites or by bringing all the features in-house. But, like a handful of the 50 Experts, I've focused more on doing things like tweeting by hand since I don't manage accounts for clients and am exploring low volume approaches.
Understanding what's happening and how your actions are affecting what happens is an important part of blog marketing so it's not surprising that analytics tools made some lists. Google Analytics, which may be downplaying keywords but still offers more a rich suite of tools than a single tool, was the main one discussed.
Topsy for Twitter was mentioned in passing. Of course, many other tools such as HootSuite offer analytics related to one's social media marketing efforts.
I'm looking for other analytics tools for blogs and websites but it's hard to beat what Google offers for free. If you have any suggestions, please do share.
Getting people to link to you is an important part of SEO as well as direct traffic. I've always taken the organic "let them link to you because you have great content" approach.
Miscellaneous Blog Marketing Tools
iTunes received multiple mentions by podcasters.
Wistia was singled out for self-hosted video.
Wordpress appears low on the list but both Wordpress.org (self-hosted) and related plugins get mentioned repeatedly by many of the respondents. Much of this can be attributed to the flexible nature and generally low cost of self-hosted Wordpress. It's also a reminder that blog marketing begins with a great blogging platform.
I'm slowly getting up to speed on Wordpress and will be getting more detailed in 2014.
Be sure to let us know if you're finding specific web and mobile tools of use for both blog and music marketing.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is building a writing hub at Flux Research. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.