This is a post from Justin Lewis, originally shared through our Facebook Blogging Tips Contest last month. It’s a great read about how pre-planning and execution can make all the difference when it comes to scoring real traffic for your content.
Like the romanticized notion of “overnight success,” creating viral content, or more importantly, a consistently well-read blog, is not something that just happens. Smart marketers put in a lot of effort behind the scenes to ensure that their work makes the greatest possible impact.
Take a page from a marketing master’s playbook and develop a real rollout strategy. Here’s how.
I became a fan of the Halo series back when it was first released in 2001, it was obvious that the series was going to go far. Nearly 12 years later and the series have hit outstanding records in sales and continued to grow more and more each year, recently pulling in more than $220,000,000 on the release day for Halo 4.
To make a long story short… If you want to dominate a market, get people hyped for what you have to release, before you even release it. I’ve seen so many bloggers just releasing random content at random intervals that ends up going unseen because they don’t try to build up hype prior.
Take this trending graph for example.
You’ll see an initial spike in June 2011, this was the announcement of Halo 4 to the general public. The official release itself wasn’t until November 2013. I’m not saying you should wait that long to release your content, but at the very least you should try to get people pumped to read what you have to say, before you actually post it. I’ll give you some ideas of how this can be done by taking examples from Halo 4 and how they released their video game to the world.
The Ending is Your Beginning
Many years prior in 2007, Bungie studios released a game called Halo 3. At the ending of the game there is a cut scene that leads you to believe that there is more to the story. You can do the same by simply hinting towards your next post at the end of an upcoming post. It’s a very simple tactic that works wonders, especially if you go back and link your previous post to the upcoming post once it’s been released.
In June of 2011, 343 Industries announced the future release of Halo 4 with a very simple trailer. It only showed a glimpse of what was to come, but kept people wondering for months. You don’t have to release a trailer for your content, but you can always talk about what you’re going to release on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. to make people excited for when it comes out.
The Official Release Date
One thing many gaming studios do to gain a lot of hype after the initial announcement is wait to release an official release date. 343 Industries for example waited until April 17th of 2012, only with a 5 month heads up on the official release day for their game. Instead of simply jumping in and saying, “Hey this is what I got and this is when you’ll get it”, take some ideas from gaming companies and instead say “Hey this is what I got”, wait a few days and then say “This is when you’ll get it”.
It’s All About an Event
If you release your content like an event is set up, you’re going to have more people pay attention to what you have to say. This way you can write less, get more interest, and ultimately bring in more visitors which can turn into comments, leads, and sales. But wait… You might be thinking “But this only works with video games!” Aside from the “official release date” which not all events wait on expressing, events all work the same really. Think about the Super Bowl, presidential elections, holidays. Each of these are events. There’s a lot of hype building up to the actual days themselves, but really they all work the same. I personally don’t watch football, but I watch the Super Bowl. I’m not extremely into politics, but I vote. Heck, I could care less that a new year is about to come, but you’re damn right I go out and have a good time on News Years Eve.
What You Should Take From This
Don’t rush things. Create a content release strategy that you’ll stick to and devote a few hours a week to it. It’s going to pay off in the long run and you’ll make more money, spend less time running around blind, and get people excited for what you have to say.
If you liked this post, you’ll enjoy learning more from Justin here.