Content marketing is great, but many marketers do not understand that content is just one part of the game. Great content is mandatory, yes, but without marketing your content, you'll not be able to get an ROI on your content creation efforts.
There are two major activities involved in content marketing. First, you have to get a new set of audience to your blog who'll discover your content for the first time. Second, you have to convert that new audience into subscribers who will come back to your channel for fresh content.
Gaining subscribers is critical to long term content marketing success because you cannot always spend money to reach an audience who will consume your content. If you have built a sizeable audience base for your content channel then marketing your content to a new audience would no longer be necessary.
Your core audience will spread the word for you via social media & word of mouth. You will gain new audience and subscribers in a perpetual and organic way. Traffic and audience growth will take a snowball effect, and that's how individual influencers and publications have built a following of millions of readers.
Your base audience size for reaching that tipping point would differ based on your niche. For example, I blog about digital marketing and in this niche, reaching an audience base of 100,000 would be more than enough. However, for a market like automobile publishing, you may need 500,000 or more subscribers to start growing perpetually.
In my 8.5 years of blogging experience, I’ve experimented with various methods of growing my subscriber base, and here are the best ones.
1. Email Subscription
Email based subscription remains to be easiest and the most reliable way for people to get updates from the brands and people they follow. Email is personal, effective and doesn’t cost anything for the end users. Though our email inbox is getting cluttered as we spend more of our life online, it is still the primary way of communication for internet users.
Bloggers and content marketers should include email subscription as the primary option to receive updates. Many email marketing tools will help you get the job done. You can convert visitors into subscribers by showing an email opt-in box on the website, showing an intent based exit popup or having a floating lightbox popup that appears after a few seconds of page visit.
There are many third-party tools to help you capture emails and pass the data to your email service provider. Premium email marketing tools also let you set up a drip marketing campaign which you can use to build a relationship with your audience on automation. A free course or a set of free resources can be delivered in a staggered format to keep the audience engaged for a long time.
My primary channel of reaching my audience is email, and I have already grown a subscriber base of 60,000 email subscribers. I use an exit pop-up as the primary email capture tool on my blog. I convert around 5-10% of my visitors into email subscribers. I keep my email subscribers engaged by sending them free digital marketing lessons 2-3 times a week. And whenever I publish a new blog post, I send out a broadcast email to all my subscribers.
2. Browser Based Push Notifications
Push notifications are extremely powerful if you use them in the right way. You can use tools like MoEngage, PushCrew or PushEngage to install push notifications for your blog. Your website visitors will be asked if they want to receive push notifications for your site. They need to opt-in only once when they visit your website for the first time.
Around 5-10% of your website visitors will opt-in and you can send a push notification to them whenever you publish a new blog post.