Orig. Post September 19, 2014, #HitchHikersGuide to digital business. | Re-Post October 28, 2014
In these technologically centred days, having an online presence is vital; but promoting your products via social media is no longer enough. Blogging plays a key role in marketing. Today nine out of ten businesses blog and so do countless individuals. In such a saturated marketplace you need to ensure that you stand out from the rest. This post will share with you how to use your blog for content marketing.
There are many ways of sharing written content with current and potential customers. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ enable us to do just that. We can quickly and effectively write and post a piece of information, we then, in turn, get an immediate response. Blogging is different, it takes time and thought to create interesting and engaging content, but the response you will receive will be far more beneficial than a simple like. As well as the interaction from customers, blogs support search optimisation, meaning far more people will be able to find your site.
By making your blog the core of your content marketing, you are ensuring that your website stays the hub of your online presence. It is an effective way to get customers coming back to your site week after week. Companies who don’t blog are found to have a quarter less visitors than those who do.
There are a few things to do before you start writing content: Make sure your blog has your own URL rather than a WordPress or Blogger address. It is best to have a section of your own website dedicated to blogs.
What to write about?
Once you have your blog set up it is time to start writing; but what should you write about? It is important not to just ramble about your products, instead, think about the larger picture.
Just like newspaper articles your blog needs a hook around which to write content. Develop a content marketing plan; with this you can map out key promotional dates and tailor your blog post to create interest around your up coming launches or conferences. It is important to keep your blog posts current.
Link your posts to the projects you are working on. If you a writing a book, for instance, you can blog about aspects of the book. What have you discovered during your research? If customers are interested in your product, chances are this content will appeal to them too. If you have launched a new product produce tutorial blogs about its various uses. Research how customers see your company, if there is a subject that customers are finding complicated, write a blog to better explain things.
How to Write
It is vitally important to know your audience. This is a problem with which several companies struggle. There is no point creating beautifully written content if it is of no interest to your client base.
Be a resource; if there is only one thing you remember from this blog that should be it. Make your posts informative; they should help your client in some way. This can be anything: from a how-to blog, to introducing them to a piece of cutting edge technology. If you are providing readers with information, they can utilise, they will return to your blog; which in turn, sparks further engagement with your company.
Ensure the blogs style reflects that of your company. Be mindful to mirror the rest of the websites branding, colours, and presentation. Remind yourself of the voice the company usually uses in its marketing, this is the style in which you should be writing.
Divide the content into sections, these is nothing more daunting than a page full of dense type. Separate the content with images; these should also compliment the style of your site.
Link to internal pages and external sites this will not only encourage others to share your site, but it will also help towards search engine optimisation.
When to write
Try to blog as much as possible. Blogging quality content everyday will ensure the best use of the resource. It is important to consider the value of blogging. As with any asset, it will only be as good as the effort you put into it. Writing blogs should not be reserved for when you have a spare half an hour; time and effort needs to be spent in order to make the best use of your blog.
Plan on-going content to bring readers back. Long blogs divided into sections will encourage readers to return week after week. Matching this style of blog with the build up to a launch is an effective way to create buzz around that particular product or service.
As mentioned before, sharing knowledge is an important part of blogging. Weekly specialised blogs will attract a dedicated reader base. Try interviewing key players in your field or create weekly themed blogs. ‘Type Tuesday’, thought up by Eye Magazine, has been adopted by the larger Graphic Design community and is now a key feature of several blogs.
Once you have written your blog content you need to get people to read it. It’s unusual that customers will check your site for blogs, so tell them about new ones. Sending out emails to subscribed readers will keep an established viewer base coming back.
Share your content on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Include links to all media via buttons at the bottom for your blogs. This allows content to be shared easily by readers.
Be mindful not to only share your own content on social media; remember you are a resource of knowledge, so share the content of other companies. This will encourage others to share your blogs and signify to your clients that you are there to present them with interesting information.
Blogging is an extremely useful resource. If done properly it could bring numerous new clients to your business whilst retaining the ones you have already acquired. Think of it as a marketing campaign, the time and money spent on a blog will reflect the number of customers or clients you attract.
Jim is a 30 year veteran of Fortune 500 sales and marketing with companies such as Oracle, Dell, and EMC, as well as Hilton and Omni hotels. His passion lies in helping emerging growth companies raise funds by leveraging the marketing tools and strategies that large corporations typically use. His focus is simple. “Help Businesses Raise Capital!”