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5 Ways Blogging Will Help Your Business

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So many small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t think they need a blog. Blogging takes time and energy that would be better spent focusing on operational concerns or building the business, right? Wrong! The fact is, blogging is one of the least expensive and most effective marketing tools at your disposal

Whether you are selling B2C goods or B2B services, blogging will help you build your business. If nothing else, blogging gives you focus. The blog can become a focal point for your entire marketing program, forcing you to consider brand positioning and customer commitment as you tell your story in each blog post. Blogging keeps your brand fresh for prospects, customers, and employees.

Here are just a few of the reasons your business needs a blog:

  1. Promote your online brand – You can use the company blog as the launch pad for your online marketing program. A well-thought-out blog can support your inbound marketing campaign and your SEO strategy. It also gives you content you can reuse to feed social media channels, LinkedIn groups, Pinterest, and other social media channels. You can even use it in company newsletters and other customer communications.
  2. Establish your market credentials – The company blog is the perfect forum to talk about issues relating to your business and your market, and show the world what you know and why they should do business with you and not the competition. The blog is a soap box you can use to show your expertise about trends, challenges, regulations, and other issues that are important to your customers.
  3. Offer customer support – The company blog also is your forum to engage with customers. You can use the blog to explain what’s going on with the company, share good news, and bad, or to apologize for a problem. It provides a place where you can talk to customers in a more personal way, and show that the company cares in a very public way.
  4. Lead generation – You never want to use a blog as an overt advertising platform, but you can use it to engage with customers and talk about innovations, new products, and new trends. If you can engage with customers without a sales pitch, they will continue to follow you until they are ready to become customers.
  5. Build brand trust – Blogging promotes engagement with customers and interaction builds familiarity, and trust. By talking to your target market regularly you are building an online relationship; you become familiar. So when the time comes to making a buying decision, consumers will remember that relationship when they buy. They think first about brands they know and trust.

We know that blogging can be time consuming, and many executives don’t like to write. So just outsource it – that’s why we’re here. We can help you create a warm and friendly blog that puts the right face forward for your company, and engages with consumers so they keep coming back. Let us help you tell your story and show you how to make the most of a corporate blog.

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Written by Tom Woolf

March 10th, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Best Practice,SEO,Tactics

Tagged with , , , ,

Repurpose your content to get more mileage

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Are you coming up short on ideas for your content strategy? Having a calendar of content about your company’s activities and products and services  – press releases, white papers, case studies, articles, videos – helps to fill the pipeline. Still to maintain an active presence on social media channels requires having content daily or at least several times a week to keep followers engaged. Let’s face it; it’s not easy to be brilliant, witty, insightful and interesting all the time – for most of us anyway.

So just how do you keep content following to all your necessary content channels without causing yourself undo stress? You could hire a muse (run an ad on LinkedIn), get some cats (seemed to work for Hemingway) or you could repurpose existing content and you should. You can get a lot of mileage by taking your best content and turning it into something new and different and fresh to use on your various social channels.

The benefits of repurposing, in addition to getting more out of your content investment, are:

Reach a broader audience. People absorb information differently. Some are more visual and like images and charts and graphs; others are auditory learners and respond better to videos or podcasts. And then of course there are those of who like the written word. By repurposing your content, you can appeal to a wide range of followers. You can take a white paper and turn it into an Infographic or turn a video into a blog post. The same message in different formats attracts a wider audience.

Improve your SEO: You have more content assets to attract more traffic from those who are searching for the information you provide. You help to boost SEO by cross-linking your content. For example, you can create a blog post and encourage your visitors to check out a podcast that provides more information on the topic or includes an interview with an industry authority.

Explore new angles: As you repurpose your content, you may find a new angle. A blog post on how to implement a flexible work policy could spawn a white paper on creating office policies for remote workers.

Repurposing best practices

· Research: Understand your audience and what is important to them. Choose a topic that has several angles that you can repurpose into different content assets.

· Evergreen: As you are developing your content, aim for topics that are evergreen – will never become dated – to drive traffic to your site for a long time.

· Get creative: Determine the platforms you plan to use – blog, social media posts, YouTube or email campaigns – and then repurpose the content to get the maximum results from each.

· Add value: As you repurpose your content for different platforms, aim to add value each time.

Good luck repurposing. And if you still have problems coming up with fresh content, see if getting a cat inspires you.

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Written by Barbara Kohn

February 2nd, 2014 at 10:33 pm

How Social Media Impacts Your Search Rankings

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Did you know that social signals increasingly are influencing search? In “Relationship Status: Social Signals and SEO are Officially an Item,” marketing strategist Janessa Magone writes “….there is now proof that social presence is essential when it comes to search engine optimization. Sites with a strong social presence and a high amount of social user engagement rank higher. The more likes, comments, and tweets you have on a site, the more powerful your SEO becomes.”

News outlet Bit Rebels also writes that “It’s not a secret that Google is implementing more and more influence into the number of plus ones, Facebook likes and shares, and Twitter retweets in their way of determining the influence and popularity of content.”. As more people like and share your content, the higher it will rank in search.

Create shareable content

As you develop your content strategy, consider the following content types that have proven to be ‘highly shareable.”

News: In addition posting news about your company, share news about your market or industry with your followers. Let’s face it, there’s so much being reported no one can keep up to date with all of the news. Help your followers by reporting on major announcements that impact them.

Case studies: Case studies are one of the best ways to show how others are using your products and services. They make your products “come alive.” Be sure to turn case studies into an interesting and entertaining story.

Videos: What better way to inform and entertain than video. To show how powerful video can be, consider these statistics from Social Times about the value of video:

  • Customers who watch videos of products or services are 85 percent more likely to make a purchase.
  • 68 percent of viewers share video links.
  • The average user’s visit to a text and image-based website lasts only 43 seconds; for a website with video, the average visit lasts 5 minutes and 50 seconds.

Images: Nothing capture our attention more than an image. Make sure you use visually compelling images that resonate with your followers and encourage them to share and add comments.

How-to-guides: We all turn to the Web for how-to information. Contribute to the cause with an easy to follow step-by-step guide. You’ll win lots of fans and shares.

Top 10 Lists: It’s not only David Letterman who attracts viewers to his top ten lists. Everybody loves ‘top 10s’ since they make things easy or easier to remember and can be quickly scanned.

Interviews: Boost your standing and credibility by interviewing an acknowledged expert in an area that is trending on social media channels and of importance to your followers.

Surveys or polls: Everyone has an opinion and loves to share it. Include surveys or polls in your content strategy to find out what your followers are thinking about your offerings or others.

Infographics: Transform a report into an engaging Infographic to make it easy for followers to digest your information.

SlideShare presentations: Turn any presentation into a SlideShare to add to your blog or other social media channels. A SlideShare presentation provides a good way to advance your thought leadership position and share your expertise; and it provides an easy way to get feedback.

Ensure content is likeable

If you want your content to pass the likeability test, make sure it’s:

  • Valuable to your audience and not just something you find interesting or that is overly promotional about your products and services;
  • Unique in offering a viewpoint or an opinion that challenges the status quo;
  • Engaging so that your audience asks a questions, makes a comment or adds more insight; and
  • Varied to maintain audience interest.

Remember, quality content will increase your search rankings in more ways than one.

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Written by Barbara Kohn

January 15th, 2014 at 10:47 pm