Social Media is the online equivalent of word of mouth, which really encapsulates its usefulness to businesses. Blogs are popular because they allow readers to leave comments in an interactive format. People post blogs but also build social relations with their readers & other bloggers. Plus writing regular blog posts on your website is a great way to increase search engine traffic & and keep your customers and target audience returning to your website regularly.
What is a Blog?
Weblog – a journal written online and accessible to users of the internet. A website featuring a writer’s experiences, observations and opinions, often with images & links to other sites. Blogging isn’t just about the text – video, audio, images and other media also play a vital role … these are otherwise known as Vlogs, Podcasts and MP3s.
Podcasts are a powerful medium through which to reach new audiences. You could even turn your videos into Podcasts. They have advantages for visually-impaired visitors to your website and are increasingly used in schools, universities and businesses – usefulness for lectures, slide shows, video clips, etc.
Vlogs are particularly recommended as YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world and is owned by Google. 70% of communication is non-verbal and a video tantalises the senses in a whole different way to the written word. You might think about using video to introduce your blogs posts which is a really smart tactic – it doubles your presence.
Why might you Blog?
Your website is a mostly information about your company, your blog is a way to give your business a face & a personality. It helps you communicate directly with those interested in what you have to say. It will increase your website visibility. You might be seen as a ‘trusted adviser’ and an authority in your industry (thought leadership). You may reach markets you may not otherwise have access to at virtually no cost, other than in time & effort.
Then the more active your business appears to be online, the more you will be perceived as an open and honest business, you can use it to ask questions and obtain instant feedback from customers, peers & prospects and create an audit trail of online activity, providing a permanent reference point.
How might you Blog?
Your blog helps to synchronise all your Social Media channels to maximise your audience, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Think about your customers and what sort of information would be helpful to them. Treat every post as a webpage in its own right and an opportunity for a Google listing under a new unique keyword or phrase. Use titles that are easy to understand so people want to click on them to read more.
Repackage content such as your company literature and your website – news is cyclical. You can repost old posts if they are still relevant today.
If you are a small business, seek out support forums or groups of likeminded individuals and use this focus groups to test out blogs to gauge interest. Find other Bloggers and build relationships with industry experts/influencers and share their content. Subscribe to other blogs – read what is being talked about and join the conversation. By all means delegate to a ghost writer or encourage colleagues to blog or brainstorm ideas for content if you have others that you work with. Finally, plan your posts for the month with an Editorial Calendar – decide on dates and times.
What might you Blog about?
Like all social media, blogging is ultimately about solving your readers’ problems. Your blogging wins when it’s full of passion and helpful information. Use personal stories and turn them into lessons – People do business with People. Offer resources your customers find helpful, such as reviews, links, tutorials or ‘How To’ articles. Don’t forget to include a call to action/ethical bribes, e.g. Download free e-book or attend this webinar …
Use contextual hyperlinks for further information, for example supporting video clips, photos or screenshots. Frequently asked questions are a good source for appropriate blog posts. Or you might review your industry trends or perhaps look at relevant products/service price comparisons.
Where might you Blog?
- Your Website
- Set up a WordPress blog or other blogging software
- Links from your email marketing
- Other social networks – Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, etc.
- Other people’s blogs as a guest
- Comment on other Blogs and include a link back to your own
- Register on blog directories & article submission sites to widen your audience
What do you blog about? Leave your comments here!