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Making your mark on the blogosphere : An introduction to blogging

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This is the presentation I gave at the Construction Marketing event on the 3rd February 2010

This is the presentation I gave at the Construction Marketing event on the 3rd February 2010

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    Making your mark on the blogosphere : An introduction to blogging Making your mark on the blogosphere : An introduction to blogging Presentation Transcript

    • Making your mark on the blogosphere
    • ? What is blogging
    • Blogging is a platform that allows you to engage with your audience
    • Where Twitter is shorter bursts of conversation, blogging allows lengthier debate
    • It allows you to publish thought pieces, opinion and advice ...
    • ... but it’s still about conversation, so all posts should encourage comments from readers
    • The benefits of blogging
    • Establish yourself as a thought leader
    • Grow your community
    • Raise awareness and establish credibility
    • New business generation
    • Connect with people previously out of reach
    • Strengthen your press and online pr activity
    • Greatly improve search engine optimisation
    • Who’s ? doing it
    • Getting started: strategy development and setup
    • As with all activities, you need a strategy that details:
    • Objectives Measurement Audience Content
    • Objectives
    • !   What are your goals? What do you want to achieve from the blog? !   Thought leadership? !   Better brand awareness? !   Improved SEO? !   New business generation?
    • Measurement
    • !   Once you have your objectives, think about how you will measure them. What does success look like for each? Put a target on it:
    • !   Once you have your objectives, think about how you will measure them. What does success look like for each? Put a target on it: !   Thought leadership? !   3 thought pieces published in traditional media by July 2010
    • !   Once you have your objectives, think about how you will measure them. What does success look like for each? Put a target on it: !   Better brand awareness? !   Increase in online and offline mentions by 50% by June 2010
    • !   Once you have your objectives, think about how you will measure them. What does success look like for each? Put a target on it: !   Improved SEO? !   Reach page 1 for 2 major keywords by August 2010
    • !   Once you have your objectives, think about how you will measure them. What does success look like for each? Put a target on it: !   New business generation? !   4 business leads generated directly from the blog within 4 months of launch
    • !   Once you’ve agreed the objectives and metrics, create a system to measure this regularly !   A simple spreadsheet works well !   Metrics should be recorded and reported monthly, alongside other marketing and pr measurement reports (because you’re doing this already right?)
    • Audience
    • !   Who do you want to connect with? !   Segment these as much as possible !   Then think about what they need to hear. Remember, you’re writing for them, not yourselves or your peers
    • !   What are the common questions you are asked by clients? !   What are industry bloggers and journalists interested in right now? !   This gives you an idea of what your audience will genuinely be interested in
    • Content
    • !   Once you know your goals and who you want to target, you can think about your content strategy !   Think about what your audience wants to hear and use this insight !   If you already have a SEO strategy, list your target keywords and ensure these are included in your blog posts ... naturally " though, nobody wants to read an " obviously optimised blog post
    • !   Hold a mind mapping brainstorm with your team !   Suggest the key topic areas you should write about !   Then come up with a range of blog post ideas for each topic !   Ask people to volunteer to write the posts - but these should always be posts they feel comfortable writing
    • !   Posts can be short or long, anything from around 500 to 1500 words !   Ensure all posts are proofed before they go live, however don’t get hung up on this. Posts should be written and published quickly. Hang around too long and it will soon be out of date !   Three rules of thumb: !   Be real !   Write how you speak !   Give credit where it’s due
    • Set Up
    • !   Thankfully you only need a few tools to start your blog !   If you don’t want to invest in full website integration, there are plenty of other free platforms you can use !   Wordpress !   Blogger !   Type pad
    • !   My favourite is Wordpress !   They provide a range of templates that you can brand to keep within your identity !   They provide a range of plugins to improve performance and add features to the blog !   They also provide great stats to check traffic, links etc. These are the metrics should be added to your measurement system
    • Integrating with other activities
    • Blog
    • PR Website Speaking Twitter Events Newsletters Blog Facebook Emailers Linked In You Tube Flickr
    • !  By integrating your blog with other activities, you PR Website strengthen the message and enhance the results Speaking Twitter Events !  Naturally the blog should be linked with all online activities to ensure traffic is driven there Newsletters Blog Facebook !  However, you can also use it to promote and support other activities such as press pr, speaking events, Emailers Linked In emailers, newsletters, eg: You Tube Flickr
    • !  Run an email campaign that drives recipients to the PR Website blog to either sign up or download something Speaking Twitter Events !  Promote event attendance through a blog post Newsletters Blog Facebook !  Use the most popular blog content for newsletters Emailers Linked In !  Increase reach of a press campaign by including the story on the blog You Tube Flickr
    • Internal organisation
    • Many hands make light work
    • Some really enjoy blogging, so make the most of your internal talent and let them get involved
    • Share the strategy and content requirement and ask for volunteers
    • Better still, get them involved in a mind mapping/content brainstorming session
    • The writing stars will soon shine through
    • Once you’ve identified a team of capable bloggers and agreed who will write, set deadlines ...
    • ... and appoint one person to proof, edit and publish if you’re not comfortable with self publishing
    • Results
    • Rather than tell you what results I ‘think’ you’ll get from blogging
    • I made the most of social media and crowdsourced through my blog, twitter and linked in
    • !   I asked: !   When did you launch your blog? !   Why did you launch it? !   What has the blog achieved for you? !   Why do you run the blog now? !   How often do you publish and who contributes? !   What advice would you give to new bloggers?
    • !   39 people filled in the survey !   44% architecture !   23% construction !   28% design !   5% other
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you?
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? It enables us to show the breadth of what we do to customers who may pigeon-hole us, in an approachable way
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? Improved visitors to the site, people often have a better understanding of the company, engaged with new people, improved online presence
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? It has generated some interesting feedback privately and strangely generated a fair number of unsolicited job applicants
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? Helped to raise our profile, increase traffic to our website, increase SEO, and share insight into our personality. It's also helping to raise the profile and improve understanding of Architecture in the region and beyond
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? More exposure in media, higher Google ranking. More calls.
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? We get phone calls every week and many of them turn into real projects
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? Publicity, wide readership, work leads and contracts, speaking and facilitation engagements in the UK and overseas. Community of blogging friends
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? Increased site traffic and No 1 position on search engines for selected keywords
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? Some clients read it and I am complimented on it. I have also received some writing assignments for articles
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? Credibility with my target market ... a deciding in factor in many of clients deciding to work with me
    • !   What has the blog achieved for you? Increased web traffic and exposure. A more engaging website. Stronger connection to the architecture, construction and real state community
    • !   If you could give advice to companies about to launch a blog, what would it be?
    • !   If you could give advice to companies about to launch a blog, what would it be? Having a blog for a business is crucial nowadays. It's more exposure for the business, but also integrity, response from the market, easy communication with clients
    • !   If you could give advice to companies about to launch a blog, what would it be? make it a mix of stuff & keep it up!
    • !   If you could give advice to companies about to launch a blog, what would it be? 1. Find out who would like to write first, don't force people if they don't want to do it. 2. Set it up and run it internally first so it launches with interesting content to the general public 3. Decide on the focus, i.e 'the blog is where X happens'
    • !   If you could give advice to companies about to launch a blog, what would it be? Have a plan about what you want your "voice" to be, stay on message and build up a pipeline of articles for routine publishing
    • !   If you could give advice to companies about to launch a blog, what would it be? Appoint one person interested in writing and has a modicum of technical knowledge to act as the editor and take responsibility for the blog, but ensure that posts are written by others as well (and not ghost-written)
    • !   If you could give advice to companies about to launch a blog, what would it be? Don't feel under pressure to write lots, even a paragraph and a couple of links will suffice as a post, so long as it makes its point clearly. Don't be afraid to share information, people will thank you for it
    • !   If you could give advice to companies about to launch a blog, what would it be? Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from the blog, tailor your posts toward that end. Don't be demoralised by low visitors, keep promoting the blog
    • !   If you could give advice to companies about to launch a blog, what would it be? Make sure you understand why you are doing it - not just to be trendy. It needs to be intentional, purposeful and distinctive. I might say that with staff changes we have struggled to maintain the impetus, but it's still worth keeping in motion.
    • !   If you could give advice to companies about to launch a blog, what would it be? Go on ... you might even enjoy it!
    • The full results of the survey and list of blogs will be published on my blog soon Subscribe by email or rss here: www.redcubemarketing-blog.com
    • To sum up then ... Blogging is a great way to engage with your community, raise awareness and create opportunities
    • To sum up then ... Be sure you’re equipped. Do you have the time and resources to keep it going?
    • To sum up then ... Develop a blogging strategy with clear, measurable goals, audience segmentation and content plan
    • To sum up then ... Develop a blogging team of people who are genuinely interested in it
    • To sum up then ... Keep at it. It’s a marathon not a sprint so it may be a little while before you see the results you want
    • This presentation ... !  If you would like a pdf copy of this presentation, drop me an email to gemma@redcubemarketing.com
    • Resources … Here are a few resources that will help you with your blog set up/strategy How to Brainstorm Brilliant Ideas for Your Blog 52 Blog Tips to Kick Start Your Blog in 2010 13 Ideas to Inspire Your Blog Content How Outposts Improve Your Ecosystem 10 Places To Get Great Wordpress Themes 12 Things To Consider Before Launching Your Blog How I Use Mindmapping to Write How To Ease the Pressure of Blogging Building a successful business blog
    • Gemma Went Red Cube Marketing +44 (0)20 7993 4998 gemma@redcubemarketing.com redcubemarketing.com redcubemarketing-blog.com twitter.com/gemmawent linkedin.com/in/gemmawent