Thank you for the opportunity to present Content Marketing: How to use Blogs and Review Sites to connect with more customers online.
My name is Eunice Coughlin. I’m an internet marketer since 2005 and my expertise is in Content Marketing.
In 2008, I reached out to online newbies with Simple Internet Strategies and in 2010, I reached out to small business owners locally to help them with their online marketing efforts.
Here are a few of my local clients: Fit For Life Fitness Center on 39th Avenue.
Susan Merrill, who’s helped many local business owners manage their Quickbooks, hired me to help her go online with her business.
And Carolyn Lukert, who needed help marketing her business with her Transforming Transitions blog .
I’m here today to show you how content marketing with blogs and review sites can help you connect with more customers online.
When the internet was first started, it enabled the sharing of information around the world. Today, that original purpose is still valid. We use the internet to communicate with each other. Whether it’s through blogs, our website or our social media channels, we use these tools to share information with each other and it’s important to keep that in mind when you develop your website and social media campaign.
Most businesses have a website, why is it necessary to have a blog? A business website is meant to provide a central place where a potential customer can gather information about your products and services and ultimately make a connection with you so that you can transact business together. Websites are all about static information. It rarely changes unless there’s a product or service change. A blog is dynamic - a way to communicate timely information to your customers about your products and services. It’s not a place to sell;it’s more about communicating your value and user-generated content where you can determine their needs a. It’s the ultimate in customer service.
They want to make informed decisions about their purchases. They are looking for companies who will be accountable to them and allow interaction so they can ask questions and get support when they need it.
A blog can help you connect with the 21st Century consumer.
Benefits of blogging : Develop a relationship of “know, like and trust” with your customers so that they choose to do business with you rather than your competitor Increase traffic to your website (SEO) so that your company will be seen more readily on the search engine results page. Develop a community of Raving Fans that will refer more customers to your business
Add value to their experience of your product or service. 1. Answer the questions your customers might be asking about your product or service.
a. Example: Mike Hill Construction blog post about aging in place (screenshot)i. Some people will read explanation and decide this is a project for a professional and be more likely to hire Mike Hill Construction to do it.
Comment on new technology or other newsworthy item in your industry.
Example: On Monday, Gainesville Sun published an article about Inman.comranked Gainesville #3 in nation for real estate investment. On Tuesday, Bosshardt Blog had a blog post about it. When something appears in the news, people tend to do searches for more information and if you use the right keywords, your blog will pop up in those search engine results pages. That’s an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and offer assistance.
Use social networking like Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Linked In. Use social bookmarking sites like Digg and Stumbleupon.
Allow comments on your blog and comment on other complimentary blogs. This is from the Small Business blog of a company in Chicago called Future Simple. They have a SaaS product called PipeJump. Their blog serves the needs of the small business owners who are also my market as well but we are not competitors.
Invite guest bloggers to write an article for your site and allow them to link to their blog from your blog. (Practice manager solution screenshot)
Promote your own and other people’s content. Develop relationships with prospects, customers and colleagues. Make sure to develop a relevant list of followers related to your industry and in your target market. Leverage followers of your followers and those you follow. Let me use Tim Tebow as an example
Here’s Tim Tebow’s Twitter account. If he’s someone you’re interested in following…
You might also be interested in following that people that he follows (there are only 41! ) and in the people that are following him. It’s likely you’ll find sports fans, coaches, players, UF alumni. Could any of those people want to follow you? It could be that the one interest you have in common is enough for them to follow you.
Tweets are 140 characters. You can use http://bit.ly to shorten your links or use Hootsuiteshortener. Follow people who share your interests, are in your business target market and geographical reach. Spend time watching your twitter stream for opportunities to create relationships and offer solutions. No selling! You can invest in apps that will build your Twitter list for you automatically. Use Hootsuite to manage all your Social Media accounts. You can schedule tweets and status updates in advance. Set it and forget it. Tweet valuable content, no spam! Post url’s of blog posts, website content, funny videos. It’s good to mix in info about your hobbies or non-controversial news items - anything that would be of interest to your audience, provides value and does not offend.
Here are some resources to use to manage your Twitter and other social media profiles. Use interns for this task only if they are trained in marketing principles and in what your business is trying to accomplish. Apps that build your follower list are time-saving but can give the negative impression that you are automating your social media. People are less likely to share your content if that’s their perception.
Social media sharing is just the latest “word of mouth” technique and we know how powerful that can be. The old-school comment cards have given birth to…
Review sites. This is where people can comment on your company’s products or services. It can positive or negative and there’s no use hiding from it, you’ve need to learn how to manage it.
Review sites are very popular. Informed consumers want to know what other people are saying about your business before they buy especially with service or product-oriented businesses; I.e. restaurants, spas, salons, hotels, cleaners or home improvement.
Populate your profile on Yelp with as much information as you can and make sure you update it when something changes. Take opportunity to drive people to your website for more information.
It’s easy to set up your account on Yelp. Take advantage of all the resources and support they provide, esp. in regard to metrics and trends.
It’s important to measure the results of your social media initiatives. You can invest in plenty of paid tools but I recommend you get started with Google Analytics.
. It’s free and pretty comprehensive. You can find out who your visitors are…
Where they are coming from
and what they are doing on your site when they get there.
Here are some resources that might be useful to you as you map your own online marketing plan.
Just in case you missed anything while I was presenting, you can access this powerpoint presentation on my website. I’ve written this url on the back of my business card, please feel free to take as many as you like.
Blogging for Business
Content Marketing for Business: <br />How to use Blogs and Review Sites to connect with more customers online<br />
Simple Internet Strategies <br />Eunice Coughlin <br />Internet Marketer since 2005 <br />Content Marketing <br />Blogs <br />Articles<br />Website content<br />Email Marketing <br />Social Media <br />http:///www.simple-internet-strategies.com<br />
Purpose of Internet for Business<br />Communicate with our customers and prospects<br />Tools: <br />Website <br />Blogs<br />Social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google+) <br />
Why blog when you have a website ? <br />Websiteprovides central place for business information<br />Static <br />Content rarely changes <br />Blog provides a place for 2 way conversation <br />Dynamic<br />User-generated content <br />Moderated by blog owner<br />
21st Century Consumer <br />Informed decisions about purchases and investments<br />Accountability<br />Ask Questions <br />Support <br />
A blog can help you connect with the 21st Century consumer on all these levels.<br />
Main Benefits of Blogging <br />Relationship of “know, like and trust”. <br />Increase traffic to your website (SEO) <br />Community of Raving Fans <br />Referrals<br />
What to Blog? <br />Add value to their experience of your product or service. <br />Answer questions about your product, service or business. <br />
What to Blog? <br />Add value to their experience of your product or service. <br />Answer questions that your customers or prospects may have about your product, service or business. <br />Give expert opinion on new technology or newsworthy item.<br />
Real Estate Industry <br />Newsworthy Item <br />Blog Post<br />
How to Promote Your Blog <br />Use relevant social media channels<br />Facebook <br />Twitter <br />Linked In <br />Google + <br />Social Bookmarking <br />Digg<br />Stumbleupon<br />
How to Promote Your Blog <br />Comments on other Blogs<br />
How To Promote Your Blog <br />Guest Blogger <br />
Twitter for Business <br />Promote website<br />Promote blog<br />Develop relationships<br />Develop relevant list of followers <br />Leverage followers<br />
Tim Tebow’s Twitter Account <br />Follows<br />Followers<br />
Twitter Content <br />Valuable content that informs and serves followers <br />140 characters<br />Urls from website <br />Urls from blog post <br />Use keywords in your posts <br />Avoid controversial topics unless that’s your business model. <br />
Managing Twitter <br />Use http://bit.ly to shorten and track<br />Use Hootsuite to monitor and schedule <br />Use interns with caution! <br />Invest in apps that will build your follower list with caution !<br />
“Word of Mouth” <br /> is a powerful marketing technique <br />Comment cards have given birth to….<br />