In one minute we will start blogging… Let me just share that my name is Håkan, pronounced hawken, and my main two businesses are http://konsultpartners.com (focused on helping companies build their social media presence) and http://backwardwebsites.com (focused on helping companies launch their core online presence, i.e. a website).This presentation and all material is shared under the Creative Commons, Attribution copyright.
Before we make introductions, let’s get started on our new blogs!Start by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send it from you normal (personal or business) email account.The email subject is the blog post title, the email body becomes the blog.You can attach one or more pictures, links to videos or most any media. Posteruous will take care of it.That’s it, your blog has been created.
In this workshop we will explore blogging from several aspects. While we will actually do some blogging, the focus is on the philosophy and experiences that make blogging fun and successful for your business objectives.
Let me give you a quick outline of my (Håkan Söderbom)background which should help set the context for my experience with blogging and social media.Worked for, and started, multiple small software businesses in Sweden.Joined Microsoft Sweden in 1997, built the local ISV partner ecosystemJoined Microsoft EMEA HQ in 1999, responsible for product launches tied to the web, and managed several DotCom relationshipsJoined Microsoft Corp in 2002, initially shared responsibility for collaboration with Intel. Later leading a team driving partner recruitment, which allowed me to create and run online programs, campaigns, SEM, SEO, PPC, measurement and research.In early 2010 I left to start Konsult Partners LLC which is now my core business, focused on social media marketing and social media strategy development. As a complement I recently launched Backward Websites which is about very quickly launching beautiful, rich and funtional websites using ready-to-go themes (templates) available in the WordPress community.
The core of the strategies we will be discussing is build on two pillar: becoming visible, and being valued.Becoming Visible, is mainly about being found by the search engines, but also about appearing where your target audience spends time.Right placesRight keywordsGo where they goBring them to youBecoming Valued, is about sharing value and building trust, earning the respect and interest of the people you want to connect with.Have something to sayBe remarkableEngage in a conversation
Ok, our blogs have been set up, now let’s dosome small updates to make it come alive:Click the link in the email reply you have received from PosterousSet a friendly username and a passwordUpload a picture of yourself
Our first blog example is the Executive blog by Rod Brooks, CMO of the local insurance company Pemco Insurance.
Why blog? Get found - Search engine optimization Show off your skills Engage in a conversation Structure your thoughtsThere are many aspects to address with a successful blog, however if I have to focus on two areas, they would be audience and content:The audience is the people you want to connect with. The better you understand them, what triggers them, how they think, what they like and dislike, what their challenges and opportunities are, the better equipped you are to have conversations with them that matters to them.The other area is content. It is the content that allows you to entice, engage and deliver value to the audience. Content is a broad term and include text, video, pictures, audio – really any kind of media.What is important is that the content is based on your audience insights and it is the material you use to engage them.
Our second example is a video blog, this one called Channel 9 is one of Microsoft most successful efforts to engage a broad set of software developers.The blog consists of video interviews with interesting people. The interviews are very personal, some barely touch on technology, and they aim to show both the people behind the technology as well as the thought processes that lead up to new products and technologies.Anyone is then able to comment on the posts and often each post gets tens if not hundreds of comments.It has many positive effects:It helps Microsoft get a technology message outIt helps “put a face” on Microsoft, a company that by many is considered to be an anonymous behemoth.It is fun and entertaining, helping get the word out about things that aren’t fun or entertaining.And more than anything, it enables a conversation between Microsoft and its partner and developer community.That conversation conveys the sense that Microsoft is listening and that the company cares.
Now our blog is live and available online. Time to make yet another post, this time we should think more about the content.What is the topic you will address, how will you make it interesting with different media.A key point is: “get started” don’t waste time on analysis and research. Those are super important, but equally important is to finding your “voice”, focus and blogging style and that takes time and practice. If you strategize too long before doing it, you will lose time.Anything in social media takes time so get started now.
Our next example is a hobby blog, that is turning into a business.Sean McDermott is an avid adventure motorcyclist, he travels wide and far, and he writes about it. On his blog he also surfaces advertising, which helps bring in funds to cover part of his motorcycle investments.The benefit of the articles (content) is that he writes about things that people search for. He describes places, experiences and give recommendations. Those are picked up by the search engines. He also adds beautiful pictures, those are appreciated by the visitors.Even though he may only write a few articles per week or month, the slow but steady growth gives him a repository of hundreds of articles on the internet that helps him getting found.
Let’s talk about different kinds of media. What is your favorite media?
Our next blog example is by a professional photographer, Rosh Sillars. He is based out of Detroit and he runs a podcast called New Media Photographer. In this case it is the audio recording that is the main media, and he makes it available for download in multiple places; in addition to his website it is also available on iTunes and the Zune marketplaces.Notice how he adds descriptive text and keywords to the blogpost, however there isn’t a full transcription. Since audio isn’t effectively searchable by Bing and Google (yet) it is important to make it easy for the search engines to find and index the content.
Some statistics from Technorati on what media is used.
Some resources where you can find photos, free or for a fee.My favorite for quickly finding small icons and images to make a post pop is the Office site on Microsoft.com: http://office.microsoft.com. What sources do you use?
The next example is a photo blog. In this case it is a photographic image that carries the message and delivers the experience. However remember that for the search engines to find, index and present the content there needs to be text and keywords associate with each image.A popular type of photoblogging is to post one image every day for a year, some call it their “Project 365”. In this case we have someone who has been going for multiple year. This is a local photographer posting from around Seattle.
While the blog may carry the core of your content, it will benefit by some help in reaching out.
Statistics from Technorati on how people market their blogs.Notice that it is faily uncommon to pay for advertising of the blog.
Statistics from Technorati on how people market their blogs.A popular way of getting the word out is going to other bloggers and commenting on their posts. It can often be beneficial to post a link back to your own blog in your signature (unobtrusiveness is expected, not blatant marketing).Often the link-back is turned off and the link wont be followed by the search engines, but other readers may find you easier this way.
Statistics from Technorati on how people market their blogs.Facebook and Twitter are popular way of promoting blogs.
This is an example of a repository of Corporate blogs; General Motors have many blogs covering initiatives (green, safety) brands and product (car models) and make them available in on place through a list.
Here are some common blogging tools.
Lets get a bit more advanced. Most blogging engines allow you to pre-populate your posts and have them published on a predetermined time. This could for instance allow you to post 5 blog posts on Sunday and have one published every day from Monday to Friday.
Blog posts as well as websites can easily be made to look unique by selecting a free (or for a fee) theme. These themes can typically be further modified for a totally unique experience.
Lets change the theme on our Posterous blog.
Here is a collection of blog examples. They have all the some basic information structure, but the themes make them appear completely different.
The new way of online marketing is about becoming relevant to our target audiences. Many books have been written on the topics and buzz words that have emerged the last few years are “Inbound marketing”, “Trust marketing” and “Word of mouth marketing”. They all focus on 1) listening to and understanding your target audience, 2) creating the content that allows you to be relevant to the audience and 3) engaging and staying in a conversation with the audience.
Workshop - my first blog
My First Blog<br />Workshop 6/11/2011<br />1<br />Håkan Söderbom<br />http://konsultpartners.com<br />http://backwardwebs.com<br />
2<br />www.KonsultPartners.com/presentations<br />Include a picture and the link to a video<br />
After this workshop, you will…<br />Be a blogger!<br />Have a strategy outline<br />Know how blogging fits into online presence, reputation management, trust marketing, personal brand…<br />3<br />