You’re all here because…we all respect the importance of blogging and social media…I want to talk to you about a way for you to do it better. The way for this to happen is to focus on your customers.
Examining the past reveals the original intentions. Understanding how/why people use them is important for establishing an effective strategy. This was the first recorded post on Livejournal. From 1997. This guy made livejournal (Describe it) It demonstrates the original, personal nature of blogs. Was an outlet to talk about yourself, your day, your interests, your cat. Intended for inner circles…but also strangers on the internet. Went there to engage with people you knew (and didn’t know) to talk about your lives In their early days, Facebook and Twitter were places to share with friends.
Social media is still for sharing with friends, but …now companies can share with you and advertise to you, too, esp on social media. So the key for you is to blend in with the personal content that your readers/followers are viewing on these platforms Big companies like Dunkin Donuts using hashtags, memes, animated gifs, and emojiis to connect with people. They use social media & blogs to be - personable – I use emojiis and I’m cool just like you - to re-engage customers (pics of DD iced coffee do something weird to my brain, make me want it)––it works for them! That’s their intention: to engage with you and make you remember their brand.
If you have a small company, not 1,000s of customers, you’re going to use blogs and social media a bit differently, more to attract potential customers. So now we’re going to talk about 7 ways to make these tools work for you and your business.
Why establish your company on social media and start a blog? Can It really benefit your company/brand?
Bringing value to your audience should motivate every single thing you do on social media and your blog because this is how you attract people to your company. Your readers/followers not going on the internet to be sold to. They’re gong on the internet probably to either learn or have fun. Keep that in mind
- Provide value by putting out content that is educational/fun/interesting
- Who is your target audience for products/services? Occupation, age, interests? What do they want to know? [ If researching products and services you provide, they probably have other questions related to your industry. Blogs give you opportunities to answer them. ] Use Google Keyword Tool to discover industry-related questions they might be asking How do they consume content on the internet? If your target audience is millenials, they might prefer watching a video over reading a blog post. If you’re targeting older men, they probably don’t use Pinterest. Find out where they are and build content around what you find there E.g. if they’re on industry forums, use their FAQs on there to inform what you write blogs about. So hopefully when they search for questions like that in the future, they’ll stumble upon your blog and learn about your company… Find out where they live on the internet and bring them content that they want. Be where potential customers are, produce what they want to consume, and drive them back to your website.
No matter your industry, there are a ton of things you can write about. These are some examples of great topics that can apply to any biz
Solid topics to write about…. - Problem/solution FAQs related to your industry How-to/tutorial Industry trends Case studies
- Problem/solution: You have this problem, here’s a solution FAQs: You have a lot of customers asking the same questions? If tons of people are asking you something, chances are thousands more are asking google the same thing. So make a blog series. Not only good for current customers, but potential customers searching for answers can now stumble upon your blog How-to: E.g. how to keep the phosphates in your tank at the right level, or how to mix your own salt water Industry trends: If you’re an interior designer, what’s up and coming? Keep your customers in the loop & make it known that you’re on the cutting edge Case studies: This is where you can shine/show off.
W/e you write about on your blog, share it on your social media profiles.
If it’s easy, you’ll do it more consistently, and consistency is important. Make it easy for you and you will make more and better content and give more value to your customers. One way is to repurpose content across multiple platforms E.g. if you post a video to Youtube, might also want to write a blog centering around that topic in order to establish a link between the 2, attract more attention to your content across diff. platforms - For SM, use scheduling tools like Hootsuite and buffer. Allow you to schedule weeks ahead of time and at optimal times for maximum viewership - Also can sit down once a week and bang it out
Email is an important and effective point of contact with potential customers
Email: Make sure there are easy ways for people to sign up for your email list both on your blog and your SM profiles, and give people incentive to do so with your contentAttract them by posting stuff that isn’t junk…retain them by sending them stuff that is valuable
We’re visual creatures Each social media post should have a picture for maximum engagement, and your blogs should also make use of pictures - Pics create a more visually engaging experience, encourages ppl to click through or keep reading - also important for SEO – edit info in the backend - Pictures with human faces are especially effective. Create an emotional connection Be careful with copyrighted content – don’t just pull pics off Google. Make sure you have a license for the photo or it’s license-free If you can’t afford stock photos, Use Pixabay for photos that are free, open source; canva or pablo by buffer to create visuals… or take your own, original pictures! Surprisingly easy to take good pics with a smartphone
Having a consistent strategy in place is important…for both your blog and your SM profiles. Helps content become more organized and digestible for the customer and provide value consistently
How many times a week will you blog and post on SM? What topics will you blog about? What keywords will you incorporate into your blog? What kind of tone/voice do you want to convey?
You don’t have to blog every day to be effective, but make sure to be consistent.
All of the previous principles come down to this one
Something that a lot of companies trying out these techniques for the first time mess up.
It’s not about you. I’m the customer, I don’t want to read about your christmas party, or Jim’s promotion to VP. I want stuff that’s useful/interesting to me.
What do your potential customers want to read/know about? Can be tricky to figure out.
Have a client who’s a HW floor distributor…when I first started out, trouble blogging about products….could talk about the specs of their products, but it was just boring to read. became easier with this in mind.
If blogging about a product, you want to promote the BENEFITS over the FEATURES. What will this new belt sander help me achieve? Save time, money, energy? WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME?) – RPM of a buffer is a feature, but time-saving on a job is a benefit
- Having social media profiles and your own website seems to give people the idea that they should just talk about themselves. May work for a personal brand, but not for a business. Ultimately, yes, blogs and social media are about promoting your company. But you don’t convert customers by talking about yourself––you do it by talking about them, their needs, and their interests. Going back to the first point: provide VALUE to them so they keep coming back.
From Hubspot blog – piece of software for marketers. I’m part of their target audience. READ HEADLINE. Why does it win? - References a common problem that target audience members have––emails pulling you away from your work, taking up too much time, and being tedious––references that pain point while presenting an easy, accessible solution in the form of a free guide. Common and effective! problem/solution setup (maybe I wasn’t even aware of the problem before I read this headline) Powerful keywords (and they’re marketers, so they know what they’re doing––sly foxes) 15 (odd number––weird thing, we favor odd numbers in content), time-saving, templates (actionable, easy to implement), sales (it’s an attractive word because it means $$, it’s like putting a dollar sign there), FREE (king of all keywords! People love free stuff, esp. if it’s useful and going to save them time.) Free ebooks…
Altogether, makes me want to click and read their content, and download the guide, which probably requires that I give them my email address This establishes a point of contact between me and them––gives them an “in” to send me more content and try to convert me (which they haven’t done yet!)
This is what you want to aim for in your content creation efforts. A combination of value and incentives to click, like a powerful headline.
How to Blog and Use Social Media to Boost Your Business
How to Use Blogs
and Social Media to
Boost Your Business
Amanda Fox-Rouch, Kaha Marketing
If you want your internet
marketing to work for you,
it has to work for your
What we’ll cover
• The past and present of blogging and social
• 7 principles of making customer-centric
• A winning example of a blog post