5 Steps to a More Engaging Blog

5 StepsBlogging has long proved itself to be an effective online marketing activity.  A well written and maintained business blog can help achieve a number of business objectives.  It can:

  • Enable you to publish and then archive content easily to establish your expertise
  • Act as a central hub to co-ordinate your other social media activities
  • Help increase visits to your website by attracting search engine traffic

However, whilst considered a worthwhile marketing activity, many businesses struggle to utilise their sometimes limited resources effectively and make their blog interesting and engaging for their intended audience.

The following tips can be used to help make you blog more engaging for your readers:

1. The Content is Key

Whatever format your content comes in, the quality is paramount.  Set aside time on a regular basis to review resources that can help you plan your own blog content, e.g. news resources, other blogs etc.  Little and often – small amounts of time spent regularly reviewing other resources will stand you in good stead when looking for ideas for new content.

2. Co-ordinate Your Social Media Activity

As already mentioned, a blog can be an ideal place to bring all your social media activities together in one place.  For example, enable Facebook comments from within your blog, include your Twitter stream on your website and the increasing ease of placing videos into you blog posts gives you another great opportunity to further engage your audience.

3. Be Consistent

While the quality of your content is vital to the success of your blog, consistency of posting comes a very close second in importance.  Post once every so often and you will be forgotten, post too frequently and you can be seen as a pest.  Take time to plan your blogging calendar in line with your existing regular marketing initiatives to consistently, prepare and publish your content.

4. Don’t Make It All About You.

Other bloggers will appreciate genuine attempts to cross promote content, so look for opportunities to reach out to other business blogs, perhaps as a guest writer or just to recommend some good content you came across.  Having a list of blogs you can recommend not only shows you have your finger on the pulse, but can help in expanding your own business network.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Be Different

Don’t be afraid to be different, it can help.  Think outside the box and try to think of ideas that will help you stand out in the crowd, things that will make you that little bit more interesting than your competitors.

Your blogging activities are no different to your other marketing plans, fail to plan and it’s likely you will be planning to fail.  Keep your posts, consistent, interesting and don’t be afraid to inject some personality.  If you would like to review your business blogging activities, or wish to set up a new blog contact us here.

 

Brilliant Business Blogging

Business Blogging

Blogging has long evolved from just being an ideal platform for enthusiasts and budding writers to share their thoughts and opinions. Incorporating a blog into your company website makes a great addition to your online marketing arsenal – give you an opportunity to communicate with your customers in a more informal, interactive way.

In fact, when you consider the following benefits to running a well executed business blog, you might wonder why you haven’t started earlier. The advantages of publishing a blog for your business include:

  • Helping to gain more web traffic from the search engines
  • Enable you to correspond effectively with existing customers
  • Serve as a hub for your social media activities
  • Provide an opportunity for you to establish yourself as an expert
  • Put a human face to your business
  • Convey your enthusiasm for what you do
  • Create a Dialogue with Your Customers

As you set out your plans for blog ‘world domination’, you may find you have more than one of the above objectives – the key is to establish appropriate measures that will enable you to identify what is working and where you may need to improve. Here’s how to go about it.

Make it Part of the Team
This is a vital first step. Your blog needs to be aligned to – and compliment – your existing online marketing activities. Starting a business blog without establishing your objectives or coordinating your efforts with what you are already doing will soon become an unwanted distraction and likely fizzle out without making any positive impact.

Knowing What to Say
Next, work out how you can keep your blog regularly updated. Plan a content schedule by setting aside time to research content (using RSS feeds, social media alerts and more) and write your posts (keep in mind it’s more about quality than quantity).

Knowing How to Say It
Okay, you know what you want to achieve, what it is you want to say, now you are ready to ‘choose your voice’. It might be a business blog, with company objectives in mind, but this doesn’t mean you need to adopt a stuffy corporate tone.

Quite often the most successful blogs are the ones that mix business with a little pleasure. Keep in mind people like doing business with people.

Share the Love
Once you get your blog successfully under way, don’t be afraid to recognise and link to fellow bloggers. This will not only help demonstrate your ‘finger being on the pulse’, it will also very likely result in other bloggers linking to you.

Staying on this theme, keep in mind to be helpful. Providing genuine advice and ‘best tips’ is a great way to establish your expertise and will often result in your blog being recommended to others.

In conclusion, as consumers and professionals become more familiar with social networking and comfortable with taking the ‘conversation’ online, your business blog will place you in an ideal position to participate as part of the web community.

What are you finding successful for your blog? What areas are you struggling with? Comments appreciated.

If you would like help implementing a blog for your business, call us on 01454 261111 or get in touch via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. Why not take a look at a package we have put together that includes all aspects of blog set-up, Click Here to find out more.

Reviewing Your 2011 Web Marketing Strategy

Due to the sustained growth of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, together with the increasing popularity of video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo, 2010 will probably be remembered as being the year that social media marketing came into its own.

This shouldn’t imply however, that more traditional internet marketing techniques such as email and search marketing should fall by the way and be excluded as a means of attracting and retaining customers. With this in mind, if you are looking for ways to help make 2011 an outstanding year, now is an excellent time to review your online sales and marketing plan.

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5 Essential Blogging Tips For Success

Unhindered by boundaries (social, political or otherwise) and cloaked in anonymity, blogging has offered billions of internet users the opportunity to articulate their views onto endless reams of digital paper for all to read. The freedom to post whatever about whomever is precisely what attracts most newcomers to this brave new world of digital expression.

Yet it is this freedom which poses perhaps the greatest challenge when it comes to blogging for business. The humble blog remains one of the most powerful tools in any internet marketer’s arsenal, however for many the real challenge lies in maintaining control and producing a steady flow of quality content.

Fresh, engaging and optimised content is the order of the day here – it’s important to remember that blogging for business is about attracting traffic and keeping the reader coming back for more. In this article, we’ll take a look at some tips for building a consistent blogging strategy.

1. Planning and Preparation
Why does your business exist? It may sound obvious, but having a clear purpose regarding your goals, clients and purpose from the outset will provide a basis for a solid strategy and engaging content.

The preparation phase should also include a little keyword research – after all, what’s the point in putting it out there if no one’s going to find it? Your blog can be a very effective tool for attracting search engine traffic.

2. Content and Identity
Give your blog an identity. Start with the author’s name – it may sound obvious, but placing a name, photo and identity behind the content will help to breathe a little life into your posts.

Keep in mind your blog isn’t a business whitepaper, consider the following:

  • Find a tone and style that suits you, whilst lending the content a little personality
  • Educate, enrich, entertain and engage
  • Is your format scan-friendly to the eye or an impenetrable mass of text?
  • Use attractive, keyword-focused headers and titles

Be consistent and give yourself time to be creative, try using an editorial calendar to plan your posts.

3. Design

Your blog should reflect your business brand, not detract from it. Ideally, your blog should be integrated into your corporate website with seamless navigation and a consistent look and feel. Include a supplementary menu to make it easy for visitors to look through your bog categories and archives.

Add social media buttons to your content which will enable readers to effortlessly share, bookmark & discuss your content with friends and colleagues.

4. Marketing
Marketing should form the basis for any successful internet strategy. Don’t make the mistake of believing people will just find your blog once you’ve put it out there. Use your social media profiles to help spread the word by syndicating your content across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for example – offering a wealth of exposure for minimal effort.

5. It’s a Two Way Street
Engaging your audience is critical to success. A great rule of thumb is to spend as much time engaging your audience as you do creating content. This shouldn’t be confined to your own blog either – take the time to post comments on related blogs and profiles from clients, professional associates, industry specialists etc. Remember, to give is to receive.

Blogging provides businesses with a versatile online publishing tool – which can also be used as a hub to coordinate your social media activities. If you need some help and advice to get your business blog up and running, call 01454 261111.

What’s the single biggest mistake made on business blogs? Answer Corporate narcissism!

Corporate narcissismAdam Vincenzini from Comms Corner recently posted a very good article which I think goes to the heart of what makes a good blog (for business purposes) and where corporates often get it wrong!

Business blogs won’t achieve what they are capable of until we, as communicators, get it right and get more determined about what is right and wrong.

To help get an agreement on the most essential difficulties with business blogs, Adam asked a selection of experts including Lee OddenJay BaerDanny BrownKelli SchmithMatt SingleyTrevor Young and Drew Benvie for their contribution on ‘what is the single biggest mistake made with business blogs’.

Below is a summary of their responses…

The single biggest mistake made with business blogs is…

It’s too much to put into just one article!  So it’s been split into twos:

1. Summary findings from the question posed (this article)
2. Suggest some answer on getting around these problems and some resources to help (next article)

Based on the answers of 30 industry thought-leaders, the single biggest problem with business blogs is…

Biggest mistake made with corporate blogs

In summary they concluded that, where businesses went wrong were:

  • Using the wrong tone
  • Failing to plan effectively
  • Authenticity – or lack of it
  • Erratic content

The next article will provide some ideas and resources to help you, as a business, to “get it right”.

To view the full article got here… http://bit.ly/gkTsVw

If you haven’t got a Business Blog already – then we can help you get started, either on its own, or they provide even better results if used in conjunction with a full Social Media Strategy.  Or if you already have other social media presences, and just want to add a  business blog (we recommend a fully integrated Word Press Blog) then we offer that too as a stand-alone service and help to get your content plan in place and an implementation plan too (two of the areas identified where if you fail to plan – you plan to fail.  An old adage I know but true as ever in 2011!)

6 Clever Ideas For Creating Compelling Blog Content

The world of blogging has little in the way of rules, and even less in the way of boundaries. This freedom however doesn’t necessarily equate to an easy ride when it comes to crafting compelling content for business. The blog itself is fast becoming one of the main tools in any internet marketer’s arsenal, however for many the most challenging aspect remains maintaining a flow of quality content.

In this article we’ll be looking not so much at what to write about, but how to write about it. Fresh, engaging and optimised content is the order of the day here – after all blogging for business is about attracting traffic and keeping the reader coming back for more.

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