You probably already know why your business should have a blog. Most small businesses do not and the answer I get the most is "I don't have time for that!" You do know you’ll increase traffic to your website, (if you don't have a website, shame on you and give us a call) blogging will also help build authority, provide useful information, and engage with your customers. You might even provide the information they need to make a buying decision. Unfortunately, most blogs get very little traffic and it is not that they can't it is because the way most people write them. Here are some tips to better blogging.
Who do you think you’re talking to?
Depending on what you sell or service you offer, your customers or clients might be a wildly diverse group of people and you might need a different approach for each type of person. So you might need to develop a number of writing styles to fit who you are trying to reach. Bring your style of writing to life. Basic demographics are fine, but you really need to know what your customers care about. When you know what they care about and what their pain points are, you can create blog posts they will be really interested in. Way too many businesses confuse dry, old-school articles with blog posts. Blog posts are a whole different animal. They are lively, often opinionated, casual, colloquial, and sometimes funny. In other words, they are chock-full of personality. Make it so. Just make sure to understand the difference between “controversial” and “abrasive” before taking any hot-button political stands. You also need to be ready to respond to your client base if they have questions or have their own idea or opinion about what you are talking about. Don't be holier than thou. Respect your customers or clients and respond!
Make a plan
I see two mistakes consistently made in content plans. Some businesses don’t have one, and their websites are like employee diaries. Have fresh content on your websites. I have actually found websites with old business addresses that the business was at a year ago. They moved and never updated their website. Websites are also not Facebook fan pages. Don't post personal things about you or your staff there. Nobody cares. They are there for information about your business, not your dog being in heat.
Mistake two is having too rigid a plan. Some larger corporate blogs follow a theme, and offer a lot of posts about one or two topics. This is a fine idea if you’re building a wheel-a central landing page that links out to a bunch of posts covering different aspects of one subject. But it’s pretty restrictive for small businesses to do this. Be open and creative and if you run out of ideas then start blogging on related topics relevant to your business. If you sell shoes, talk about how shoes made overseas might influence prices as a topic.
customers are looking beyond products to see what kind of company you really are. Millennials, especially, want to know how you treat employees, what causes you support, and whether you’re worthy of their hard-earned money. And since there are now millions of millennials now, every business needs to care about what they want. Millennials are connected socially, interact heavily with brands, are not impressed with advertising, and read blogs before making buying decisions. They place very high values on trust and accountability. More than ever before, businesses have to think beyond selling their products and build a brand reputation. Your blog is the perfect place to start, hand in hand with social media. That means revealing your mission, your future plans, and your inner workings. It means telling customers about your people, and showcasing your customers’ stories. Get personal. Ask for input and then implement it. Treat customers like part of the team. You must interact or have that option there to do so and respond back. Let them know there is someone behind the keyboard they can talk to.
Pain Point Finding
Why do customers buy your product? What need are they answering? How can your product fix their problem or make their lives better in some way?
Answer those questions in your blog. That’s what will draw people to your blog.
The initial success of your blog does not depend on the quality of your posts. Quality is what brings people back. You need to build your blog!
Attracting your first group of readers is the hardest...so don’t start cold. You may not know it, but you have influences such as vendors, for example. People you do business with, your customer list, and even businesses physically near you. Your local radio and television stations might even help out. Plan a big post for a local or online event you can leverage for publicity. Sponsor or present at an event and live-blog as it’s happening. This is a whole different topic which I will cover at another time. Video blogging is hot right now but I degrees. Host a giveaway or raffle. Do something big that fits your business and blog about it. Then keep blogging. Once you have done one or two, they become a standard part of your work plan.
FDMC Social and Digital Media
Whether you are a small business owner, a startup or a large operation, marketing has become an essential and integral part of everyday business functions that needs to be diligently pursued. A sustainable business requires multiple marketing techniques in today’s fast paced world filled with interested people with very short attention spans.
Not every business, especially a small one, can afford to spend generously on marketing. Still, there are quite a few techniques that do not require large budgets, but can still be effective if done well and with complete conviction.
Here are five marketing tips that a small business owner can employ to spread the word about the business and achieve customer engagement without burning a hole in your pocket:
Thanks to YouTube, small business owners can easily upload videos about their products. However, merely putting up lengthy promotional videos won’t draw viewers and potential customers. Audio-visual marketing experts advise creating content that includes your product and its uses, instead of showcasing what your products can do.
While anyone with a digital video camera or a smartphone can create and upload videos, it will certainly be helpful to create video content that appears professional. What majority of small business owners often neglect is the description below the video, which can also serve as free advertising space. Instead of merely cramming in links to your product page, a professionally created content at the bottom of the video can prove to be a great SEO tool as well. Contact us here at FDMC and we can help.
Create and publish textual content:
While videos are a great audio-visual tool to promote your business, the written word still rules the digital world. While you can create content yourself, it is not about mere creation, but about crafting the words and placing them in all the appropriate places so that potential customers are drawn to your website.
Creating content that’s tailored to suit your business and products is not only essential but it also helps generate a lot of interlinking digital chains that ensure the content stays evergreen in the online domain. If you think you just don't have the time to write content for your blog or website, consider hiring a professional content writer.
Use Social Media platforms:
In today’s world, it is imperative to generously include the social media platforms to market your business. However, many businesses focus merely on pushing content and often neglect to listen to what their readers are saying. While many, who visit the pages created by you, won’t offer much, there will be tons of important insights shared by your audience. Merely incorporating the advice isn’t enough. Businesses have to acknowledge the contribution and in certain cases, even reward them.
With a multitude of social media platforms like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, it might not be a bad decision to just focus on a few to get your feet on the ground in social media. Digital platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat or Vine for mobility users is also worth considering if you have a younger target audience.
Go to the customer:
While engaging your potential customers on a digital platform is a must, it is equally important to step out and physically interact with them if your product so demands. By attending events that are created with a special niche, you get to meet people who are already interested in the product but aren’t aware of your company.
In case an event doesn’t exist for your product, attending the one that’s slightly oblique could also work wonders. If there’s none, you can also create your own. While you can certainly start small, other businesses can take it further in the near future.
Do something good for the society by working with non profits:
While employing these techniques diligently should boost customer awareness and engagement, it would be wise to participate in some charity or philanthropic organization. While it doesn’t cost much, such venues offer tremendous exposure.
FDMC Social and Digital Media
With more than a billion users, and billions of daily video views, gaining user attention on YouTube may seem a daunting prospect.
However, the sheer size of the audience (a third of all web users) means that the rewards are there. As a certified Partner, allow me to offer some tips to help you get the most of your YouTube videos.
Invisible ranking signals
A distinct YouTube channel can help give brands (or anyone) a longer term and more effective YouTube presence. There are some useful tips on this from YouTube.