Blogs grow your visibility – and therefore enhance your marketing efforts. Search engines LOVE blogs because of their content-based nature.
Blogs are also one of the best places to start building (or expanding on) relationships. This should be considered an extension to your sales process. Most companies don’t have enough resources to call on customers or prospects every day, but can easily “touch them” through this medium. Give them good content and they will keep coming back for more. The notion that content is king on the Web stands and will continue to stand. The more original content you provide the better. Good content provides readers useful information.
Personal: These blogs are the most popular in nature as they can be on any topic including family, hobbies, sports, school, other interests, even just emphatic opinions. It seems that people who post blogs on the Web ranting and raving about a product, service, the latest movie or about someone in their social circle, gain the most attention. Don’t be afraid of offending readers – assuming, of course, you believe in the opinion you’re promoting. Let’s face it: controversy sells.
Corporate/Business: Interested in promoting your products or services while building a relationship with your customers and prospects? Corporate blogs are a great tool for this Almost every one of the Fortune 1,000 companies maintains at least one public blog. The content typically is a mix between promotion of their offerings to some public relations content that is offered as a way to to further build your loyalty. This may range from photos of the executives having fun in the office, to customer testimonials, even photos of employees’ pets.
Other types of blogs include political, charity, media and social blogs.
How to Fully Utilize the Power of Your Blog
Many companies or individuals start blogs and update those only two or three times a month, if that. Your blog should be updated one to two times (or more) each and every single day. Why? That seems dramatically more often then most have heard in the past? What’s the supporting evidence? The updates can be long articles with great information, a short sales pitch, a video, an audio or even a photo.
How should a business professional determine if a Blog is the right tool to use? Can you be specific as to the benefits? So depending on the goals of the marketer they could determine if its appropriate.
When most business leaders hear they should be updating their blog several times a day, they panic. This doesn’t mean you need to log in and post every day. Get into the habit of batching your posts a few times each week and schedule them out to post in advance – a wonderful feature of blogging. Again, keep in mind these do not always need to be long articles. It’s best to provide useful content or tools to your blog readers, but random thoughts have also been well received. Frequency of posting is much more critical than the length of the content.
Get people excited about coming to your blog daily. You do that by blowing them away with amazing content and special offers just for them. Pepsi does a wonderful job at this by posting blog-only coupons for discounts on their products. Zappos.com offers blog readers access to a VIP area which provides guaranteed overnight shipping.
Since consumers have less and less time, keep your posts short, concise and to the point. Your prospects are not going to read a 3,000-word blog post on your everyday thoughts. They will, however, read a post on the five things you need to know about creating a greener home, the three keys to a successful marriage or the best five stocks to buy now and why. Keep your information tight, and you will maintain loyal readers.
Plugins/add-ons allow you to customize your blog. Some of the add-ons aid in providing technical help or details to remove spam and provide stats. Others help your readers stay in touch with you or follow you more easily. No blog can go without any plugins being used – they are just too powerful.
The current top plugins/add-ons include:
- SEO: an amazing plugin that makes your blog posts much more search engine friendly
- Spam blocking: a tool to help eliminate all the spam posts
- RSS feeds/feed burner: a live RSS feed for anyone who prefers to use feeds to get their updates
- Twitter follower: a direct link to twitter
- Social tagging: the ability for readers to tag the different blog posts
- Video customizer: customize your videos with ease
- Google sitemaps: a tool to help Ggoogle index the blog more easily
- Flickr: a direct link to flickr for easy photo viewing
- Podcasting: allowing people to listen to audios as podcasts.
- Related posts: this will show posts that are related to the current one you may be reading