Monday, May 9, 2011

Blogging Is Good Business – 8 Tips To Get It Right

Michael Brenner

You accepted a while back that social media needs to be an important part of the marketing mix. But resources are limited and maybe you find yourself asking “which social media tactics should I focus on?”
My own social journey (and years of procrastination) pushed me into starting my personal blog nearly a year ago. And with 93 posts, almost 500 comments, nearly 30,000 visitors and just over 47,000 page views later and I am convinced that blogging is one of the simplest and most effective forms of marketing.

Earlier this week I addressed the need to shift more of our marketing mix from interruption-based outbound tactics to customer-focused inbound marketing tactics. There were 3 data points on blogging that I thought were worthy of an entire post:
  • 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their blog
  • Company websites with a blog get 55% more visitors
  • Inbound marketing leads cost 62% less than outbound
So we can safely say that businesses who blog will see results from their efforts. But what about the time and expense involved?

MarketingSherpa just released their Social Marketing Benchmark survey and I absolutely love this chart they provided in the summary. (You can register for the report on the MarketingSherpa’s website.)
The chart shows that Blogging is considered to be the third most effective social tactic after blogger relations and SEO for social sites. But you can also see that it is right in the middle of the pack in terms of difficulty.

So you can hit the Tweet button or add social sharing options to our websites with relative ease but as much effectiveness compared to other tactics. And while blogger relations and SEO are effective, they can be more challenging to execute.

Blogging falls right in the sweet spot of being effective and relatively easy to execute.
The B2B Marketing Insider Blogging Tips
After just a year, I am in no way an expert, but people have asked me what tips I can offer when starting a blog. Trust me, I have had some bomb articles and the inevitable writer’s block is something you need to really prepare for, but here is the advice I would offer the newbie blogger, for whatever it’s worth:
  1. Define your objectives. Whether they are business objectives, personal goals, for therapy (it is for me) or just for fun. It is important to understand and even define your goals for blogging. See mine here.
  2. Audience first. While I do find writing to be therapeutic, I write to share information, add some value, and present my point of view with my audience.
  3. Titles are more important than you think. I know this from testing email subject lines. I know this from writing great and terrible blog titles. Using keywords helps. Top N tips… are good. How to…can work. And sometimes you need to take a firm stand on a controversial issue to generate some discussion. See: Is This The End Of Social Media?
  4. Break it up. Lists make for easy reading. Whether they are numbered lists or bullet points. And photos or charts help to make an article easy to read and maybe more importantly, easy to scan.

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