Small businesses need to fully tap into the potential of blogs as a social media marketing tool.
The scope and reach of social media has taken on overwhelming proportions and is being used for a wide variety of personal and professional purposes. According to Cyber Media Research (CMR) Social Media Survey 2012, more than 90 per cent of business executives in India use social media and spend anywhere between 30 minutes to six hours every day on different social media sites. Any marketing strategy today, is incomplete without a social media angle to it. Organisations and individuals are harnessing social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to build their brand image and create a buzz. While these sites are useful in marketing, what gets overlooked quite often is the “weblog” or the blog, which has emerged as a powerful tool to inform, generate interest and market a brand. Small and medium enterprises could use this vehicle to raise awareness about their businesses, in ways that they may not even be aware of.
If its potential is adequately utilised, a blog can help bridge the gap between a product/service and the consumer. A blog is also helpful in circumventing the traditional media to reach your target audience. It can act as an ideal substitute for press releases and media reports. It is an interactive and dynamic tool that could help take your business to the next level.
Here are some ways with which you can make your blog work for you and your small business’ brand value.
Keep language simple and conversational
If you wish to be taken seriously, your blog must reflect that mind-set. Your blog will be a comment on your business venture and has to look convincing, provide information and build perceptions. Set yourself apart from the crowd by displaying seriousness of intent, as there are too many fish in the pond. Blogs are big business.
Also, you need to place special emphasis on keeping the tone conversational and engaging. To generate interest, it is important that the business should not just blog about its own products and services but a mix of things – like taking a stance on important industry news/ events.
Fill in the gaps
Use your blog to fill in the knowledge gaps about your business. Leverage the blog to educate customers about your offerings while keeping them entertained. Visitors should leave the blog with a better understanding of the business and its offerings.
It is important to do your homework well before launching your blog. Research online and find out what people are searching for the most, on the web. You could then include the answers to those questions, as well as key words in your posts to get your blog more visibility.
Give your traffic levels a boost
Your blog can direct new visitors to your website, thereby increasing business potential. This can be achieved by strategically placing links and special offers. By using suitable keywords, the search engine rankings of the main website along with the blog can be improved.
Build your credibility
By being regular with posts and by providing valuable and relevant information, you can strengthen your credibility as an organisation. Provide readers with authentic information and help them with subject matter expertise. Become an authority on a particular topic.
Install relevant plugins
Advertising your content is an integral part of making the most of your blog. Install plugins like Google analytics, Facebook Share etc. to advertise your content in the right circles. Submit your posts to blog directories and do trackbacks. Use e-mail and Facebook to promote the blog. Track your blog’s visitors and add a counter that will allow you to see who has been reading your posts. This will give you a better insight into your target group.
Connect with other bloggers
It is not merely enough for you to blog about your small business. You need to target those avid bloggers who might wish to write about your business. It’s important to get the word out about your enterprise and get bloggers to review it from a customer’s perspective. Such comments and reviews from other experts in the field go a long way in building your image and spreading the word.
Experiment with formats
A blog provides the scope for experimenting with various formats and this feature can be utilised for greater impact. Video blogging has emerged as a useful tool to express the same views in a more interesting manner. Blogs often make use of infographics and podcasts to present a viewpoint. Then again photo blogs provide a more budget-friendly format for small businesses. They enable a form of photo sharing and publishing in the format of a blog. Small businesses could use these blog options to get noticed and attract more visitors.
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