When thinking about social media marketing, you’d be forgiven for believing that the only elements to consider were social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and YouTube. However, there is a fifth element which is equally important, if not more so……….blogging.
Blogging isn’t something which is new to social media marketing, but it is something which for many businesses is overlooked, ignored or done poorly; with time being the main factor for all three of these factors. However, regular blogging can prove to be highly beneficial for your business both online and offline, if done correctly.
There are two main ways in which any business, from sole-traders through to large corporations can go about blogging – the first is a company blog, ideally built into the company website; – or guest blogging.
Below, I look at the importance and benefits of both.
The Company Blog:
How many times have you tried to share a message via social media marketing, only to find that the 140 character limit on Twitter isn’t long enough, or that Facebook doesn’t let you format the copy in a way which is appropriate? The solution to these problems is the company blog.
With a company blog, you’re able to share your company’s success stories, news and events in a way which suits your business; and appeals to your audience. The company blog is also a great way for you to provide detailed, promotional material in either a formal or informal manner, about the products and services that you provide – again appealing to your target audience.
If done correctly, the company blog can be a powerful tool for any business; however to help guarantee that it becomes a success instead of a sinking failure, it’s important to keep the following in mind:
1) Original Content – When adding content to your blog (and your website for that matter) it’s important to make sure that it is original.
Copied content, doesn’t offer any benefit to your website, social media marketing campaign or SEO campaign. Instead, search engines penalise sites where duplicate content is found.
2) Regular Content – I’ve touched upon the importance of regularly updating your social media platforms in various blogs found on this site; and this is especially true when it comes to blogging.
Although you may not always have a new product or service to promote, within all business sectors there is always news. If there is an industry specific piece of news, instead of getting left behind, why not write a blog explaining this news in your terms / terms your clients will understand, at the same time as adding your professional opinion?
3) Informative Content – Yes a company blog is a great place to promote your business, products and services to your audience; but at the same time it’s important (as with all areas of social media marketing) not to make it all “Me, Me, Me” – so don’t be afraid to write blogs which focus on industry specific news from time to time.
Along with making sure that the information you include within your company blog is original, fresh and informative; don’t forget the SEO benefits that your blog can have.
By using keywords throughout your text – remembering not to cram them in – you have the option to link back to relevant pages within your website or other elements of your social media marketing campaign; helping your blogs and those pages linked to, get picked up by search engine robots and therefore gain authority.
Guest blogging is a great tool whether you’re new to social media marketing or a veteran; as it enables you to reach out to members of your target audience who were previously unattainable, thus helping you spread your businesses message further and therefore attract new business / enquiries.
Guest blogging works in almost the same way as blogging for your own company website, in that it lets you promote a service or produce; offer advice, guidance or tips; or share your business’ opinion on a new piece of legislation or business news.
However, unlike hosting the content on your own businesses website, it’ll be hosted on someone-else’s website; from an industry specific website to a website aimed at your niche market.
Due to the content being hosted on a website which you don’t control or own, you will need to tread carefully, and instead of being overly promotional towards your own business, it is important to ensure that you speak in more generic terms, linking back to your website via links within the text or author bio.
Guest Blogging Top Tip #1: When including an author bio, use this as the chance to sell your business and services; without going over the top.
When including guest blogging within your social media marketing strategy, you will need to account for the additional time it’ll take to find and contact suitable websites to host your content; although there are specialists websites out there who are able to assist, for either free or a small fee.
It’s also advisable when looking at websites in which to host your content that you consider how many tweets / likes / shares each blog on the site gets; their page-rank and also how frequently it is updated.
The higher the page rank, the more likes / tweets / shares each blog receives and the more frequently the site is updated, the better for reaching more of your intended target audience.
Guest Blogging Top Tip #2: Along with providing content for guest blogging; why not consider creating a blog, linked to your business, which accepts high quality guest blogs from contributors? This will help you keep your website updated with regular, fresh content, whilst also building up your authority within the subject.
Although blogging and guest blogging will result in more time having to be allocated to your social media marketing campaign; if done correctly and regularly, the benefits will be clear to see; so why not create a blog for your business today and begin networking with your customers and clients in a new way?