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Get Social: Blog Your Way To New Customers (Part 1 of 2)

May 23, 2016  - Tips for Small Business
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In our Get Social for SMBs series, we’ve explored how to set up a basic website and how to use social networks to build your brand and social presence. Now that you’ve established your social presence, it’s time to add to it by developing a blog strategy for reaching new customers and selecting a platform for your new communications.  A blog will give you the proverbial soapbox to tell your story.

Although writing may not be your favorite activity, you and your employees possess market and business insights you can leverage and share. For some people, writing a blog may seem overwhelming, however, you might also find it to be enjoyable once you’ve built out your blog platform and your comfort level.

First, let’s take a step back and see how this interacts with your overall social strategy, and then we’ll offer some tips on how you can get started to drive social and business growth.

Why You Should Start a Blog

By now, you hopefully have launched a website, set up your professional profile on LinkedIn, tweets have gone out from your Twitter account, you’re gathering fans on your Facebook page, and snapping better pictures for your Instagram account.  So you might ask yourself — why bother adding a blog? According to blogging stats from TechClient, small businesses that blog generate 126% more leads. Additionally, with 77% of internet users reading blogs and 61% of US consumers having purchased from a company based on a blog post, this is an activity that can drive business growth.

Once you have followers of your company or brand, a blog with rich, engaging and memorable content will also help keep their interest. Blogging and cross-posting on your networks about news, interesting tips, and ideas will keep them coming back for more and help them see you and your business as a thought leader.

Lastly, as a side bonus to developing a blog, according to Hubspot, companies that blog have 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages, which helps SEO and referral traffic (you could see up to a 30% increase in traffic after just 21-54 blogs according to TrafficGenerationCafe).


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To produce a blog, you need: a strategy, a platform, and content - including blog title ideas.  Once you have the basics established, setting up and posting on your blog can happen very quickly.

Determine Your Blog Strategy

What do you want your blog to accomplish? Who will be your target audience? These questions are important to answer and will drive the topics you’ll write about and the SEO keywords needed to drive traffic to your blog. Here are some things to consider:

  • Purpose: Many blogs are multi-purpose, with a mix of topics covering news and updates on your own business, current events in your industry, and promotional content meant to drive sales. Will you want to cover all of these areas? What else might you cover?
  • Audience: Ultimately, your ideal audience should match your ideal customer profile(s). Create personas to help keep content on point by writing for the right audience.
  • SEO: Blogs can drive great organic traffic to your website as long as you optimize. Build a list of 5-10 keywords and long-tailed keywords (several words for a phrase) that you want to target.
  • Schedule: Decide how often you want to post and build out an editorial calendar to keep your content development a few weeks ahead of post dates. When deciding when and how often to post, think about the days, and time of day, that would reach your audience the best.
  • Promotion: Of course you will promote new posts on your own social accounts, but you may want to try sharing on other networks like Reddit or places like LinkedIn groups to broaden your engagement and reach.
  • Metrics: Make sure you know how you will measure traffic and success — either with built-in reporting, or connecting to Google analytics.  You will want to check visitors, number of clicks, shares, and inbound links at a minimum.

Select a Blogging Platform

Depending on the website platform you chose when you created your site, there may be a built-in blog (check the admin area), if not there are many other free blogging platforms as well as social app micro-blogging sites to choose. Here are some quick pros and cons for the different options:

Built-in Blogging: This would be a subdirectory or subdomain option as it’s hosted with your website (blog.yourcompany.com or yourcompany.com/blog).

  • Pros: It’s free, typically better SEO results, very easy set up, and usually has free photo libraries.
  • Cons: Tools for writing, editing and scheduling posts may not be as user-friendly or extensive. Analytics are also not as robust in many cases.

Wordpress: Wordpress.com allows you to both create and host your blog for free, or you can download the free software from wordpress.org and host on your own. 

  • Pros: Free, leader in market, can set up as an add-on to your website or even change hosting to move content to a new platform. Extensive library of free templates, photos, and plugins available.
  • Cons: Depending on which option you choose, you may be responsible for spam filters, back up, and security. If you choose to host with Wordpress, it can be suboptimal for SEO.

Other Blogging Platforms to Explore:

  • Blogger is the other large blogging platform, which is connected to Google and requires a Gmail account.
  • Tumblr is more than a blog site, it’s also a social network that focuses on photos. Some just post photos, and others use it for short microblogs of running commentary and thoughts based on the photos being shared.

Having a platform established and branded that you are now comfortable using, and a combined strategy for telling your story and cross-promoting on your social networks to spread your thought leadership, is the first step for creating your new blog. 

Next week our Get Social series continues with Blog Your Way to New Customers - Part 2 where we will dig into generating ideas for your blog, writing memorable posts, and blogging best practices.

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