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.
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).
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.
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:
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).
Other Blogging Platforms to Explore:
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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