Aug
15
What makes a good blog

A – Z of Marketing: Blogs

August 15, 2014 8:58 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Blogs

Continuing our A-Z of marketing we are talking about blogging. The truth is that blogs are one of the most effective ways you can promote your business today. In the age of content marketing, the more useful information you can offer your customers and potential customers the better. You may have heard the term content marketing used a lot recently and it is something that you should be including in your marketing activity.

So what is content marketing? In a nutshell, it’s offering your customers information that they will find useful without obviously selling your products and services. Content marketing includes activities such as whitepapers, eBooks, vlogs, informational videos, hints and tips, and of course blog posts.

Running a blog is cost effective, easy to do with the right content, and can offer your business a number of key benefits such as:

  • Encouraging engagement with your business and its products and services – people love to read information that is designed to be useful to them. If you provide engaging and informative blog posts you will build up a following of people interested in the information, and hopefully, the products and services you provide. Research by Content Plus shows that company websites with regularly updated blogs result in 55% more visitors.
  • Positioning your business as a thought leader – this is perfect for high information and knowledge based industries such as marketing, IT, business consultancy, accountancy etc… or industries where the values of purchases are high and involved such as car manufacturers and retailers, or leisure and travel companies. By putting useful, informative, and non salesy blog content onto your website, or contributing as a guest blogger, you can soon build yours and your company’s reputation as a thought leader in your industry. People buy from people and companies that know what they are doing.
  • Increase trust – if someone has never brought from your organisation before, or they buy from you rarely, you can build an element of trust through your blog. As people read the information you put out there they will begin to get a better understanding of who you are, what you do and the benefits of using your products and services. This will build an element of trust and hopefully encourage them to purchase from you.
  • Increase your organic rankings in relevant search results – new and well written content is hugely beneficial to businesses in terms of being placed higher in organic search results, in fact Google has recently made changes to its algorithm so that useful content, such as blog posts, are rewarded more highly. According to Content Plus, blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
  • Increase your market reach – people love to share and if you are providing useful and informative content on your blog it will be shared. This will increase awareness of your brand, products, and services; your audience will expand naturally, all you had to do was post some great content.

As with any marketing activity, if you do decide to add blogging to your marketing plan, there are pitfalls you should try to avoid. We help a number of clients get noticed through their blog so here are some tips for doing it right.

  1. Pick the right topics – the topics have to be useful and something that people would want to read. Offering advice, hints and tips, or an explanation of industry developments are always useful places to start.
  2. Jump on anything newsworthy – if something comes up in your industry that’s relevant to your customers, for example new legislation, a technological development, or even a failure of some kind, get your blog writer on it immediately. As news spreads people will be searching for relevant content, if you are one of the first to provide it you could get more exposure that you could ever get through paying for a print advertisement or attending an exhibition.
  3. Make sure your blogs are well written – this goes without saying, but for your opinion and information to be trusted your blog posts must be well written and easy to read. If they’re not people could switch off from the message you are trying to get across and you have lost any impact.
  4. Respond to comments – allow people to comment on your blog posts and you could receive some interesting insights and get into some useful discussions. Showing that you are happy to engage with people on your blog is great for your reputation.
  5. Market your blog posts – once your blog post is live you need to let people know that it’s there. Post a link on your social media networks and include the link in any email marketing you do. You can also find relevant topics on social media networks such as LinkedIn and on other blogs and comment on the topic whilst pointing people to your blog post. As you go on and your followers increase your content will be shared by them, it’s a bit of a snowball effect.

If you are looking for some help planning, writing, and marketing your blog posts then give Michelle or Kate a call on 0330 088 9277 today or use our contact form here.

Nov
15

Business Blogs – 10 Top Tips

November 15, 2012 7:22 pm Published by Comments Off on Business Blogs – 10 Top Tips

… from Ketchup Marketing

In 2012 Ketchup Marketing have designed, built and launched 24 websites (another 9 are pending pre Christmas Launch), of these bespoke websites 22 have an integrated WordPress blog, so we are often asked “What makes a good blog post?”, of course the answer will differ depending on your business sector and your marketing strategy, but as a starter for 10, here are our top ten tips for the business blog writer:

1. Talk to your audience

Who is your audience? Who is reading your blog, have you looked at your web stats?

2. Keep to one audience.

You are likely to have more than one target audience, so keep the brand message and tone consistent throughout your blog, whether you are writing about new products / services or recruiting. A good idea is to lead the blog with a question and then answer it within the blog post, for example How do I write copy for a website?

3. Think word count.

A good blog article should be between 250 and 400 words easy and quick to read to keep the reader entertained and to read your full message and any call to action.  If your article needs more words then consider splitting into in to  2 or 3 parts, and then use links to drive the visitors to these other article.

4. Good blog posts are easy to read.

Use lists or sub heading to make for easy reading.

5. Good blog posts actually say something.

Of course it is ok to comment about a recent event or news within your industry, for example commenting on the Christmas advertising of the big brands, but ensure that your blog starts and ends with a story or reason, plus reinforce this with a call to action, for example “hey John Lewis give Ketchup a call next year we will help you spend your marketing budget” 🙂

If you are unsure of the content ask a colleague or a friend to sense check it.

6. Good blog posts don’t have to be works of art.

You are unlikely to win any literary awards for your blog, but as long as you keep to our top ten tips people will come back for more.

7. Good blog posts show your expertise, they don’t yell at you.

Show your readers you are a great company, showcase your expertise, don’t tell them you are great at designing websites or creating email campaigns, build up trust, show expertise, use testimonials.

8. Good blog posts use a headline and sub heading.

Remember your keywords, use interesting language or question to encourage readers. You can look back over past blogs and see what have been the most successful headlines.

9. Good blog posts use keywords and are SEO optimized

See point 8, for further information on SEO can be found here

10. Good blog posts include a call to action.

A blog should avoid a hard sell, but include a CTA, this could be to another related blog post or to leave a comment, or to take the reader to twitter / facebook or linked in.

Well, there are my top 10 hints and tips for a new blog writer, please comment, please add more.

Happy Blogging.

About the Author: Michelle Jones is the owner, founder and steering force of Ketchup Marketing. Established in 2009 and based in Long Clawson, near Melton Mowbray Ketchup delivers full branding and strategy to local SME’s. A selection of recent work can be found here.

 

 

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