The 5 C’s of a Successful Business Blog

Posted on December 22, 2014. Filed under: Blog, Business, Business Development, Educating, Marketing, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The 5 C's of a Successful Business BlogAs a small business owner, blogging can play a key role in your marketing strategy.  As mentioned in my prior post, How to Use Blogging to Build the Know, Like and Trust Factor For Your Business, blogging allows you to build those key factors that can allow you to have an advantage in the marketplace.

In order for your blog to be successful, you need to follow the 5 C’s of Blogging:

  1.  Content-  The first and most important part of your blog is your content.  You should decide on the main topic for your blog (i.e. business, gardening, etc.) and then decide up to three sub-categories for your topic (i.e. business- marketing, leadership, productivity; gardening-  fruits, vegetable, flowers; etc.).Once the topic and sub-categories have been decided, then the next thing is deciding whether you are going to come up with original content or content that you curate.  In order to show your expertise in your particular area, having original content is very important.  That is how you showcase what you know and show your knowledge in your area.  However, coming up with original content consistently can be a difficult task, so sometimes it helps to curate other people’s content.  Use what they have posted about your area or expertise and write a response or a differing opinion to the original article, or just reposting what they have written also works too.  As long as the content is relevant and will resonate with your audience then using other people’s content is fine.  The biggest thing when it comes to curating content is giving credit to the original source of content, your goal is not and nor should it ever be to take their content as your own, so always give credit where credit is due.  This is especially important when it comes to copyright infringement, you do not want to plagiarize, so be sure to site where your content is coming from.
  2. Community-  Your blog posts should be targeting a specific community.  Your goal in blogging is not just to add value by informing your readers, but to also create followers which become your community.  Having a community of people who are like-minded and enjoy your content can do wonders for your business.  When you create a community, you create loyal followers who can become loyal customers, so knowing that you are creating a community for your blog is also helpful.
  3. Conversations-  You want your blog posts to create conversations.  The great thing about blogs compared to articles online is the fact that blogs allow people to converse about the particular topic that you have posted.  You want to create conversations around your topic, so it is not a one-way street, but a two-way conversation with the writer of the blog and the audience.  The ability to have a conversation, adds another level of connection with you and your audience, so make sure that your blog posts create a level of conversation around your industry or topic.
  4.  Consistency-  I believe there is a Blog grave yard,  so many people have good intentions to start a blog, but couldn’t or didn’t keep up with blogging consistently, so their blog died!  When you make the decision to start a blog for  your business, you have to be consistent with posting on the blog.  You have to decide what makes sense for your business.  If you are able to blog weekly that’s great, if you can only blog bi-weekly that’s fine too, the least amount of commitment would be blogging once a month.  Of course there are benefits to blogging more frequently especially when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and people finding your content online, but you want to take on a frequency that will be able to fit into your business.  Blogging on a daily basis is not viable for the average business so you have to figure out what frequency works best for your business.
  5. Convert-  As a small business owner, one of your blogging goals should be to convert your followers to customers.  By sharing your content with your readers people start to view you as knowledgable or an expert in your field.  Once they have that level of trust in your knowledge and your blog talks about solutions, if they are in the market for what your company offers, they will naturally see you as a solution and become a customer, which ultimately is what you want.  Having strong call-to-actions (i.e. click here, sign-up now, learn more, etc.)  on your blog helps with converting people to your website pages, or sales pages for your product or service.

Are you currently blogging for your business?  If so, what other C’s do you think are an important part of blogging?

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The Secret to Successful Email Marketing Campaigns

Posted on July 18, 2014. Filed under: Business, Email Marketing, Email Results, Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , |

The Secret to Successful Email Marketing CampaignsEmail Marketing should be a key element in your online marketing mix, but many business owners struggle to get success from their email marketing efforts, they send out enewsletters month after month, year after year, and get no real results.  However, on the other side of the coin other businesses seem to get AMAZING success from their email marketing campaigns.  We’ve heard stories of people sending out an email campaign and getting sooo many sales or inquiries within hours or even minutes of sending the email.  So what is the BIG secret in why some people are successful and others are not?  The answer is…….planning your email marketing campaigns, knowing your audience and providing the right content for your audience!

In order to be successful with email marketing, you have to know your audience (your target market).  The most successful email marketing campaigns are the ones in which the content provided is exactly what their audience needs and wants.  So how can you make sure your email marketing campaigns are successful?  Here are 6 ways to make sure you have successful email marketing campaigns:

  1. Create an email marketing plan–  Your email marketing plan needs to cover what, when, who, and how.  What type of emails are you going to send (i.e. enewsletters, autoresponders, stand-alone, drip campaigns, etc.)?  When are you are going to send out your emails  (Mondays, Tuesdays, 10:00 am, 2:00 pm etc.)?  Who are going to send the email to (customers, clients, prospects, leads, referrals, etc.), and how often you are going to send the emails (monthly, weekly, daily, etc.)?  Putting a plan together helps you to be clear on what you want to do with your email marketing and helps you to focus on getting the results.
  2. Know your target audience–  This is important for every aspect of your marketing and just as relevant for email marketing.  You have to understand the needs of your audience.  This is the only way that you will be able to accomplish #3 on this list, so take the time to know the specific demographics (age, gender, race, etc.) of your target market.  Be specific as possible.  The idea that your services or products is for everyone is the worst way to market your business and you will never be able to create effective marketing campaigns much less email marketing campaigns.  You also have to understand your target market’s psychographics (attitudes, tastes, preferences).  The more clear you are about these things the better your email marketing campaigns will be.
  3. Segment your email list  Making sure you have several email lists that are segmented based on type of person and or interests is a great way to segment your list. For example you should have a separate list for your customers/clients and then another list for your prospects.  That way you can target your emails specifically to promotions geared towards customers and then you can create another campaign geared towards prospects.  Statistics show that your customer list is your most valuable and profitable list because they have already purchased from your company (and hopefully had a good experience) and therefore you have a higher chance of getting repeat business from your current customers.  You want to treat this list differently than you would prospects who have not purchased from you yet.  On the other hand, it is also important to segment your list based on product or service purchased (or person’s interest).  For example, if a person purchased product or service A from you they may have different needs than someone who purchased product or service B from you, so differentiating them in your list can make a big difference in your marketing results.
  4. Create great content for each specific segment  Having great content is obvious, but having great content that serves your target audience is priceless.  For example if you have a list of people who opted in to receive email from you that are interested in service A, make sure that you are sending out a lot of relevant information about service A.  Information that people will find useful and interesting.  Sending out an email with all your services and products and being salesy does not serve your market.  You want to think how can I be the most helpful and engaging to my readers.  Studies show that having an informative blog post in your email and having people click a link to read more of the post is a great way to engage your audience.  Videos also work well in emails.  Having a screenshot of the video and then people can click on the image and/or a link to view the video is also a good audience engaging technique.
  5. Have a Strong Call To Action–  You want to direct people on what they should do.  Do  you want them to “call and make an appointment”, “click to learn more”, “stop by and visit”, etc.  Using strong calls to actions in your email marketing help your readers to take the necessary action.
  6. Be Consistent–  I always stress the importance of consistency when it comes to email marketing.  Make sure that you send out your email campaigns on a consistent basis.  If you don’t, people will forget about you and your company.  Consistency also helps for you to stay top of mind with your customer and prospects.  You can even set the expectation of frequency upfront by saying. “We will be sending you a weekly newsletter” or “We will be sending you a daily digest”, etc.  that way people already know when they sign-up how often they should expect to receive communication from you.  Then it will be up to you to consistently deliver on that expectation.

Are you using these strategies in your email marketing?  If not, what strategies would you add for successful email marketing campaigns?

Be sure to download this checklist with 21 tips on how to get amazing success with email marketing!  (limited time only)

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