Originally posted 06.21.2018
Your website is one of the most vital tools your business has, and yet many companies don’t use—or know how to use—one of the best features of their website: the blog.
Your blog has more room for engagement than any other place on your site. Are you using it to its full potential? You want people to visit your site, and stay there. You want them to read your message, browse your products or services, ask questions, and take away something valuable. But if you’re not speaking, what reason do they have to contribute to the conversation? So how can you dust it off and make it work not only for your business but as a resource for your visitors? Let’s take a look.
So you’ve written a blog post, something you’re proud of, that has good information about your company, products or services, and most importantly, puts the customer first. How are people going to know to visit your site and read it?
You cross post it to your business’s social media accounts.
Well, not the whole thing.
Choose a quote from it, something that’s snippet-worthy, that catches attention, and then go tweet about it. Put it on your business’s Facebook page. Is it about your products? Take a picture of a product and put the photo on Instagram with your snappy quote and some carefully considered hashtags, and the link in your profile. Make sure, if you have to set up new social media for your business, you understand each platform’s etiquette.
Many websites run on WordPress these days, and there are plugins that allow you to automatically cross-post to some of the more common social media platforms right from the publish page.
How do you know if people are picking up what you’re putting down? Do your site stats leave you wishing for a more captive audience? The answer is to curate an email subscriber list. However, consumers are tired of being marketed to online, so consider for your newsletter:
- Frequency of emails. Don’t email so often you wear out your subscribers. They’ll not only unsubscribe, but they’ll begin to negatively view your brand. “I don’t want these emails from Books R Us anymore, and next time I buy books, I won’t go there. They’ll want me to sign up again.”
- Newsletter-only promotions. Give people a reason to stay subscribed, whether that’s through newsletter-exclusive content, or discounts and promotions on your products they can only receive as a subscriber. If you’re offering a free consultation to anyone who calls and makes an appointment, that won’t fly as a perk on your newsletter. Add a discount for services on top of the consult for newsletter subscribers.
- A/B testing. You can curate your list into segments (services like MailChimp make this easy), and then put two newsletter promotions out there at the same time. By comparing the opens, the click-throughs, and the sales through unique promo codes, you can tell which campaigns do better, and begin to tailor future promotions the same way.
Social Media Ads
Thanks to algorithms, social media ads have gotten a lot more sophisticated in recent years. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have studied, and studied, and studied some more the best way to reach their users for advertising purposes. Take advantage of their knowledge to signal boost your blog posts, not just your business page. Your blog posts are where the valuable content is, so that’s what you share. Not only will the social media platform give you a wider reach, they’ll use their own algorithms to target the audience most likely to benefit from your content.
There are tricks, though, to finding the sweet spot between how much you spend and your return on investment, so start small.
As with a newsletter, use promotion codes and URLs unique to each ad on each platform so you can see when those ads bring someone to your site for more information. Set up unique landing pages so you know how much traffic each ad is driving to your site.
The internet is a big place. You are one of billions putting your ideas, products, and services online. How, in such a sea of content, do you get noticed?
Some fish are bigger than others, with a follower list to covet and a voice people listen to. If those bigger fish—known as influencers—align with your values and your message, contact them to offer freebies with the hope they like what you’re selling enough to mention it to their audience. Their recommendation gives you credibility with their already-built audience, and you gain visibility in ways you may not have done on your own.
Another option is to partner up. Associating yourself with another brand where your products and services compliment each other, you can gain access to their audience and give them access to yours. Together, your voice gets louder, and the benefit to both brands can be better than going it alone.
This sounds exhausting, right? I mean, you’ve also got a business to run. How can you promise to take care of your clients’ needs if you spend all your time monitoring social media ads and platforms and creating content to boost your blog?
If you don’t have the budget to hire someone who handles all this for you, don’t fret. A lot of the content you create for your blog can be repurposed.
For example, say you write a step-by-step skin care regime that uses your new facial cleanser and the results are proven to work. The info is all wonderful, but there’s a lot of it, and you can’t make it fit in a tweet or stand-out quote for a Facebook ad. What do you do?
Create an infographic or short video.
People respond to more visual content than they do a wall of text, to the point where an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a purely textual article. Why? Because it’s quick, digestible, and visually appealing. People are also 80% more likely to remember what they’ve seen, compared to 20% of what they’ve read. Plus, they don’t have to be hard. There are a host of free infographic makers out there.
If you’ve got the budget, turn a blog post or two into a short video, just 1-2 minutes. Clips from the video are great cross-posted on social media, and people are more likely to watch than read. We’re a visual society, and images catch our eye.
It’s really more than a blog, isn’t it? No longer an online diary, it can showcase your business, the values you hold, how your employees enhance the customer experience, and why you’re passionate about what you do. With these ways of enhancing it, your blog only has room to grow.