You know that phrase, ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Well, marketing and brand communications often works like that. If you are out of sight from you prospect, you are likely out of their mind as well.
Often what happens is you come out strong with some great blog posts and as you get busy with other aspects of your business you just don’t make the time to post for a couple of weeks. You might lose some readers/subscribers because of it. Or you have a potential lead who signed up to download a valuable white paper you created almost two months ago and you still haven’t followed up with them. If they were interested when they opted-in they may no longer be interested--out of sight, out of mind.
The fact that you’re blogging regularly (at least once a week) means you should have content that you can use to keep in touch with prospects. As a way to nurture leads until they’re ready to buy, you can send them blog posts that you’ve written that may pertain to their interests/needs.
You may be thinking, “but they probably already read my blog post, why should I email it to them.” That’s not necessarily true. While you hope that everyone who ever has had any interest in a blog post you’ve written is reading every single post you publish, the truth is they may have only read the one post that was of interest to them. That means chances are they didn’t see the last post you published that you wrote with they’re specific needs in mind. However, even if they did read that post, sending it along again with a short personal note, like, ‘I had your company’s needs in mind when I wrote this post,’ is very effective in showing that you’re paying attention and that even if they weren’t thinking about you, you have them on your mind.
Building relationships take regular effort, put forth some effort today.
There is a definite branding value to writing blog comments on other well-read and well-respected blogs that you follow. Chances are good that you have a blog or two that you read regularly and view their authors as experts on the topic of which they write.
It’s likely that you’re not the only one who follows a particular blog because of the value received from reading it. So add value to the blogs you follow by adding a point or two in the comments section of the blog. Or share a scenario that’s pertinent to the blog topic...something that enhances the value or creates interesting discussion surrounding the original post.
The idea is that by offering comments that add value to a post by another well-known, and/or widely read blogger can not only help to enhance the blog on which you’re commenting, but expose you to that blogger and his/her audience. (Plus, for those readers interested in finding out more about you it gives them an opportunity to link back to your website.)
Here are some benefits of commenting on blogs:
So write value-adding comments. Feel free to offer your comments on this post.
So, I was flipping through various radio stations as I was driving this morning, and I came across an interview with the rap/R&B/hip-hop producer and artist, Jeremih (pronounced Jer-a-my).
I’m definitely a sucker for artist interviews. I like to learn about the artist’s thoughts and intentions behind an album.
As I was listening to the interview I drew a strong parallel to blogging and business, and in some similar ways, blogging and business are just like the music industry. Here’s what I mean...Jeremih’s new album “All About You,” features other well-known artists like Ludacris, 50 Cent and others. Those big names allow Jeremih to communicate his brand with some leverage, capitalizing on the larger fan-base of those other, well-known, artists featured on Jeremih’s album. By Ludacris and 50 Cent agreeing to be featured on Jeremih’s album their fan-base is exposed to Jeremih, and essentially a positive endorsements is given for Jeremih’s album and music to the audiences of both Ludacris and 50 Cent.
In blogging and business a similar thing can happen. Think about posting guest blogs from other well-known bloggers in your industry, or asking if you could write a guest post for their blog--it’s at least worth asking, and the cross-pollination of audiences can be beneficial for both parties.
This sort of thing happens in other aspects of business, too--not just in blogging. For example, when your company builds a referral network with other companies to help each other out.
Say, you’re a lawyer working with small businesses and you often refer clients who need an accountant to a well-deserving accountant friend of yours who you trust and know does good work. Well, your client benefits because they’re getting a qualified referral from someone they trust, your accountant friend benefits because he/she is getting a qualified potential new client from a trusted source and you benefit by building more good-will with both your client and your accountant friend.
There are definitely advantages and opportunities when you expand your network of relationships. Be on the lookout for them and build positive reciprocal relationships to capitalize on them.
Learn more about Brand Communications and how to use it with your Inbound Marketing efforts
I don't know how I hadn't come across this video before, but it's pretty funny and informative about inbound marketing and how it works.
Essentially, when you use blogging (creating and publishing valuable content), geared toward your target audience, and optimize it with keywords related to your business, it will raise your organic search results allowing those who are likely to be your customers to find you online (this is the inbound part--they're drawn in). Once on your site, if visitors value your content, and you're continually produce more new content regularly (blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, etc.), visitors will hopefully continue to come back to your site and eventually become customers.
It's a great way to build online awareness, generate leads and create a loyal following.
Here's some additional recommended reading on the subject of inbound marketing (affiliate).
Scheduling social networking time
When life is busy and you’re trying to consciously build your online brand communication efforts with an inbound marketing strategy it’s not easy to always find time to review and connect with those you distribute content to on your social networks.
You know it’s important to join the conversation as that’s how you build relationships online, but unless you take a strategic approach to it the day can slip away and your relationships can suffer for it.
My advice is to schedule some time each day, week and month to do a few simple things that will help you participate in conversations, build your networks and attract more readers to your content.
Daily social networking activity
Each day you should spend at least 15 to 20 minutes updating your social networks. You can certainly change your status and/or tweet something interesting. Use Ping.fm or TweetDeck, or some other service to efficiently take care of all your social networks in one fell swoop. Beyond that, make sure to respond to messages, and potentially wish folks who have a birthday on that day a happy one. Find at least one new person to connect with and follow or friend them, but make sure it’s meaningful to follow them--have a genuine interest in them before following them or requesting to be their friend.
You may want to also take around 10 minutes to “listen” to what others are saying about you and/or your company throughout various social media. You can use sites like Social Mention and Yelp! to help with this.
Weekly social networking activity
Each week be sure to absorb info and respond. Take at least 30 minutes to really pour over a few blogs from your industry and respond with added helpful info or comments (this is a more focused effort than your daily blog skimming). Use LinkedIn Answers and provide relevant answers to various questions that you absolutely can answer. This gets your name out there and positions you as a credible expert in your field. Post LinkedIn or Facebook Group discussion topic, or ask a question in a discussion, and be sure to respond when people answer you.
Monthly social networking activity
On a regular monthly basis it’s important to track and measure the results of your daily and weekly activities. Even if informal, it’s helpful to have an idea of how things are trending due to your efforts. You may want to track the number of new friends and followers you obtain, but probably more important is the number of new viable business and/or off-line relationships you gain from your efforts. So it’s a good idea to track how many of your new friends and followers have resulted or contributed to new business for your company. The simplest way to do this is to look at your new business coming in and simply ask where they found you, or if you know they’re a friend or follower on your social networks you can likely correlate that your social media activity had a bit to do with it. This is obviously not a sure fire way to track this, but it’s certainly better than nothing. However, if you use opt-in landing pages for various content that you give your customers and potential customer that can be a more accurate measurement of new business lead conversions.
If you find time to do more by all means take advantage of it, but these are a few simple things you can do on a regular basis to build your social networks and engage with those in your networks. The point is regular, even small, efforts will add up over time. Over time you’ll be able to see real progress from your efforts.
A blog building strategy
Have you ever heard the expression, "Busy people get stuff done," or something to that effect?
Essentially, the idea is that if you want something done, find the busiest person you know and have them help you.
Busy people for some reason often will find a way to get things done in a timely fashion. Because they're busy they know how to manage their time, and get things done.
But what if you just don't feel like you really have the time to spare, or if you're like me, you can make the time, but by that point you find you don't have the energy to complete the task (writing a blog post, thoughtfully responding to a business inquiry, etc.).
So, what do you do? You can certainly find a capable busy person who is highly motivated and able to help you complete your project/task, or you can figure out a way to manage your time and build a strategy of being able to complete stuff in a relatively small window of time.
A constant content strategy
Blogging regularly is a problem I hear about a lot. Here’s my approach (for more about how to write within a framework check out Chris Brogan's post) :