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Effective Blogging: Strategy & Top Tips

  1. 1. EffectiveBlogging<br />JJ Lassberg | Schipul - The Web Marketing Company |<br /><br />
  2. 2. What We’ll Cover<br /><ul><li> What is a Blog
  3. 3. What is Social Media
  4. 4. Pillars for Success
  5. 5. How to Write a Blog
  6. 6. How to Get Started
  7. 7. Some Inspiration</li></ul><br />
  8. 8. Blog = Web + Log<br /><br />
  9. 9. Blog = Web + Log<br />What is a blog? Blog = Web + Log<br />The term blog began has a blend of the terms web and log. <br />Blogs are usually updated with regular entries and are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. <br />Blogs are always changing, always being updated. <br />An important point to remember about blogs is that in comparison to a web site the pages or entries have a connection to time. <br />
  10. 10. Not Static<br /> /<br />
  11. 11. Not Static<br />The most important thing to remember about a blog is it is not a static site. <br />Where your web site is your store front – built with mortar and bricks – your blog is the place for you to tell your story, let people get to know you and the personality of your organization. <br />The tone is generally more casual. <br />It is updated frequently. <br />A blog is also an opportunity to start conversations. You have to be willing to allow for two way dialog.<br />
  12. 12. Piece of the Pie<br /><br />
  13. 13. Piece of the Pie<br />You can’t really talk about what a blog is and the strategies for how to use one for marketing purposes without talking about social media in general. <br />A blog is just a piece of the whole social marketing pie. <br />
  14. 14. Social Media<br />
  15. 15. Social Media<br />All of these social media outlets help people stay connected and allow them to connect with others.<br />Social Media is vast and growing topic. There are 100’s of Social Media Tools to choose from. The most important to remember is it not about the tools… it is about the general concept of social engagement. <br />
  16. 16. What’s all the buzz?<br />What’s this Social Media Thing-a-ma-bob anyway? <br />It’s a conversation… online<br /><ul><li> Talk WITH People
  17. 17. Meaningfully CONNECT
  18. 18. Build Lasting and LOYAL Relationships</li></ul><br />
  19. 19. What’s all the buzz?<br />Social media is simply a new way of having conversations you’re already having OR want to have, either with clients, other people in your industry, or other people with similar interests.<br />It allows you:<br /><ul><li>To communicate with people, like a website, except instead of merely talking TO them, you can talk WITH them;
  20. 20. It allows you to connect with these people effectively meaningfully, and
  21. 21. It helps create lasting and loyal relationships with others.</li></ul>So, in essence, social media is simply using online media to help you connect and put a face on your brand, whether it be personal or professional. For business purposes, it’s really nothing more than traditional marketing carried over into social networks and online media. <br />
  22. 22. Town Square Marketing<br /><br />
  23. 23. Town Square Marketing<br />Some people talk about Social Media in terms of Town Square Marketing. <br />When you go into town to shop you will choose to do business at the general store, baker, or tailor that recognizes you, knows who are, asks about your kids. They listen and remember details of you life and you feel special when you do business with them. <br />Social Marketing does not work if you use a bull horn to yell about buying your product or service and then not engage with your customers once you enter into a relationship.<br />
  24. 24. Word of Mouth Marketing<br /><br /><br />
  25. 25. Word of Mouth Marketing<br />Other people talk about Social Media in Terms of Word of Mouth Marketing. <br />I will buy a product based on the recommendation of someone I trust within my network over all the TV commercials, Radio Jingles and Billboard Ads in the world. Because I know them and I trust them. <br />This used to happen face to face with relatives, neighbors and friends. Now this happens with friends, relative, co-workers and other connections online. It doesn’t matter that they person making the recommendation is on the other side of the world… it only matters that they are in my network. <br />
  26. 26. Connect in Meaningful Ways <br /><br />
  27. 27. Connect in Meaningful Ways<br />Organizations focuses on “traditional” marketing can miss the important social aspect of the new face of marketing. <br />It is important *not* to focus on the tools/gadgetry <br />Humans Want to Connect in Meaningful Ways<br />
  28. 28. How to Use It?<br />For business purposes, it’s really nothing more than traditional marketing carried over into social networksand online media. <br /><ul><li> Building relationships
  29. 29. Promoting products or services
  30. 30. Brand impressions
  31. 31. Customer Service</li></ul><br />
  32. 32. How to Use It? <br />When contemplating what social media sites are right for you or your business or organization, it really comes down to optimizing your social media marketing plan to build relationships and connect with people, taking that information about your business or product out to the public quickly and effectively through social media promotion, and making strong brand impressions that go a long way.<br />
  33. 33. How To Use It: Enhance Relationships<br />Enhancing relationships through social media and social networks has tremendous value for businesses. <br />Start by building relationships, joining and participating in conversations online. These relationships will give you the benefit of better understanding the needs and wants of consumers. <br />Social Media can help you put a more human face on your organization and let you emerge as a pro-active industry leader. Make no mistake, very strong relationships can be built through a thoughtful and well-executed social media campaign.<br />
  34. 34. How to Use It: Promotion<br /> Promotion: Getting your message out there in appropriate social networks made of consumers builds buzz and excitement. Contributing content inspires bloggers and informal “brand evangelists” to spread the word. <br /> It takes work and a genuine effort. You have to go out there and do the legwork. You need to be writing the blog posts, you need to be responding to people on a Twitter account, and you need to be interacting with fans on a Facebook Fan Page. You don’t have to do everything, but what you choose to do, you have to commit to doing it well.<br />Your organization can create strong brand impressions, especially when your branding appears on websites that your clients trust and are active on. By aligning your brand with issues, social networks and information that is relevant and matters to your audience, you gain a lot of credibility.<br />
  35. 35. Pillars of Success<br /><br />
  36. 36. Get Started Strategy<br />Successfully start a blog or social media marketing strategy for your brand or business<br />Consulting: Is it right for you<br />Recruiting: The right people<br />Training: Learn before leaping<br />Promotion…<br /><br />
  37. 37. 4 Pillars of Success<br />So, before you start, you need to decide which programs are right for you? Assess where best to devote time and attention in the social media world. A company such as Comcast, for example, can find Twitter a very useful tool for quickly responding to customer complaints, but might not find a blog as useful for its objectives.<br />Next, you’ll need to determine how your company will be able to create content and update social web sites, and specifically, your company’s tone and general method of communicating. Will your legal team be reviewing all content before it’s posted publicly? Or will your communications team have free reign over what is said? You’ll want to make those decisions before you dive in.<br />Next, find ways to monitor content that your customers or clients are putting online. Use tools such as Google Alerts and TweetBeep to get automatic keyword emails for terms you choose so that you know what is being said on the internet about your brand or product. You can use search engines such as Google Blogsearch, Blogpulse, and SocialMention to drill down deeper, and aggregate RSS feeds in an RSS reader such as Google Reader to keep track of all your individualized searches.<br />It’s important to know what it will take to effectively engage your audiences on social media sites. Know that this will not run itself, and it IS a time commitment. It’s not a huge time commitment, but it’s a time commitment nonetheless. You must be willing to genuinely engage and put forth the effort in putting fresh content online. You need to know that your audience will be checking these sites daily for the latest piece of information. <br />
  38. 38. Get out there (intelligently)<br />Social media runs on good karma… be honest, be transparent.<br />It’s not all about you… generously promote others.<br />Build it and they MAY come… but it may already be build.<br /><br />
  39. 39. Get out there (intelligently)<br />Social media runs on good karma. In social networks, alwaysgive props where props is due. Make sure to stay honest, and disclose any personal or professional interests. If you write a post that re-hashes the facts or opinions of someone else, say so. Promote people. Transparency is essential for success! <br />If you like a photo someone has taken on flickr, comment on it, add it as a favorite, or better yet, blog about it. Remember that it’s not all about you. Be generous in promoting others and return you will build fans who will promote you or your business. What goes around comes around.<br />Don’t forget: you can promote communities that already exist. Don’t think you must build a social community from the ground up. If they exist out there, go to them! You can engage in in networks where clients or customers hang out online already. <br />Invite all you know to be part of your network. Bring them in and promote them and watch the relationship grow. <br />
  40. 40. Blogging in Motion<br /><br />
  41. 41. Blogging in Motion<br />Blogging in Motion… getting into the mechanics of how to write for a blog.<br />Writing for the web is very different than writing for email, publications, letters, etc. The content must be short, to the point and broken into small digestible chunks. People have a different approach to viewing content online – mostly it is about being short on time and attention. You have to grab them quickly, tell them very clearly what you want them to know and then let them go. <br />
  42. 42. Top Tips<br />13 Top Tips for Effective Blog Writing<br /><br />
  43. 43. 1. Great Title<br />People will not read further if they don’t know what they are getting. Eliminate guesswork with titles that are short and very direct. <br />
  44. 44. 2. One Take-Away<br />Think before you write. If readers can only take away one item content from the post – what would you want that to be? <br />Focus the blog post on that. Other topics can be covered (and linked) in other posts. <br /><br />
  45. 45. 3. Don’t Bury the Topic<br />Tell the reader quickly what the post is about and why they should keep reading. <br />What will the reader get out of it.<br />
  46. 46. 4. Write Tight<br />Use simple declarative sentences. Stick to one idea per sentence. <br />Avoid passive verbs, run-on sentences, and mixed metaphors.<br />Writing in this way holds the reader’s attention. <br /><br />
  47. 47. 5. Keep it Short<br />800 words are generally enough. <br />If people see that a post scrolls on and on, they will choose to not even start or they will begin reading the post and not finish. <br /><br />
  48. 48. 6. Avoid Jargon<br />Your readers may be from anywhere in the world – with vastly different interests. They may not – and will often not – be from your industry. <br />Make sure your content is understandable to anyone. <br /><br />
  49. 49. 7. Link Often<br />Build credibility by showing you are an expert in your field. <br />Linking to other relevant content keeps the post short and allows someone who is interested to explore further on their own. <br /><br />
  50. 50. 8. Break It Up<br />Use content formatting to break up content. <br />You should be able to read a sentence out loud without having to pause for a breath. <br />Sub-Heading<br />Bold<br />Numbered Lists<br /><br />
  51. 51. 9. Search-ability<br />Use relevant keywords in:<br />Title<br />Sub-headings<br />Links. <br />If you want someone to find the post from a specific search - those words have to actually be in the post.<br /><br />
  52. 52. Search Engine Optimization<br />Search-ability: It no one will read it… why bother writing it? Use relevant keywords in the title, sub-headings, and links. When using formatting techniques to break up content, label section with keywords. If you want someone to find the post from a specific search – remember, those words have to actually be in the post, dressed up, multiple times. <br />
  53. 53. 10. Use a Graphic<br />People love pictures… they particularly love pictures of other people. <br />If you can find a high quality, relevant photo then use it in the post and more people will read it<br /><br />
  54. 54. 11. Make a Point<br />If you present all the sides to an idea or argument… then no one needs to comment. <br />What are your thoughts on the topic? Write those and then ask other to share theirs in the comments. <br /><br />
  55. 55. 12. Ask A Question<br />If you want people to participate and leave comments you have to give them a reason. Ask them a question and then ask them to answer it. <br />Let readers know you want to know what they think. <br /><br />
  56. 56. 13. Proof, Proof, & Proof Again<br />The blog audience will overlook an error or typo here and there… but a pattern will make them question your expertise. <br />Proof before you post and proof again after. Find a typo a few days later when you read with fresh eyes? No worries – just fix it.<br /><br />
  57. 57. Let’s Recap<br />What we covered so far…<br />Social media is just another way of having conversations you’re already having or want to have – but they’re online.<br />The four pillars of blogging and/or social media marketing success are: Consulting, Recruiting, Training, and Promotion. <br />The Lucky 13 Tips for Blog Posting.<br /><br />
  58. 58. So Now What?<br /><br />
  59. 59. How to Get Started<br />Ready, Set… Blog!<br />Research<br />Participate<br />Monitor<br />Strategize<br />JUMP!<br />
  60. 60. How to Get Started<br />ONLY begin your own Social Media projects after being fully immersed in the culture<br />Find the blogs, podcasts, wikis, tweets, etc. that most closely relate to your industry / organization<br />Read and comment on those sites for at least a month to get a feel for etiquette, culture, etc.<br />Set up your buzz tracking system -- decide how you’ll respond to negative feedback<br />Get started<br />
  61. 61. Research ? Monitor?<br />
  62. 62. Research? Monitor?<br />These are what we call “social media listening tools,” and they are the first place you’ll want to start when doing your own social media research.<br />Google Alerts – Email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your choice of topic.<br />Pageflakes & iGoogle – Create your own internet “newspaper” with RSS feeds and other personalized content.<br />Blogpulse & Google Blog Search – Search blog posts exclusively.<br />Twitter Search – Search Twitter conversations exclusively.<br />SocialMention – Comprehensively search microblogs, social bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, and videos.<br />WhosTalkin – Comprehensive social media search tool for blogs, news, networks, videos, images, forums, and tags.<br />Techrigy – A software solution designed specifically for PR and marketing professional to monitor and measure social media.<br />
  63. 63. Listen First… then comment, then Blog.<br /><br />
  64. 64. Notes for Success<br />Stay honest and transparent<br />Be interesting<br />Learn by doing<br />Start with a personal account<br />Do a lot of listening, then dive in<br />Spread the love!<br />Comment and friend others<br />Promote good karma<br />Make yourself available<br />Provide links on the website<br />Cross link content<br />Encourage others to participate<br /><br />
  65. 65. Additional Resources<br />Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers<br />Schipul Helpfiles & Training<br /><br />
  66. 66. Questions?<br />
  67. 67. Thanx a Million!<br /> | Twitter: @jjlassberg<br /><br />