There are over 126 million blogs on the Internet, according to Technorati.com, the popular Internet search engine for blogs. That’s 126 million opportunities for you to market your product or service, which sounds exciting. But is blog marketing right for your small business? To find out, BizBytes talked with Randy Schneider, CEO of PressFish a Ft. Lauderdale-based Internet marketing company.
“Blog marketing should be part of an overall brand awareness and outreach strategy for every small business,” said Schneider. “The opportunity blogs afford small business owners to engage their current customers or clients and find new ones is tremendous.”
Here are 7 strategies for harnessing the power of blogs to promote your product or service.
1. BE FREE. “Businesses around the world are still experiencing tough times due to the economy,” said Schneider. “So creating a free blog through Wordpress or Blogger is a great option. Search engines love Wordpress and Blogger is owned by Google, so the chances of your posts ranking high in search engine results are very good.”
2. GOOD WORDS ARE KEY. “Don’t center your blog around the name of your business,” said Schneider. “Instead, pick a keyword related to your business and center it around that. For example, if you own ABC Shoes, don’t make that name the focus of your blog. Instead, pick a keyword that relates to your industry such as fashion footwear, high heels, etc. This increases your chances of ranking high in search engine results and getting found by prospective customers.”
3. THINK LIKE AN EDITOR. “Once you’ve picked your keyword, don’t overuse it,” said Schneider. “Your keyword shouldn’t be in every blog post you create. The general rule is that you can use your keyword in every other post your write for your blog. That way, you’re not overdoing it and you’re not running the risk of being penalized by search engines.”
4. INFORM. “Remember that a blog is not a direct marketing tool like an advertisement in a newspaper,” said Schneider. “It’s used to indirectly reach your target audience by keeping them informed about not just your company, but your industry as well.”
5. EDUCATE. “In your blog posts, teach your readers something they didn’t already know,” said Schneider. “If you’re a flower shop, teach your current and prospective customers how to pick the perfect orchid or how to properly take care of roses. Post instructional videos on your blog. Information like that is much more interesting than just telling them how great your company is.”
6. PERSUADE. “In each post on your blog, end with something that persuades the reader to try something or view something else,” said Schneider. “For example, when you’re talking about selecting the perfect orchid, end with a link to purchase it on your company’s website.”
7. COMPLIMENT YOUR COMPETITORS. “Most business owners think it’s inappropriate to comment on the blogs of your competitors,” said Schneider. “But it’s actually quite the opposite. For PressFish clients, we recommend that you not only comment on competing blog, but that you compliment your competitor. You can do things like talk about how well an article was written and then post a link to an article that you wrote on the same subject on your site. This engenders goodwill and helps you build a relationship with a business similar to yours.”
For more blog marketing tips, check out www.BizBytes101.com.