When it comes to driving the right clients to your website, a business blog is by far the most valuable, versatile tool.
Don’t believe me? Then you haven’t read 27 Powerful Reasons for a Business Blog.
And while your blog is the ‘power tool’ of all content marketing tools, it isn’t effective all by itself. You won’t see the dramatic results we talk about if you simply click ‘publish’ and walk away. That’s because in addition to writing high-quality blog content, there are two more key steps to gaining the exposure you need to see big results: your headline and blog promotions.
One of our clients (Purspray Pet) does an exceptional job with their blog posts. Owner and blog author Joan Smith is a gifted writer. Read any of her posts and you will see that she spends a good amount of time researching her content, and her humor and easy-going personality shines through each post. The headlines are catchy and focus on the target audience. The content of the blog posts ties to pet health, which is linked to the product Purspray produces: pet spray. The blog is the right combination of education and entertainment.
Blogging versus Email and Blogging
In a recent strategy meeting, Joan and I were discussing blog subscribers and how they are different from email subscribers. With a business blog, there is an option to have your readers simply sign up to follow your blog. With platforms like WordPress, there are plugins that make the process quick and easy. Your subscribers will receive a notice every time you publish a new post.
But here’s the thing… that’s it.
Unless you have a very active blogging community, where your followers meet up in your comment section every week, there’s no opportunity for relationship-building beyond publishing a new post.
Uh oh. What if you have a sale coming up? Or you want to send holiday greetings? Or you need content ideas and would like to get feedback from subscribers via a survey? What if you want to send a promotion to all the new subscribers who signed up at your expo exhibit?
The traditional blog subscription process won’t allow for any kind of target marketing. We can’t segment our audience. We can’t add data about our followers. It’s extremely limited, which is why we teach clients to link their blogs to an email program, like Mailchimp or AWeber.
As part of the marketing strategy, we recommend creating an email template that you send out to contacts every week. To evoke the most engagement, it should include links to past blog posts and the current week’s blog post(s). Take the opportunity to announce specials and any other promotions, such as when you are exhibiting somewhere. The purpose of blogging is to provide valuable information and drive the audience to action, using an email platform helps facilitate the engagement. If the only notice your audience is getting is that a new post has been written, it’s not really that engaging.
Here’s a blogging and email strategy in action.
Purspray writes a blog post about the dangers of hot spots and pet scratching. In subject line of their weekly email blast, they could write Why hot spots are dangerous for pets and how to fix them. With this, they are stating an important problem and specifically how to fix it, which is valuable. And Purspray is part of the solution, which is great.
The reader opens the email and reads the informative post about the suffering, infection etc., then sees how PurSpray helps with the issue. This prompts them to click on the weekly special of buy-one-get-one free or save 10% or just to simply buy. Then below the current post, Purspray can include other articles that show how dangerous hot spots are or feature other issues common with pets, and ones that Purspray helps solve.
And we’re not finished…
Below your engaging content, ask your group of loyal followers (who already believe in you) to share this valuable information with other pet owners, so together, you all can help keep pets from suffering. We use social share buttons and the forward email option here.
At first glance, it may seem like more work, but it’s more effective work and produces better results than a standalone blog. Once you create your template, it’s just a matter of filling in the content. I use my template and am able to plug in the information in less than 30 minutes, and most of that time is used to write a quick intro paragraph.
Here’s some good news! You don’t have to go it alone. Our team can help quickly set up your email program and train you how to use it. Email us to schedule a free consultation.