Let's talk about "Goals for the new year"
As the year starts to wind down, there are a couple of things that keep coming up from clients that are now being referred to as “Goals for the New Year.” One of those infamous goals heard from small business owners is the blog goal.
As one of the first goals to fall by the wayside there's a few reasons why this is the case. It seems one of the biggest reasons why the idea of blogging for their business tends to fall away quicker than the new years’ get-in-shape resolution is a lack of clarity around the benefit of a blog to a small business, perhaps a business like yours.
While there are a number of areas to talk about with blogging, this post is about how to use your blog to market your business using social media.
One of the first things to consider: Having a blog is a pivotal piece of the social media marketing strategy you so eagerly want to work for your business. It will turn your marketing into revenue by engaging your audience with information that’s useful before you start to sell. The content you create will help build trust, shine a light on a problem a potential client is having, review the problem and then sell your solution.
This process works really well with your social media approach by making it more effective. The key point to your success is to create a plan for your social media marketing that has your blog as the central point of reference. It’s not difficult if you take a few simple steps that will set some goals, create and stick to a schedule and commit to it throughout the year.
How can you make it work?
Step #1: Intention to goal to success
When you create a content plan, you will set specific, detailed goals for what is to be sold. Having a clear vision of your desired outcome is key, then create the content to support it.
Do you want prospects to schedule a discovery or sales conversation? Book a service delivery? Attend a workshop or webinar? Decide your overall goal for your content, including relevant details and any incentives you’ll offer to make the sale tempting.
Got those goals done? Now, build a schedule and stick to it.
Regardless of the schedule you choose, you need to keep in mind that consistency and commitment is key. Create a schedule you can stick to in order to build your audience and you’ll turn them into followers who are happy to buy from you. Why does this work? It works because you began with the end in mind (a step so often missed).
Step #2: Build a blog that works
Use your blog to bring really useful info to your readers. You need to build trust (with things like case studies) as well as build your authority and get more leads for your business. Let’s put your blog in the right position. It is (or should be) the central hub for all your media channels and outlets. This is you out loud. It’s controlled by you so use it any way you want to.
The best part? It doesn’t matter how big or small your audience is. Once you focus on your audiences’ concerns and pain points, you can serve your audience with what they find most important.
Your blog should have its own distinct theme and shows why you’re different from everyone else in your niche. It should show how you can solve your prospects’ pain and suffering. You’ll do this because you know you “can’t be all things to all people” when you decide to focus on those who want and need your services – your potential and current buyers.
The next step in building your blog is to create your editorial calendar for the topics you’ve already identified as meeting your sales and communications needs. Remember that schedule we talked about earlier? Make sure you stick to your schedule and post consistently (whatever frequency you decided on).
Your editorial calendar becomes part of your identified goal for your blog. Now it’s time to create a theme around your sales requirements. If you’re on a weekly posting scheduling, consider what’s going on in the world that you can funnel your posts and sales into – Thanksgiving’s coming up? Use this holiday as a lead in to your celebrations and Christmas season marketing efforts.
You’ll make sure each post in this campaign (you should really think of this as a campaign, after all) supports your sales goals. You’ll map out what and when you’ll offer your readers in order to move them to the sale you’ve been anticipating.
You’ll probably need to do some research to create really useful content for your readers so make sure to build some time into your plans for this. There are a number of outlets you can use for your research depending on your niche. Use them to build an informed, valuable post.
Use and create information about current frustrations and pain points you will address in your post (you may want to use content from emails you’ve received – the perfect way to answer a real concern).
How long should your post be? Just the right length – don’t skimp on quality to make your post 300 words! People will read a well written, longer blog post and that’s ultimately what you want. Gauge what your readers will tolerate while changing it up sometimes with shorter, longer and image posts to add some variety.
Step #3: Don’t forget social media posts
Now you’ve created your blog posts, use these as the source content for your social media posts. Based on your topic, share your content on your main social media sites – the ones where your current and potential buyers are already comfortable and communicating.
It’s not enough to only post your content once on each social media site. Get as much mileage as you can for your efforts by understanding the lifespan of a post on the different platforms and don’t be afraid to recycle your posts.
Step #4: Take the pressure off – schedule in advance
It’s time to realize what makes this whole process so difficult to manage is not having a plan. That plan (as we talked about earlier) includes scheduling everything in advance so you’re not caught behind the eight-ball for your blog post or social media deadlines.
There are a number of services that will make it so easy to schedule your content across the main players such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest, to name a few. Make it easy for your readers by posting new, relevant content a couple of times a week for best effect – make your schedule consistent based on your audience and let them know the days you post.
Here's a few schedulers you may want to take a look at these links. They have a free options:
- Buffer - https://buffer.com/app
- Hootsuite - https://hootsuite.com/
- dlvr.it - https://dlvr.it/ (paid service only)
So, in summary:
To make the most of using your blog to market your business, follow these four steps:
- Take the intention to blog, apply it to your goal (growing your business), and make it a key part of your success
- Build a blog that works for your readers and helps them identify with you as you move through the sales process
- Use social media to get your message out – the message you’ve built through your blog posts
- Take the pressure off everyone – schedule your posts, including using social media, and a scheduling tool to make it easy.
Go ahead. Plan your process, achieve your goal. Happy New Year!