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Marketing Advantages of Blogs

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By James Pruitt – Senior Staff Writer

A blog allows agency over your company’s narrative. With a blog, your company’s news comes from your perspective. With news releases, any information must filter through another outlet. Your blog allows information through the horse’s mouth so to speak.

Blogs are essentially websites with primarily informational content. Your company’s blog should provide information directly from you and your organization. While news releases certainly have value as marketing tools and as evidence for recognition of your company’s accomplishments, blogs eliminate the hearsay factor and allow you to control the narrative of your company’s development.

Blogs are a boom to new companies. In the past, marketing was a more challenging process. News releases, public relations specialists, and advertisement executives mattered far more. Since the Information Age, blogs have done much of the initial marketing work, and applications such as WordPress have placed much of this work directly in the hands of the small business owner.

Assuming access to a newswire, a news release can in fact reach more people. Hence the continuing relevance of news releases. However, blogs allow a starting point for directed marketing.

From your blog, you can begin a directed marketing plan for yourself, under your own thumb. Not least important, blogs allow tracking of website traffic, and hence facilitate marketing through the most appropriate channels. No one likes spam. However, directed marketing works.

As you are starting a company, starting a blog allows opportunities for the initial pitch, for control over your own cycle of news, and for a plan to track site visits. Additionally, a blog administrator for a new business should consider the ins and outs of visitor feedback, and archiving information. The new blogger can trace organizations that may link back to your blog or track the number or origins of site visits. Such information can help with directed marketing and provide cues about the best routes for varieties of outreach strategies.

Blogs can serve as their own news release source.  The business owner can schedule posts over the course of the year regarding any variety of subjects, including new hires, new innovations, and new policies. The owner can set their own rhythm to these updates, and at their discretion, news outlets can respond accordingly.

Also, blogs allow an opportunity for feedback. In other words, blogs are interactive, rather than news sources which are under the control of some third-party news outlet. Therefore customers can provide business owners with feedback, and give endorsements and create greater opportunities for more business. The interactive nature of blogs is priceless for a new business owner. The old-fashion news report only spews information through any channel that will publish it. A blog allows a one-on-one with the ownership of the company.

This direct interaction can provide some of the most important feedback for a small company at its earliest stages.

Traditional routes such as press releases are not irrelevant for your new company. However, this deep into the Information Age, blogs allow the business owner unprecedented control over the initial stages of their marketing campaign. By setting up a blog, you, the business owner, may control your own business plan and marketing trajectory.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that you enjoyed this first article on blogs in our mini-series.  Stay tuned….

If you are not already a member of VAMBOA, please consider joining.  There are not any dues or membership fees.  We provide a great deal of valuable information weekly.  You can also proudly display the VAMBOA seal on your website and collateral.

Here is a link to sign up:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

Turning a News Release into a Blog Post

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By James Pruitt – Senior Staff Writer

Congratulations on your news release. News releases in themselves show interest in your product or services. Whatever the news source, the publisher of the news source clearly feels confident in your business idea. These news sources could be local newspapers, free publications, or newspapers. Engaging the interest of these publications is an outstanding business strategy.

A first-hand blog can and should provide the vanguard marketing strategy of a new business. That supermarket newsletter may validate your product, demonstrate interest, and spread the word about your offerings. However, a business blog allows a business to express itself, through a diverse range of media, without resorting to an intermediary.

Your business has hit the news, whatever that news source may be. Here, we flesh out how to exploit that story in your blog.

  • Transforming a News Release into Web-Friendly Format:

Blogs differ from news releases in the web-based content, which allows the business owners more direct control.  Blogs allow various channels for the owners’ creativity, such as graphics, personal interaction, and other multimedia.  This enables the owner to develop the company’s brand. A cold news release can provide the information “meat” of the blog, demonstrating the successes of the company itself. However, the graphics and other media of the blog demonstrate the character and personality of the company itself.

  • The Headline:

With a blog post you control the headline. A news outlet prefaces information about your company with a line they feel will grab their readers’ attention. However, in your blog post, your own marketing spin prevails. Generally, readers may ignore large blocks of text absent a catchy, attention-grabbing hook at the beginning. Whatever the targeted viewers’ interests, the headline should grab that reader and drag them into the deep end. The headline should cater to their interests and leave them salivating for more.

  • Formatting:

The web offers endless opportunities for multimedia presentation. Use them. Business promotions are not news stories. Viewers know they have no responsibility to “close-read” your content and tend to dismiss content from private companies. It is on you to make the content fun, and to use your own artistic sensibilities to draw in the viewer. The informational “meat” that may go into a news release must be presented in an entertaining manner, else face consignment to the vortex of discarded advertising content we see all around us.

  • Images:

News releases are informational and lack images. Your blog provides an opportunity to color this information as you see fit. Feel free to celebrate your news release on your blog with appropriate graphics. Your company’s image will brighten as a result.

  • Include Details, but Keep them Relevant:

The initial news story hopefully draws readers to your business blog. The news source may or may not have included assumptions or questionable statements, hopefully positive. One strategy is to expound on your own perspective on these statements, and clarify any misunderstandings, as well as address any questions. The news is hearsay, and media is not always 100% accurate. However, news statements that require clarification may be opportunities. In a business blog, owners can expand on these statements to educate readers about their company.

  • Sources:

For the news release itself, you are the source. However, remain mindful of the legitimacy of any of your blog content. Business owners should never venture claims absent tracing the sources.

Connect to Other Content:

On a related note, part of the magic of the web is the ability to link. Once your news release hits your blog, feel free to link to the news source itself. Also feel free to link to any of your other articles, as well as any source that provides information or resources that supports that article. Just use care in the choice of associated content.

In conclusion, successful news releases in themselves provide ample opportunities to promote your business. However, business owners may color and amplify this opportunity by spinning that news information on their blog. Whether the publication is local or widespread, blogging allows the new business to pounce on the opportunity to put their newfound publicity to the best possible use.

If you are not already a member of VAMBOA, please consider joining.  There are not any dues or membership fees.  We provide a great deal of valuable information weekly.  You can also proudly display the VAMBOA seal on your website and collateral.

Here is a link to sign up:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

Gaining the Most from your Business Blog

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By:  James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

 

1)  Establish your Authority:

Through advice, anecdotes, and selective marketing, a blog allows business owners to establish themselves as leaders in their field. An interior decorator can post home repair advice. A computer technician can share cybersecurity tips. Your business is helping your customers in their everyday endeavors. A blog allows you to provide free tidbits to demonstrate your potential, nudging viewers toward deeper engagement.

2)  Promote your Brand to Attract Talent:

A blog allows a chance to profile your company’s employees, showing the human face of your enterprise. Whether a college degree, special award, or new business license, a blog enables a business owner to boast about their talents and human assets. This is the time and place to boast about achievements and milestones. Whatever a business has to offer, a blog allows a channel to share the value of their human capital.

3)  Share Testimonials:

A blog lets potential customers hear from the horse’s mouth. Did you know that 50 % of customers   make purchases after researching products online, and 92% trust referrals from people they know? Online testimonials offer a personal connection in researching your product or service. Blogs are the perfect venue to showcase good karma and positive goodwill.

4)  Drive Traffic to your Website:

When customers read your blog, they are nearly twice as likely to click on your website. The more engaging the blog, the more hits will accumulate on your main website. Blogs offer the perfect chance for engagement with clientele. One simple link multiplies exposure to the site providing information

5)  Analyze Demographics:

Any marketing campaign needs user data. The back-end data from site visits provides feedback on the geographic and behavioral characteristics of your audience, and hence allows wise use of advertising dollars. Google Analytics and SEO software can prove valuable tools in breaking down this information.

6)  Promote Business Partners:

Most businesses have partners involved in their supply chain or service delivery. A blog provides opportunities to plug fellow companies. Business relationships are by nature reciprocal, and owners can expect good karma from small acts to promote your fellow travelers in the industry.

7)  Involve Employees:

Your business allows creation of a fun, vibrant workplace community. A blog allows the showcasing of get-togethers, life events, and updates about your workforce. Every time a worker shares these updates on social media, more attention is drawn to your company. Every time they tell a friend about their fun workplace activity, you spread positive word of mouth.

Better yet, with each share, your SEO numbers go up. Engagement with your own website increases, and your business will more likely appear in search results.

8)  Earn Cash through Promotions and Advertisements:

A blog provides advertising space, and selling these promotional opportunities only adds to your company’s value. Not only can a blog provide saleable advertising space, but other ideas may include selling products online, providing internet-based courses, and conducting online market research.

9)  Inform Customers of Socially Conscious Activities:

Community engagement provides some of the best advertising opportunities. Did you know that 85% of customers are more likely to support businesses that donate or volunteer?  Bloggers should not hesitate to draw attention to their good works and promote relevant causes. Goodwill from customers and good karma follows.

Conclusion:

Online marketing is all about engagement. Engagement provides outreach as well as market feedback necessary to adapt products and services to their relevant markets. Blogs are vibrant, living documents that provide a dynamic, engaging sphere for client outreach. The above strategies can maximize traffic to both your blog and your website, adapting your business to your specialized market niche as well as changing demands.

If you are not already a member of VAMBOA, please consider joining.  There are not any dues or membership fees.  We provide a great deal of valuable information weekly.  You can also proudly display the VAMBOA seal on your website and collateral.

Here is a link to sign up:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

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