9th October, 2015
Here I am, five weeks into my new role as Business Development Manager at Cavendish Consortium and I’ve been asked by Davina, our Marketing Manager to write a blog. Given that its a while since I last wrote one, I thought I’d better take a look and see what the current thinking is around blogging. As part of this process I took a look at some others for inspiration, partly useful and partly off putting! There’s that pressure too of being humorous and current – I just need to get over that though, because part of the reason for blogging is to be current, credible and interesting. So, with a bit of research and some inspiration from current articles, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn articles, and a few newsletters, off I set ….
Here we go, the first of many to come!
“Why do I need to blog?” you might be asking yourself! Well, there are some interesting statistics around why you should blog, two of the most dramatic for me being:-
Marketers who have prioritised blogging are 13% more likely to enjoy positive ROI. This is due to the fact that blogging will increase your online presence and help you get found. A blog is accessible 24/7 thus making it a flexible and efficient means of promotion.
My motivation here is that it is free. Set up your devices (phones, tablets and lap tops) to make it as easy and efficient as possible. Maximise the digital age…take notes on your phone, take some photos on your phone to use for your blog and across your Social Media channels.
By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human. Customers, partners and stakeholders are all more likely than ever to research through the internet and make a decision about your credibility and forming a relationship with you going forward.
Get ready for this by embracing the digital age, learn from colleagues, share tips and thought. Sign up for social media channels, start following the social media gurus, for those of you that have a teen, or two, in the house get them to give you a master class!
A blog is a really simple cost effective and efficient method of engaging with new contacts and growing and building relationships with current ones. The only cost involved is your time!
So, how do you blog successfully?
Choose your platform – there are a number of free blogging options available. Do some research and decide which is the most appropriate for your business needs and which has positive reviews about it’s ease of use and simplicity. There are also some great free learning resources available, to support you on developing and utilising your platform – YouTube has a number of tutorials which are an amazing method of self-development and help.
Research the available platforms, use a list to critique them against your needs, check out what deals are available.
Be engaging – write about something which you are genuinely interested in so that your blog is authentic and congruent. Your audience will be able to ascertain your interest in the subject as it will be projected in your communications. Also by using images and image rich content this will engage with your audience – 65% of people are visual, so play to the masses. There are a huge number of Instagram and Pinterest followers, this is because they are so visually appealing that they automatically create interest with their followers.
One of the best bogs I have seen was just a series of images, no words were needed! Not suggesting that you will get away with that, as this blog was an artist’s blog taken as he journeyed Africa and India https://gregorycolbert.com/
But some key visuals definitely add impact!
Be useful – your blog needs to be of use and value to your audience for them to justify reading it and for them to re-engage with you and your blog. Research anything current and of interest to your target audience. Analyse your target audience; Who exactly are they? What are their demographics? Use this information to inform your research and then ensure that your content is both useful and relevant.
Think about what you would find useful and how you would like to be delivered such information in a light, informal but pertinent way.
Marketing – this can be achieved through blogging by simply engaging with the comments on your blog and by adding comments on to other influential blogger’s pages. Check what the current trends and interests are and then use this research and analysis to write ‘on trend’ content.
Again research who are the key players in your sectoral field or speciality, follow them and comment with useful and insightful notes on their blogs. This will ensure your name is getting out there and spreading across multiple platforms. Be careful about not using it as a hard sell though as that will just create a negative reaction with your readers.
Maintenance – a blog needs to be current and regularly updated. Schedule in your blog posts regularly and at the same time, so that your followers know what to expect and when. This can be done as part of your Social Media strategy which would include having an events calendar for all Social Media outlets. Ensure that you have proofed, spell checked and grammar checked the content so that you maintain credibility!
Proofing is a key one here, I say this from the heart!, in the age of autocorrect and predictive texting, it can be so very easy to make a huge boo-boo, also check that what you are cutting and pasting is going from the correct document to the correct final source!
Be approachable and personable – encourage your followers to comment on your blog thus encouraging interaction and debate. By having positive topic content and contribution you will encourage the same back from your audience. By being approachable and friendly this will encourage your audience to follow you and make positive contribution. Through the use of humour you can also be engaging and encourage a following.
Get some inspiration by checking out your favourite personalities blogs – how do they come across? What is their tone? How do they disperse their humour through the blog? Ensure that your content is not infringing on copyright, if referencing or quoting remember to refer to the source and give credit.
Lastly, enjoy it! Let your personality and humour shine through so that you create positive relationships with your readers. In ‘Give and Take’ (a hugely insightful read by Adam Grant) he describes how you can spot a ‘Taker’ by their Social Media presence. Be a ‘Giver’ by blogging amazing content which is useful, beneficial and positive in its intent.
So there we are! My first blog for a while and, hopefully, the start of a rekindled enthusiasm!
Practice what you preach and all that, I shall be aiming at one a week – its now in writing, therefore I am committed and it is official. Accountability is a strong motive!
Written by Dawn Musgrave, Business Development Manager, Cavendish Consortium
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