Many people ask us whats the best way to get into social media marketing – What shall I do first? Is Twitter relevant to us? How can I do it?… and so on. Of course there are many answers and roads to travel depending on the type of business and where you are now with your internet presence.
However – there is one approach which works well for most companies, and provides a bridge to enable you to evolve into Social Media and at the same time act as a hub and focus for your other online marketing activities.
It involves building a blog. I’m a much bigger fan nowadays of blogs and I really do see them as the epicentre of all your web marketing – even more so than your website. Your website is still essential as the ultimate destination for visitors and a means to convert them to buyers or enquiries, but the blog can be the driving force.
What will your Blog do?
Below there’s a summary of the way you can use your blog to drive your social media and other web marketing activities. To set one up is easy – as we’ve discussed before using wordpress or typepad and integrating the blog within your domain is a straightforward process. (See previous post on this.)
Here’s one of my favourite blogs and notice all the ways youve got of ongoing communication with visitors – you can sign up by email, you can subscribe via RSS, you can socially bookmark, it links both ways to facebook and Twitter….
The bigger issue most people have is deciding what to blog about – but actually there’s no shortage if you consider the volume of information your company publishes:-
-new product information
-industry specific information – new legislation, new trends
-lessons and ‘how to do’s’
-‘hints and tips’
…and so on. In fact everytime your produce any communication content consider your blog a receptacle for it – even your video footage.
Here’s a diagrammatic representation of your Blog at the centre of your web marketing…..
The crucial thing of course is to make sure there’s some value added content there – so a ‘good’ blog is really what we should be talking about. You can include all the other stuff but make sure (as we do on this blog) you are giving some valuable information away like lessons and ‘how to do’ guides. This will ensure people link to you (which of course helps with SEO) and sign up to receive info from you automatically – as illustrated on Seth’s blog above.
Your Blog and SEO
You will capture the ‘long tail’ as you blog – further, as we discussed above, you’ll develop backlinks naturally.
Your Blog and Email Marketing
As we do, send a regular newsletter to people with links back to the blog where the detailed relevent content is stored
Your Blog and Social Bookmarking
Give people the opportunity of bookmarking your site to increase your visibility and backlinks – also you might proactively bookmark your own posts in the major sites (Digg, delicious etc) – there’s a full list of around 125 of them here.
Your Blog and your PR
Any press releases you send out can be stored on your blog and linked to via emails and social bookmarking sites. Again this will help increase the value of your blog and the SEO
Your Blog and Social Media
The two everone’s concerned about are Twitter and Facebook. If you dont have time to frequent these phenomena then do as we do and link your blog directly to them. What happens when I blog is that it gets fed directly into Twitter and then to Facebook – saves loads of time.
Your Blog and your Videos
Upload your videos to your blog for greater impact and also to help visibility via search engines – courtesy of Google Universal Search these should show up in search engine results – post them on YouTube too
So, the key message is integrate your blog with your website then use it as the springboard to evolve your online marketing and engage social media. Over time this will increase your visibility via search engines as well as all the important social media sites.