Marketing Student Views

Perspectives by GMU Internet Marketing Students


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Social Media Marketing: Blogging to build a brand

Blogger: Ashley Hawkins

Social Media is one of the main forms of communication today. Social Media Marketing typically targets efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages users to share that content on their social networks. Social networking sites and blogs allow the person to “retweet” or “post” comments about the subject they’re reading about. By amplifying these messages out on social media sites, more traffic about the company or product is being produced. When a company reaches out to potential customers, the brand grows exponentially as more people share it. Social networking sites include a gigantic amount of information about what products and services clients might be interested in. Companies that recognize they need more feedback about launching new campaigns which social media helps them accomplish.  Companies turn to blogs to make their products admired and exclusive, and ultimately reach out to consumers via social media sites.  Blogs are now the force behind a brand’s online identity.

In the article, “Building your Blog”, Brianna Smith discusses how to structure a blog post in a presentation which covers the following critical post components:

  • Blog title best practices
  • Heading usage
  • Paragraph length
  • Using bulleted/numbered lists
  • Optimal post length
  • Best practices for adding links
  • Creating sources
  • Adding images

What Brianna Smith suggests in the article, helps us understand the important aspects in creating your blog. Creating a blog can be a fun, exciting and educational passage.  I was  thinking about starting a restaurant review blog, because I love going out to eat and telling people about my experiences at restaurants. With these critical post components Smith provides is helpful when your first thinking about how to start a blog.

In another article “Is Your Business Blog Serving up the Right Information?” by Linda Dessau she mentions on November 7, 2013 a couple hundred marketing professionals gathered in Toronto for a meshmarketing conference. A meshmarketing conference is a one-day event to interact with digital marketing leaders, connect with peers and prospects, and to gather an understanding of new developments that might affect your business. Some of the discussed topics at 2013’s conference were social media and content marketing. Dessau mentions the highlight of the conference was the closing Keynote presentation by Jay Baer, author of Youtility.  “Youtility” is a book written by Jay Baer who is a New York Times best-selling author, a marketing keynote speaker and consultant. Baer has a blog that ranked as the #1 content marketing blog in the world. The concept of Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers, instead of marketing that’s needed by companies. Youtility is massively helpful information that creates trust between the company and the customers. The concept of Youtility makes sense because we are in an age of information overload with the amount of information that’s on the internet. We are also in a mobile world, where we need information right here, right now.

At meshmarketing conference they mentioned “a survey found that, on average, by the time a B2B customer contacted a sales rep they had already completed 60% of their purchasing decision process.” Self-serve information is what B2B customers are looking for. No one likes calling a company in order to wait on hold for twenty minutes just to fix a small billing issue. So when writing your next blog post, they suggest check whether the information is self-serve or self-serving. 

Dessau lists some different types of self-serve blog post to offer customers and prospective customers:

  • A “how to” article that helps the reader solve a specific problem
  • Tips and insights about a topic your ideal customer is interested in
  • A video demonstration about how to complete a task
  • A review of a book, website or other resource that will be helpful to ideal customer

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Building a Brand through Blogging

Blogger: William Ruckert

In the world today companies can spend up to billions of dollars on getting their company to achieve “franchise in the mind”. Paul Chaney used the term “franchise in the mind” in his blog “7 Ways to Build a Brand Using Blogs.” “Franchise in the mind” is when a customer automatically thinks of the company when thinking of a certain product or service. The problem is most companies do not have this kind of money to spend on marketing campaigns, so away to achieve this “franchise in the mind” is by creating a blog. There are a few major ways to build your brand through blogging.

When starting a blog the creator needs to start by creating a Online persona. The creator needs to tell the story of the product and company. It needs to let the consumers and potential consumers know what the company/product is about. The customer needs to be drawn in and believe the creation story of the company. The blogger can tell the story in the description of the blog. Also throughout the blogs the blogger can continually remind the readers of what the company stands for.

When creating a blog, a community should also be created with the blog. The community can be created on other forms of Social Media and directly on the blog webpage. The creator can use tools message boards, customer ratings, and profiles for their users on the blog page directly. If Social Media is being used also, it must be continually updated just like the blog itself. These communities will help create conversation and connection with the company and consumer.

A blog needs to promote conversations and connections by using the tools previously listed. The posts the blogger creates need to generate comments and questions from the readers. The blogger needs to answers these questions, through the varies forms of interaction. The blogger must also be able to eliminate any concerns that customers or potential customers might see, through the different forms of communication also. Concerns that customers might have are if the product or service is beneficial, cost efficient, or any other issue that the customer might see. Connections are also a major part of blogs. Connection is building a sense of belonging between the product, the consumer, and the blog. These connections will make the consumer needs to visit the blog and read what is going on with the product. This connection can be built by regularly updating the blog, posting relevant information for the customers, and offer incentives to reading the blog. Incentives could include coupons, giveaways, and others. Without this connection the readers can easily find a new blog to visit.

Having guest bloggers can greatly help out a blog. Guest bloggers can lead to more followers to your blog that trust what the guest has to say. These guest bloggers are the authority on the product they talk about to their followers. These guest bloggers can be popular people on websites like Youtube. They can compare different products and services that that they are known for using. By allowing this authority to talk about your product can lead to the followers trusting your product and using it.

To have a successful branding by using a blog, the blogger will need all these aspects together. They also must use all of these parts correctly. The blog creator needs to keep up with changes in social media, regularly answer the questions consumers have, and address the concerns they also have. So the blogger must use all these different tools continuously to be affective at branding their blog.

First Article: http://www.careerealism.com/build-brand-blogging/

Second Article: http://www.freshbusinessthinking.com/business_advice.php?AID=11794&Title=Boost+Your+Brand+Through+Guest+Blogging#.UnvKz5RASH2