Blogs are no longer just an expression of an individual or a platform to share one’s ideas and thoughts. Blogs have started to be one of the most influential and useful tools in the market space. It’s an excellent way to showcase thought leadership as well as keep consumers updated on what’s happening in the company and with the products/services. It is important to note that, in business blogging, the blogs must be related to the key area of the business and needs to be engaging for the readers. That being said, there are still a lot of businesses that are not very active in the blogging in spite of the inherent benefits of blogging. This blog aims to bring out the importance of business blog!
Increases traffic to your website
A website is a great asset to any company and anything that brings traffic to the site only doubles the asset’s value. The traffic on a website is very crucial, which indeed serves in achieving the objective of the site. One of the main reasons why people don’t return to a brand’s website is because it is idle and inactive. Blogs give the internet users a great reason to visit your site and increase the traffic. According to a HubSpot survey, 60% of the brands who have constant blogging on their websites acquire more customers than the others. Blogs help people or potential customers discover your website amongst million others. This happens when the blogs are informational and also related to what users would like to read from your website. It is also said that blogging shows a professional approach for the brand business. By providing useful information, it attracts people to visit the site even repeatedly. Who wouldn’t like more visitors to their website, anyway?
Increases Search Engine traffic
To appear in SERP #1 is a dream! And to get there, you need to really work hard . There are more than 200 aspects which determine your rank in Google. But, nothing like some good content! Blogs are now a vital part of Search Engine Optimization and can be leveraged upon in two ways. One, include it as just an additional index page to your website which Google then identifies and eventually will garner organic search results. Another way is to include targeted keywords and links which will help in increasing the ranking of the site by getting you noticed more in the search results. This exercise becomes easier with the help of SEO plug-ins. By using an SEO plug-in like Yoast which calculates the density of the appearance of the focus keyword in the blog will check whether the right keyword is used on the blog. Research shows blogging increases inbound links by 97 percent, the most important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Quality content and regular updates are an indication to Google that the website is active with a routine content flow! Explore some of the latest SEO hacks, here.
Customer Acquisition and Lead generation
The ultimate goal for every business, big or small is to generate revenue and blogs help you do that. Regular blogging, as mentioned earlier increases the traffic to your website. Small businesses with blogs are said to generate more leads by 126%. The increase in traffic will result in more people taking note of your business and eventually exploring the rest of your website where all your business services are listed. This is a great way of acquiring customers without bombarding them with self-promotional content. While creating content you should keep in mind that every person who visits your website has the potential to be a customer. When your target audience finds your blog interesting, they may be more interested in your business than they were before and the chances of conversion are higher.
Content creation for social media platforms
Another reason why blogs are important to your business is that they create a huge content value for Social Media Marketing. It is almost mandatory for brands to have an identity on social media and the only differentiation is content. Content defines your brand identity and helps you stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Creating quality content in the form of blogs and sharing them on the social media channels can help get more reach. The number of likes, shares, retweets will testify for your content. Here’s an interesting and informative blog post that was shared on social media for amplification.There are many other ways to amplify your content online. Click here to read about it.
Helps in building the brand
Branding is the core element to develop your business. Every business is striving hard to create a brand for them and to make people see them as THE BRAND and not just any brand. Blogging is a huge opportunity for you to build a brand for your company. It is, after all, the most organic method of getting people to notice your brand online. The key is to create a blog which adds value and is unique in its content approach and style. By creating specific, targeted content, you may focus more specifically on your target audience leading to increasing your exposure among people. Learn how Content Marketing is one best way to give your brand an image!
Establishes authority and expertise
A good blog always answers a question, solves a problem or gives something valuable for a takeaway. When a brand constantly shares blogs that are useful to the customers, it develops an authoritative image in their minds. For example, for a group of angel investors, blog topics like- Tips for entrepreneurs, How to grow as a startup etc. along with other business strategies are going to be of some value to their readers. The ultimate aim is that when a user reads your blog, he/she should finish it with some value-addition. When people find answers or solutions on our blog, they are more likely to become your follower and they start seeing you as a source of information. Here are 10 ways to create better content for your readers.
Increases customer interaction
It is important for any brand to stay connected with their audience. The underlying factor behind the success of any business is the concern to satisfy the end customer and not just run your firm for money. To do so, brands should establish a good rapport with the customers. To improve on the customer interactions front, brands need to establish higher recall. The question is how do blogs help in this aspect? A higher recall can be established for your brand when you provide knowledge to your consumers and this, in turn, improves the relationship your brand has with the customers. It helps build trust which turns into brand loyalty eventually.
In a world where content speaks for itself and does half the job of a brand, blogs are the most crucial thing to look upon as a marketer. When blogging becomes a strategy in your marketing plan, you get a powerful tool to fight against your online competitors. If your company hasn’t started blogging, this piece is an indicator that it should!
Was this blog useful? Share your thoughts on other reasons you started blogging!
A quick glance at the above stats conveys a simple but important message: Be it business owners, industry experts, students or entrepreneurs – LinkedIn cannot be ignored. And, B2B companies have more reasons to be active on LinkedIn – it’s an excellent platform to generate quality leads. Here’s how you can get more B2B leads using LinkedIn:
LinkedIn Groups are an excellent platform to connect with peers within your industry. It allows you to join up to 50 groups, and you should make the most of it by joining groups in your industry. Once you are part of a LinkedIn group, you can easily filter the members based on your criteria and your prospect list is ready.
Direct Sponsored Content
The direct sponsored content feature helps to promote an industry whitepaper, a case-study or a blog post right in your prospects feed. The features such as Localization helps in precise targeting for your sponsored content to a specific region. Instead of a direct sales pitch, content that helps the prospects in their business has higher chances of getting more traction.
Long-form content can get you a double bonus
The long-form posts on LinkedIn is an excellent way to showcase your brand or expertise in the relevant target segment. In a lot of cases discussed in my network, long-form professional content also help in the professional job searches. It also has more reach compared to the short-form posts.
Reverse engineering the content strategy
A “spray-pray” approach for content marketing will never produce results. Reverse engineering can give your content strategy a definitive edge. What this means is – instead of sharing only “hard-sell” content, you can share content that will benefit your target audience. For example, it can be simple tips to help their businesses or new developments in their industry.
The more attractive it is, the more traction it gets
A closer look at the LinkedIn stats suggest that the visually attractive posts helps a long way in getting traction for your content. Just addition of an image to the content post can help to get 90-100% more engagement than a post without an image. Addition of SlideShare presentations can give another big jump in the engagement rates.
Do you leverage LinkedIn to generate leads for your business? Comment & let us know why or why not.
In today’s rapidly changing marketing landscape, digital marketing has become an indispensable part of a business’ overall marketing strategy. Most marketers today have understood the importance of digital marketing and the mammoth difference that a well-executed, result-oriented digital strategy could make to the overall growth and profitability of a business. Going by the Marketing Budgets 2014 Report, 71% of companies surveyed are planning to increase the amount they invest in digital marketing this year.
Crafting a Result-Oriented Digital Strategy
Crafting a winning digital plan entails understanding the business in and out, clearly defining its goals and drawing up a profile of its target audience. All these differ from business to business and hence there is no one size fits all strategy. However, there are certain key ingredients listed below which must be effectively incorporated into every digital strategy to successfully drive business growth.
1. Website Design
The website is, and should be, the focal point of every digital strategy as this is where traffic from every other digital marketing channel would be directed. A poorly designed website can ruin most of the effort being put in on the other channels. Listed below are some key questions to ask, while checking if your website is optimized to convert maximum visitors into leads/customers.
Is the website responsive and optimized for all browsers and mobile devices?
Is it correctly Search Engine Optimized?
Does it have a Clear Call-to-Action?
Is it clean and easy to navigate?
Are there multiple lead capture points
Is the contact email/phone clearly visible and clickable?
Is there a link to the business’ Social Media pages?
2. Search Engine Optimisation
Amongst all other components of a digital strategy, SEO plays a major role in customer acquisition and sales. Almost every customer begins their search for a product/service on a search engine and ranking high in search results, for the right keyword, can drive a large volume of organic (un-paid) traffic to your website.
With paid advertising getting increasingly expensive across channels, it is essential that every business invests in SEO to attract a good percentage of organic traffic, reduce the overall customer-acquisition cost and boost profitability.
Maintaining a blog which constantly shares valuable, informative, engaging and relevant content plays a pivotal role in attracting the right kind of audience to your website. Apart from this, it also establishes your business as an expert or thought leader in the space and builds trust with prospective customers. Apart from the fact that a good blog can be an excellent source of inbound traffic and leads, the content helps your SEO efforts as well.
4. Social Media
Social media is an extremely effective medium for branding as well as lead generation and developing a cutting-edge social media plan should be a major part of your digital strategy. The plan would entail clarifying business objectives for social media, putting together a content plan (audience analysis, content categories, post frequency, post timings) and determining the main metrics and KPIs that would be used to consistently set targets and measure success
5. Paid Advertising – Google Adwords/Facebook Ads/LinkedIn Ads/Retargeting
Paid advertising is essential, especially for businesses that are in the startup stage, to help get the word out and extend their products/services to a greater audience. It can help get consistent and valuable traffic to the website while SEO and offline efforts are yet to begin showing results. For established businesses too, paid advertising is an excellent customer acquisition and branding channel and should be given due attention while drafting the digital strategy.
While paid search campaigns on Google Adwords offer the benefit of being highly targeted – displaying ads to people actively looking for your product/service, retargeting campaigns as well as campaigns on the Google Display Network, Facebook and LinkedIn offer a wide range of targeting that could help you reach out to the right audience with ease. Promoted posts on Facebook and sponsored updates on LinkedIn too help get the message out to a larger audience.
Each medium’s relevance and effectiveness for the business in question must be analyzed and ad spends allocated accordingly. Spends can then be re-allocated to the medium that is performing best and delivering the best results.
6. Email Marketing
With the growing popularity of social media, email would seem to be losing out on its sheen as an effective digital marketing channel. However, this is far from the truth and email marketing is still as effective as ever. If statistics are anything to go by, 95% of consumers use email and 91% check their inbox at least once a day. Also, a recent study by McKinsey found that e-mail is still a significantly more effective way to acquire customers with the rate at which e-mails prompt purchases being at least three times that of social media and the average order value too being about 17 percent higher.
7. Analytics & Reporting
As the digital strategy is being executed, it is of paramount importance to constantly analyze results and compare them with the set KPIs to check if all campaigns are on track to yielding the desired results. It is therefore essential to draw up a list of key metrics, for each of the channels listed above, that will be monitored and measured at pre-set intervals.
Keeping a close tab on analytics data can help drive the strategy in the right direction and correct any errors early enough before a considerable amount of money has been spent.
Right Integration is the key
Each ingredient in the digital plan has its own unique benefits and, in order to gain real value, they will have to be perfectly integrated keeping in mind the broader long-term goals of the business. It is this seamless integration that will eventually determine how successful the strategy will be and how quickly it will begin showing desirable results. Offline Integration matters too
Digital Marketing definitely has its benefits but it still cannot replace offline marketing in entirety, at least for now. Forward-thinking marketers have understood this and are working on integrating offline and online marketing efforts into one synchronous campaign for a powerful lasting impact. Things as simple as on online check-in help customers communicate their physical interaction with your business, to the online world . Ensuring that your digital strategy integrates seamlessly with your offline efforts will go a long way in enhancing the bottom line of your business and boosting your ROI.
Is your digital marketing strategy working for your business? Contact us for a review of your online marketing activities.
In 1639, a Nayak ruler handed over a small strip of land to the East India Company to build its trading warehouse. Little was known that it would lay the foundation for one of the historic cities of India in years to come.
22nd August, 2014 would mark the 375thanniversary of Chennai, earlier known as Madras. As part of the 375thanniversary celebrations, the Murugappa group has launched the #TheMadrasSong to celebrate the occasion & give a fitting tribute to the history, tradition, and culture of this city.
Check out the song that captures the soul of Madras:
In fact, the Murugappa group has planned a notable month-long campaign to celebrate the 375thyear with already underway contests such as #FavMadrasMemory Map & photo contest, daily Madras trivia and the upcoming Murugappa Madras Quotient Quiz 4theditionon 6th September.
#FavMadrasMemory Map app that asks people to mark the spots that has given them their fondest Madras memory, has turned out to be very popular among the citizens here. It gives them a chance to reflect back to the memorable times spent in the city.
This is the time to be in Madras and enjoy the city at its best. Umpteen other events have been planned across the city such as quizzes, heritage walks, photo exhibitions, lectures, etc. Social Beat is proud to be associated with the #Madras375 Celebrations.
The social media space has always been extremely dynamic with all players constantly rolling out changes to their platforms. It was LinkedIn’s turn last week when they announced that, from 14th April 2014, they will be doing away with the Products and Services tab from Company Pages.
Exit Products & Services Tab
The move has evoked mixed reactions from users with most being unhappy with it. A large number of businesses have invested a lot of time and effort to showcase all their products and services on the page and to get recommendations from their clients. Come April 14th, this page will disappear and all the work that has been put in will be gone. All the recommendations will be gone too, and the official Linked In announcement suggests you “copy them from the tab into your own document” or request a copy through a support request, if you want to keep them.
Another group of users believe that the move to do away with the tab makes perfect sense since a very small number of visitors to the page actually clicked on the Products & Services Tab. The tab also lacked images, and the Static content on it is not as much as viewed as content updates, which have a far greater reach. In fact, analytics for the Social Beat company page on LinkedIn show that barely 10% of page visitors clicked on the Product & Services tab.
Social Beat Product & Services Page Analytics
Many also view the change as LinkedIn’s attempt to do away with static content (which, once written, remains on the page for people to see), thereby forcing users to use dynamic updates to communicate with their follower base. These could be monetized much more easily using LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates.
Either way, change has to be embraced and the best made out of it. So, now that the Products and Services page has been done away with, how do you showcase your businesses products and services and get visibility for them on LinkedIn? The answer lies in LinkedIn Showcase pages.
Enter Showcase Pages
Introduced by LinkedIn in November 2013, Showcase Pages are dedicated pages that allow companies to highlight different aspects of their business, products and services and build relationships with the right community. They are like sub-pages of the main company page and each of them can be used to promote specific products and services to a specific buyer persona.
LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool and it is worth investing time and effort to make the transition to Showcase pages. Here are the advantages of Showcase pages, which is why you must use them.
Social Beat – Showcase page for SEO
Why you must use Showcase pages
Build a Targeted audience – You now have a dedicated page to post updates for each particular aspect of your business and build a targeted audience for that product or service. And if your content is appealing enough for your audience to share it, you will be able to organically expand your reach for each product/service.
Focus: Showcase pages focus entirely on the product or service. There are no careers, products, or services tabs on them as they are on Company pages.
Analytics: Showcase pages have their own analytics on follower engagement, trends and demographics.
Two-column layout: Unlike Company pages, where updates show up in a single column format, Showcase page updates show up in two columns which make it easier for users to scroll through content. Showcase pages also have a larger and more prominent hero image.
All showcase pages branch off from the company page and link back to them, creating a centralized page structure. You can create upto 10 showcase pages.
Users can follow only that part of your business that they are most interested in and receive updates tailor-made for them.
Some other Showcase Page constraints include the need for each Showcase page to be managed, updated and edited separately, and the 10-page limit which may not work well for larger companies.
However, Showcase pages are still in their initial stage and these constraints could just be considered teething trouble which LinkedIn would definitely work on improvising as these pages become more mainstream and popular. For now, it is best to work through these limitations and focus on leveraging this new feature for business growth.
What is your take on LinkedIn Showcase pages? Have you begun building them for your business?
Google recently reported that India is its fastest growing market in the small and medium business category for Google Adwords.
Small and medium size enterprises (SME) in India are increasingly using the digital medium to target local customers and generate more leads or sales. Google’s advertising platform, AdWords can be crucial in targeting advertisements at prospective customers searching for a product/service. When targetting a specific customer in a specific locality or to a customer searching for a specific product there is no better means to taget than Adwords. Facebook advertising may be a way to build the brand from a long term perspective but Google Adwords is excellent for short term sale and conversions.
Knowing the number of SMEs in India (which Google puts at 47 million) its no wonder that India has surged ahead to become the fastest growing SME market for Google. So have you tried it for your business yet?