In the last newsletter we looked at PR. This month we will introduce digital marketing generally, and look at blogging in a bit more detail.
What is digital marketing?
Put simply it is using the internet and other digital tools to promote your business. Digital marketing is fast developing and very dynamic. There is a term, Web 2.0, which is essentially a new era of web marketing which has moved on from the static webpage into something far more interactive allowing you to have a dialogue with potential as well as existing customers, as well as using multi media promotional tools.
This is a large and growing area full of jargon, and I am not going to attempt to explain it all here but we will look at a few digital marketing tools to give you a flavour.
Some of the digital marketing tools you may come across:
- Search Engine Optimisation - using a variety of methods to attempt to move your website up the search engine rankings.
- Pay per click - where you pay every time someone clicks on your sponsored link, often on search engines that would be the highlighted top two or three and those in the column to the right.
- Banner marketing - where you pay other sites that display your banner every time a search topic is entered by a visitor, and where the visitor can click through to the relevant part of your site.
- Blogging - more on this in a minute.
- Email marketing - using email formats such as newsletters to promote and keep in touch with your audience.
- SMS marketing to mobile phones.
- Social networking and online forums.
- Podcasting and videos.
We will pick off a few of these in future newsletters, but let's look at blogging in more detail.
So what is a blog?
Most of us are familiar with personal blogs which can range from a collection of random thoughts to a life journal. Business blogging allows you as a business owner to share your knowledge and expertise in your specialist subject, and to help build reputation and credibility. Apart from the opportunity to impress, blogs are a tool to direct and increase traffic to your website - although you don't need a website to blog.
Even without a website you can get a presence on the internet by using one of several free online tools as a platform for your blogs such as blogger.com, wordpress.org and others that are easily found on search engines.
Business blogs tend to be more structured and planned than a personal one, but personal style is important and will be much less formal than most of your marketing material.
In stark contrast to the days when material on the web was static information, blogs are far more dynamic and interactive and give you a chance of a dialogue with your customers.
Blogs once born need to be nurtured, so be prepared to feed your blog at least weekly.
So what makes an effective blog? Opinions vary but here are some:
- The subject matter and content must be interesting and relevant to your audience.
- You should know your stuff.
- Enough and no more (no attempts at War and Peace).
- Update your blog at least weekly to keep your audience coming back.
- Develop your own style of writing, business blogs can be fun as well as informative, but watch the balance and remember why you are doing it; avoid talking about yourself.
- Don't compromise on the quality of your writing - ensure good grammar and correct spelling.
- Don't ramble; choose your topics and organise your content carefully. There are some high quality business blogs out there, yours will be found along with them and compared accordingly.
- Research what other business bloggers are writing, but for inspiration not content as copyright laws apply.
- Let people know who you are and how to contact you.
- Don't try to sell: whilst the ultimate aim is promote your business and sell more to existing and new customers, blogs are not sales pitches.
- Encourage readers to receive an RSS feed of your blog.
- Use key search words in your blog because you want to be found.
- Create links to your website if you have one and to other material you have written.
- Encourage your audience to comment and give feedback.
Participate and comment on other bloggers' sites.
For free marketing workshops and seminars see: http://www.bookevents.org
Next time we will start to look at email marketing and a few rules and regulations on digital marketing.
That's all for this month.
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