Small business blog marketing isn't easy, but it's one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways of growing your online business. It requires persistence and hard work, but fundamentally, anyone can do it if they put their mind to it.
Here are three strategies we constantly see utilized for great effect. These are the things that successful blogs do, and you should too!
1 - Blog Consistently!
If there is any reasonable way of defining small business blog marketing strategies that work, it has to be based around customer acquisition. Fundamentally, you only get a return on your investment if someone buys something.
On the matter of converting visitors into viable customers, Blogspot's 2012 "State of Inbound Marketing" report makes one key element quite clear: The more you blog, the more likely you are to gain customers.
Among companies with blogs, only 43% those who posted less than monthly reported gaining a customer through their blog. Among those who post multiple times a day, that number rises to 92%. And it's a pretty smooth progression the whole way. The more often and consistently you blog, the more likely your blog is to attract actual paying customers.
Maintaining this level of output can be tricky, especially for small operations. That's one of the biggest reasons we recommend those who are serious about content marketing investigate article writing services as a way to obtain quality content in the quantities needed to make your small business blog marketing strategies pay off.
2 - Pursue Social Media
As we've mentioned before, we strongly feel that your online marketing strategies are best served by pairing blogging and social media strategies, using one to reinforce the other. There's no reason for it to be an either-or game when they both have so much to offer.
You should ensure that you have social media sharing buttons available for every blog you post, to encourage people to share them. A popular link shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Linked-In can result in a huge influx of hits. Likewise, while you probably should not use your social media accounts to announce every single blog you post, use it to promote major articles that you think have the potential to "go viral" or might genuinely provoke debate.
Social media can also be used indirectly to aid your small business blog marketing. The wealth of user information they have is generally put directly into your hands, and you can use it to leverage your market research. Check out Facebook Insights, PeopleBrowser for Twitter as well as their new targeted advertisements, along with other social-tracking systems like Klout to learn as much as you can about your audience.
3 - Become an Authority
Easier said than done, right? Well, while truly becoming a respected expert authority is quite hard, it's still quite possible to create the appearance that you are one, and that's one of the main ways to go about actually becoming one.
The key is to structure your blog and website to encourage people to continue reading your content once you're there. The more you can create an air of authority, the better that will go, and the more likely they are to either share your content, decide to make a purchase, or (hopefully) both!
Here are a few general tips:
Blog on a wide variety of topics relating to your own industry. The more ground you can cover with good articles, the better it looks.
Use plenty of internal links. When you mention a topic you've talked about previously, link back to the past article.
Utilize intelligent tags with a sidebar map allowing users to easy access information on specific topics.
When adding external links, link to the highest-quality sites you can find.
This last one's a toughie: be willing to admit when you're wrong and post updated blogs when needed.
What other effective small business blog marketing strategies have you discovered?