Business, Business writing, Marketing

Excel with Business Blogging: The Customer’s Voice

ID-10034913Capturing the customer’s voice is a value-added feature for a blog because it invites people to share their thoughts and ideas. A customer’s voice is captured in the comments that are made on the blog’s platform. Comments providing stories about how the customer uses your product or service are golden. They uncover new techniques, tricks and tips that can benefit your customers and help your research team, sales team, marketers and product developers. Most importantly, these stories can express the value of your offerings.

Customers are more prone to share their thoughts about a business’ products and services when they have developed a relationship. Remember, how you respond to a customer’s comments on your blog speaks volumes about your business. The response can encourage more interaction and more valuable information. Typically, the more ongoing the interaction, the more the business learns its customer’s needs and wants and the more comfortable the customer feels sharing the information.

The relationship you create with your customers can instill confidence that their voice will be heard. Research has shown that the customer’s voice can predict customer retention. It’s positively linked to behavioral intentions that  increase future purchases. It can generate favorable word of mouth, and it influences other customer’s willingness to engage in marketing research initiatives, such as surveys that can help with the evaluation of advertising campaigns and insight on unfulfilled customer needs.

The positive interactions you have with your customers via conversations occurring in your comment section can help heighten the comfort level customers have toward your business.

Learn more about this topic and content marketing with the courses “Excel with Business Blogging” and “Create Your Brand Narrative Bank on Content.”

Images courtesy of phanlop88/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Business, Business writing, Marketing, Small business

Excel with Business Blogging: Niche Blog

Diamond

Diamond

A blog can solidify your connection with your clients. It can establish your reputation and credibility. Browse the blogosphere and you’ll find several blogs covering various topics. However, you’ll likely come across blogs abandoned or rarely updated compared those that are active and frequently updated with fresh content.

The overwhelming amount of blogs may intimidate you as you begin to create your own blog. It may appear that every topic has been addressed more than once. However, don’t let it discourage you. Your unique approach on a topic and passion will bring you success.

Begin your niche blog

The more specific your niche the more likely you’ll build traffic because the content isn’t commonly discussed; and, for some visitors, it’s like finding a rare gem. Your unique approach encourages readers to keep coming back for more.

People often visit your site in their spare time; therefore, the niche and content needs to be appealing to continue to draw traffic. Here are some ways to help define your content, create a theme and make your blog unique.

  • Describe your topic in detail. Leave no stone unturned by discussing all of its components.
  • Compare and contrast your topic with other subjects
  • Uncover the origins of your topic and explain its history, evolution and events that influenced it and what it has influenced.
  • Discuss how others have approached the topic and argue for and against it.
  • Find out how the topic has been applied to provide solutions to challenging problems.

Evaluate your blog posts

Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with a structure for a blog post. Begin with a draft or an outline that answers the questions:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • How?

Get creative

Elevate your creativity and keep eyeballs glued to your content with writing prompts. A writing prompt maybe a single word, short phrase, paragraph or picture that encourages an idea to help you write and it helps encourage your creativity. Here are some examples:

  • It was the beginning of spring
  • The meteorite flashed across the sky
  • The joyous glint in her eyes

Websites like creativewritingprompts.com can give you more prompts to help fuel your creativity. It’s possible to create your own writing prompts by using headlines from the news, a phrase from a conversation you heard or from inspirational quotes.

Learn more about this topic and content marketing with the courses “Excel with Business Blogging” and “Create Your Brand Narrative Bank on Content.”

Image Courtesy of  Boykung/Freedigitalphotos.net

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Excel with Business Blogging: Avoid Corporate Speak

ID-100217746In many corporate environments, business professionals often default into a speech pattern that’s dressed up in business jargon and riddled with words.

Cluttered business communications consisting of complex sentences with lingo and acronyms specific to the corporate environment can cause readers’ eyes to glaze over. In addition, key messages become buried to the point that their relevance is lost and confusing. Here’s an example The OxfordWords blog provides that comes from a memo:

“Going forward, all stakeholders in National Memo Day will be tasked to proactively think outside the box and produce a synergistic vision for growing the impact of this day on the national consciousness.”

In your efforts to persuade, motivate or inspire your blog readers, take the following steps to get rid of corporate speak:

1.)   Read the Content Out Loud: Recruit another colleague to silently read the content with you as you read the material out loud. This person can check for grammar, spelling, jargon and clarity.

2.)   Keep It Simple: Simplify the information you are presenting and get right to the point

3.)   Intrigue with Storytelling: Bring readers along on your business’ journey. Tell them about all your adventures, your challenges and triumphs and encourage them to share their stories as well.

Corporate speak can lead to confusion and communication, keep your readers’ attention, so they can take the action you request and become a part of your community.

Learn more about this topic and content marketing with the courses “Excel with Business Blogging” and “Create Your Brand Narrative Bank on Content.”

Image courtesy of franky242/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

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Excel with Business Blogging: Blogs as Marketing Tools

Blog

  • Blogs organize, create and distribute content
  • Blogs are repositories of information
  • Business blogs focus on a niche

Several marketing tools exist, but when the right one is used it can boost business growth and revenue. When blogs are used as a marketing tool for a business, they can help organize, create and distribute content. This content may consist of a recent press release, audio from a conference or a corporate announcement, photos from events, video of a new building site or a product demonstration. Blogs combine all of this information into a nice repository for employees and customers to access.

Blogs chronicle activities and events much like diaries or journals. They have been in existence for a short while. The first blog, according to New York Magazine, was created in 1994 by Swarthmore student Justin Hall on Links.net. Three years later, an online diarist, John Berger gave the activity a name, “weblog.” By 1999 programmer Merholz to what “blog” and later that year the first popular free blog-creation service came about known as “Blogger.”

Today, blogs are ubiquitous and used often in business. Business blogs differ from a personal blog because they focus on a niche topic, whereas personal blog covers a gamut of topics. Many businesses have recognized the value they bring.  Customers gravitate to they offer information that doesn’t involve a hard sell.

A business blog can generate a loyal following when it educates and connects with the readers and this is achieved with a well-defined focus and a message that inspires and interests your target demographic.

Blogs are an effective marketing tool because they house a business’ content and create value. Marketing messages are intertwined in the narrative in subtle way and products and services are offered through a soft sell.

Learn more about this topic and content marketing with the courses “Excel with Business Blogging” and “Create Your Brand Narrative Bank on Content.”

 

Business, Business writing, Career, Marketing, Small business

*New* Business Blog Series: Excel with Business Blogging

Many of you have asked me how to develop your own blog, so I created a new course on Udemy called: Excel With Business Blogging. I am also going to submit a blog post each week discussing ways for you to develop your own blog and to improve your blog post.

First, here’s more information about the course:

Are you ready to CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE and FULFILL YOUR BUSINESS GOALS?

Do you want to create deeper relationships with your customers to build brand loyalty?

You can in EXCEL WITH BUSINESS BLOGGING.

https://www.udemy.com/excel-at-business-blogging/

This course offers an effective way to IMPROVE YOUR BLOGGING ACTIVITIES via a STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS

You’ll FIND OUT WHY BLOGGING IS THE BEST MARKETING TOOL for your business, LEARN HOW TO PRODUCE COMPELLING CONTENT for your blog posts and DEVELOP THE SKILLS TO WRITE FOR AN ONLINE AUDIENCE.

The Excel with Business Blogging course PROVIDES you with:

  • AN OVERVIEW OF BUSINESS BLOGGING: Learn how blogging gives your brand a personality
  • CRITICAL WRITING TECHNIQUES: Find out how to get creative with your content.
  • BLOGGING GUIDE: This guide acts as textbook for the course.  It provides you with additional information and emphasizes important concepts.
  • CASES STUDIES: Discover effective methods from top business blogs.
  • A CONTENT PLAN: Create a plan that addresses timing, quality, topics, legal risks and policies.
  • AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR DEMO: We don’t just tell you about we arm you with the tools to set up your editorial content today.
  • TEMPLATES: You’ll receive templates for your editorial roadmap calendar, blogging policy, blogging privacy policy and blogging comment policy.

IT’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUSINESS BLOGGING AND THE TOOLS YOU NEED TO GET STARTED …

DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS OPPORTUNITY START TODAY. TAKE 50% OFF WITH THIS COUPON CODE: ITSWRTN50

REVIEWS:

J. Nemetvaraga writes:  “Great course!” I found Brigitte’s approach in presenting this course absolutely spot on; because the lecture material had been presented in a way that it was easy to digest the information and more importantly to the point!”

L. Valderas writes: “Awesome”

Business

Craft a Solid Social Media Policy

ID-100144400Imagine the following occurring at your business. You hire a social media marketing agency to help develop and implement social media strategies for your brand’s advertising and marketing programs. You give the staff access to your corporate accounts. One day you learn that a staff member from the agency drops the F-bomb while tweeting about your industry on your corporate account.  This is the nightmare the Chrysler Group faced.

Crafting a social media policy that outlines your organizations’ guidelines for communicating online saves you from these types of public embarrassments.

Consider this incident.  You notice the Internet is slow. Your IT team works on the problem. They discover the problem is due to issues pertaining to the bandwidth. Too many items have been downloaded, and your IT team attributes those items to the thousands of minutes your employees consumed on Pandora and YouTube. This is a what Procter & Gamble endured.

Don’t let these incidents happen to you.

A social media policy helps you to manage and monitor discussions about the company as well as the use of social media networks by employees.

When you write your policy, account for the company’s personal ethics. In other words, ensure the policy upholds the values of the organization. The policy needs to have a strong legal backbone that addresses issues, such as securing trade secrets, compliance with federal and state laws, privacy and employee liability.  Keep the policy authentic. Even though many generic templates are available online your businesses policy must speak to the company’s culture and focus on the unique ways the business can give value on social networking platforms.

Start putting your policy together with a task force of social media evangelists at your company and upper management. Outline an approval process and determine who’ll have authority over the social media networks. Clearly establish the content identifying what’s acceptable and what’s unacceptable. Next, do some research. Find effective social media policies and learn how these policies are evolving by visiting the National Labor Relations Board. The Board puts out a report that discusses different social media policies.

Remember, a social media policy avoids risks by protecting the company’s online brand.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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CEOs are Embracing Social Media

Many businesses realize involving the CEO in its social media activities raises a company’s thought leadership and credibility. CEOs reap these benefits including a raised profile.

CEOs interest in social media over the past couple of years has grown. They are curious about what customers have to say, and they are listening to the conversations that are occurring online. The CEOs who participate in online activities understand the need to relate with the company’s customers and its prospects.

Slowly, they have increased their visibility on company websites and videos.

CEOs Social Media Resistance

The process of CEOs joining online conversations has been slow because some CEOs haven’t felt the need to communicate on social media. They’ve reasoned if business is good than what’s the point. Others have questioned the return on the investment. However, this way of thinking doesn’t work anymore. Customers are asking questions and they are looking for companies that are more socially responsible.

Customers are drawn to company’s that are more socially conscious, such as those brands that have incorporated social and environmental causes into their mission.  They’re looking for brands to demonstrate their passion for causes on social media, and this is encouraging companies to communicate.

In addition, concerned CEOs also feared risks, such as security breaches and data privacy; and, they worried about negative feedback. However, if CEOs and businesses arm themselves with a solid social media strategy and social media policy, these situations are often avoided.

The Benefits of a CEOs Social Media Presence

As a leader of an organization CEOs have a pulpit where they can share their voice. They can use it as an opportunity to empower a community, nurture the culture of the workplace, set the tone of the work environment, inspire and encourage people to reach their goals.

A CEO’s participation is critical because it fosters a dialogue and relationships. If offers transparency, especially when success and mistakes are acknowledged because it creates authenticity which can build trust.

The engagement of C-suite executives on social media makes them better equipped to lead a company, communicate values and shape a company’s reputation, according to Brandfog’s 2012 first annual CEO, Social Media Leadership survey.

In addition, respondents of the social media leadership branding firm’s most recent survey viewed CEOs social engagement as a gateway to create deeper connections with customers, employees and shareholders. The 2013 survey, questioned 800 US and UK employees at startups and Fortune 1000 companies.

The analysis revealed 80.6 percent of survey respondents believe social media is an important communication channel. It offers CEOs  a chance to engage with customers and investors. In addition, 83.9 percent thought CEO social media engagement is an effective tool to increase brand loyalty.

“The role of the CEO has been transformed by social media and CEOs have no choice but to become more visible, social and accessible than ever before,” says Brandfog’s CEO Ann Charles in a company statement.