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 writing, Marketing

Keep Your Customers Wanting More: How to Engage Your Audience with an Effective Brand Story

open book-apeekatkarensworld.comBusinesses are changing the way they talk to you.  Have you noticed? Many of them have realized that their customers can develop and build their company with a single share on social media.

They’ve also learned not to talk at consumers. Instead, they are trying something new. They are bringing consumers along on their journey through the art of telling a story.

Finding ways to ‘entertain’

Remember the last time you were entertained by a brand?  TV advertisements, such as SuperBowl commercials, may come to mind.  However, many businesses are finding other ways to engage an audience. Building their customers’ experience, learning their customer segments, and talking less and listening more have become top priorities.

Businesses are providing consumers with more educational information and promoting this content on different platforms from email to social media. They are using stories as a way to help consumers escape their daily lives and enter their world.

The environment businesses create draws an appealing picture of their firm, and they are infusing emotional hooks into their narratives.  The narratives are consistent and visually appealing in order to create a connection. Several examples can be found in a recent survey by Aesop, a UK brand storytelling agency. They include Apple, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Heinz and IKEA.

Developing the story

Writing brand stories and presenting them as online content is something a few people are trained to do, points out Susan Gunelius in the Forbes article, “5 Secrets to Use Storytelling for Brand Marketing Success.” The teller of a story must understand the elements of a story. Many people make the assumption that a story only needs a beginning, middle and an end; however, good stories establish the setting, characters, conflict and resolution.

Well-told stories have the ability to build a following, especially when they give the audience some type of value, such as actionable items. Many businesses utilize different storytelling techniques.  For instance, The Guardian describes in its article, “Three steps to better storytelling for brands,” using myths to forge a shared identity that describes what people value, what they don’t and what they want for the future; and, casting the target audience as heroes by providing information that uplifts them.

Another method involves drawing attention to a social problem or issue. A business will align their mission with a cause that relates to their values.

Businesses have the opportunity to tell their story multiple ways and on many different platforms to give consumers numerous chances to interact with them on and offline.

Use the tools to help you create a good brand story. Take the course, “Create Your Business Narrative: Bank on Content.”

For a limited time only, save 50% off the regular price ($50)  with the coupon code: HALFOFF2013.  Click here to start creating an effective and engaging business narrative today.

Photo Courtesy: Creative Commons, apeakatkarensworld.com

Business, Business writing, Career, Small business

Build buzz and generate income by guest blogging

ID-10049737Guest Blogging is a great and inexpensive method to create buzz around your business and to promote new products. It involves writing a blog that is published on another blog site. The site that hosts your blog posts is one that’s related to your niche and has attracted a large audience.

Simply blogging on your own website has a list of benefits of its own, but this list expands when you are a guest blogger. Here’s why. Blogging builds your online reputation because you are joining a community of thought leaders, and when you respond to comments you are participating in the intellectual exchange of ideas and thoughts. This helps you build relationships within the blogosphere as well as people within your industry, and these communities can help build awareness about your topic and your business.  As a guest blogger, you are provided the opportunity to reach more people especially those within your target audience.  When you include a link back to your post, you increases traffic back to your blog or business website and this helps generate income.

Bloggers are known for being great networkers and this helps makes approaching them very easy; however, you will still need to practice the proper etiquette. First, start reviewing the blogs within your niche by either using Google Blog Search or Technocrati.  Once you found the blogs sites where you would like to contribute your post, show your appreciation for the content that already exist by leaving well-thought out comments and re-tweeting the post you liked.  Next, send a pitch explaining why and how the topic you would like to post on their blog will help their readers and boost their audience.  Many bloggers anticipate guest bloggers, and they will develop a set of guidelines for them. These are usually posted on their site. If see them, ask what rules you will need to adhere to as you write your post. Once the blog owners’ accepts your idea, write your blog posts, but also make sure to include your author bio and link back to the website you would like to promote.   Now that the post is up, don’t make the mistake of thinking all your work is done.  Unlike article writing for most print and online publications, you will need to follow your post and respond to the comments that are made.

Guest blogging is a great way to promote your blog site and your business. Always practice good blogging etiquette by letting others know about the blog posts on the host site, respond to comments made on your posts and invite the owner of the blog site who welcomed you the opportunity to contribute a post on your blog site.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Marketing

Promoting your brand with content

So you want to promote your brand– draw awareness of your products and services or increase customer loyalty.

Well, your efforts are likely to include figuring out your target markets, creating marketing and communication materials and sending out all of that material to your specific audience whether online or offline. This is all content marketing.

The strategy though has changed.  No longer are people easily swayed by the monologues of traditional marketing. Now, they are immersing themselves in dialogue. They want to have a conversation.

So, instead of inundating your target audience with sales messaging, businesses are providing informational content that addresses challenges customers face.

Content is generated to create value and today businesses are distributing volumes of content to engage their target audience. Marketing budgets are pouring more money into the creation and distribution of content.

According to B2B, the content that’s used the most includes social media, websites, email, newsletters and video. On the otherhand, the content delivery system considered most effective are in-person events, case studies, videos, webinars, blogs, research reports, ebooks and white papers.

The contents value won’t mean too much if it’s riddled with mistakes. These errors don’t necessarily have to revolve around grammar and punctuation. Rather errors are made by the way you choose to approach your audience.  Here are three questions to ask yourself and your team:

  • Is the company the central topic of the content?
  • Is the company using the right channels?
  • Is the company really addressing customer’s troubles?

 Is the company the central topic of the content?

Talking too much about yourself would turn people off so will talking too much about your company. It shows that you’re not listening and that there’s less of an exchange of ideas or thoughts. Address your buyers’ pain points. Not only will you want to use the right channels but you will want to use them effectively.

The following is an example of how one company used content to discuss a topic:

In 2010, Russell Investments tapped into his clients’ desire for insightful research for the brand campaign “Conversation Yields Innovation,” reports BtoB. The print and online global thought leadership branding campaign was timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  The intent was to show that companies in the financial industry needed to listen to their clients and innovate. The campaign used op-ed style print ads in The Economist, Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. In addition, an online video featuring investment strategies from Russell CIO Erik Ristuben was created.  The whole effort was to create a “bold and honest” conversation.

Is the company using the right channels?

As the number of marketing channels continue to multiply you or your marketing department may feel overwhelmed attempting to cover all of them. Remember, some channels have been found to be more effective than others. So, determine whether you are getting a good return on your investment in a particular channel; know your customer and their buying habits.

Is the company really addressing customer’s troubles? 

Buyers want to go to a trusted source to make their purchase for a product or service. They are looking for solutions and throughout each stage of the buying cycle you can provide them with  tips and advice.

The content you provide needs to encourage people to participate, intrigue them so they want more and will want to share the information with others and build a community.

Photo Courtesy: Suwit Ritjaroon/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Business, Marketing, Small business

Showcase products and services this holiday season on your business blog

Have you ever noticed the recipes on the sides a soup cans or packaged foods?

I love them because the recipes show me another way to experience the food. They let me know what can be done, but they also get my creative juices flow.

I admit I may add some substitutions here and there, sometimes they work sometimes they don’t. My brother survived, so I think my experiments worked.

Anyway, if I had to choose between a food product with recipe on its packaging and one that doesn’t, I’ll likely lean towards the product with the recipe. It shows me how to use the product, and it lets me know I can utilize it in more ways than I originally thought.

That’s what a business blog can do.

A blog helps demonstrate how your services and products work. It can show people that your product or service can have other purposes or uses. It provides an opportunity to create conversations with your followers. It opens up a dialogue that builds a community among your clients and customers, loyalty and trust.

A business blog is virtual lab. It lets you see the experiments that have been done with a product or service. This ultimately enables you to expand and produce new items.

You can present these new items to your blog followers allowing them either to preview or to try out the new service or product. This way you will know how well it’s been received before presenting it to a larger market.

So how what ways have you used your business blog to present your products and services?

Learn how B.Y. Communications Worldwide can help you develop your blog. Visit http://www.bycomworldwide.com.

Photo Courtesy: Simon Howden/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Marketing

Are You Loading Your Business Website with Content?

Have you ever been inundated with a stream of non-stop sales messages?

Well, meet the replacement: content marketing. It’s a strategy that makes a company, a publisher, and its marketers magazine editors. Generally, customers are provided with research to make informed decisions, and the company and its executives are viewed as experts on the topic.

As publishers companies produce all sorts of informative materials to lure in prospects and increase the customer base, to optimize websites for more customer interaction and to tap into multiple social media platforms. The material that makes up the content may include the following:

  • articles
  • blogs
  • case studies
  • customer testimonials
  • e-newsletters
  • forums
  • micro-sites
  • online video
  • podcasts
  • webinars
  • white papers

Marketing departments bank on content. For instance, some develop articles and other materials around a product announcement or company news. The articles appeal to customers’ challenges, needs and interests. These are identified from focus groups, surveys or other data.

Content is even tracked to learn which materials are converting readers into customers, and this information is integrated with customer relationship management systems.

Marketers have encountered a few challenges with content marketing. Some marketers, attempting to produce more content in order to participate and drive conversations, are finding it difficult to leverage the content on various social media platforms.

Overall, content marketing differentiates customers from prospects based on their stage in the buying cycle.

Photo Credit: tongphotos/FreeDigitalPhotos.net