How to Create a Branded YouTube Channel that Gets you Noticed

YouTube is the most popular video hosting and sharing platform with over one and a half billion active users. Businesses have utilised the benefits of YouTube, recognising that with the power of video, YouTube’s massive audience, and AdWords’ targeting tools, you have the ability to reach and impact potential customers all around the world. Having the ability to embed a YouTube video player on your website or blog also means you can easily share your video on Facebook, Twitter and other social media network making it easy to efficiently share your story and build your business online.

What’s Good About YouTube?

  • A great tool for improving search engine rankings
  • It is a free platform for advertisements

 

What’s Not so Good About YouTube?

  • Not useful for businesses where videos are not relevant or useful to them
  • A successful YouTube channel needs a consistent uploading schedule so is not suitable for companies without the time or resources to keep producing quality videos

 

Should your Business Have a YouTube Channel?

If your target audience and customers are watching videos on YouTube related to your industry, then you need have a YouTube channel to attract that audience. YouTube is great for businesses that are innately visual and regularly produce videos that are product informative, demonstrations of products or services and generally informative and entertaining content that will be valued by a certain group. The sheer audience size of YouTube attracts many businesses to YouTube but with a lot of competition to face businesses should only use YouTube if they can regularly and consistently produce good quality, varied, fresh and entertaining videos.

 

Follow these top tips to create a successful YouTube Channel;

 

Always Create Great Content

The key to building an audience and maintaining a successful presence is to always provide content that is valuable, relevant and entertaining to the viewer. YouTube provides you with a great platform to showcase your visual creativity and show that you understand and care about your audience enough to consistency produce a variety of videos that address consumer needs and genuinely interest and provide value to them.

 

Make Your Videos Easy to Find

YouTube is very heavily saturated with videos making it harder than ever to get your videos noticed. Simply uploading your video and waiting for people to come across it will not suffice. Rather, you need to make it easy for the right audience to discover your videos by applying several key factors in your videos;

  • Use relevant keywords and search categories to attract your target audience
  • Embed your YouTube videos onto your website
  • Share your videos across social networks
  • Include your website URL in the video description
  • Ensure your video is categorised and tagged correctly and relevantly
  • Consider advertising to give your videos a boost

 

Appeal to your Target Audience

With so much choice for the consumer, getting your video noticed can be a difficult task.  The key to ensuring you stand a better chance of getting noticed is to do your research and find out exactly what your audience is watching and searching for on YouTube and then apply this knowledge to your own efforts. You will better reach your audience if you know what type of content resonates best with them and directly provide solutions for them or answer their questions and queries with your videos.

 

Thoroughly Brand your YouTube Channel

Your YouTube channel needs to act as a hub of your brand making it clear to the viewer who you are when they arrive on your page. Ensure you fully utilise the customisable features of your channel from the background to the video cover image to ensure that you create a branded environment for your audience where they trust that it is your brand page and where they are welcomed and encouraged to interact. There are several key areas to utilise to ensure you don’t miss any branding opportunities on your page;

  • Include links to your website
  • Effectively and clearly communicate your brand and purpose in the description
  • Ensure all creative aspects (colours, graphics, typography etc.) reflect your brand.

 

Know Your Limits

Maintaining a successful YouTube presence takes a lot of consistent and continual effort. From uploading content to creating titles, responding to comments, tracking analytics and general promotion, maintaining your account can easily become a very time consuming role. From this, ensure the person who maintains it has the time, talent and expertise to run it effectively as you are publicly representing your brand to a vast audience online so you do not want to give them a negative impression by ineffectively using YouTube. If you find yourself or the person running your account is struggling then strongly consider outsourcing to a specialist who has the adequate skill set to represent your brand well. Your business can only benefit from you knowing your limits and realising when the time is right to get a professional on board.

 

Listen to and act on What Your Analytics Tell You

Track your videos performance through your analytics will help you to understand your audience, how they interact with your videos and what content resonates best with them. Armed with this information, you gain a very advantageous position where you can use this information to help you optimise your future videos to ensure you are directly addressing your target audience needs, making them more likely to keep coming back to your channel and share your content with others.

 

Be Sociable and Engage Your Audience

To fully utilise the benefits of YouTube for your business you need to embrace the social aspect of the social network and continually interact and engage with your audience and other users. You need to be actively dedicated to your page looking for opportunities to interact with others and respond to comments and feedback on your videos. YouTube has very much developed into an active online community which you need to be a part of and participate in. There is much to gain in engaging with users and audiences from potential business opportunities, partnerships with other users and by listening to your audience you can get to know them better helping to create better content that is going to attract them in the future.

 

Keep Your Channel Updated and Fresh

Once you have set up your channel, developed a solid posting strategy and perfected your channel design you are well on your way to a strong YouTube presence but your work is by no means finished. In order to keep the attention of your audience and attract new ones you need to actively keep your channel updated with fresh content and continually analyse your analytics to gauge your audience response to your videos to ensure you are consistently targeting their needs with your videos.  Continually look to see how you can better enhance your audience’s experience with your videos and act on what your analytics tell you, positive and negative about your efforts and respond accordingly.

 

Be Aware of YouTube’s Future Trends & Updates

As new technology emerges and YouTube grows and develops it is likely to make changes that can affect your business marketing. Ensure you stay aware of changing trends and utilise any new developments within YouTube and a broader technical sense to help better your videos and audience video experience.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


 

Questions to Ask Before You Get Started Using LinkedIn for Business

Who is Going to Set up and Maintain my Business Page?

Before you begin, you need to have a clear idea of who is going to be creating and maintaining your LinkedIn business page. Whether you assign the role to an existing member of staff or hire an external social media manager you need to ensure that the person that will be in charge of representing your business on LinkedIn is capable, with the knowledge and experience of how to successfully utilise LinkedIn and ultimately make it a successful addition to your marketing strategy.

 

How Should I Portray my Business?

Like with any other public platform you need to consider how you are going to portray your business to others and how you are going to link it with your other marketing efforts. As part of this consideration you will need to address areas such as how you are going to tie your branding to the overall typography and visual aspects of the page to what type of voice you want to portray within your status updates and of course what your overall objectives are for the page. Making sure your business is presented in a representative and appealing way is crucial so you need to ensure you have a clear understanding of how you want your business to appear to your audience and how and what you can utilise to help you achieve it.

 

What Images and Resources can I Utilise?

LinkedIn allows you opportunities to utilise the visual on your page. From the large cover image to allowing a variety of content types to be shared within updates, it is vital that you pull your resources and utilise these areas to help make your business inform, engage and stand out from the crowd. So look to see what visual aspects of LinkedIn you can use to your advantage, remembering to choose attention-grabbing images that reflect your brand and draws people in to learn more about your business. You also could and should explore the use of different types of content within your updates, from podcasts to eBooks and using brand videos. Mixing up the types of content you share grabs attention and keeps people engaged so pull the resources you have at your disposal, from customer testimonials, product demonstrations videos, to webinar footage and behind-the-scenes pictures and share them with your audience.

 

Have I Got a Clear Content Strategy in Place?

Posting status updates lets you reach out to and share news with LinkedIn members who have chosen to follow your business page. From this you need to utilise this connection and form a content strategy that provides value to and resonates with your target audience. You will come to learn what content formats they prefer, what content they interact with most, at what times and how many updates you need to post daily or weekly to maximise effectiveness. Just remember to always share content that is going to entertain, inform and be relevant to your audience and you are likely to be rewarded with engagement and  a two-way conversation with your followers that can create business opportunities, help you learn more about your customers’ needs and other beneficial information that can aid your business in the future.

 

How am I Going to Promote my Page?

You need to consider how you are going to let others know about your page which will involve utilising opportunities both online and offline. Online you can use a variety of methods from using your other social media platforms to encourage others to visit your page, to adding a LinkedIn “follow” button to your business website and putting your company page’s URL email signature and your e-newsletters. You can also encourage your employees to create their own LinkedIn profiles and ask them to interact with your business page by sharing statuses and directing connections to the page. Offline you can verbally tell others of your page in any conferences, meetings in addition to putting the URL on your business card, packing and anywhere else your customers/ prospects will see it.

How am I Going to Measure the Success of my Page?

How you define the success of you page will depend on what your overall objectives are for your page. LinkedIn provides a range of analytics that show everything from who’s visiting your page to what types of content they click on, like and share and at what rates so remember to continually analyse these analytics to see whether you are meeting your objectives for you page and what if any areas are in need of improvement and revaluation.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


 

Step By Step Guide to Creating an Effective LinkedIn Personal Profile

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional online network, with over 500 million active users spanning more than 200 countries. The network is primarily centred on careers and network building and is highly popular with business-to-business users. It enables users to connect and share content with other professionals, including colleagues as well as potential employers, business partners, and new employees. It is also beneficial for those looking to share and discover industry news and knowledge and for those looking for jobs.

The Profile Summary

The summary area of your LinkedIn Profile constitutes the most important part of the entire page because it is the first thing readers’ scan after reading your name and tagline. For this reason your summary must be compelling. Here are some suggestions that will improve your summary:

  • Write it in the first person ‘I am’ etc. as it shows an authenticity that you miss out on when writing in the third person.
  • Write your Summary in the Who / What / Goals format. Clearly stating who you are, what you do with the final section providing information about your professional goals and aspirations.
  • Read your summary and keep asking yourself ‘so what?’ as this will help you to pin point areas for improvement.

 

Optimise your Profile for SEO Benefit

Suggestions for optimising your LinkedIn Profile for SEO benefit include:

  • Customise the URL for your public profile
  • Embed keywords strategically throughout your profile
  • Try to list up to the maximum of three links in the billboard area (e.g., your business website, your personal website, your blog). When entering the anchor text for the hyperlink, embed as many of your keywords as possible.

Fill Out Every Section Fully

  • Emphasize Your Professional Skills

LinkedIn showcases your top 10 skills based on endorsements so people know where you excel. Make sure you fully optimize and fill out as many specific keywords you can to help you get quick endorsements from your connections for those skills.

  • Promote Your Projects

Promote and highlight your products, services and projects in the Projects section. Directly link each project to your website and include team members when applicable.

  • Link to Your Publications

The Publications section is perfect if you’re an author, regular contributor to top publications, have eBooks, white papers and other company content that you want to promote. You can directly link each publication to where visitors can buy your books, link to author profile pages and also to landing pages for your content.

  • Share Your Honours and Awards

This section is where you can highlight notable lists and mentions you’ve received from recognized authorities and publications in your industry.

  • Showcase Specialized Certifications

The Certifications section allows you to showcase your specialised educational achievements within your industry. If your business has received a certification for your industry, promote and showcase it here so people can learn more about it.

  • Highlight Industry-Related Coursework

If you’ve taken any courses that are relevant and apply to your business, you can list them in the Courses section. This can include coursework you completed at university, on-the-job training course and those offered by recognised organizations in your industry.

  • Feature Your Professional Memberships

If you belong to professional organizations in your industry, use the Organizations section to highlight your membership and the position you hold/have held.

  • Demonstrate Language Proficiency

Demand for people who speak several languages is on the rise. Therefore, if you are fluent in multiple languages, include that information in the Languages section.

  • Highlight Your LinkedIn Groups

When you join LinkedIn groups, you have the option of listing them on your profile, as shown in the Groups section below.  You should utilise this opportunity as this can benefit you three-fold:

  • People who want to get to know you can do so by joining the groups you’re in and engaging with you there.
  • If you run groups for your business, you can display them on your profile to help increase membership.
  • Joining groups related to your industry means you can add more keywords to your profile
  • Publicise Your Interests

When you follow businesses, news channels, publishers and influencers found on LinkedIn Pulse, they will appear in the Following section of your profile. Use this section to optimise your profile for specific keywords, highlight publications that you may contribute to and showcase your customers.

  • Support Your Causes

One in five hiring managers has chosen a candidate based on his or her volunteer experience so add the Volunteer section to your profile to show others that you also care about helping others. For non-profits, this is also a great way to promote your organization and cause.

 

Keep Your Network Posted with Status Updates

Keeping your network posted with status updates should be a routine procedure. It gives you the opportunity to share valuable information with your network about what you’re doing. Done right, status updates can engage your followers, create leads, and facilitate customer conversion. Here are some tips on how to optimise your status updates:

  • Leverage the power of status updates by embedding special keywords when posting
  • Focus on sharing informative and useful updates as that is the information members expect from connections they follow on LinkedIn
  • Post status updates encouraging your followers to interact with you and this includes using a clear call to action within your post
  • Post regularly and consistently and you will reach more of your audience and extend your reach.

 

Use Your Profile as a Central Hub

When searching for someone on Google in most cases their LinkedIn profile is seen on the first page with the vast majority appearing in the first five results. This means that you need keep your profile current and up to date to highlight your experience and expertise and in addition requires that your profile needs to become a central source for connecting all of your other social media platforms. LinkedIn has many available tools for you to utilise that can link your profile with your Blog and Twitter feed among others so is a great way to support and drive attention to your other sites.

 

Add Rich Visual Content to Your LinkedIn Profile

Throughout your profile LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity to visually enhance your profile so you need to leverage this opportunity. Add some oomph to your profile by adding some up to date, rich, visual content and you will help yourself and your profile to stand out from the rest and get noticed. Embracing the visual in social media marketing is highly important so utilise this and share with your audience creative, informative and engaging visual elements such as pictures, SlideShare presentations and videos. A key thing is to also remember not to just create and then forget your newly visual profile, rather, actively update and refresh your profile with current, fresh and valuable content such as examples of new work, recent articles and features in the press.

Connect with New Contacts in Groups and Answers

Joining and contributing to LinkedIn Groups helps to locate people with shared interests and establish valuable new connections. In addition to the benefit of increased traffic to your profile page, participating within a Group has the added benefit of learning from others and participation in a group or within the LinkedIn Answers section allows you to highlight your ideas and insight. The more you participate, the more you’ll build credibility and trust within your industry. If you’re contributing valuable content, you will soon improve your own reputation as an invaluable resource on select topics by other industry connections.

 

Give and Get Recommendations

Recommendations from colleagues, business partners and satisfied clients go a long way in establishing your value and credibility. As either an employee or a business, a recommendation can carry a great deal of weight in the eyes of future customers or employers as they essentially act as solid examples of a good experience with you in a personal manner. If you want to get recommendations, use LinkedIn to give them to people you’ve worked with and who have done a great job for you and they will likely reciprocate. Similarly with the new Endorsement feature, if you endorse someone, they’ll be notified and you’re likely to get a reciprocal endorsement in return.

Add, Remove, and Rearrange Entire Sections of Your Profile

LinkedIn enables you to reorder entire sections of your profile in any way that you prefer. This is a great feature to help you optimise your profile as you can place your most important sections in prominent places and delete any that are not relevant to you for example. Simply go into edit mode, hover your mouse over the double-sided arrow in each section. Your mouse will turn into a four-arrowed icon, at which point you can click, then drag and drop to another position on your profile.

Edit Your Public Profile Settings

You want to ensure that people can find your profile when they do a public search. You ideally want to show public viewers as much as possible to convince them to click to view your full profile and make a connection. Locate the Privacy & Settings option on your LinkedIn homepage and click Manage. To access your public profile settings, click your profile image and select the Privacy & Settings option. On the next page, click Edit Your Public Profile to see what items are displayed on your public profile. The right side of the page shows a list of items that are displayed on your private profile and you can choose which items to show on your public profile. You can choose to share only a few sections of your profile with public viewers or be fully transparent and show all sections. Just ensure that you enable the setting that allows anyone to see your public profile. You may feel uneasy about showing your entire profile but it is important to do so as your public profile will never display rich-text media like videos or full-text recommendations, therefore, your description of your job experience is the most important part of your profile.

 

Consider Upgrading Your LinkedIn Account

The goal of improving your public image on LinkedIn is to get high-quality connections. With a premium plan, you gain access to additional features such as seeing people who viewed your profile, requesting and making introductions and mailing other users from within LinkedIn. These are features that could greatly benefit your business so consider upgrading your account if you are in a position to do so.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


 

Checklist for Developing a Clear and Effective Facebook Strategy

Determine Your Facebook Business Objectives

One of the first things you must do is determine what you want your Facebook Page to achieve for your business. Whether you want to use it to drive more traffic to your website, promote your events or use it as an outlet to build your brand by engaging your community, having clear objectives for your page helps optimise its reach and impact and is crucial as you later come to measure your success. So ensure you have clearly defined objectives that are realistic and achievable for your business.

 

Common Facebook Marketing Objectives;

  • Increase Brand Exposure and Awareness
  • Create a Loyal and Engaged Community
  • Generate Leads
  • Generate Sales

 

 Define Your Target Audience, Are They Using Facebook?

In addition to determining your objectives, having a clear idea of your target readers and if they are themselves using Facebook is key. If you do find your target audience is active on Facebook then you can tailor your posts effectively around content that maximises interest and engagement from your readers. It is also important to consider how your demographic behaves on social media whether they are people who actively comment or can be described as lurkers, as posts can then be tailored accordingly in order to maximise your potential for impact and engagement.

 

Do Your Research

Conducting research before you start using Facebook for business is fundamental to a successful presence. Your Facebook research should include these several key areas;

  • Identify your Target Audience – You will need to know important factors such as where they spend their time online, how they like to digest content and other general demographics.
  • Research your Competition – Find out what is and isn’t working for your competition on Facebook, find out what they do well and what they don’t and then apply it to your own strategy.
  • Understand the Latest Techniques – Make sure you are aware of the latest updates, tends and techniques on Facebook so that you can keep your page up to date, competitive and effective.
  • Case Studies – Compile examples of businesses that are similar to you and have thriving Facebook pages, look at what they do well, what their audience responds well to and other important factors that you can apply to your own efforts.
  • Facebook’s Future News, Updates and Projections – Ensure you track Facebook’s trends and updates as they regularly change so you need to keep your business up to date and effective.

 

Who is Going to Manage Your Page?

Whether you yourself are going to maintain your page or you are considering hiring an external consultant or agency, you need to clearly establish the person who will be running your page and ensure that they are equipped with the right knowledge and experience to know how to effectively maintain and run a page that is representative of your business and will become a valuable asset to your marketing efforts.

 

How are you Going to Promote Your Page?

You need to consider how you are going to promote your page and build awareness of it which involves you having to utilise all your relevant assets that you have available. Everything from your website, e- newsletter, corporate literature, blog, word of mouth to signage and business cards present an opportunity for you to advertise and promote your page. So be clear on what tools and assets you are going to use to help successfully drive traffic to your page.

 

Have you Got a Clear Content Strategy? How Often Will you Post?

Deciding on what major content categories you want to include regularly helps you to stay focused and maintains a clear direction for your posts to go in order to ensure your content is in line with your business goals and is targeting reader’s needs. Part of this process is to also determine how often you will post on your page as having a clear schedule of when you will be posting is paramount in order to ensure it is in line with your wider social media strategy. Creating content that people will interact with takes some thought and scheduling. Your first priority should always be to create content that your audience is interested in so look to experiment to find out the most effective content strategy and share a variety of different types of posts, at different times during the day and in different quantities. Through this initial experimentation you will find out valuable information that will guide your future strategy from what content resonates best with your audience, to the times they are most active on Facebook.

 

What is the Corporate Character of Your Page?

Defining the corporate character of your page has a crucial part to play in how successful your Facebook strategy will be as it is here that you will outline and determine how you are going to present yourself to your audience. This consideration involves establishing a clear vision of every aspect of your page from what your brand values are and how you will get them across, what tone of voice you will present, how you will apply your branding to the creative aspects of your page right through to the type of messages that you will be sharing.

  • Develop Your Facebook Voice – it is important to have an idea of what voice you want for your page that can be consistently applied across all your posts, especially if your business page is going to be managed by several different contributors. Put simply, avoid generic corporate speak and replace it with your own unique voice and customers will be more drawn to and engage with your page.
  • Outline Creative Elements – Consistency should also be applied to the creative aspects of your Facebook page that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your page it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand across all social media platforms.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


 

Why You Need Facebook for Your Business

Facebook has an extensive global reach, making it an invaluable platform for businesses to grow brand awareness. Almost two thirds of Facebook users decide to follow a brand page after making a purchase, making Facebook a great tool in your marketing arsenal as it encourages users to recommend and invite their own friends to ‘like’ business pages that they themselves have had rewarding experiences with. Opening your business up to a potential audience of active users that has now surpassed 1 billion.

Connect With Customers and Strengthen Relationships

You will be able to connect with your customers because it is likely that they themselves are using Facebook. When a user likes your page or comments on a post they are showing that they want a relationship with your business. This gives you an invaluable opportunity to listen to and find out about your customers, demonstrate your customer service skills, share your valuable and informative news and information, offer incentives and exclusive rewards for loyal Facebook customers. You can also use it as a channel for gaining feedback from your customers on how you can improve your product, services and your customer service, all of which can greatly help your business in the future.

 

Raise Awareness Through “Likes”

The Facebook ‘Like’ button can be seen everywhere from packaging to TV advertisements and has become a fundamental tool in the marketing efforts of businesses. Whenever a user interacts with your page by liking or sharing your content this action could get published to their friends and so forth resulting in excellent exposure for your brand and goes a long way in increasing your brand awareness. Through sharing and promoting great and valuable content that encourages interaction, you are deepening existing customer relationships at the same time as potential creating and attracting new ones, therefore making every post an invaluable opportunity to generate awareness and attention for your business.

 

It Shows Your Personality

The internet can often be an impersonal place; however having a business Facebook page offers an informal and chatty platform for your opinions, stories, humour and advice that gives you an opportunity to attach a face, name and personality to your brand. Having a Facebook page allows you to foster genuine social connections with your audience and as you share your brand story with others and enjoy interaction and conversation it allows others to see the human side of your business helping you create richer, more human relationships.

You Can Build a Community on Your Page

Facebook pages can work as excellent hubs for creating a community of customers, prospects and other businesses. As you continually post consistent, valuable and informative content you will be rewarded with a rich and very beneficial experience with your community in that they will share reviews, opinions, raise queries and offer feedback all of which can greatly help your business in the future. By encouraging engagement in this way you help your business build a reputation based on loyal followers making your page and brand more attractive to others who will be likely drawn to your page.

Still not convinced? Here’s 8 more reasons why you need a Facebook Page

  • Provides increased exposure for both your website and your brand.
  • Provides website traffic by way of content sharing.
  • Facilitates lead generation.
  • Improves your search engine rankings.
  • Free to use, though paid advertising opportunities are also available.
  • Offers valuable insights into your marketplace and your competitors.
  • Allows you to communicate directly with your audience.
  • Allows you to create and promote company events.

 

Blogging: How to Build a Following and Amplify Your Impact

Writing your blog post is only the beginning. The next challenge is to promote your blog in order to get maximum exposure and attract attention. Having a loyal band of readers who regularly engage with your blog and come back for more is fundamental to achieving success as a blogger. You may have the best blog in your niche filled with valuable and informative content, but what good is that if you don’t have a regular stream of readers to appreciate and act on your work? Not matter what else, you need faithful readers who keep coming back for more.

Relying solely on search engines mixed with a bit of promotion might get you a few eyeballs, but fundamental to your success is recognising that building a loyal readership isn’t something that happens overnight. Rather, it is an ongoing conscious effort to create, maintain and learn what works best for you, through the use of employing smart marketing techniques and tactics.

 

Syndication

One of the most powerful mechanisms of a Blog is its RSS feed that allows you to automatically feed your Blog’s content to many different places, including many social networking sites. This can significantly expand your reach and saves you hours of time where you would otherwise have to post your content manually. There are also many other social sites that allow you to plug in your blog’s RSS feed, make sure to link it to all of your available platforms and the potential reach of your blog becomes significantly increased.

 

Seek Out and Comment on Other Blogs with Similar Topics

Providing helpful, valuable comments on other blogs can be a great way to generate traffic, develop relationships and build a following. Once you have finished a blog post on a topic it is worthwhile to do a quick search to find other blogs covering the same topic, you can then add your viewpoint in a genuine, non-self-promotional way. Showing yourself to be insightful and willing to provide advice is always welcomed and appreciated and is often rewarded in the form of new relationships with other bloggers who are more likely to mention and promote your blog.

 

Promote your Blog

Anywhere your customers interact with your brand is an opportunity to encourage them to look at and interact with your blog. There are several key areas in which you can promote your blog,  from mentioning it on your e-newsletter, your email signature, to your business card and product packaging, promoting it across all your other social media platforms and reaching out to influencers in your niche when you publish great content.

  • Email Marketing – highlight your blog post by including a clear link to and/or a section of your blog post to help drive traffic to your blog and your website.
  • Twitter– Tweet a summary of your post, a quote pulled from the post, or share a link to and encourage others to comment on the post itself. You can also include your blog’s URL within your Twitter bio to help drive traffic.
  • LinkedIn – Share your post with your groups and others that you know may be interested in it, this can start discussions, encourage engagement and debate that can fuel new content for future blog posts.
  • Pinterest Create a board that is purely for your blog posts remembering to use an interesting and relevant image to be pinned along with it and keep the boards location high so it is clear and one of the first boards that is seen when on your profile.
  • Guest Post Opportunities – Be proactive in looking for other bigger websites and blogs that have opportunities for guest posters. This is a great opportunity for more attention from a potentially new audience and linking back to your own blog can help with traffic. Similarly you yourself can encourage others to guest post that can bring with it a new audience and following.
  • Meetings, Events and Giving Presentations– Remember that whenever and wherever you meet people this presents an opportunity for you to promote and refer the audience to your blog. Similarly for the very savvy marketer, you can also utilise digital technologies such as QR codes on your packaging that can allow people to quickly and easily subscribe to your blog.
  • Social Media Advertising – For particularly important and popular posts, consider using social media advertising to promote shares of your blog posts on Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

Utilise Website Banners

A website banner provides the perfect opportunity and space to create a clear call to action for driving traffic to your blog. Consider placing calls-to-action banners on different pages of your website and use language that encourages people to want to go forward and view your blog. One of the most popular website banner CTA’s for blogs is to emphasise the number of people who are already subscribed to your blog and encourage the person that is reading to join them.

 

Encourage and Ask for Participation

Blogging is a great way to build an engaged community. By writing your posts in a way that fosters interaction and discussions from your readers you benefit from an active and interested community that will respond to what you write. By listening to what your readers have to say you will gather important information about them from their opinions, interests and ideas to suggestions about your business, all of which are greatly beneficial as they will help guide future content creation and inform business decisions.

 

Host a Contest

Hosting contests are a popular and successful way of attracting attention from an audience. From asking people to pick their favourite blog posts of yours and why to having other bloggers publish a post on their blog about you, any relevant and engaging contest will help to expand your blog’s reach and attract new visitors.

 

Publish on a Consistent Schedule

You need to publish quality content on your blog, but it’s also important to publish quality content on a consistent schedule. Aim to publish a new blog post at least once a week as readers will come to expect a new blog post at a certain time and that will keep them on the lookout for it. They’ll know that if they go to your blog once a week, they’ll be greeted with new content. Similarly, if they go back to your blog and never see new content, they probably won’t return. Making it vital to create and maintain a consistent posting schedule.

 

Offer Multiple Ways to Subscribe

Whilst growing your email list is one of the most important things you can do for your business, email shouldn’t be the only subscription option that you offer. Not everyone wants to receive more email in their inbox, and if visitors can only subscribe via email, they likely won’t. Everyone should be able to find at least one option (email, RSS, Facebook, and Twitter for example) that suits their preferences.

 

Show Off More of Your Content

Visitors who enter your blog through your homepage should see lots of content options, however take the care to not make it overwhelming. Showcasing lots of content means readers will more likely find something of interest and stay on your blog for longer. However if you prefer to maintain a minimalist design on your blog page, you can showcase extra content on your individual posts. You can do this by ensuring readers get to see related content and are encouraged to read more posts by referring to related blog posts using text links throughout your content. These links should compel visitors to click through to more of your content since it relates to the current blog post.

 

Get Content Ideas From Visitors

One of the best ways to get visitors to keep coming back to your blog is by letting them know that you want to create content just for them. You can do this by adding a quick and simple survey feature to your blog that asks visitors what they want to read about next. A survey not only helps you learn more about what content your visitors want, but also ensures that you won’t run out of relevant topic ideas. An added benefit is that once visitors submit a topic idea, they might subscribe to your blog so they can see if you use their suggestion for new content.

 

Allow Comments

There is a recent trend to turn off comments on blogs in favour of social media engagement or, in some cases, to reduce the amount of moderation required because of spam. By allowing visitors to leave comments on your blog you turn a site with informational articles into a community. Visitors just want their voice to be heard and if they know they can ask the author questions and interact with other readers, it makes them more likely to return. To encourage visitors to become loyal readers and members of your community, be sure to actively reply to comments on your blog after a post has been published.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


 

8 Point Checklist Before You Publish Your Next Blog Post

Have I Met my Goal for This Blog Post?

Whatever you set out to achieve with your blog post, whether it’s getting people to take part in research, purchase a product or sign up to your newsletter make sure that the material and links fully support your aim and you have clear and relevant call to actions. Having clear goals also makes it easier to measure your success later down the line and assess whether the blog post achieved what it set out to do.

 

Is my Post Easy to Read, Well- Developed and Presented?

Having a well- formatted blog post is crucial for both ease of read and keeping the attention of readers. Blog posts even when the tone is causal are ultimately still professional papers and when writing them you are representing your business as much as you do when at meetings and in general. From this, it is vital that you generate a structured blog template and form a routine before you publish around proofreading your post paying particular attention to several key areas;

  • Is your information bulleted and has numbered lists for easy consumption?
  • Are the links you use relevant and pointed to the correct webpage?
  • Have you used short and succinct sentences to get your point across successfully?
  • Are your section headings clear and specific to their individual points?
  • Is your post well concluded with good evidence?
  • Does the tone of voice/language fit the overall tone of your blog, and your brand’s editorial guidelines?
  • Did you use custom-made images and screenshots instead of stock photos whenever possible?
  • Have you given proper credit to the images/content you used in your blog post?
  • Have you taken to time to proofread and made sure your format is consistent with spacing between paragraphs as well as font styles and sizes?

 

Have I Directly Targeted my Audience in This Post?

You need to ensure that your blog post has been directly written with your target audience in mind. This involves you knowing and learning aspects about them from what content resonates best with them to what needs, interest, problems and questions they have as customers. So ensure your content contains specialised information that your customers will want to read. In doing so will not only will you be maximising interest and engagement from your readers, you will be proving your expertise in your industry.

 

Does my Post Contain Relevant Keywords?

In order to increase the potential for your blogs reach, every blog post you write should focus on and reiterate certain relevant keywords for your business. Ideally, when you are writing keep in mind 5-10 keywords and weave them into your content from the title through to the main sections of you post, taking care to not over flood your content making it unreadable and incoherent. As you become more comfortable with writing your posts you will soon find that you develop this skill to fully optimise your posts confidently.

 

Does the Title Grab my Attention and Make me Want to Click on it?

The main section of your blog post may be full of brilliant and valuable content, but if you don’t invest the time into creating an optimised your title that makes readers want to click on it, you are making a mistake. When forming a title consider whether you yourself would click on it, is it going to solve a common problem? Improve and aspect of your life or is it exciting exclusive content? Whatever you decide make sure it is compelling enough to click on and is optimised with keywords. You should also pay attention to the length of your title, bearing in mind that the optimal length is between 40 – 69 characters long. A shorter title may not be as descriptive and specific enough to capture attention, and a longer title will be cut off at 69 characters in search results, making your click-through rates likely to decrease.

 

Have I Backed up my Points with Good Evidence?

One of the key ways to become a trusted source of information is to provide content that is reliable and backed up with solid evidence to support what you are claiming. So before you publish your post make sure all the points you make are coherent and evidence is there that supports and justifies what you are claiming. Remember people may be making business decisions based on what you write so you must appear informed and reliable and give them clear reasons why what your saying is true and accurate.

 

Have I Included a Clear CTA?

By ensuring you include a clear call to action in every post you are making sure that each post is purposeful for your business. Whether you direct the reader to an external site or ask them to leave a comment for example you need to consistently encourage the reader to continue the interaction with you.

 

How am I Going to Promote this Post?

To ensure maximum reach and impact you need to consider how you are going to promote your post once it’s published. There are many tips later on in this section, but also consider the means of promotion you personally have at your disposal that can help get your blog post seen more.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD