As many of you know, I truly believe that there are two sides to social media marketing – relationship marketing and content marketing. Some businesses will choose to do both, others will choose one or the other and they are not mutually exclusive by any means.
What is Relationship Marketing?
Relationship marketing is when you as an individual within a business form and deepen business relationships with other individuals. Whether you use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+, relationship marketing is all about identifying customers, prospects, influencers and getting to know them better – and allowing them to get to know you better. This is like an online extension of face to face networking. At the end of the day – as we all know – people buy people. Relationship marketing takes work just like any other marketing and is highly targeted.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is when you create lots of added value content and distribute it using social media channels. You should create content that is targeted at your prospects and solves their pain or need. Content should be helpful – give away some of your knowledge, regular, high quality and consistent. I have heard a suggestion that you should produce content for 3 months without ever mentioning your product or service to make it really valuable! Whether you take this view or not, I believe you need to tell people to engage with or do something as a result of the content. We have found that by creating useful content, and asking people to engage, we have then moved into relationship marketing with some of our audience. It is important though to understand the purpose of the content that you are creating – what will be the end game and how will you move people through the sales funnel?
What About Blogs?
Yes, this post is titled ‘Blog for Business’ but of course blogging is a type of content. Five reasons, I believe it is important for a business to consider blogging:
1. By creating regular, added value posts, you can build credibility of the business – be seen as somebody who understands what they are talking about.
2. To help the search engine optimisation of the website. If your post is distributed and shared on social media, search engines will get a better idea of what the website is about and the quality of the site.
3. If the blog is hosted on the website, a blog will help to drive traffic to the website. Include links to other parts of your website or have a prominently displayed newsletter sign up form to encourage people to continue to engage. Include a call to action on the post to tell people what to do next.
4. Blog posts are life long content. Search engines will index the post and continue to display it in results. I still get a high number of visits to a post that I wrote 2 years ago. You can also continue to share relevant blog posts on social media for months after the post was written.
5. You can reuse the content. I’ve now written 5 reasons to write blog posts. I can share each of those reasons separately across social media channels, I will include a link to this post in my next newsletter and I could create a visual version of this post and create a SlideShare presentation out of it. All ways of getting my brand and message out there.
So what do you think? Are you going to put more effort into your blog posts? If you need help getting started with blogging, check out our Business Blogging E-Learning course. You might also be interested in a post I wrote a while ago about creating a blogging schedule and of course I’d be delighted to engage with you further on social media, in the comments below or through my newsletter (the sign up form is on the right)!