Is your 2017 marketing strategy on your list of New Year’s resolutions?
Personally, I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. There are two kinds of people: those who, like the majority of Americans, break their resolutions by the end of January and those who are part of a rare breed who is successful at achieving resolutions.
So, if you make a New Year’s resolution, you are either setting yourself up for failure or you are generally good at setting goals and busting right through them, in which case, the first of the year is no better than any other day to start moving those goal posts.
However, I am a fan of whatever works!
If you feel you need a resolution or two to start your year off on the right foot, then by all means go for it. If, like me, one of your long-standing business goals is to build your brand, you will need a 2017 marketing strategy that’s solid. Let’s talk about a key component of that strategy, your blog.
How does posting to your blog fit into your broader 2017 marketing strategy?
1. Your blog tells your story.
As a small business owner, you are the face of your business. One of the big advantages you have over your larger competitors is that your customers deal with you directly and so they know exactly what they are getting for their money. This is a huge selling point for certain customer segments.
Build your marketing strategy around this competitive advantage by telling your entrepreneurial story on your blog. Why are you an entrepreneur? Because you want to be your own boss? Because you are the best at what you do? Because you have ideas about how to transform your industry?
Whatever your answer, you are an expert. Whether you feel it or not, you are out here doing something others would like to be able to do. People are interested in how you’re doing it and why you’re doing it.
Share what you’re learning and where you have found helpful information. Eventually, you will develop a following of potential customers and referrals who are aware of your product or service.
2. You have information that people want.
It’s easy to forget, especially coming off of the holiday season, but people use the Internet for more than buying stuff. While it would be great if all the marketing you needed to do consisted of posting a sales page on your website, potential clients need a reason to come looking for your business.
Why do people use the Internet? The short answer is they are looking for information. Even if they are looking to buy something specific, most people research products before they buy. This means that the more useful they find your blog, the more likely they are to buy from you instead of one of your competitors.
What sort of information should you offer? Don’t make the mistake of only offering information about the product you are selling. For example, if you sell bikes, talk about some of your favorite local bike trails or the best place to park your bike and have coffee.
In other words, offer relevant information that people interested in your product want to consume. And make it easier for people to find information they want without having to wade through obnoxious advertisements first.
3. Use your blog to leverage your unique value proposition.
Figuring out what to write about can be one of the most challenging aspects of blogging for small business. But a good place to start brainstorming is with the special value you provide to your clients.
Consider what you do that your bigger competitors can’t or won’t do. Do you offer free maintenance with purchase or a lifetime warranty? Discuss why those added benefits are so important to you.
Client success stories are especially good because they help to make your brand relatable. Mix things up with interesting stories about your journey to becoming an entrepreneur. Pretend you are pitching a reality show about your business. What would make people binge watch?
In short, write about your customers, your products, your successes, your failures, and lessons learned.
Can you outsource the writing?
Yes, I wouldn’t be here if outsourcing weren’t a viable option. You can hire a professional content writer to create website content designed to appeal to your audience or even help develop your 2017 marketing strategy. However, blog content written by others can come off as generic and disingenuous if poorly executed. So, you won’t have much luck hiring your neighbor’s daughter’s boyfriend’s nephew.
Ideally, you want to find a writer who can capture your voice and make you sound engaging and fun. A good content writer will interview you to brainstorm topics and to figure out what is most newsworthy about your story. She will take your ideas and build on them to create organic content that speaks directly to your target audience.
I love to help busy professionals find their voices and own their stories. If you would like to learn more about effectively blogging for your small business, I am offering two FREE 60-minute workshops in the coming weeks. Participants will walk away with outlines for three blog posts and 10% off of my copywriting services.
Follow the links to register for the workshop:
What great ideas do you have for your 2017 marketing strategy?
Best wishes for a prosperous 2017!
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