January might have some chilly weather, but it’s no time to go cold in your marketing strategy. For startups and small businesses now is the time to heat up your marketing efforts. The most cost-effective way to do that is with digital marketing—in particular, blogging.
Why is blogging so essential for startups and small businesses?
- It promotes your company and creates your online presence without paid marketing.
- Blogging adds weight to your authority as an innovator in your industry by showing that you are knowledgeable in your field and continuing to stay on top of new information and trends.
- A blog can consistently drive traffic to your site—the ROI continues to rise over time (instead of decreasing like some short-term marketing efforts) and grows your search engine ranking and online visibility by leaps and bounds.
Yes, small business blogging can set you on a path to success this year…. but, where do you start?
Fire up your small Business blogging efforts with laser- focused goals.
Without clear goal-setting, the sparks of your blogging efforts will have little chance to develop into flames. In the goal-setting process, you will identify reasons why your business should have a blog and then plan your content marketing so those goals come to fruition. When it comes to choosing your goals be realistic, but challenge yourself—that is the only way you will see growth rewards.
Goal #1: Determine your identity
Who are you as a company? Do you have a sense of humor like Tire Discounters with daily jokes on their signs? Do you see your competitors as boring and serious? If you want to bring humor into your brand identity, now is the time to decide and define what type of humor that will be.
Maybe instead of humorous you are the one who is serious about what you do and it is important for you to come across as an informed expert or dedicated professional in your field. Or there are others whose work has a deep sense of meaning for them that goes beyond the professional and is very personal—you might resonate with this and want to communicate on that level in your blog with personal stories about yourself or your clients.
Look for ways to humanize your brand. No one business identity is the “right” one, but there will be one that fits you and feels right. Look at what your competitors are doing, and then be different. Be You-nique!
Goal #2: Find Your Target Audience
Before you can start creating content for small business blogging, you’ll need to find your target audience. Without defining your target audience, you (or the person writing your blog) won’t know who to address. Do they listen to Mozart or Metallica? It makes a difference!
By defining the demographics and psychographics of your audience, you will have the best chance for creating valuable, relatable content that will keep readers coming back to read your blog.
Goal #3: Define Your Brand Voice
Once you’ve clearly defined your identity and your target audience for your small business blog, you will next need to create a brand voice for your business. A brand voice consists of the tone, cadence, and types of words you will use when communicating with your audience. By spending some time coming up with descriptive words to define what the brand voice of your business will be, you gain the advantage of being clear about who you are, which results in greater trust of your brand. Confusion turns customers off!
Goal #4: Plan your content
Before you start jotting down ideas on Post-it notes all around your desk, find an organization system that works for keeping your content ideas organized in one place. Decide whether it will be you or someone else in your organization who is responsible for managing the content, writing the blog, and maintaining it. Now that you have laid the groundwork, outsourcing your blog is also an option, and will go much smoother and successfully when you have gathered the above information to communicate to the writer.
Can we start now? Yes! Once you’ve figured out your brand identity, target audience, and brand voice—as well as considered who will be managing the content—it’s time to start brainstorming for ideas for your content. Blogs on small business blogging are ubiquitous, and full of great ideas for generating useful, relevant content for your blog.
Feeling inspired? We hope so! If you have a small business blog or are planning to start one, let us know how it’s going–hook up with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn with a link to your blog. Need help writing your blog? Bizidentity offers blog services for your business. Contact us to get started today!