Digital News

Blogging for Business

How Effective Blogging can help your Business

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There is a debate as to whether blogging in business is relevant in today’s social media heavy world. Likewise with SEO, is it dying out or are people being somewhat ignorant? The two actually work well in tandem. Blogs increase your SEO. Fresh content is still a key to beating out your competitors in the search engine results page. Having your blog embedded in your website and use effective keywords, without keyword stuffing, can help your SEO and page rank in Google. Having a blog makes your business more visible in the digital world.

Blogging is important for:

  • Driving traffic to your website. Your blog gives you the opportunity to create relevant content for your customers. Use this as a marketing tactic to drive traffic back to your website.
  • Position your brand as the industry leader. Well written articles demonstrate your company as an industry leader. By posting topics which resonate with your market and show your knowledge, you are marketing your skills for your business, service or product too.
  • Develop customer relations. Blogs provide another source to deepen the connection with your customer. By connecting directly on your website, your clients are able to get to know your business or product from the comfort of your online home base.

To ensure your business blog receives traffic and is shared, install plugins allowing retweets, shares etc. Make it easy for your readers to interact with and share your posts. Share the link on your own social media pages so that people can quickly share or retweet without having to go through too many steps. Don’t be afraid to self promote your blog. Gather subscriber names and emails and send out a monthly newsletter with a recap of blog posts you’ve written. Knowing your topic and knowing it well is what makes for content that can’t be replicated elsewhere and that readers will feel is worthy of sharing.

According to Hubspot, 46% of people reading blogs more than once a day and a rapidly increasing global population of blog readers, content marketing efforts are more valuable than ever. Firstly, determine your target audience, define your voice, and dive right in, because solid blogging can further the success of your business. 78% of consumers believe that organisations providing custom content, such as blogs, are interested in building good relationships.

Although there are numerous web-publishing services out there, there’s no denying WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger are the three most popular given their wide-reaching acceptance and deep integration on the web. So which do you choose? Each blog is custom-tailored for a different user and audience, so it’s really personal choice or which best suits your business. WordPress is best suited for professional users who want to outfit their blog with upgrades and plugins, Tumblr finds grounding in quick, community-driven posts usually lined with images. And Blogger walks the middle ground between the two with a sheer level of simplicity and easy-to-use design anyone can master.

Include calls to action (CTAs). They’re important because they can help direct readers to other relevant information, encourage your audience to move further along the sales process, and ultimately increase conversion rates. Be sure to include relevant CTAs in every post so it’s easy for your audience to move from one piece of content to the next relevant piece.

With each blog post, ask yourself this question: if this post was the only thing influencing a potential buyer’s decision to choose my company, would I want them to read it? If the answer is no, then you need to make improvements.

Adding links to your website through a blog is a great way to drive traffic. However, if they are not relevant or are broken links then this will lead to a high bounce rate. There will be people who may come to your site to read a specific blog post and then leave. This is still traffic to your site and means that your content is worth reading. The other side to it is people who’ve read your blog post and might then read another blog or take a further nose around your site and what you do which might then generate a lead. At this point we’ve turned a blog into revenue.

B2C – Get the most from Blogging

The Globe & Mail – Beef up your Business Blog

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Keeping your Business Social

Importance of Social Media in the Food Industry

Social media marketing is now considered more important than traditional print advertising in the food and beverage industry according to the Grant Thornton International Food and Beverage report, ‘Hunger for growth: Food and Beverage looks to the future’. The report revealed that nearly half (49%) of all food and beverage industry executives say social media is a top method of attracting and retaining customers compared with 46% for print advertising. A company website is viewed as the most important at 78%.

Over ninety percent of food industry executives agree that social media has completely changed the way consumers interact with their brand. Once thought of as an “extra” in marketing departments, social media is now a must-have, and one of the best ways to get results. It is estimated that over twenty thousand companies have a Facebook page for their business. With close to a billion people on Facebook, there is the ability for companies to target nearly any consumer group. The marketing department in Sainsbury’s claims that social media has been a great way for the company to reach out to their consumers via a more “holistic approach.” The ability for the company to have an open dialogue with customers gives Sainsbury’s a way to improve their business, thanks to direct feedback from customers via social media.

Smartphones is where most social media interactions happen. An increasing number of consumers are using smartphones and tablets to access product information while eating in restaurants and shopping in supermarkets. According to Scoop Business, 58% of people aged between 36 and 65, and 61% of younger adults, research products online, using smartphones or tablets, before going to a restaurant or when shopping at supermarkets.

In February 2010, Proctor & Gamble, makers of Old Spice, launched “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign with an online commercial starring former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa. He is shown towel-clad in his bathroom as he tries to convince female viewers to purchase Old Spice body wash so their men will be just like him, or at least smell like him. The commercial premiered on YouTube during Superbowl weekend and has since received more than 26 million views. Five months later, Old Spice decided to take things to the next level; they wanted to engage and communicate on a more personal, intimate level, and so “The Response Campaign” was born. On the morning of July 13, 2010, Old Spice posted a simple message to Facebook and Twitter causing the campaign to become a viral sensation. For two days, Mustafa, answered queries on Twitter via YouTube—producing more than 180 videos in real-time. The result from the campaign was phenomenal being the fastest growing and most popular interactive campaign in history. The results were:

  • Twitter following increased 2700%;
  • Facebook fan interaction went up 800%;
  • Traffic to Oldspice.com increased 300%;
  • And with more than 75 million views, Old Spice became the no.1 all-time most viewed branded channel on YouTube.

Case study from Zones of Social Media Marketing.

Timing is also important in Social Media. Posting and being available when your customers/ fans are online is important. You want to catch people during their downtime. You might need to get them early in the morning during their commute or “settling in” time at work, during lunch or in the evenings. It is also important to understand the timing may be different for their specific customer base or industry. Experimentation is recommended.

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From Entrepreneur.com

Email Marketing in the Food Industry

Best use of Email Marketing in Business

Small businesses are spending about 15% of their marketing budgets on email (RestaurantEngine). It’s still above social media and even face-to-face contact as a marketing method. There is a continuing trend towards the use of mobile and tablets. Email marketing is ultimately suited perfectly for this as it’s easy to read and on the go. A recent survey, from January, showed that mobile phone traffic accounts for 36 percent of all visitors to a restaurant’s website (HospitalityMag). This is why a mobile optimised email should be developed and test to cater for all customers, devices and browsers.

Emails are effective only if they reach the intended recipients, five tips on achieving this:

  1. Clean your list. Monitor unsubscribes.
  2. Segment list based on most recent activity. Create a more compelling subject line for inactive users or provide a special offer.
  3. Monitor subject line rules. Avoid excessive punctuation and using money signs.
  4. Spam check. Most email service providers have spam check built in, however, it isn’t absolute.
  5. Monitor you reputation. Ensure your IP Address the emails are sent from is clean, increasing your score and reputation.

Email marketing can work fantastically well for retailers when properly implemented. According to the Direct Marketing Association, consumers currently rate online retailers as the best at email marketing, with supermarkets and high street retailers coming in second and third.

Remarketing is an important marketing tool for companies. Consumers are happy to received tailored messages, with many welcoming follow up emails, but there’s a fine line between creating engaging content and people switching off. Over a third of consumers say they actively welcome a follow up from retailers after abandoning an online purchase. Getting the message right and delivering it at the right time, with the right frequency is critical to success.

Personalisation is key to the success of a campaign. This and frequency. You want to create engaging content without making the reader switch off. It is also important to have a clear primary call to action and it prominently placed within the email.

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Half of all unique email opens now occur on a mobile device. The iPhone is the most commonly used mobile device for email opens and clicks. Android phones are third for opens and transactions, but second for clicks.

For a supermarket or restaurants, email marketing is one of the best ways to regularly update fans on new products, events and promotions. It is also important to adapt to your customers and how they interact with information. Being mobile optimised, general design and containing gifs, moveable ink, video, encourages engagement and clicks. It is a marketers job to then ensure all links go to responsive pages. Otherwise, they are difficult to read and deter recipients from actually reading them.

Email marketing is an ideal platform for getting feedback from current and potential customers. Subscribers are a valuable focus group. They’re already interested and engaged with your brand and what you have to say. This provides an excellent opportunity to test branding, positioning, voice and tone, taglines, and more, in order to learn what resonates with existing customers before rolling these out to wider audiences. This is a great way to get subscribers to feel invested in your brand and encourage loyalty.

Designing email campaigns that are meaningful for all involved — subscribers, your brand, and partners — is the most effective way to drive desired behaviour and deliver maximum results.

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