How to create, spread, and measure a blog that consumers will find useful.
Before you say that's old hat, let me clarify. Blogging shouldn't be the sporadically updated, self-serving promotion broadcast channel that many retailers, including a few of my clients, create. Rather I suggest creating product-related content that leverages the strength of your firm's expertise. You can use your blog posts to provide useful solutions for consumers as part of an integrated social media marketing strategy to extend your reach and provide engagement that results in sales.
While not as sexy as other social media formats, blogging can effectively utilize text, photographs, video, audio, and PDFs to fuel other social media interactions, most notably Twitter and social bookmarking. By using other communication channels, such as RSS and e-mail, to distribute blog content, you can extend your reach. To be effective, blogging requires ongoing work, commitment, and time to yield benefits.
Five Ways to Create Blog Content
Develop a blog content strategy and integrated it into your marketing plans and business goals to ensure that it drives sales. Include these five actions:
Six Ways to Spread Blog Content
To drive traffic, blogs must be merchandised. While a special blog marketing budget can extend your reach, you can effectively leverage your ongoing marketing to drive usage. Here are six ways:
Four Ways to Leverage Third-Party Blogs
It's critical for an organization to respect blogs as a news source and community forum. While this sounds trite, it's at the core of blog-related social media interactions. Here are four ways to engage third-party blogs:
Measure Blog Results
From a metrics perspective, using a blog in this manner is more than just tracking how many customers read your content:
Blogging is commitment marketing. It's an ongoing content and communication strategy that requires care and feeding. You can't just post one or two times a week and hope that it will work.
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Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
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An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
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