CategoryHow To Blog

7 Of The Top Social Media Marketing Blogs

The world of social media is changing so quickly, it seems like if you blink, you’ll miss something. It’s very hard to keep up with the latest developments in the social media sphere.

One of the ways we stay up to date is by following a number of the best blogs on social media. Here’s a list of 7 of the best blogs that provide readers with excellent insights about social media and digital marketing online.

1. Social Media Examiner (www.socialmediaexaminer.com)

One of the most well-written and authoritative blogs on social media, Social Media Examiner “helps businesses master social media marketing to find leads, increase sales and improve branding using Facebook”. Founded by Michael Stelzner, they also have a regular podcast that provides more in-depth analysis and interviews with social media experts.

Social Media Examiner

 

2. Socialbrite (www.socialbrite.org)

This is one platform that new social media enthusiasts need to follow. Socialbrite hosts several articles and discussions about making the best use of social media in real world situations. They “help nonprofits and organizations with all facets of social media: strategy, website design, community building, multimedia storytelling & fundraising campaigns.”

Socialbrite

 

3. Social Media Explorer (www.socialmediaexplorer.com)

As a multi-author, agency blog, Social Media Explorer delivers strategic information on matters of digital marketing and social media. Started by Jason Falls and Nichole Kelly, the articles are timely and well-researched.

Social Media Explorer

 

4. Chris Brogan (www.chrisbrogan.com/blog)

Written from his own experience, Chris Brogan’s blog is always interesting and engaging, and he delivers exciting insights into churning out the best social media content. CEO of Human Business Works, a publishing and media company, Chris has authored books like The Impact Equation, Trust Agents, Social Media 101, and Google Plus for Business.

Chris Brogan

 

5. Social Media Today (socialmediatoday.com)

Social Media Today hosts an impressive lineup of social media experts – or what it calls, “the world’s best thinkers on social media” – from different fields who discuss their theories of social media success on the blog. The articles are practical, yet insightful, and their Social Media Today podcast caters to those who are serious about social media marketing.

Social Media Today

 

6. Social Mouths (socialmouths.com/blog/)

Founded by Francisco Rosales, Social Mouths has “some of the best social media content and advice you’ll find on the web”, according to one of their testimonials. They have a lot of list posts, which are a popular and useful blog format and feature articles about all kinds of social marketing strategies – blogging, content marketing, email marketing, web traffic, conversion and much more.

Social Mouths

 

7. Hubspot’s Inbound Hub (blog.hubspot.com)

There are many reasons why the Hubspot blog is one of our favourites, but awesome content should just about cover it. Also their free guides on various aspects of social media and inbound marketing are among the best we’ve ever read. Their content is always useful, practical and educational and is targeted at companies and social media agencies with the aim of getting them to try their HubSpot software.

Hubspot

 

 

 

How To Create Content That Will Cut Through The Clutter

stand out from the clutter

According to AOL/Nielsen, 27 million pieces of content are shared each day. With such a glut of online content creation and sharing, how do you get your content to stand out from the clutter?

Here are some suggestions to help you do this.

1. Create remarkable content

What this essentially means is that you need to make every piece of content count. Quality over quantity is the key to this. Even if you publish only one blog post a week or post your own commentary about someone else’s post, make it a great one.

Make your content insightful, give it depth and make people question their own assumptions. You have more chance of creating viral content if you tell a story, trigger people’s emotions, make them laugh or appeal to the goodness in people.

Even if your content is not unique and is curated from someone else’s articles, it can still make a dent in the content universe. This is the model that websites like The Huffington Post and Business Insider follow and their content is definitely some of the most shared online.

2. Publish a blog and build a community around it

That your blog is the hub of your social media presence has almost become a cliché. But not everyone gets the fact that “social networks are not the holy grail of customer acquisition, retention and loyalty. Online communities are.”

And that “people prefer to build relationships with brands in customer communities that are tightly integrated with the company website or other online properties, close to the brand.” (Source)

A blog is one of the best ways to grow and nurture a loyal community of customers that love your information and your brand. Communities like Mashable are built around the engaging content that they publish, and their posts often go viral, even if they are not always original content.

3. Repurpose your blog into a video or Powerpoint

Visual content is becoming essential as social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Vine become more popular with certain niches. Repurpose your blog post into a video and post it on YouTube, Instagram and other channels.

Also post your videos on your blog and share them with your social networks to give your content more traction and help it stand out from the clutter of text-based content.

Certain kinds of content can also be repurposed into PDFs or slideshows, allowing them to be shared on sites like Slideshare, Authorstream and other document sharing sites.

4. Create attractive visuals to go with your post

Visual content can help you cut through the clutter of content online. A 2012 study by ROI Research found that 44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media.

It is so easy to create attractive quotes taken from excerpts of your blog posts using sites like Quozio, Quotescover and BeHappy.me. Or you can purchase attractive stock photos cheaply and create your own custom graphics.

You might even want to consider creating an infographic from your post, which gives it greater potential to go viral.

5. Syndicate your content on authoritative sites

If you’re a B2B company, your content will get noticed and shared more if you join a number of expert communities online and syndicate your content on them.

Quora, ExploreB2B, Business2Community and Efactor are just a few of the authoritative sites that invite you to share your expertise as a blog on their site. Considering that their updates go out to millions of readers, your content is bound to get noticed a lot more if you syndicate it on these sites.

With article directories taking a massive hit in the past few Google algorithm updates, we highly recommend making use of the massive reader base of these sites to get more traction for your content.

As the growth and sharing of content becomes even more prolific in the future, we hope that your business will benefit from these suggestions to help your content stand out from the clutter.

© Priya Florence Shah is a published author, online publisher, blogging and social media consultant and digital marketing trainer. Get access to her free ebook on using blogs to generate leads for your business.

How to Attract Customers with Your Blog

customers

The internet is a vast resource. Consumers in the world over acknowledge this fact. As such, when they want to seek out information on products, services and the like, they turn to the internet.

When they find a product they need, they naturally want to know more about it. They want to determine how it will suit their cause. So, they visit its location site or a blog about it. So, if your company has a blog, how do you attract customers to it?

Your customers have needs and they want these needs met. That is the main reason they are on your blog. For your business to achieve its success, you need to fully understand your customers and cater to their needs. Here are some ways to do that.

Publish Useful Blog Content

A consumer going through your blog is searching for more information about your products or services. Consumers and customers are smart. They can tell when you’re pushing a product instead of satisfying their needs. As such, your blog content plays a vital role in convincing your customers that you care about them.

To win them over and solidify their loyalty, encourage timely and honest discussions on your blog concerning your products and services. The content on your blog should be give credible and provide useful information. In addition it should relate to the customers, as they are a crucial part of your business.

Answer customer’s questions, recommends, Marcus Sheridan, whose approach to content marketing on his company’s blog brought it back from the edge of bankruptcy to exceed its peak pre-2007 revenue.

Make It Interesting And Easy To Read

Put simply, your content should be helpful and easy to read. Most customers tend to skim through content fast and as such may not read word for word of your blog post.

To capture their attention, you can also incorporate infographics or short videos and provide access to social media discussions on your business. With these tactics, you will attract more customers and be in a better position to increase their satisfaction of your brand.

Allow Your Customers to Complain

In fact, encourage them to do so. This is one of the best things you can do. Why is this so? Why should you give incentives on your blog for your customers to vent their frustrations and tell you what they do not love about your business?

It’s simple really. Most customers and clients don’t complain to a company. They turn to their friends, associates, colleagues, social media platforms and anyone that’s willing to listen.

And with the speed that information travels these days, it will reach both your current and potential customers. No company, business or enterprise can afford this negative word-of-mouth publicity. Use your blog as a platform where they can relay their grievances.

How is this effective? To put it simply, disgruntled customers just want to be heard. They want to know that you’re giving attention to their plight. To be shown that they are important to the business. And they are.

Out of those who get to complain, you can maintain the loyalty of a larger percentage to your business and brand by addressing their complaints and setting things right.

Your consumers just want to have a voice. Answer their concerns and queries. They want to participate in the conversation around your brand. Let them. The greatest partner for the prosperity, promotion and progression of a business is a delighted and satisfied customer.

A recommendation about a brand from your customers is more effective than an advertisement about it. Improve your customer relations through your blog. This will increase their satisfaction and your credibility and attract even more clients and customers.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Turn Your Blog Into an Online Lead Generation Machine

attract-leads-bigOne of the popular ways in which you can market content and also generate leads is by blogging. Businesses make use of blogs to let their customers know about their products and services as well as for brand building purposes.

Despite the popularity of bogging, many companies fail to generate a sufficient number of leads with it. This article aims to provide some tips as to how you can transform your blog into an online lead generation machine.

#1: Ensure that your blog is part of your website. Your blog should mirror the design navigation and design of the website. This is because a visitor’s first experience of your company may be through a blog and they may never reach your main website. It is a good idea to maintain your blog as a sub-domain (for example, blog.website.com).

#2: Solve customer problems. Your blog posts should be focused towards solving the problems of your customers. It is not a good idea to make your blogs solely a repository for your press releases. Your company’s news may be interesting to you, but not to your prospects. You can make use of customer inquiries or FAQs to fuel your blog postings.

#3: Post consistently. Write blogs that contain great information with some amount of regularity. You can hire a freelancer if writing is not your forte. It is a good idea to follow an editorial calendar. You must also encourage visitors to post their comments and keep them engaged by responding to them.

#4: Keep it simple. It pays to make the blog posts concise as well as punchy and focused on one idea. Blog posts can be images, videos, PowerPoint presentations or even graphics. Frame the blog posts in such a way that the visitor does not have to spend a lot of time reading and understanding them.

#5: Use multiple content formats. There are five types of content that you can make use of for lead generation: informational and educational, ebooks, webinars, media interviews and guest posts or article contributions.

Further, you must optimize the content on the basis of the buyer persona, align it with the needs of your customers, as well as the buying stages, and ensure a smooth flow of the conversation.

#6: Headlines attract attention (or not). Make the headline catchy in order to entice the visitor into reading your blog. It is the post title that makes visitors click on your blog post.

#7: Link internally. Your blog post must contain several links (through specific keywords and phrases) to the resources built around these keywords and phrases on your main website.

#8: Include a call to action. Make use of the space around the blog post, especially the leaderboard at the top, the side bars and the space following the post.

Whereas the leaderboard and side bars can be made use of to place an email subscription form or banners with a special offer, the space at the bottom of the post can be utilized to provide a companion offer or link to related content. The space at the bottom can also be made use of to provide links to landing pages that call for email registration.

#9: Get them to subscribe. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe for updates to your blog through email. That way, whenever you publish a new post, a notification is sent to your subscribers inviting them to check it out.

You can make use of plug-ins that can be integrated into WordPress or other such blogging platforms to allow subscription options. This turns your blog into a list-building system. You can also make use of third-party services to collect names as well as contact information for you. Some of the services available are Google FeedBurner (free) and Mailchimp (free upto 2000 subscribers).

#10: Nurture your list. Email lists are very important for the success of your business. However, you need to maintain a good relationship with the members of your list. Make sure you send regular follow-up emails to your list with useful information about your business, products and services.

#11: Incorporate social media buttons – especially that of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – in your blog posts. You can do this easily using one of the many plugins available to WordPress users. Your visitors will share your content if they feel that it will be of use or if it makes them look good (read, smart and well informed) to others in their social networks.

Blogging presents you with a real opportunity to generate leads by connecting with your customers in real time and engaging them on a continuous basis. If you can apply the tips provided here, it will help convert your blog into an online lead generation machine.

Our lead-generating blog and social media package is designed to make it easier to capture visitor’s emails and free up the time you spend on lead-generating and social media marketing.

Click here to download our FREE EBOOK that reveals 6 steps to creating a blog that will generate more leads for your business.

How to Get More Blog Subscribers

subscribe button

Perhaps more than any other marketing strategy you employ on your blog, e-mail marketing is the most effective way to build relationships with your customers and to drive conversions. It’s also an excellent way to ensure repeat traffic and repeat business.

In order to create a powerful e-mail marketing list, you first must build up your e-mail subscribers. Here are a few of the most effective strategies for helping you get more subscribers for your blog fast.

Make Attractive Opt-In Boxes

Your opt-in box is your gateway to your e-mail list. Slapping up a generic text box without any color or styling is unlikely to get very many responses. You need to draw attention to the box and make it inviting to encourage people to signup.

Create a unique box that matches the style of your blog design while also standing out enough to get noticed. Use a quirky design or bright colors. The key is to get noticed while also maintaining a professional look.

Include a Unique Call to Action

Many websites use a generic call to action, such as “Sign up for e-mail alerts” or “Click here to subscribe to my e-mail list.” While this is straight-forward, it’s not very inviting. Instead, create a unique call to action that is related to the theme of your blog.

For example, if you run a weight loss blog, you could include a call to action that says something like “Learn more about how to burn belly fat” or “Get recipes to help you get the body of your dreams.”

Even if all they are getting is blog updates through your e-mail list, that’s a better way of showing them what they are getting from your blog besides just “blog updates.”

Provide a Free Offer

A free offer is a great incentive to get people to sign up for your e-mail list. Most site owners offer a free e-book or case report.

Some other options can include a free e-mail course, a free series of video tutorials, or even a free “how to” type of book, such as a recipe book or pattern book. Make the offer a good one: The better it is, the more of an incentive it will provide for readers to sign up for your list.

Provide Multiple Offers

Who says you have to have just one opt-in box? Or that you have to have just one offer? You can include multiple offers for multiple opt-in boxes, increasing your chances of attracting new subscribers exponentially.

Again, make sure they are all your best offers. More is not always better. You don’t want to clutter up your sidebar with a lot of junky offers.

Make sure that they are all appealing and that the opt-in boxes are all attractive and inviting. Otherwise, you’ll make your site look spammy and will turn away potential subscribers.

Put a Call to Action on Every Post and Page

Readers won’t always know what you want them to do. You need to make it clear, and you need to be persistent. That’s why you need to include a call to action to join your e-mail list at the end of every blog post and every page.

Vary your approach so that readers don’t start to tune out the message and so that you find an effective strategy to get the most subscribers.

Some could be direct such as “Please join my e-mail list for blog updates!” while others could be more creative such as “Want to learn how to make more money this year? Sign up for my free e-course!” Experiment to find out what gets the most responses.

Growing your opt-in e-mail list can help you to build relationships with customers and to ensure the long-term success of your business. These tips will help you get more subscribers quickly so that you can start taking advantage of this powerful tool.

What was the strategy that helped you get the most e-mail subscribers?

Bio:

Amber Satka writes on financial topics, such as her look into rebates on used cars. Amber is a former office manager and current mother and writer.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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