BlogWorld Expo is holding it’s first conference in New York this week and I’ll be presenting “Dominate Your Niche with Social SEO & Blogging” on Tuesday at 10:15am as part of the Social Business Track. This post is a light preview of that session and I hope to see you there.
Is blogging dead? A number of high profile bloggers and news media sites from Scoble to Wired to the New York Times have opined the demise of blogging as a consequence of growing social destinations like Twitter and Facebook.
The reality is that like many other forms of media, blogging is evolving and with the right strategy, highly effective. Short attention spans are served by short form content like Tweets and status updates. When it comes to influence on business, longer form content like that found on blogs serves an essential purpose. Rather than displace the most valuable attention spent on blogs, social sites like networks, microblogging, media sharing, news and bookmarks facilitate awareness and engagement with blog content.
Smart online marketers see this and are putting their budgets and priorities where it matters. According to eMarketer, 1 in 3 businesses publish blogs for marketing and HubSpot’s recent 2011 State of Inbound Marketing reports that more companies rated blogs as “critical or important” (62%) than any other social channel. These investments are paying off: AdWeek’s “Changing Scope of Advertising” infographic cites blogs as the leading source of customer acquisition over any other social channel.
Blogs are perfectly suited as social media information hubs for companies or individuals that want to dominate their niche online. Blogs can play an essential role in an integrated search, social media and content marketing strategy that directly influences consumer information discovery, consumption and sharing. But with literally millions of blogs published online and mainstream media getting involved, how does a blog stand out, let alone dominate their niche?
The first step is to understand what your niche is. Formalize your unique selling proposition (USP): How is your content unique and how does it serve the needs of the people you’re trying to reach better than any other blog? What does your blog stand for? What specific can you focus on that represents demand (search keywords) and topical discussion (social)?
The mechanics of a coordinated blogging effort that leverage search, social and content marketing involves:
- Goals & objectives
- Key message and differentiator – USP
- Persona development
- Search and social keyword research
- Editorial plan mapped to search and social content
- Link analysis
- Social channel development
- Intersection with online PR, media relations, advertising
- Content promotion
- Real-time, adaptive
- Monitoring, measurement & refinement
Whether you’re frustrated with the performance of current blogging efforts or you’re starting a new blog and want to maximize effectiveness, following a coordinated online marketing approach with a focus, can force multiply the effect of a company’s ability to “Be where customers are looking” (search), “Be where customers are talking” (social) “Be a source of influence, trust and engagement” (content). The result? You dominate your niche because all signals of credibility point to your social hub whether it’s via search, social, media – push or pull.
For the full presentation, you’ll have too attend BlogWorld New York this week. Hope to see you there.
Sometimes I like to open presentations common questions people have on the topic. What questions do you have about making more out of your business blogging effort? What challenges do you have in your efforts to dominate your niche?