Lee Odden

The Dynamic Duo of Business Blog Marketing: Optimize & Socialize

optimize socialize business bloggingBlogs are often rated one of the top content marketing tactics for attracting and engaging customers and eMarketer has reported blogs reach over 50% of the internet audience. But many companies fail to combine two of the most important tools for boosting relevant traffic and reach: Optimization for search engines and for social media.

Most marketers and bloggers understand the basics of a good business blog and the notion of search engine optimization but often focus more on keywords than the customers that are actually searching.  Adding keywords to blog posts is a common SEO tactic but developing a blog content plan around both search keywords and social topics that represent what customers care about can result in content that is inherently more search, social and customer media friendly.

The Business of Optimizing Social Media

Social Media Optimization involves optimizing social content for topics of interest to both the brand and the communities they seek to engage. SMO also focuses on the ability for social communities to share links and media they find interesting.  Links to content shared on social networks and media sites can drive direct traffic to blog content and serve as a signal that search engines use for ranking blog web pages.

Essentially, socialized and optimized blog content can drive traffic through search and those visitors can share that content through social channels, driving even more traffic. Social sharing can also impact better search visibility, providing  more relevant visitors that are actively looking.

Search and Social Media Friendly

As Internet marketers have emphasized making websites search engine friendly over the past 10 years, the importance of making websites and blogs social media friendly is also important. Great blog content isn’t really great until it’s consumed and shared, so consider how your customers find information online that is most likely to inspire them to do what you want them to do.

A Better Business Blog Strategy

To get more out of the opportunity to improve online discovery of business blog content, here are a few key questions to ask for an “Optimize and Socialize” blog strategy:

  • Who is the blog intended to influence? Prospects, customers, employees, industry analysts, reporters, bloggers.
  • What content will your blog offer that will meet target audience needs?
  • How will addressing those customer needs and telling the brand story manifest as a blog content plan?
  • What search keywords and social topics are relevant to your target audience?
  • Where does your blog content fit in the customer lifecycle of communication with the brand?
  • If the blog content is properly optimized and socialized, how will it influence (directly or indirectly) measurable business outcomes?

Interest In Your Blog Is Related to Your Blog’s Interest in Readers

One of the reasons business blogs fail as being optimized and socialized, is that their content tends to be very brand-centric. Most business blog posts talk about the brand, it’s products and services without a lot of consideration for customer perspectives and language.

A self-centered business blogging approach tends to push ideas out, hoping to get a reaction in the form of search engine rankings, fans, friends and followers.  Many SEO centric blogs share these characteristics.

The problem with a mostly brand content focus is that there usually isn’t as much sharing, engagement or direct influence on business outcomes because the content is all about the brand, vs. empathizing with customers and the language customers use.

To Be Great, Your Business Blog Must Participate

Conversely, a search and social optimized business blog develops and participates in social communities online, offline, internally and externally. To do that, blog editors need to figure out where the great ideas and stories are in the company.

All this said, it’s not enough simply to have an optimized and socialized blog content plan that aligns brand solutions and ideas with those of your target audience. To tap into a high quality stream of customer-centric content ideas for your business blog, it’s essential to engage relevant social communities. Ask them questions, crowdsource content ideas, give those who participate recognition and repeat.

By shining a light on the awesome within your community, you’ll provide the fuel of positive reinforcement to motivate fans and customers to partake in both content creation and promotion.

Walk the talk by telling your brand stories and those of your community. Lead by example and your community will start to tell your stories for you. And so will their friends, and their friends’ friends. That’s the benefit of optimizing your business blog beyond search to include social media, networks and communities.

A version of this post was originally published on my ClickZ Social Media Smarts column.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. Sam Allaby says:

    Well, one thing I definitely find is that good blog writing seems to have a huge impact on SEO. Just as a test, I designed two websites which had almost identical content, except I installed a blog on one site, and the site which contained the blog outranked the other site immensely.

  2. ‘A self centered business blogging effort’ is exactly how many businesses run their blogs! C’mon, A blog is not a newspaper/ magazine advertisement! Give information about the product throughout the blog post but mention the name of the product just once at the end of the post. Interested people will click through. Don’t try to influence people – Try to guide them instead, and they will like your product even more… 

    • For whatever reason, it seems a mystery to many companies how to create useful content and promote products and services at the same time. The answer is simply to know what customers care about and tell stories about how people are solving their problems with your company’s products and services.  Facts tell, stories sell. 

  3. Writing tutorial seems to be a good way to engage sharing.

  4. Interesting and helpful article Lee. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Hi Lee. Great post – thanks. Our biggest challenge though is to get the momentum started. We’ve got some decent content and deliver it consistently, we also integrate with social media – but it’s really hard to get the B2B community (our audience) to engage…

    • Persistence is key as you already know with B2B marketing in general – same goes with community building. Find what their triggers are and focus there, even if the numbers are small to start.

    • Persistence is key as you already know with B2B marketing in general – same goes with community building. Find what their triggers are and focus there, even if the numbers are small to start.

  8. Hi Lee. Great post – thanks. Our biggest challenge though is to get the momentum started. We’ve got some decent content and deliver it consistently, we also integrate with social media – but it’s really hard to get the B2B community (our audience) to engage…

  9. hi, niche blogging is not that easy, you have to be a master in your field, if this requirement is filled then SEO and other such stuff might save you.

  10. Mostly marketers are definitely understand the starting stage of good business blog.Today most of people are use SMO and its user friendly.Smo are focused on your social communities.And social sharing are impact on search visibility.Its beneficial for consumer, they will find information online and share your idea.

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