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Blogging Strategies: Know What Your Customer Wants

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By Chris Baggott

RISMEDIA, April 20, 2009-(eM+C Magazine)-It’s extremely valuable for businesses to understand what the “social” in social media really means, and where its power lies, before launching any social media tactic. The social phenomenon is all about people. People are less influenced by brand and aren’t trusting institutions anymore. As the collapse of the advertising industry is showing us, people are tired of businesses trying to sell products through interruption.

So, how should businesses put the “social” in their marketing plans? Consider creating widespread employee and constituent blog content expressly for search. It humanizes an organization, thus making it more relatable to consumers.

Appearing in the organic results of a search engine page is a great opportunity for businesses to be seen by potential customers where they’ll be appreciated. As with any marketing initiative, when your prospect expresses a need or problem, you need to wave your arms with the solution.

In order to accomplish this in search marketing, you must deliver relevant, human blog content that talks about customers’ problems and how you solve those problems effectively. This is the perfect opportunity for blogging; use their language.

Matt Cutts, head of Goggle’s Web spam team, has simple advice for anyone targeting search: “Think about what people are going to type, and talk about that.”

It seems so simple, and yet it’s incredibly powerful.

Here are four simple steps for corporate marketers to drive success for blogging strategies:

-Research the keywords that drive your business.
-Create titled, individual blogs, and target those keywords.
-Encourage all of your employees to create content.
-Solicit customer feedback and reviews.

Thinking strategically
Getting the most out of your corporate blog requires you to think about blogging in a tangible, measurable way. With that being said, blogging’s first corporate benefit is search. Search traffic is the only traffic that can be controlled. Think about the three sources of blog traffic: direct navigation (people who type in the URL or RSS); referrals (people who find blogs because others have linked to them); and search engine queries.

The best you can do on the first two sources is hope that with good content people will navigate to you, or that other sites might link to you. Search, however, is absolutely 100% in your control. If you title blogs with keywords, you know what your prospects are searching for. And if you create relevant content about those terms, you stand a very good chance of influencing not only your ranking, but your traffic. Multiply that over many blogs, and you create a legitimate and appreciated search traffic machine.

The great thing about business blogging as an online marketing strategy is that it makes the customers/searchers really happy. They find the page that exactly matches the ways they’re thinking about the problems – which are their search phrases – populated with stories on how people have solved similar problems for similar people. The net result is low bounce rates, an increase in readership and, most importantly, high conversions.

Chris Baggott is CEO and co-founder of Compendium Blogware, an Indianapolis-based blog software firm. For more information, email chris@compendiumblogware.com.

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