Meeting consumer needs and developing relationships
Business professionals launch websites as the means to different ends, however the overarching theme is the same: to fill a need of their consumers. In some cases this involves selling products or services, but in almost all cases it involves providing information that is not readily available in brick and mortars. A company?s website also allows a company to deepen their relationship with their consumers through various means. The most common platform used is a blog, which is ideal for displaying the depth and breadth of a professional?s knowledge. The issue that many business professionals wrestle with is how to get their content out to their prospective consumers.
Know your platform
The first factor that should be considered is which platform you?ve built your blog on. Each Content Management System (CMS) has different options available for publication and reaching out to your readers. The most common CMS?s available are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Ask your design house or web developer which platform was installed for your blog and if there are any stock options for alerting followers of new posts. If there are, ask if you are already utilizing these options or if you need to do some setup on your end before the services will function.
Email your current users
Most free blog platforms like Blogger.com and WordPress.com will send out an automated email notification to your blog followers to announce a new blog post. If you have a blog setup on your own domain name, these features may be stripped out during installation due to a number of reasons. If your web developer confirms the latter as the case with your blog, consider doing an independent email campaign.
Email blasts are a strategic way to reach out to your consumers. Unlike the auto-send method of announcement, a standalone email campaign allows you to have complete control over when and what arrives in your consumer?s inbox. Use your existing customer list and send out a templated email that you or your design team can change the text as needed. With this approach you?ll be able to use the email to reinforce your brand, announce any other additional promotions you may have going on, as well as links to any social channels that you may be utilizing.
Announce on social media
As with email alerts, there are options to automatically announce your post?s title and link via social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. Again, these options can also be stripped during the website installation process. Ask your web developer if there is a way to install a service which will send out an automatic post once you publish an article. While this is not the best method, it will get your link out for new users to find it. The issue with this is that you may not be posting your topics at the ideal time for your followers to find them.
The ideal method to share across social media is to have an active profile on the social platform that best suits your user?s needs. The platform can vary depending on the business. For example, Pinterest is perfect for retail and visually based businesses whereas LinkedIn would be the ideal platform to share with other business professionals. There are many services in which you can schedule posts in advance to go out at the optimal time for your followers to run across the link.
If you?re already sending out social messages and you?re not getting the response you?re looking for, consider reading my previous blog post about how Traditional Link Building Is Over. Also, it would be a good idea to check your community activity. Make sure that you?re doing the two things that social media was built for: interacting with the community and providing useful content. Simply sending out links to your website won?t go far in the way of getting you new followers or clicks back to your site.
Write and submit press releases
Last but not least are the often overlooked press releases. These short pieces on company activity are powerful tools to get information out to users. Submitting a press release to even a few services will allow you to get an amazing new blog post out to a brand new audience. Another plus is that writers use press release websites to find sources for new articles as well as to find new topics to develop. If you?re lucky, your release will get picked up and a writer will contact you for permission to run a story.
Keep in mind that, as with all things in marketing, timing is everything. It is imperative to get your information out to your consumers when they?re actively checking their inbox and social accounts. It may be that you?re already doing the correct actions but with poor timing. Check with your design house or web developer to see if there are services to track your user base for these key reference points.