Top 5 mistakes of small business marketing blogs

by on December 22, 2012

If you just started a blog or have a collection of published posts, check these top 5 mistakes to gauge whether your small business marketing blog is an effective marketing strategy, or an obstacle to success. Is your company making any of these mistakes? If so, what can you do to improve  it, so it brings more qualified leads through the front door?

The daily attraction of the news

1. Your business has a blog, but does not publish fresh weekly content.

Small business blog’s usually fail due to a lack of commitment, meaning not allotting the resources needed to succeed. Many business owners are not aware of a blog’s potential for bringing qualified prospects to their business.

A quality blog offers important benefits:

  • Creates more engagement with prospects and customers;
  • Establishes your business as an industry expert and your website as an authoritative resource;
  • Brings more visitors, since it increases keyword opportunities that lead them to your website, while improving search rankings;
  • Offers fresh content for visitors and search engines, so both have an incentive to visit more often.

TIP: To determine the posting frequency that will keep your blog fresh and competitive, look at your competitors’ blogs. Target a frequency that is as good as or better, and publish at least a 400 word post every week.

Lone woman with a microphone2. Your blog posts are about your company, products and services.

This error is not obvious to many business owners. A related problem is if your posts promote the company and services too often, so it loses credibility and usefulness to visitors. If guilty, your blog is likely blocking its own success, while wasting valuable marketing dollars and time. Your business blog should about what your target market finds useful that is related to what you sell, not what your business wants to say or thinks is valuable.

A blog should be educational if you want visitors to return, and your reputation to spread. Define and focus its content so it offers useful information about your industry.

  • Question and answers that cover your customers’ knowledge gaps.
  • Case studies about how customers have solved its problems using your offerings.
  • Guest posts from other bloggers or related companies (not competitors, of course) which can introduce their readers and fans to you.
  • Industry news or events that are defined broader than what you sell.
  • Insights into your business, staff and behind-the-scene stories.

TIP: To accumulate ideas for future content, set up alerts or an online reader to monitor related blogs and social media websites. Look for what others find interesting and for trends, saving their links as ideas for upcoming posts.

Authoritative website referenced in a meeting3. Your blog is not used to establish your business as a niche leader or expert.

This is also related to the topics covered and how well they are focused. If you are a fitness company selling exercise equipment, cover the broader fitness market, for example, how often and what types of exercises meet specific needs, what food or vitamins can improve results and how to choose exercise equipment that meets various customers’ goals.

Another industry example, a skin care clinic might educate about health and life style issues that go beyond, but are related to, skin care. By casting a broader net around your prospects interests and needs, you can snag their interests even if they are not immediately thinking about the care of their epidermis.

4. Your blog marketing is not integrated with other social media activities.

Blogs, like websites, need visibility to earn visitors. Blogs are a form of social media, so what better way to promote them than on other social media websites, like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest? Or, earn attention by publishing guest posts on your blog, or write posts for a related blog as their guest? Winning exposure on other social media websites will build brand awareness and earn more clicks.

Large gathering of people

5. Social media is primarily used to promote your business and products.

This issue is a similar to item #2 (above); it constantly amazes me how the majority of social media posts are self-focused, closing the door on engaging other social media participants. Even a novice will immediately ignore a company that primarily broadcast its interests. This leads to little interaction and a very small following, yet this error runs rampant.

TIP: To avoid it, follow a 10:1 ratio for social engagement: publish and acknowledge others’ content then, after ten tweets or status updates or messages, add a fairly promotional message with your useful link. By this time, you likely will have earned enough goodwill that others will accept or reward, rather than ignore it.

You will likely avoid these traps if each time you consider your audience first: Is this post offering customers or prospects a way to make an informed decision? Is the message providing new information and insights, or is it really just a promotional pitch?

Your comments are welcome: How well does your small business marketing blog pass these 5 criteria? Do you think a blog can be, or is, one your most effective marketing strategies?

Related posts:
How Small Businesses Boost Online Lead Generation
7 Compelling Reasons for a Small Business Marketing Blogs
How to Attract Customers With Ideas They Love

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