If you haven't got a blogging clue.
If you haven’t got a blogging clue.
Okay, my name is Martin Henley, my business is The Effective Marketing Company. If you’re interested to talk to me about your marketing I would be really happy to have that conversation at the end of my presentation. My presentation is called If You Haven’t Got A Blogging Clue What To Say.
I was quite happy with that.
I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have said to me, Martin, that’s all well and good but I don’t want people to know when I’m having my dinner, or when I’m going to the toilet or what I’ve had for breakfast. Have you heard that? Yeah. So it’s interesting, people don’t know what to say.
What are we going to cover in this blogging presentation?
So what I’ve got is 20 minutes, I’ve got a little agenda, actually, so I’ll tell you what’s going on. I’m going to talk to you a little bit about what can be achieved through blogging; I’m going to talk a little bit about how the old media do it, my theory is that new media, social media is just media like the old media apart from you don’t have to pay a huge amount of money for it, so if we can learn something from how they do it, then we can be successful; I’m going to talk to you very quickly about what people are really interested in; I’m going to talk to you about and I’m going to give you my entire blogging strategy; I am going to show you how the leading 10 practitioners do it and I’m going to give you 100 ideas for small business.
And if you are not inspired and motivated at that point, then we’re gonna see if we can do it, in front of all 80 people, I’m gonna see if we can make one person here interesting. Does that sound exciting?
What could you be achieving through blogging?
Okay, fantastic. So, probably the biggest determinant in what you say is what you want to achieve? Does that make sense? So your strategy is built around what you want to achieve. There are lots of things that you could be achieving through blogging, you can be clarifying your ideas; you can be expressing yourself; you can be letting off steam; you can be getting feedback; you can be motivating people; inspiring people; sharing content; improving internal and external communications, so you can communicate with the people you work with and the people that you’d like to be working with – that would be good; you could build an audience, that’d be really valuable; you could develop content. So there’s just one distinction I want to make here. I slip a little bit into social media, into Twitter, specifically, but Twitter and Facebook are just micro blogging. Is everyone comfortable with that? So actually, when you put out 140 character tweets, that is just a microblog, yeah, that’s just an update. That’s just a micro blog.
So the idea of developing content is you could start tweeting about things, you could get some interest in those things, you might put a blog post together. That’s 140 characters with Twitter, around 250 words is all you need for a blog post, you might put a few of these blog posts together to make an article, you might put a few articles together to make a book. Before you know where you are, you are a successful author, and everyone’s interested to hear from you.
Yeah, but you have to do it first, thats what you have to do. So developing content is really important. You might want to reach a wider audience; you might want to engage your web visitors, the more time people spend on your website or your blog, the more likely they are to engage with you. So the more engaging content you’ve got, the better you are. Once you’ve got people on your website, then you want to get your analytics and look at how long they’re staying and that will become one of your key performance indicators that you want to increase. You might want to position yourself as an expert, which you can do through blogging; you might want to improve your search engine optimisation, because Google absolutely loves big, fat dynamic websites. That’s what Google wants. Search engine optimization, is everyone familiar with that? They know what that means. They do excellent. The SEO PR people have done their jobs. You could be using blogging to generate leads, and you could be using your blog to make money. So there are lots of things that you could be achieving through your blog on your website.
The first thing that you need to decide is actually what is it that you want to achieve and that will dictate then what it is that you want to say on your website blog. Does that make sense? It does. Okay, good.
How do old media go about producing content?
So what do old media do? Because old media have been doing this for a while the TV people have been doing it for 50 years, 60 years, just a little bit more than 60 years, so they know something about it. If you think about the way that old media operate, what they do, and if you think about commercial media, in particular, because we are commercial businesses, we want to have a commercial benefit – they don’t just overload you with adverts do they? There is no channel, I mean, maybe there’s the buying channels, and that’s what maybe they do. Actually the ones that are serious about it Channel 4 or ITV, they give you some good content that you’re interested in, and then they pepper it with the advertisements. Does that make sense? So what they do is attract the audience and then they push out their sales messages in a little way. And this is how the soaps came about because the soaps were the fillers between the soap ads when television first came around. So you may all be familiar with that. So keep that in mind. Your blog is not about pitching continuously to people, you are not that interesting that they could read about you all day every day.
So you have to move a little bit towards what they’re interested in so that you attract them, so that you can start to push your messages through to them. Does that make sense? Are you happy with that. Okay, so if we watch old media, what we’ll know is that there’s a lot of weather on the old media. So people are interested in the weather, aren’t we?
Specifically today, people in Cornwall are interested in the weather. In this country, we’re really fascinated by the weather. Now, there was a time when I was working on one side of the river Adur, and parking my car on the other side, I was getting into work quite early. So when I sat down at eight o’clock at my desk, I thought, I’m equipped to tell people about the weather. So my first tweet of the day would be – it’s a nice, bright, sunny day, but there’s a bit of a nip in the air, you might want to take a coat. People appreciated that, as I was out there experiencing it and I felt like a weatherman.
Food. If you watch old media, people are really interested in food. This is one of my roast dinners, it’s not actually that big. You can see the way I make roast dinners, I kind of pile it up.
Some of the tweets that have been most successful are where I’ve put out dinners that I cooked on my tweets, especially Bacon Pudding, that got a lot of interest. I remember 30 years ago, when my mother used to make it for me, and I made it and people were remembering after that, but people are interested in food. People are interested in their pets, this is my dog Louis, in the snow.
If you look at old media, they are continuously now, more and more looking back at us. It’s kind of an admission with reality TV, that we are more interesting than anything they can produce. I don’t know what the percentage is but there’s a huge percentage of TV, which is actually about the cameras turning around and just looking at us. So people like Susan Boyle, but also, you know, all of these millions of programs the antiques programs, I don’t know what they’re called, I don’t watch them. Then they do just funny things. The point I want to make about this is that content is a little bit like love, it’s all around. If you just slow down and have a look for it, then you can start picking up content all over the place. So we had no idea when we bought this pair of scissors, how hilarious that was going to be, and I’d be standing up in front of people talking about it four years later, we had no idea that that was going on.
Finding blogging ideas.
Okay, so content is all around. But actually, we don’t have to look to the old media, because we’ve got new media now. So what I would suggest you do is you go to Google AdWords tool, is everyone familiar with this? You okay, for those who are this is a completely free tool and if you put in your keywords ie. Accountant, or PR person or Marketing it will tell you exactly what it is that people are looking for. So in my market, for example, people are looking for marketing definition, there are 12,000 people, including that in their search in the UK every month, they are looking for business marketing ideas, there’s another 1000 people looking for those. So what I’m saying is put your keywords into this tool and see what it is that the market wants. Sales and Marketing is very easy. If you can work out what people want and give it to them. You don’t have to put in any doors, you don’t have to do any objection handling, just give them what they want. This tool should inform what you blog about in case you run out of ideas.
It used to be that we would engage PR people to manage the old media. I don’t know if anyone here did this but they gave us this fantastic list, which is you know, 10s of years old, about things that you should talk about, if you get the opportunity to be in the media. Well, the situation now is that the media is free, you can have as much of it as you like. So maybe we can take the old PR ideas like putting out company news, and awards, and business wins, new starters and these things, stories about people in your business, stories about your customers, commentary on your industry, industry, news, like exhibitions, all of these things. If your blog is informing people, it’s very, it’s very easy to quickly look like someone who knows exactly what’s going on in their market; and you can plug into this information very easily. So this is what the old PR people used to suggest. Case studies and testimonials from your customers. You know, it’s all good stuff.
Creating a bloggong schedule.
Okay, so how do I do it? My idea is that your blog should be or you should think of your blog as your media channel. Does that make sense? Because most people think about is this blog post going to work, actually what’s going to happen quite quickly is your going to have quite a big center of information going on. What you really want to do is be engaging people who land so when they land on one blog post you want them to feed through and look at many other blog posts, this is the idea. So the way that I do it, I made the decision in July when I decided to stop investing so much energy in other people’s businesses and start investing some in mine. I was going to blog daily on a on a weekday, which you might think is quite a demanding thing, and it is quite a demanding thing, but I’ve kind of come up with a shortcut for doing that.
The first thing I did, obviously, is I’ve thought about what it is that I want to achieve. So what I want to achieve is I want to get clarification on my ideas before I stand up and start presenting them to people. I want to be able to express myself. I want to let off steam, if you know me, you’ll know how true that is. I want to get feedback, I want to know is the stuff that I’m putting out there actually interesting or useful to people. I want to motivate people and inspire them. I want to share content. I want to improve my external communication, my internal communication is not an issue. I want to build an audience, because I’m in the ideas business, so this idea of writing books, of putting all of my ideas into all of the different media and disseminating them is really interesting to me. I want to develop content. I want to reach a wider audience. I want to engage people. I want to position myself as an expert. I want to improve my search engine optimisation and I want to generate sales leads. So there’s quite a lot I wanted to achieve, and I’m achieving quite a few of those things already.
So Monday, what I like to do is I like to put out something that’s a little bit motivational and that’s handy, because motivational Monday kind of works. Does that make sense? So over the last three months, every Monday, I’ve been putting out something I found on the web, that will get people just thinking about marketing, or just thinking about being more motivated or just thinking about being more inspired. So this was a particularly good one. This is the longest one, this is 18 minutes, and this is a Chevrolet car sales training video, that was shot in 1941; it’s about leadership. It’s about if you want your salespeople to be effective, then you have to lead them. It’s interesting that 17 years later we still need to learn that lesson in a lot of instances, I think. So Mondays, for me, are about motivation.
On Tuesdays, I like to put out, you can’t really see how ridiculous that faces from the picture, it’s a ridiculous face, you’ll find it on my blog. On Tuesdays, I like to put out some testimonial. So if I do some work for you, you need to know that you will very soon find yourself in front of my video camera saying nice things about me. I don’t know how many of these we’ve got, we might have 50 or 60 of these, but these go out on my blog every Tuesday. This makes the point, I mean, the first one makes the point that this is not a demanding thing. Ideally, if your objective is search engine optimisation, your posts should be 250 words big, because that’s when Google takes an interest in a page and will index the page. But actually, all I do is embed video into my blog. Every time I do that, I create a new page, and it has the tags, and Google will come through an index and say, Okay, this is a site that’s actually achieving things for people. So every Tuesday, I put out a little bit of testimonial. What’s the point in gathering these testimonials, if I’m not actually broadcasting it to people? That’s kind of what you need to think. So this is a little bit of my advertising.
On a Wednesday, what I do is I put out my jargon busting post. Because marketing people speak junk, don’t they? They absolutely do. They speak a whole load of rubbish, people don’t have a clue what we’re talking about. So this is where my if you haven’t got a blogging clue came around. What I’m doing, over the next two years, is I’m picking up every every marketing term I can find and I’m actually just giving a real world definition to that term. Now, if you think about keywords, this is a fantastic way of getting lots of keywords into your blog, because you talk about the term over and over again. And it makes perfect sense, you use lots of the words and the definitions around it. So if you’re in a bit industry, where you use a lot of jargon, I don’t know of one that doesn’t, then this is a really useful thing to make yourself accessible to prospective customers of jargon. It’s useful. It’s interesting, if you’re doing that work every day, you have to have quick conversations with people, but actually it just bamboozles customers, they don’t like it, you know, so if you can help them to get over that, some of what James was saying is that people don’t understand social media, that’s why they’re not working as hard as they possibly could. So Wednesdays, If You Haven’t Got A Blogging Clue, that’s my jargon buster.
Thursdays, I put out a thought. So I come up with a little bit of content, which is something that I think about. So this one is about the morality of marketing, and who makes that morality and why they make it because it seems to me that we all know that Spam is bad, don’t we. Spam is a terrible, terrible thing isn’t it. Isn’t it a terrible thing? It really is but I don’t know anyone who’s ever been injured by spam. I don’t know anyone who’s really been inconvenienced by spam. Actually, if you’re a small business, then email marketing is a fantastic way to get your messages out to lots of targeted people. But somebody in the universe somewheres decided that Spam is bad. So it feels a little bit to me like they’re closing their door on the businesses that are coming behind them, saying no, we might have done bad things, but you’re not allowed to do that. So this is interesting. So this is where I vents on a Thursday, I put out a thought.
Then on Friday, we’ve just started a new thing, which is about revolutionising your marketing, just turning your marketing around, so that it works, because this has to do with some new presentations that I’m putting together. That’s just a funky video that’s got something to do with marketing. We’ve just stopped because we did it for an entire year, our Feeling Funky on Friday, which is just about putting out a really funky song to get people in the mood. It’s amazing how many tweets I’ve had back from people saying, Thank you, Martin, I really needed to feel like a natural woman this morning. So what I’m saying is just think a little bit laterally think a little bit out of the box and think about what you could be doing for people. So if you’re doing stuff for people, then you’re useful, you’re interesting, you’re valuable, and that is certainly what you want to be. So that’s my entire strategy. So what I’ve done, like an old media channel would have done is I’ve segmented my time, I’ve got themes, so I know exactly what’s going on. Because some of this is automated, we can actually start planning this stuff and dropping into the future, so it’s not as demanding as you might think. What’s happening is that my website is growing by five pages every week, that’s 50 pages every year, no it’s 350 pages every year, that’s 700 pages over a couple of years. So remember Google likes big fat dynamic websites which have good keyword proliferation.
Okay, so success stories. What will happen is if you want to put your business card here, with the word slides written on the back, I will let you have all of the slides from this morning, are you happy with that. So I’m not going to slow down for these things today and the time but Blendtec is a beautiful one. They sell blenders, can you sell blenders online? How would you sell blenders online? With videos and demonstrations? That’s right, but demonstrating a blender, how interesting is that? Not very interesting. You know, once you’ve blended one thing, you’ve blended everything. Well these guys are blending everything, they will throw … their series Will It Blend is about getting stupid things that you shouldn’t be able to blens and putting them in their blenders. So you can see how they just turned a little bit and made it interesting. So when the new iPhone comes out, they blend one. This is how it works, it makes them really interesting and people want to go there and see it.
Burger King and the sacrifice Facebook application, I don’t know if you know about this is quite an old one. Burger King said basically your friends on Facebook aren’t your friends and we know that, we will demonstrate that every time you sacrifice 10 friends we’ll give you a whopper. Facebook had to shut it down because they were running out of friends. That was a really successful campaign. You can see what I’m saying. New media, social media, is like old media but you don’t have to pay for it anymore. So actually, it’s creativity that now replacing budget, if you can do something creative, you can be very successful with this stuff.
Starbucks asked for your advice. Starbucks know everything there is to know about coffee, but they have the humility to ask their customers and their customers come up with ideas they couldn’t have created if they had huge amounts of budget. So that was really successful.
Sun Microsystems and their CEO. If the CEO of Sun Microsystems, which is a huge company has time to blog, you certainly have time to blog. What it does is it puts a human face on your business, which people really like.
Number five, IBM gave the ability to blog to all of their staff. So they have 1000s of people within IBM blogging to 1000s and hundreds of 1000s of people outside of IBM. So that was a great strategy.
Zappos on Twitter was all about customer service. So anytime anything great happened, they were blogging about it and tweeting about it.
Comcast did it with pictures.
Ford and social media that was just about putting their ear to the ground and seeing what was coming along so that they were able to see bad news stories coming along and deal with them.
Grenco using pictures again on Flicker.
This one Dell doing it everywhere. Dell were probably the most famous company for having a really bad customer service in the world. When blogging first started, Dell were the target. Everyone was talking about how terrible Dell were. But because they’ve made the investment they’ve actually been able to get ahead of that and now they are seen as the as the one guiding, moral light in social media. They do it properly do it the way Dell does it. So those are the top 10 ways that this happens.
I didn’t do that work. This is work that was done by Mashable do we know about Mashable? No Mashable, run a blog about blogging and social media. That’s what they do. It’s quite incredible. He turns over millions of pounds. He has a staff sitting there now of 30 odd people who are just blogging and posting and tweeting all day. The last time I checked when they put out a tweet to a link on their page 30,000 people were going back. I don’t know if you spend any money on Google AdWords or any of those things, but it doesn’t have to be much click click to make that a really valuable thing. My traffic has gone up by about 500, since I’ve been blogging daily, and that’s interesting, because a click in my market will cost me five pounds, so I’m getting two and a half 1000 pounds worth of value out of my blog every month in the traffic that it’s bringing into my site. So definitely works.
. Here’s a list of 25 things that you can write about in your industry, I’m not going to tell you about them all, here’s 25 things about going social, here’s 30 things about your business that you can write, 12 things about your customers, 22 things about you. I didn’t do this work, I found it on the small business trends blog and I’m sharing it with you. So there is no shortage, there is absolutely no shortage of ideas. People start this and think that they’ll run out of ideas of what to say, it actually becomes very quickly self fulfilling, because people respond and they ask questions, so it becomes self perpetuating.
Okay, I’ve done everything I wanted to do. Apart from it’s no good, I still don’t have a blogging clue can you help me? So we’ve probably got a minute to help one person if one person wants to stand up in front of 80 people and say, Actually, I’m not interesting enough can you help me to identify what’s interesting about me? If no one wants to do that, that’s also fine, does anyone want to do that. That’s fine. I mean, what you’ll need is the slides because there’s lots of great stuff in there. So if you want those write slides on your card and put it there, and we’ll have those slides with you for tomorrow. But essentially, that’s me.
What did we cover in this blogging presentation?
That’s how do we do Let’s just say, so we do we talk about what can be achieved through blogging? We did. Did we talk about how old media do it? We did. Did we talk about what people are really interested in? Yes, with some energy and enthusiasm if you want to get out this morning. Yes. Did we talk about how I do it, how we do it at Effective Marketing? Yes. How the leading practitioners do it? Did I give you 100 plus ideas for small business blog posts? And we didn’t do it for one person because no one was brave enough. There are lots of ways that you can get in touch with me. I’ll be really interested to speak to you but thats it from me, if you didn’t have a blogging clue hopefully you do now. Thank you very much.
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