How Small Businesses Can Drive Leads with Blogging and Social Media Marketing
*Note – this is a guest post from Marquis Matson (see bottom of the post for more details)
As a small business owner, you need all the help you can get to increase visibility for your business and generate new leads. Blogging and social media marketing are two proven approaches combined by successful small businesses to achieve these results.
Blogging gives you an opportunity to educate your audience, solve their problems, and establish your brand as an authority in your niche. Social media marketing, on the other hand, allows you to get in the mix with your target audience, interacting with them and bringing your brand directly to them on the platforms where they spend their time online.
How can you combine social media marketing and blogging to drive leads as a small business owner?
Choose the Right Social Media Networks
Your social media marketing can only work if you choose the right networks. Although many of the platforms have hundreds of millions of users (and more for Facebook and Instagram), you can’t just blindly pick a platform and run with it.
If your small business is in the hospitality and tourism niche, embracing Instagram first could make more sense for your lead generation drive. Similarly, Pinterest is a network you should consider if your business is in the décor or women’s fashion niche. More than 70% of users on the platform are women.
So, even though it makes sense to choose the popular networks, don’t forget to compare the audience profile of your chosen platforms with the persona of your ideal target audience.
Create an Integrated Social Media Marketing and Blogging Strategy
You can’t reach your goal of generating more leads with blogging and social media marketing without a clear strategy. The makeup of your strategy should cover all the basics such as the personnel to do the work, the content creation calendar for both channels, posting frequency, content syndication plans, and more.
The content creation process is arguably the most important part of your strategy.
Some of the things it should encapsulate include:
- The types of content that resonate with your audience
- The usable content you have already and what still needs to be created
- Your posting frequency (on your blog and your social media pages)
- The optimal time for publishing posts
When deciding on the personnel to do the work needed to bring your strategy to life, don’t forget to explore the option of bots. They can save you money on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Here are the 10 Best Instagram Bots of 2019. If you can get a bot to do the bulk of the grunt work, your social media desk can focus on other important aspects of your strategy like content development.
Publish New Blog Posts Consistently
This strategy will only yield results if you publish regular blog posts in a consistent manner. This research that looked at 13,500 companies showed that companies that published at least 16 blog posts per month received 3.5 times the traffic—and by extension, more leads—compared to those that only posted four times in a month.
Consistent blogging keeps your brand top-of-mind for your target audience.
The complexity of blogging frequency is why you can’t just “go with the flow” when it comes to how often you will create blog posts. If you can’t afford to create 16 blog posts per month, for example, you should ensure to post twice a week at the very least.
Create Compelling Content
Generating leads without compelling content is difficult. This is true for both social media posts and your blog content. There is stiff competition everywhere you look, and people are more impatient due to falling attention spans.
To create compelling content, the copy needs to be super interesting, the images need to be super sharp, and the headline needs to grab attention in one second or less.
Encourage Sharing in Your Posts
If you create a quality blog or social media post, people will share it, right? Wrong. Sometimes, you need to nudge your audience a bit to get them sharing your content. The benefits of such shares are well documented.
Firstly, your target audience will be more open to clicking a link that has been shared by someone in their inner circle. Secondly, the number of people sharing a post is powerful social proof that ends up attracting even more shares.
Use Call-to-Actions in Your Content
Just like you have to encourage sharing, you need to use call-to-actions (CTAs) to tell people what you need them to do. Do you want them to provide their email address? Do you want them to download an eBook? These are things you have to communicate with your CTA.
Don’t forget to use them both in social media content and your blog posts.
Offers and promotions are an important part of social media marketing. By using them intelligently, you can ensure a steady stream of leads. Discounts, free consultations, and “buy X get X free” are common offer options on social media.
This approach is so powerful because the average social media user loves a bargain and won’t mind giving something in return for a shot at getting something for free. This is why many offers on social media include conditions like “follow and like this page”, “sign up for a chance to win”, etc. thus allowing the marketing to generate leads easily.
Embrace Social Lead Ads
Sometimes, organic lead generation won’t work as fast as you need it. This is when you should flip out your wallet and pay for ads on your favorite social networks. Even when your organic lead generation campaigns are yielding results, you can use paid ads to boost your efforts.
The various social networks have different options for lead ads. Facebook and Instagram have promoted forms, LinkedIn has Lead Gen Forms and LinkedIn Dynamic Ads, and YouTube has TrueView. Go over each option and choose what works for your brand.
By combining social media marketing and blogging, small businesses can enjoy more success with their lead generation campaign. Implementing the strategies we have covered here and staying consistent will drive you closer to your goals and objectives.
Marquis Matson is a writer, social media manager and SEO content marketer. She currently lives on the coast of Ecuador, working remotely as a freelancer. Her primary focus is on building online visibility of new, up and coming brand, particularly brands that promote health and wellness. She lives a nomadic lifestyle, though is originally from California.
Thanks Marquis – Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach