10 reasons blogging is the most important thing you can do.

10 reasons blogging is the most important thing you can do.

Of course you have a website, and you’re probably into Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  But if you really want to attract fans to what you’re doing, start a blog. 1. Search engines love blogs. This is the best reason to do it.  Google and the others want fresh, relevant content with keywords people are searching for. And the blogging platforms are built for search engines to see. 2. Blogs are easy to set up. There are a number of free, user-friendly platforms; we like WordPress.  They can be customized to your brand, too.  Posterous takes no technical skill to set up and you can do your posts via email, even. 3. It’s easier than updating your website. Chances are, your website’s content management system isn’t as user-friendly as your blog site is.  (You should update your website once in a while, too.) 4. People don’t even have to look for your blog. They can subscribe to your blog [please subscribe to this one ] via RSS or email, so new posts come to them automatically. 5. You have a lot to say. You may not believe this, but you’re fascinating.  You have a ton of professional knowledge and experience that can help other people in their jobs and lives.  People love expert advice. 6. A blog can put a human face on your business. Your website probably has a lot of factual, operational, and organizational information.  In a blog, you can be more personal.  There are some terrific CEO blogs out there. 7. A blog can be as engaging as a Facebook page. There are wildly popular blogs with thousands upon thousands of subscribers who comment regularly.  Those comments can give you huge insights to what people actually want from your business.  Take a look at Seth Godin’s blog and notice the number of likes and retweets.  And there’s nothing earth-shattering in it. 8. Your blog can reach out in other ways. Tie it to your your Facebook page, feed it into Linked In, tweet its existence, make a place for it on your website’s home page like this one.  Use the blog to promote those activities, and vice versa, to maximize your impact. 9. A blog can take the place of a website. Most of the blog platforms allow for extra pages and all kinds of whistles and bells, like contact forms and e-commerce.  You may not need a custom website built from scratch. 10. You can use a blog to reach niche groups. Let’s say you’re a nonprofit with a lot of different constituents…the people you serve, donors, volunteers, policy-makers, etc.  Use a blog to speak to one of those groups with information that addresses their concerns...

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The only magic is beginning.

The only magic is beginning.

There are so many forms of “new” media, technology changes so fast, and information comes pouring in so rapidly, it can be paralyzing.  If you’re trying to promote your business or nonprofit organization, there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to learn it all.  Wouldn’t it be nice to wave a magic wand and POOF! all your marketing is done?  Your blog is written, your website is updated, your social media is cooking along with engaged fans and followers, your e-news is done, and your direct mail is out the door. The fact is, you won’t do your marketing perfectly, and neither will anyone who helps you with it.  The main thing is to get started.  Decide who it is you need to reach and pick the top three ways you want to do that.  Of those, pick the most important ~ it’s probably updating your website ~ and do that one first.  While all the parts of your marketing are interconnected, you can’t do them all at once. What marketing communications piece will you tackle today? Join us on Facebook. Subscribe today via RSS or...

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It's all marketing.

It's all marketing.

Once upon a time, standing in line for breakfast in the cafeteria of the major financial institution I used to work for, two ladies in front of me were discussing the latest corporate initiative.  “Sounds like something MARKETING dreamed up,” said the one, in an unflattering tone.  “Really,” snorted the other.  As a member of the Marketing Department, I was sort of interested in this exchange.  Clearly, the area of the company where I had been spending 60-hour weeks was not beloved.  Who was to blame?  We all were. Marketing folks are often viewed by non-marketing co-workers as some sort of barely necessary evil, a bunch of ivory-tower, wacky “creative types” who throw parties, keep a closet full of tote bags and coffee mugs, put together an advertisement now and then, and dream up busy-work for customer-contact people to do instead of serving their customers or actually selling something. You’d think that Marketing would do a better job of communicating what it actually does.  One way we could do that, and increase our relevance, would be to walk a mile in the shoes of the guys and gals on the line, the ones who deal with customers.  Spend a few months answering phones in Customer Service (I did) and it will give you an insight into what the public actually wants.  It will also give you some credibility with the lines of business.  Get into their world, find out what they deal with every day, and ask them how you can help.  Work out marketing strategies with them, not in spite of them. CEOs use “marketing” in some interesting ways.  They tend to give marketing people anything that doesn’t fit into the activities they understand better, like Accounting, Human Resources and Information Technology.  (Actually, almost nobody really understands that last one, but if it’s about computers, that’s where it goes.)  It is rare for a marketing manager to have the same status as managers of  “lines of business.”  Marketing is a cost center in most organizations, an expense that doesn’t make any money, rather than a vital part of everything the organization does.  Marketing seems messy and undisciplined and hard to measure, and purely subjective.  Hiring professional marketers with the right tools – and holding them accountable – will take “marketing” out of the realm of events and ad specialties. The truth is that it’s ALL marketing.  Designing a website and installing a new phone system aren’t technical tasks, they are customer-experience projects.  A new invoicing method can help sell a company or keep it sold, or not.  Hiring a new truck driver can be a form of advertising. If marketers are not feeling the love and sometimes seem...

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