A Corporate Blogging Primer, Part 2
In part 1 of this series, I discussed the many ways to add value to your blog and cement your brand to your readers — essentially your customers and prospects. In part 2, I get a bit personal, offering some tips I’ve used to build my personal direct marketing blog and others.
As a direct marketing consultant, blogging has been a powerful tool for me as part of my overall networking strategy. While I do plenty of in-person networking, I much prefer the newfangled way of using my blog and social media to drive lead generation and ultimately customers my way.
So here, follow these steps. And shhh, don’t tell anybody about this, OK?
2. Join as many LinkedIn groups as you can. Try joining groups that complement your skills. I belong to many direct marketing groups. But graphic design agencies can recommend my services as well, so I belong to some graphic design groups, too. Get the picture? Once you join the groups, use LinkedIn's news feature to add your blog posts. The maximum number of groups an individual can join is 50, according to LinkedIn.
3. Use the LinkedIn discussions feature. This feature, which enables you to comment on other posts in the LinkedIn groups to which you belong, adds value to your groups. When posting a comment, always add your blog’s URL. Make sure your answers are relevant and not spammy.
4. Use LinkedIn’s Q&A feature. When I started my blog, I used the Q&A function to ask people to check out my blog and tell me what they thought. You’d be surprised how many people did. Ask people to do the same for your blog, as well as critique it and offer advice on design, content and marketing. Also, answer questions that you have a good feel for, always add your blog URL and be relevant.
5. Add the appropriate links to your LinkedIn profile page. You can add up to three links, according to LinkedIn. I have links to my blog, Twitter feed and (eM+C sister publication) All About ROI magazine column.
6. Make sure your blog has RSS, and it's in a prominent position on all pages. People will subscribe to your blog.
8. Use LinkedIn's status feature. This enables you to update people on your blog posts.
9. Send your blog posts to your Facebook connections. Join Facebook groups, and push out there, too.
Wow, I gave away the farm here. A final thought: Blogging and promoting your blog is a “give-to-get” experience. The more you give, the more you get back.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing Inc., a full-service catalog, direct marketing and social media agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gilbertdirect or read his blog at gilbertdirectmarketing.wordpress.com/.