Answering the “What?” Question; What Do I Blog About?

30 12 2009

OK so you are experimenting with Social Media as a marketing tool, you’ve spent oodles of time (and therefore money) trying to catch up to this trendy, flavor-of-the-month approach to telling your story, but you are wondering:  now what??!?!?!!

First off, let me congratulate you on your foray into these untested waters.  It can be overwhelming getting started and yet you persevere.  Fear not my compadres.  The best is yet to come.  For you may not realize it, but you have the chance to be present in THE conversation ~ It all depends on the conversation in which you intend to participate.

Which brings us to the subject of the subject; the “What” to blog about question.  Its easily answered if you step back and think for a minute.  No matter what your interest, you have a very simple task at hand:  conjure-up content that captivates your constituency.  But HOW?!?!?

The plain truth is, there’s relevance all around you.  I am going to list some key items here that will help you or anyone seeking to market their business in Social Media platforms.  Namely, Blogging, as it is popularly known, is really a throw back to the age-old discipline of Journalism.  And there-in lies your key to unlocking the mystery of solving the “What?” question.

You remember from 6th grade the “W’s,” right?  Who, What , When, Where, (How) and Why?  For this post we are focusing on the “What?”

The “What?” is the issue(s) that surround your business development.  Of course, your main objective is to improve sales or increase revenue but there is another layer to the element of Development that strikes at the heart of every business endeavor:  That is, “What are your customers, clients, contributors looking for?”

The answer is Credibility.

That’s right.  Credibility.  Its a function of Trust but it also goes to the heart of the question:  Do I trust this business to solve my problem?  There are many ways of creating that sense of credibility in a potential client.  In this instance, let’s consider how reaching out to the public in general, through a blog-post, might bridge that credibility gap.   More importantly, let’s list What to blog about to attract those potential customers to your business, so they are interested in you, talking about you and referring you to their friends and family.

  1. Current Events.  These are happening Locally, State-wide, Nationally, and Globally.  Anytime these current events impact your business to the extent that it enters the public discourse, blog your opinion!  Don’t be shy.  Say what you really feel.  Sometimes being controversial is good for publicity.  SEIZE that opportunity.
  2. Regulatory developments.  If the law is changing, or being bandied about for a potential change, jump in and holler.  Post a blog about your professional thoughts and be sure to visit places where the fevered vent themselves.  Leave a link to your site and encourage discussion whenever possible.
  3. Be technical.  If you have an area of expertise that requires you to answer the same questions over and over again, start archiving them in a blog.  Soon you will have a rich help wiki, that can afford you better customer support.  An added value to this is that you will naturally expand your customer base outside of your local zone as customers seeking help in remote areas are likely to find your source helpful.  Be sure to have your online sales support ready because here they come!
  4. Celebrity.  Leave it to the rich and famous to keep things interesting and, while you are taking note of what they do, comment on what is right or wrong with it all.  Chances are, if you keep your ear to the ground of pop culture, you will have plenty of reasons to pipe-up and proclaim your expert opinion to those that follow.
  5. Rant — It’s OK.  Spout-off about a thing that irks you.  Whatever you do, be passionate about your point of view.  Sometimes a little salt in the air makes for good breathing, for all of us.
  6. Listen to your constituency.  They are just dying to let you know what they really think.  Don’t shy from constructive criticism.  The best ideas win.  Compete with naysayers EVEN IF they say something negative about your product or service.  The old adage “the customer is always right” is malarkey!  Go ahead and educate your public and maybe you can prevent problems from arising unnecessarily.
  7. Listen to others in the blog-o-sphere and cast your opinion.  Don’t have nothin’ nice to say?  SO WHAT?!  Just say.  If you are right, they will love you for it, if you are wrong, you learned a valuable lesson about what your public really thinks.
  8. Invite guest speakers that have clout.
  9. Incorporate media into the fray.  You should always have a good photo in all of your blogs ~ A picture says a thousand words, right?  But don’t hesitate to post video and/or audio too.   Its a mandatory element of any blog these days to at least have video once in a while.
  10. Above ALL else, blog with purpose.  Don’t write crap for the sake of it.   AT ALL TIMES BE GENUINE.  Write from the heart and you can’t fail, just don’t let it all get too stale.
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