Your Network Effect Strategy A Top Priority

Here are 5 Business blogging marketing channel strategies that will position you for success in the changing media environment. Blogging should be looked at from two perspectives.

  1. Creating your own business blog to drive traffic, build relationship, and build authority
  2. Identifying niche bloggers that support your communications, values and SEO strategies.

“Building Network Effect business is going to be the only way to compete over the next decade” according to a recent statement by Gina Bianchini, COO and Founder of Mighty Networks.

She went on to comment  that “every founder, whether they’re a small digital business or a large enterprise has to understand Network Effects and leverage them. “

With retail brick and mortar locations closing in record numbers and continuous growth posted by Amazon, and other online retailers, the writing’s on the wall. Embrace the marketing channel of a blog to promote business, along with the network effect of working closely with niche bloggers, or fade away.  

1. Establish Trust As You Blog For Business

Creating long-term, repeat customers is the challenge of business. Traditional media and promotional marketing techniques use brand building campaigns and direct offers to attract customers and entice sales.

Marketers are looking to bloggers as the new influencers

Consumers equally trust advice from Facebook and Blogs as the third most influential resource when purchasing

Blog content achieves these objectives and more. Blogging uses social cues to create a sense of trust through the sharing of ideas and emotional engagement. The ongoing conversation through a business blog builds relationship and community unlike other forms of media.

A recent Nielsen study on advertising indicated that 85% of consumers worldwide would take action based on the reviews and recommendations of trusted sources, above all other forms of advertising.

When you begin to build a community of customers based on shared values, interests and beliefs you become a trusted source of information.

As you build relationships with niche bloggers as part of your marketing mix, your trust factor grows organically. You are not only building trust, you are building an expanded communication base aka community.

2. Construct A Business Blog Communication Objective

Attracting community, building loyalty and increasing sales are some of the objectives that a business blog archives. Blogs are the sharing of knowledge, concepts and tools that inspire and encourage readers to learn and engage, while building a relationship with your brand.

Blogs share knowledge, concepts and tools that inspire readers to learn engage, and build brand relationship

The challenge, and the opportunity, to create imaginative content and build a community among people with different interests is a fantastic one, if you fully embrace it.

Creativity and Imagination come together in this marketing vehicle. The different ways your product is used, the unique story or history of your company, your Corporate Social Responsibility program, the communities your supply chain helps improve and your diversity program are just some of the elements you can introduce in a business blog.

Finding shared interest, pain points and inspirations that your product and your organization touches upon, through your blog content, ultimately builds your network and increases sales.

There are many opportunities to network with niche bloggers in any number of categories you stretch your communication strategy to touch upon.  This tactic will help build their networks along with the network effect of your brand.

3. Identify and Connect With Network Effect Blog Partners

Network effect savvy marketers of today considers the combination of product, content and influence. To tap into the reality that 85% of consumers act on the recommendations of trusted sources to make a purchase, marketers are turning to bloggers, vloggers, thought leaders and influencers to deliver their content.

Network effect marketers of today consider the combination of product, content and influence to build community and loyalty

Creating relationships with bloggers is very different than traditional ‘media buying’. These influencers may have a full-time job or are actively engaged in their unique niche.

Often bloggers are very focused on their passion. The traditional approach of being direct by sending a press release or a marketing brief may be a put off.

Similar to blog communication objectives, building trust and an understanding of a blogger’s passion, as it relates to your brand, is a better approach.

For an established enterprise brand, this may require re-thinking your marketing team or agency relationships.

For the digital business or individual blogger, creating a relationship of trust and reciprocity will have long-term benefits.

4. Build Relationships With Blog Content Partners

Whether you are a niche blogger, or a large established brand, understanding your customers and their needs is the first step to better business blogging and growth. Once you identified your ‘tribe’ and have created a consistent content strategy and schedule, it’s time to expand your network.

Niche bloggers understand your customers needs and have identified your shared ‘tribe’

Ever notice when you land on a website, or even a LinkedIn profile, the ones with recommendations, testimonials and endorsements from respected partners or individuals immediately establishes trust. Building blogger partnerships work in a similar way.

Bloggers create an environment that invites followers in and engages them in an ongoing conversation. Even a blog that doesn’t have open forums or discussion boards make people feel safe, because of shared values and experiences.

Sharing your blog by allowing niche partners to write guest articles or have them participate in webinar or educational class series, for example, benefits both of your communities and invites new members into the conversation.

5. Promote Your Blogs While Building Relationships

Make the change from growing lists to growing relationships. Everything you do to promote and expand your network should keep this concept top of mind.

Once you build relationships with bloggers in a specific niche, share ideas and let those bloggers speak to their audience in their unique way.

They have built their following by being open, vulnerable and intimate. Your shared message or offering will be well received when it comes from a trusted blogger. From their heart to their tribe.

  • Share your content, concepts and promotions across your blog partners and allow them to put their personal touch upon your message or offer to appeal to their followers.
  • In your business blog content, give recognition to the influencers you work with. Let them know about it and share links and other opportunities to build both your audiences.
  • Use email marketing to drive your followers to topics of interest on partner blogs and your own business blog. Encourage partners to do the same.
  • Create joint promotions. Raise money for a common cause or create a bundled package containing both parties products, for example. 
  • Offer Free gifts, information, ebooks and other incentives to those who subscribe to your community list from partner blogs.
  • Offer coupons, discounts or promo codes to their followers for featured products. Share the message and share the wealth, it will come back to you in loyalty and revenues.

Kindness has a way of spreading. When you show a positive interest in a person, idea or group you are building them up and genuinely showing how you are creating a better world together.  As we become disconnected through technology, it is comforting to know we are not alone and there are people and businesses that share our passions. Let  The Law of Reciprocity kick in.

 

Kevin Danaher

Kevin’s career spans over 30 years where he worked for New York Sales Promotion and Advertising agencies such as Ventura Associates, and BBDO developing promotional campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands including VISA, General Electric, Kraft/General Foods, Fidelity Investments, and Chrysler. Read More