Last month our Director Nic and I descended on the beautiful Gold Coast for the annual Problogger Training Event together with 400+ Australian bloggers and social media experts. Apart from mingling with a fun-loving bunch at QT Stingray Bar and sipping champagne at the Hilton poolside party (tough gig but someone’s gonna do it! ), it was an action-packed conference and interactive sessions full of inspiring moments. Wearing a digital marketer’s hat I’ve taken back to the office insightful takeaways from speakers that are relevant to brands and marketers:
Blogging & Content Strategy:
1. Incorporate blogs to the websites at the beginning.
2. Focus on telling a story and adding personality into your brand.
3. When you’re stuck with content ideas, read through an old post which is popular, now how can you update it, write a sequel or add a new opinion?
4. Guest blog posts on influential sites in your niche are the best way to grow your brand awareness and fan base. Make sure the content is useful to the community instead of pushing hard on sales.
5. Keep in mind the three E’s when creating content for your brand: Educate, entertain and empower. Each of your content pieces will have to serve one these purpose.
6. If you produce good content, your audience will come. The first two years is a super slow growth. Think big picture.
7. Being generous pays off so share useful tips and your expertise with your community. For example, if you run a bike shop, share tips on your blog about DIY bike maintenance or even health and fitness tips in general. Your generosity will be rewarded with social shares and followings!
8. Lorraine Murphy from the blogger agency The Remarkables Group said their top tier bloggers get $8,000 per post while bottom tier gets $1,500. This gives you an idea of the price range you’re looking at when budgeting.
9. There’s a difference between numbers and influence when looking for digital influencers. Look past the stats and also analyse the blogger’s influencing circles. I recently came across a travel blogger who has 500 Twitter followers which is not impressive number-wise, but her followers are among the likes of BBC Travel, Huffington Post and Trip Advisor. Examine the strength of each blogger and utilize their USP accordingly. INFLUENCE can trump NUMBERS.
10. Drink up on Source Bottle! Source Bottle is a great source for keeping an eye on journalists’ callout and you might be able to add value. In return you might score your brand some valuable mention on national publications and potentially a backlink to your site. The trick is to respond quickly as journalists tend to work around tight deadline.
11. If you make it to an interview with a journalist, be prepared with your key messages. Don’t leave them guessing on anything.
12. Take the time to think beyond the product and sell the benefits – it’s all about storytelling.
13. 80 characters or less = 27% more engagement on Facebook
14. People love the private stuff! Infuse personal tone to your social posts. Try to post photos of the people behind the business. People find it more relatable if they can see real face behind the scene.
15. Make your customers a star. Encourage them to share images on their profiles or on your fan page with a hashtag.
So here comes our party photo at the closing party, now you know that we aren’t just avatars!
Have you started to incorporate some of these approach to your brand strategy? What works well for you and what doesn’t? Would love to get your thoughts in comments below.