Before diving into business blogging, we need to compare and contrast Personality Based Marketing with Traditional Social Networking. While not an exact science, we can use basic math to weight each marketing model to determine which has more potential.
The strategy behind business blogging is to create multiple points of entry for your company website AND establish a connection with a target consumer market.
Looking at traditional social networking, the multi-connection opportunity exists in the relationships between friends. For a complete list of the connection relations, click on the diagram.
Social networks are classified as word of mouth marketing. With word of mouth marketing, success is dependent on the openness of the relationships between online friends. For our example, we will assume person 1 grants full social network access to person A AND because of person 1’s relation with person 3, person 3 grants access to his social network to person A. Last assumption is we do not count person 1 in our formula because we are assuming he to already be a customer of person A and therefore is not the target audience for the sales presentations.
Conversion rate expense is the time it takes to navigate the network from node to node and while it seems extensive the actual expense is unknown and therefore ignored in our equation.
Conversion success is dependent on the qualification process, but using a traditional one out of ten conversion factor, person A would need to convince person 1 to grant access to all six of his friends AND convince person 3 to grant access to his one friend.
With only seven people in the network (in our example) there is a 70% * 10% or a 7% chance of closing a deal. Put in terms of out one to ten close rate, there is a 70% chance that the marketing effort will produce a conversion.
Social networking only works one sales presentation at a time. There is little to no long term value in the introduction. Person 3 has no direct connection with person A and therefore no emotional influence towards doing business. With each new sales presentation there is a one in ten chance of a conversion. With our 70% conversion factor:
* two presentations equal 1.4 conversions
* three presentations equal 2.1 conversions
* four presentations equal 3.5 conversions
Ignoring the possibility of SPAM tagging, we will assume best case scenario.
Modified Traditional Marketing Connection Diagram
Modified Traditional Marketing Connection Diagram
Actually, person 3’s business relationship with person A is also emotionally tied in with his business/personal relationship with person 1. If the relationship between person 3 and person 1 dissolves, there is no further connection between person 3 (and 8) and person A.
If person 3 drops out of person 1’s network after your first sales presentation, then the formula changes:
50% * 10% = 5% conversion percentage or a 50% conversion rate. so here is our new conversions chart:
* first presentation, 7 people .7 conversions
* second presentation, 5 people 1.2 conversions
* third presentation, 5 people 1.7 conversions
* forth presentation, 5 people 2.2 conversions
By losing one member from person 1’s network, your conversion rate has dropped 38%
Social Networking Theory
Dr Robin Dunbar theorized humans have the cognitive ability to maintain stable relationships with 150 people. These 150 people are considered ones Social Network. While other scientists has suggested numbers higher than Dunbar’s, 150 is a good enough number to use for our exploitative purposes.
We have all heard of the theory called Six Degrees of Separation. Putting Dunbar’s theory together with the six degrees theory, we can conclude that every social network will have 25 people in common. While there is incredible value in the value of any one person’s social network there is great expense to gaining access to the network. While we ignored the actual time expense value we can conclude the value is number of sales presentations * X (representing time).
In our example above, our time expense would be 22X or 22 sales presentations times the amount of time it took to make the sales presentations.
Social marketing is the act of using common relationships as evidence to support expanding access to your social network in exchange for access to the other parties social network.
Most social networking sites automatically report friends in common, but the sharing of unique friends is voluntary on the part of the member. Because of SPAM abuse and predatory horror stories on the internet, the sharing of social networks is reserved for teenagers and other non-business people.
A new system of connecting business people together must be developed. One that is more efficient, higher success rate, and less SPAM.
In this diagram, website A has four categories (a, b, c & d). Each category has five articles (1, 2, 3, 4 & 5). Each article is the primary point of entry and is open to everyone who search for the topic of the article. Success using this marketing approach is dependent on topic focus so the search engines can verify classification. High relevancy will improve organic search result listing. All paths from the internet to the website count as a point of entry.
Each article has an author and those authors become associated with the category and topic of the article. These become connections between people with similar interests.
From a conversion point of view, building a relationship with the reader prior to making a sales presentation improves the conversion factor. Conversion improvement is dependent on writing style and quality in relationship to the product or service, but there is a disconnect from the author if the subject is only about the product or service being discussed, so there is an unknown point where conversion success drops off exponentially. To simplify our equation, well assume the article is written correctly.
If the same seven people in person 1’s direct and indirect social network are browsing the web and come across person A’s article, then all things being equal there is a 70% chance of a conversion right from the start; but the conversion rate is actually higher.
Because each person who reads the article found the link in an organic search result and not through a word of mouth connection, the emotional impact of the presentation is higher than our previous sales example. Now instead of relying on the chance of interest we know with absolute certainty there IS interest.
If we view each transaction as needing legs to support the decision, our stool would need at least three legs.
By searching for the specific topic which brought the searcher to your article, the prospect has already shown a need or want and thus has a 33.3% conversion rate.
Building trust or likability between you and the reader (i.e. consumer) improves your close rate to 66.6%.
In our previous example it required 22 sales presentations to close 2.5 deals; using the Personality Based Marketing Model we need only make 8 sales presentations to achieve the same close rate.
The effort that went into making the 22 sales presentations we determined was 22X. In the Personality Based Marketing Model the time investment is higher, we will call it Y and we will assume Y is greater than X, but where X increases with each sales presentation Y remains constant.
Since Y represents the time it takes to create one article, 2Y represents the time it takes to create two articles. Using the traditional social networking model our target market never changed, they were the same individuals. Using Personality Based Marketing, each article can target a different market segment and because every article remains indexed on the search engines, the long term search value of the article continues making sales presentations to anyone who searches no matter when they search.
Business Blogging Concept
Blog articles are a reflection of you. Your believes, ethics, and thought process become searchable marketing material. When balanced against equal options for your product or service, knowing your believes, ethics and thought process will help sway the consumers purchase decision.
What if the consumer doesn’t agree with your believes, ethics or thought process? Then they will probably not do business with you. However, for every person that chooses one way there is a consumer that will choose another way. Putting your believes, ethics and thought process in a searchable manner will attract consumers with similar believes, ethics and thought processes.
Business Blogging in Practice
Business blogging can be a way to increase consumer awareness, customer satisfaction, or industry recognition. No matter how you slice it, business blogging is about building relationships.
Typical marketing experts will tell you to use features and benefits based or solutions based presentations. While these marketing approaches are very valid and work in most every other internet based presentation, business blogging is a perfect platform for a personality based marketing approach.
Originally created as a social communication medium, blogging was a way for people to tell their story. While political discussion forums, news outlets and and other social blog sites have flourished, business blog sites have struggled to gain readership traction. Why? Because, unless your business is social in nature, using a social marketing approach is foreign.
Like any language, learning how to adopt a social slant for business blogging is a relatively straight forward process. First you find your voice and then you practice. To help find you voice, you need to know what consumers want to hear, so keyword selection should be an ongoing process for you to learn what searchers are searching for on the major search engines.
Once you identify your primary keyword selections, it is time to focus your article text to capitalize on search engine visibility strategies. Writing for search engine visibility is more of an experiment than an exact science. While there are very clear, industry recognized, techniques for getting seen by Google, Yahoo and a like; you won’t really know what works until you try. This means you will need to make a concerted effort to find the right language for you and your product or service offering.
If you need assistance building or improving your business blog we can be reached at (503) 709-1454 or via eMail.
A business blog allows you to create search engine rich content you can share on social media sites and bring new traffic to your company website.
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