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Welcome to Futureforth

We teach companies how to reach their people.

We are a social media strategy, digital marketing consultancy, and communications company based in Nashville. Our goal is to teach you inbound marketing, social media best practices, and everything you need to succeed with content marketing including your blog, email newsletter, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other favorite social networking platforms.

Don't have the time to produce content? We can help with that too.

The Futureforth Blog

Helpful tips and articles about social media strategy, content marketing, and business networking. 

Filtering by Tag: blogs

5 Must-Know Blog Post Ideas For Your Business

Dave Delaney

When it comes to building our businesses online a blog is an essential tool. Your company blog earns organic (unpaid) traffic from search engines. You can use it to network with your customers, potential customers, employees, and industry peers. Blogging for business helps to promote your products, services, and culture. Consider your site as your brochure and your blog as your business' heart and soul.

The trouble with blogging for business is you can easily run out of ideas for new topics to write about. The following are five ideas (and a bonus item) for blog posts that will help inspire you to keep hitting the publish button.

1. Ask your customer service department for the most common questions they receive.

Your customer service department is on the front lines of your business. They are the first to receive and answers calls and emails from your customers. By asking them for the most common questions, you will be inspired to answer them in blog posts. Not only does this help you create new content, but your customer service team can then point customers to the blog post for further help.

2. Subscribe to industry blogs and trade journals. Write an opinion post about a new trend in your industry.

A quick Google search will help you discover industry specific publication websites. These sites typically have blogs of their own with an array of different content related to your field. Write a blog post sharing your opinion about a story. Be sure to link back to the original post. Bonus points if you take the time to include the author's Twitter handle, so they will see your post. I also recommend tagging the publication on Facebook when you share your blog post on your Facebook Page.

3. Feature your favorite customers or partners.

Use your blog post to shine the light on your biggest fans. Ask them for their own advice about using your products or services and include it in a blog post. Ask them for a photo and how they wish their name be credited in the post. Be sure to follow up and send them a link when the blog post is live, so they may promote it to their friends and colleagues too.

4. Search YouTube.

YouTube is still the second most popular search engine. Pop on and do a search for industry terms or experts. Watch a presentation or documentary video and share it in a blog post. Use the embed code from the video to display it within the post, so readers can click play and not leave your blog to view it. Don't forget to let the presenter or brands know you wrote about them on your blog.

5. The Mini Book Report

Be diligent about taking notes as you read your next non-fiction book. Write a mini book report blog post that includes the key things you learned reading it. Don't give everything away, but use the post to help promote the book. Link back to the author's page and be sure to let them know you wrote the blog post.

So often we rush from post to post without letting people know we wrote about them. Directly reaching out to a person featured in your blog post can lead to a new relationship. They may even share your blog post with their own friends, fans, and followers driving organic traffic back to your site.

According to Blogher, eighty-one percent of US online consumers trust information and advice from blogs. A study from InsideView found that business to business marketers who use blogs generate sixty-seven percent more leads than those that do not. If you aren't blogging yet, or if your blog has run out of juice, it's time to get it back up and running.

Something for you.

I have a five-step, super-secret blog strategy that I share with my clients. I've made it available to you here: supersecret.futureforth.com.

 

This article was originally published in The Tennessean Newspaper.

How to Strategically Amplify Your Best Content

Dave Delaney

How to Strategically Amplify Your Best Content

Did you know that according to a study from Hubspot, companies that blog have 97 percent more inbound links? According to InsideView, B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67 percent more leads than those that do not. Thirty-three percent of B2B companies already have a blog; do you?

If you don't have a blog for your company yet, I can help you with this. If you do, but you are not satisfied with the results, I have some advice for you to amplify your best content.

We are all guilty of setting and forgetting. We publish our latest blog post, promote it across social media and email, and move on to what's next for tomorrow or next week. We tend to forget about what we have already published, and this is a bad move.

I always recommend publishing your content on your blog first, but there are platforms online where you should consider using the same content again.

The following are three platforms where you can take your best content from your blog and re-publish it for new audiences. This will increase traffic back to your site, improve engagement among your readers, and strengthen your company and personal brand.

3 Blog Publishing Alternatives

1. LinkedIn Pulse

Click to see live demo.

Click to see live demo.

LinkedIn Pulse is LinkedIn's blogging platform. It has an interface similar to most popular blogging software like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Squarespace. Take the post you have published on your blog and copy and paste it into LinkedIn Pulse.

Upload an image that makes the post jump out to LinkedIn users. Keep the subject line brief. Add links that go back to your site within the post, so readers can learn more about what you do. Add a byline about who you are at the end of each post, so readers can get to know you better. Don't forget to include a company link.

LinkedIn also provides a helpful analytics dashboard that reveals statistics about your posts, including demographics of your readers and the number of views your posts receive.

2. Medium

Click to see live demo.

Click to see live demo.

According to Quantcast, Medium.com reaches over 863,000 people in the U.S. monthly. Medium is a beautiful platform for authoring or sharing your most personal blog posts. It was created by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone with Jose Pino.

The interface is elegant and simple to use. One trick many users don't realize is you can add a link to an image. Insert an image, click it, and select Command+K on a Mac or Control+K on a PC. Like LinkedIn Pulse, when you copy and paste your blog post in Medium from your blog, be sure to test your links to ensure they work correctly.

Remember that Medium is a social network, too. You will get the most from it if you read and engage with other readers. It is not for promotional content, it is for personal blogging. Share stories about forming your company, or the obstacles you had as you raised capital.

3. Facebook Notes

Click to see live demo.

Click to see live demo.

The Facebook Notes area seemed like a long forgotten feature of Facebook. It was never clear how to use the simple text box. Last year, Facebook upgraded Notes to be a fully functional blogging platform.

You can use your personal profile to compose and publish a note, or publish the note to your company page. Just like Medium and LinkedIn Pulse, you can add vibrant images and links to make the content more appealing for your readers.

Before you hit publish on any of the above platforms, consider your audience. It may be suitable to tweak the copy of your original post to suit where you are publishing it. For example, if you are posting it on LinkedIn Pulse, perhaps you will want to link to your LinkedIn company page.

Try this today. Review your analytics and choose your most popular, evergreen content from your blog. Select one or all of the above platforms to re-publish the post. Google Analytics can help you determine what traffic the blog drives back to your company site. Use these platforms to amplify your original blog content. If you need help, let me know.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean newspaper.

Students Need Blogs

Dave Delaney

Students Need BlogsI stress that students need blogs when I speak at universities and colleges. It's crazy not to blog if you are a student. As a student, you are being fed information around areas that you are interested in for your careers. Blog it! Share it with the world. When you write a paper (after it has been graded), you should consider breaking it into multiple blog posts. Share what you have learned.

I recently wrote about how I created a blog to learn about Nashville's technology and marketing communities before I moved to the city. I considered it a fun research project.

I keep reading how it is harder than ever for graduate students to find jobs. This is a great reason why now is the time to establish yourself, not after you have graduated.

Start a blog. Write about what you learn. Recap interesting notes from classes. Interview fellow students, faculty and professionals. Include your contact information and resume too, so it is available.

What other ways can students market themselves early and build their networks?

Illustration from Flickr by: inju