What You Should Know About Your Businesses Blog
As a business owner, it’s likely that you are required to wear many hats, and one of them, at some point in your business will be ‘marketing manager’. However, if you have little to no experience of marketing, even something fairly straight forward, such as your company blog, can be daunting.
It’s important, on more than one level to produce great content (blog posts in this instance) that your audience with engage with, and learn something from – proving your worth to them expands further than a static product or service.
It’s fair to say that most companies just take a stab in the dark; they may have an idea what is trending in the industry, or what people want to know, but have no solid data or structure behind their ideas, the likelihood is also that in most industry’s your audience aren’t going to think much of you for posting a cat meme.
Look to many small business websites and the reality is, the blog just reels off a list of company updates – while this may be of some interest, to someone, somewhere – does it impart any real value? The answer is probably not. So where do you start on your journey to business blog nirvana? I have compiled a few tips, along with some advice from other business owners.
Ask Your Audience
Leverage your current customer base, post a question on social media, or use a Google survey to find out what it is that people want to know about your industry. This will give you a great starting point to provide authentic and in-depth information for your audience, building up their trust factor with you.
Twitter is a great platform on which to post questions, as not only can you expand your reach using relevant hashtags, but posts that include questions drive around 25% more engagement.
There are millions upon billions of google searches performed each day, so wouldn’t it be great to look at what people are searching for and see how you can embed it into your content strategy? Yes, yes it would.
.“We like to use Google Trends to see what short and long tail key words are being searched”, explains Richard Lecount from USBMakers, “If there are a number of questions being asked, we sometimes use this as the blog title, and use the body of the blog to provide more in-depth and contextual answers”.
You can also use it to check the keywords and key phrases that your website is optimised for, and see the phrases that aren’t performing well online at that point in time, that you should avoid.
Innovation isn’t always about creating something new – it’s about improving what is already there.
Do some competitor research, find out the type of blogs they are writing. Are they well written and informative, or are they writing questionably about outdated topics? You can use tools such as AH Refs to backlink searches competitors and check how often their blogs are being shared to linked to by other sites.
Either way, if their content isn’t performing, take it (not literally of course) and make it better and if it is performing well, you have a really good indication of the type of content that people are engaging with.
Posting guest content is a strategy that benefits both parties; you get quality blog content for your site without taking time out of your schedule to write, and the person providing the content is able to build authority in the field. Ideally, your guest blogger should be from your industry, or one which is related so that the content is relevant to your audience and doesn’t look out of place on your blog.
Freelance writer Kristi Hines, has stated that inviting guest blogs on your website, “is a way you can keep fresh content on your own blog, add a new perspective for your audience, and hopefully get new readers from your guest blogger’s community”.
Be sure to communicate to guest bloggers any guidelines that you use on your blog, and what you expect from them, such as word count, tone of voice, and structure of content etc to ensure the process runs smoothly. Be prepared to link back to the business that the guest blogger is from and ask them and the team to share on social media to extend the reach of the post (another great advantage of having a guest blogger – more people to share your content!)
Personally, I like case studies to have their own dedicated page on a website, but if posted regularly as part of your content strategy then they can become a highly-anticipated feature.
Case studies are a clever way of highlighting the strengths of your business and products and the way that they have had a positive impact on other businesses. There is nothing worse than a case study that is nothing more than a few sentences, because, again – it doesn’t impart any value on the reader.
To ensure that all of the cases studies follow the same narrative, create a list of ten questions that will enable to gather you to gather as much information from the client as possible, as well as being able to explain the process. For example,
• Why did they have a need for your product or service? • Why did they choose you over competitors? • In what way has it impacted their business? • Why would they recommend your business to others?
Again, by including input from other businesses, there are more people that have a vested interest in sharing the content.
That’s Not All Folks!
Blogging is not a passive activity; it is one that requires you to analyse the success of each individual post by looking at the traffic to that page, the bounce rate, and how long they stayed on the post. Be sure to take into account the number of social shares and engagement. A high number of visits coupled with a high bounce rate could suggest that the title was enticing but the content didn’t live up to expectations, while a long time on the page indicates that the post is being read in its entirety.
Take note of the days that your blog posts perform the best and endeavour to post on these days, from experience, Tuesday and Thursdays are optimum posting days, but it’s worth researching your industry to see if this differs.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Rebecca Moore .