Gone are the days when your website just sat there, waiting patiently for customers to find it. Now it’s a living thing – a source of news, insights and information. And hosting a business blog is a massive part of bringing it to life, while also bringing in leads for your business.
There are loads of benefits to hosting a business blog…
- It creates more web pages for your customers to land on
- Google will rank your website higher when it’s regularly updated
- It shows customers you know your stuff and are passionate about what you do
- Providing useful advice and information builds trust and loyalty with your customers
- It helps persuade customers to buy from you!
If you get it right, a business blog can be one of the key sales drivers for your business. But how do you make sure yours delivers? Here’s some tips that will help…
Be clear on your scope
As with any magazine or newspaper, successful blogs know their readers and plan their content based on their profile and interests. So, before launching, get to know your target audience, their likes and dislikes, and how you can best engage with them. Also do some digging around competitor blogs to understand what’s already on offer and how you can be different. Creating an ‘editorial mission statement’, outlining what you want to achieve with your content, will also help when brainstorming ideas and ensure you stay on track as your blog develops.
The biggest challenge most businesses face when starting and managing a blog is finding the time to keep it updated. Unless it’s your main job, article writing will usually get shoved down the ‘to do’ list pretty quickly. But to be successful, it’s vital to blog at least once per week, preferably more. That’s why hiring a specialist copywriter is often the best solution, to ensure you stay on top of it.
Maximise key search words and phrases
A great way of coming up with blog ideas that convert is to find out the most common questions typed into Google, that relate to your subject area, and write about those. You can research these really easily with free tools such as Google Ad Words and Moz. So, if you run a recruitment company, some popular questions might revolve around careers, writing CVs or choosing the right candidate. You can also look on discussion and Q&A sites such as Quora and Reddit for some fast inspiration on popular topics.
Involve your community
A really effective way of mixing up your content, and encouraging shares is to ask clients, customers or contacts if they’d like to be featured. That could involve doing a one-to-one interview, guest article or contributed commentary. Not only will it give your blog a really authentic feel, anybody you feature is sure to share the piece amongst their networks, immediately boosting your reach and readership.
No blog is an island. To reach its true potential, it needs a little help in the form of social media, newsletters and PR. You need to use all the channels at your disposal to get it in front of as many people as possible, including encouraging your employees to flag any relevant content to clients and new business prospects. If you’re struggling with engagement levels, social media advertising is a great way of increasing your reach – and it can be really cost-effective for those on a budget
Something for every stage of the journey
To maximise the likelihood of conversion, create blog content for readers at every stage of the buying journey, so there’s something for everybody. So, at the beginning of the journey, your reader may want to know ‘why’ they should do something, then later on they’re likely to want more specifics such as ‘what type’ they should go for, or ‘how’ to go about it. This ensures you’re capturing potential customers with the right information at the right moment.
Mix it up
Longer, more detailed articles have grown in popularity in recent years and research has shown these are more likely to be shared on social media. So, aim to mix it up in terms of length and format to give your readers a variety of options. Longer 1,000+ pieces are great for those who want to have step-by-step advice on a big topic, while shorter ones are better for those more pressed for time.
Coming up with new blog ideas every week can be challenging, so maximise the news agenda to keep it fresh. Consider how you can tie what your business does in with what’s going on in the news, to capture attention and encourage shares. Here’s a great example from my client Digital Risks that we wrote and promoted after Trump got into power – expect the unexpected
Remember to include CTAs
If you’ve read my post what’s the point of content marketing, you’ll remember that I said it shouldn’t be used to overtly sell things. And I stand by that statement! However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t include a call to action (CTA) at the end of all your blogs, nudging your readers on what to do next. That could be encouraging them to give you a call, take a look at the products available, or read another article about the next phase on the buying journey. Take this opportunity while your reader is on your site and engaged!
Tracking, measuring, optimising
And finally, it is absolutely crucial that you know how your content is performing by checking your Google Analytics and social media metrics on a regular basis. If a post has done well then do more like it, and if it flops, change your approach. By consistently tracking, measuring and optimising, you’ll gradually perfect your strategy to meet both the interests and requirements of your readers, and drive sales.
Need some help planning or building a blog that proactively builds your business? Then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how I can help!