Think of your blog as your business’ command center for content. Coupled with a robust, well-optimized website, it can serve as the core of your business marketing strategy. Blogs can power social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and the sales process.
Not unlike personal blogs, business blogs are an important factor in elevating your brand’s online presence. Business blogs can also act as a lead cultivation tool, drive website traffic, and serve as the go-to source for readers who are interested in your products or services. Simply put: a business blog helps to build your brand as an expert.
Whether you want to give your business’ blog a boost or are new to the world of business blogging, these tried and true tips and tricks can help drive traffic to your blog and ensure you are generating content that will resonate with online target audiences.
What should I blog about?
Focus on topics relevant to your business and industry. Directing people to type your business’ URL into an address bar isn’t the only way to drive traffic to your website. Blogs can help shoulder the load. They’re search-friendly. And as with most things, the key is consistency. According to Hubspot, more than 90 percent of companies who blogged several times a day acquired a customer through their blog; so share away! Business blogs are most effective when incorporated into your company’s website, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t distribute it among your other social media channels. The contents of your business blog can be repurposed to fit your audience on any social media platform. The more content your business produces, the more likely your company will appear in organic search results for the timely topics on which you are blogging.
Here are a few tips to help you get started building or enhancing your business blog:
Know your audience: A blog is most valuable when target audiences know about it. Share blog posts through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Also include a link to your blog in e-newsletters and other online communications. Seek opportunities to share your blog posts with shared audiences of strategic business and community partners.
Be relatable: It is important to remain consistent with your brand voice, but blogs have a different tone that a print magazine. It is appropriate to be more conversational, to write in the first person, and to outwardly ask readers for their opinions and feedback. Online readers expect a more casual tone and are often turned off by blogs that are written too formally. Beyond striking the right tone, demonstrate a keen understanding of current and prospective clients’ wants, needs and ‘pain points.’
Engage your audience: Encourage comments and drive readers to take action on your blog. Online readers will share and contribute opinions; it’s one of the key differentiators between the web and a traditional print publication. Further engage readers by adding share buttons to your website. This allows readers to share your content with their social networks in a couple of clicks, which is a great way to increase readership. There is even an opportunity to get creative and run contests through your blog – think best photo caption, new program name, etc.
Use recurring features: Weekly features are a great way to keep blogs constantly updated with new content. Weekly features are especially helpful during busy deadline periods or when the creative juices aren’t flowing as freely. Think Q&As, Five Must Read Articles or a weekly guest post from a strategic partner.
Guest blogging: If you have a relationship with an influential person in your industry, you can ask them to write a guest post for your blog and promote it through their social networks. You can also offer to write guest posts for blogs that cater to your target audience. Guest posting is a win-win – it exposes your content to new audience and it helps build affinity relationships with relevant organizations.
Looking for even more blogging guidelines? Check out these Tips for Better Business Blogging. You can also download our blog planning worksheet to help create a roadmap for your business blog.