Blogging is one of the best things you can do to support your digital marketing campaigns. A good company blog is the best way to combine social media, SEO and content marketing in one place.
In fact, businesses that blog regularly, get 97% more backlinks to their website, and small businesses that blog see 126% more lead growth than those that don’t. However, there’s a lot more to it than just creating a blog page on your company website and diving right in! Business blogging is only effective when done well, and many business owners (or marketing departments) don’t fully understand why they’re writing a blog or who they’re aiming it at.
Know your reader
Before you put pen to paper, there are a few types of research you need to do. First of all, work out who you’re writing for. It seems simple, but many companies start their blog with no more understanding of who to aim it at than people who like their products! A better way to write blog posts is to target a specific buyer persona of your company’s ideal customer. Consider their age, job, interests and where else they go online. Although not everyone reading your blog will fit this profile, by having an idea of who your reader is, your content will be more focused and consistent and you’ll find it easier to come up with ideas, too.
Check out the competition
Once you know who your reader is, take a look at your competitors; not only companies that sell the same products or services as your business, but other commercial blogs that appeal to your target audience. If they’re not working, you know what not to do; but if they’re successful, spend some extra time looking at what they’re doing and try to implement similar strategies for your own blog. This doesn’t mean copying them directly (you don’t want to get into trouble!), but if you find that certain types of posts, such as lists or infographics, do well for them socially and gain organic backlinks, it makes sense to create similar types of content for your own blog.
Before writing any blog posts of your own, it’s useful to do some keyword research. Blogging often brings in organic traffic – and companies that blog tend to have four times more pages indexed than those that don’t, which can lead to higher search engine rankings. Identifying which words and phrases customers use to find your website means you can optimise your blog posts for them, to help your site rank for these terms specifically, by writing blog posts around them so that they’re included in your content as often as possible.
Stick to a schedule
Once you’ve done your research and have a bank of ideas ready to go, it’s important to create a consistent posting schedule. If people know that you post content every Tuesday and Thursday, for example, they’ll keep coming back for more on those days – or even subscribe so that they don’t miss a post. A sporadic schedule will result in your readers getting bored, and forgetting about your blog. You don’t have to commit to posting five days a week, but once or twice – with daily social media promotion – is a good compromise to ensure a balance of repeat visitors and new traffic.
Find your voice
Your company blog might be a sales tool, but it certainly doesn’t have to be all-sales, all the time. There’s nothing worse than reading a dull blog post – and it’s even worse reading a dull blog post that’s obviously trying to see you a product. Fear of saying the wrong thing has left many businesses scared of putting too much personality into their blog posts, but creating quirky content with a distinctive voice can put you head and shoulders above the competition. Don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun with what you’re writing, and don’t think you always have to write about your companies products and services directly. If you can relate current events and pop culture to your industry, this is a great way to make a name for yourself as an interesting blogger – just make sure not to wade in on any controversial subjects, or shoe-horn your product in too unnaturally, as people might not react well, and you could face a backlash online.