A business blog is an inexpensive way to connect with your target audience. Small business owners often realize a blog is an integral part of an online presence, giving them content to share on social media and offering value to those who land on their website. But knowing exactly what types of content to add, and when to add it, is a different matter.
In a survey of 1,117 bloggers, researchers found that content quality was rated as the most important element in running a successful blog. If you’re going to add a blog to your business website, you must make sure the items you publish are of high value to readers and reflect positively on your brand. A blog provides content for your site visitors, gives you something to promote in a newsletter and provides posts for social media accounts.
If you want to compete in a global economy, your website needs a blog. However, there are some very specific things you must consider as you consider your content strategy.
Although most businesses have a specific buyer persona they cater to and they know that audience well, there are times when you want to reach a new target market. The content you add to your blog can help attract a specific type of buyer. Start by studying the new audience, just as you would any target market. Make a list of the types of topics related to your business that person might search for. Then, answer those questions with videos, articles and infographics.
Ring offers a blog and uses topics that might attract new audiences, such as the military or those looking to create a greater sense of safety in their neighborhoods. However, they still cover topics aimed at their target audience of homeowners looking to add security features to their houses.
Today’s consumers have many different things clamoring for their attention — text messages, the latest television show, social media posts and so much more. The only way you’ll grab and keep their attention is by entertaining them. The content you provide needs to have a unique tone and show off your brand personality. Use good writing practices, such as a strong headline that grabs attention, and keep content skimmable so users can read through it quickly even if they only have a few minutes to spare.
The art of story goes back to a time before humankind had a formal written language, when stories were shared via pictures drawn on cave walls. People are naturally drawn to a good story. Cognitive psychologists suggest people are about 22 times more likely to remember facts when they’re told in the form of a story. If you remember to tell a story and hit on all the points that tap into user emotions, visitors won’t just land on your page and bounce away — they’ll hang around and read your offerings.
MECO highlights stories about their workers on their blog, which gives site visitors insights into the company and a peek behind the scenes. For example, they highlight one of their manufacturing engineering managers and share information about what he does for the company and how long he’s been there. There are many different ways to share a story, including tapping into why the founders started the brand and unique elements of the business.
Videos have a huge impact on site visitors, and your blog is a perfect platform to embed videos about your products and services. About 90 percent of survey participants indicate product videos help them decide whether or not to buy.
Look at how you can highlight your products and educate your audience in a fun way, such as an animated video showing the benefits of using your product or service. You can also highlight customers via testimonial videos. Videos are a nice break from reading text and allow visitors to grab information in short bursts.
About 32 percent of marketers say creating visual content is the most important form of marketing, even rising above blogging. However, blogging and visualizations don’t have to be two separate things. You can certainly add visuals as part of your overall content strategy and enhance your articles with infographics, data-based animations, charts and graphs.
Make sure the visual relates to the topic at hand. If you sell lemons, you might create content about why your lemons are 50 percent sweeter than other lemons on the market and add a visual showing the sweetness of each kind with yours in the center.
Styling You is a site and blog by Nikki Parkinson where she makes suggestions on outfits. One of her visuals shows a collection of different blouse styles that work well with jeans. The visual works perfectly, because it highlights the topic she’s writing about and gives users something to skim over and instantly understand what she’s talking about even if they don’t read every word there.
Writing a rich and engaging blog gives you vluable content for your social media channels. Followers on sites such as Facebook and Twitter don’t appreciate getting a hard sales pitch, but if you offer something of value, they’re much more likely to visit your site, follow your page and do business with you.
Let’s go back to the lemon company example. You write a blog post about your lemons being sweeter and then you follow up with another post with a recipe for lemon meringue pie. If you then share that recipe to your Pinterest account, you’re likely to gain new customers from that effort.
If you vary the types of content on your blog, you’ll also have videos you can upload, infographics you can draw images from and testimonials to brag about.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner
Use your business blog to drive traffic to your site, grab new site visitors and educate your buyers on your product or services. An engaging blog turns browsers into new leads and converts. Blogging is another form of marketing and one that is cost-effective and successful. If your business site doesn’t yet have a blog, adding one enriches the overall value of your site to visitors.