To blog or not to blog? Everyone and their brother (or sister) seems to have one. While some personal blogs might be appropriately characterized as vanity projects, a business blog is an important component of a company’s content strategy. Whether you are in the B2B or B2C world, a blog can be very beneficial to your business.
You might need a blog if:
- You want to deepen the relationship with your customers (provide meaningful information – do more than just “sell”)
- You are an expert in your field
- You want to reinforce your personal brand
- You have opinions about issues surrounding your industry
- You want to stay top-of-mind with your customers and prospects between sales opportunities
- You want to attract new customers
- You want your customers to understand all of your capabilities
- You want to be positioned where your prospects will look when they’re ready to buy
How to get started:
You may easily be able to add a blog page to your current website theme. If not, there are many stand-alone blogger sites: WordPress and Google seem to be the most widely used. Both make it very easy to design and set up your blog. Although you’ll be working within a template, make sure that your blog is consistent with your personal or company branding: colors, fonts, images, etc. should all include your brand elements.
What on earth should I talk about?
Blogs are a great platform to share information. They’re a way to tell customers “what else” you do by telling stories about how you work with clients. If there are conroversial issues within your industry, a blog is a place to make your position known. A blog is where you provide meaningful information for your clients or prospects beyond your product or service offerings: information that will help them in their work or in their lives.
What not to do:
Readers will quickly unsubscribe if you continually hit them with sales messages in your blog posts. Depending on the nature of your business, a blog is probably not the place to air strong political or religious opinions (unless that IS your business). A blog is not the place to bully or pick on competitors. Keepin mind that like everything that is on the internet, your words will live forever, so blog responsibly!
What else do I need to know?
- Blog sites help you with search engine optimization: make sure to include tags for your posts that reflect your subject matter and include terms that people might search for.
- Stay true to your subject matter: it’s acceptable to go off script now and then, but once you set topic expectations, you’ll lose subscribers if you deviate too often.
- Repurpose your posts: share the content in newsletters and on other social media platforms.
- Partner with others: if you know others in your industry who are not competitors, think about guest-blogging for each other. This is a way to expand your audience and establish new connections.
- Be consistent: if you decide to blog, set a frequency schedule that you can live with and then keep up with it. (Better to blog monthly or even quarterly than to do 5 in a row and then go dark for 6 months.)
Effective social media should educate, entertain or engage. Do that in your blog and you’ll be reinforcing your brand, forming stronger relationships with your audience and attracting new clients!
Barb Hendrickson is President of Visible Communication, LLC, President Emeritus of the Incentive Marketing Association and recipient of numerous Professional awards. Barb is a frequent speaker and trainer on Social Media, Storytelling, Using LinkedIn for Business, Incentives & Promotional Marketing and more.