Blogging, is without doubt still a great way to market your business effectively. However, like so many things in business there is an art to be able to successfull blog for business.
Blogging for business is not as easy as just writing articles about your business! In this post we take a look at the important aspects you should consider before engaging in a blog centered marketing approach for your business.
Despite there being a very strong business case for blogging it is still very evident that most organizations, large and small, still have no clear idea on how to blog to generate business!
Blogging for business has been around for a while and many businesses still see the potential to use blogging as a means of not only increasing web traffic to their website but also as a means to increase sales by not only engaging and educating prospective customers , but also increase recurring sales from existing customers.
Spending a couple of minutes perusing the average company blog you’ll undoubtedly come across a number of posts trying to explain how amazing their product is or worse the announcement of new staff members joining! These are examples of very poorly planned and executed blogging strategies.
Throughout this post, we will highlight the poor blogging strategies and help you to overcome them.
What’s In It For Me
The most important aspect, your blog should address and primarily be the focus of is only addressing your target audiences Needs, Wants and Desires.
Keep in mind, your visitors are only interested in one thing – What’s In It For Me< /strong> (WIIFM).
We hate to break this to you but nobody cares or wants to read about you and your company. They really couldn’t care less about you!
The vast majority of people out there are searching for solutions to problems they have, if your company has a solution to that problem then you’re onto a winner, but if you’re going to waste their time about telling them how your people make the difference and just how unique your organisation is. Well, quite frankly they couldn’t care less.
Your visitors will be searching for answers to their problems! There is nothing else on their minds . The real art to business blogging and the hardest part to master, is how to satisfy your visitors needs buy also managing to Sell your company and products.
The most important factor about your business blog, is that it should never be about you, but rather the focus should primarily be about solving your customers problems
All about tone
Taking time up front thinking about what it is exactly you would like to achieve with your blog. They have to be reasons far beyond “win more customers & make more sales” , of course that is the ultimate aim but the question you need to answer is “How do we win more customers & make more sales ?” .
Write relevant articles for your business niche, elaborating on issues within your niche and provide relevant information about potential problems and solutions. For instance, threenine.co.uk is a full service digital marketing agency.
Our target markets are primarily well funded start-up’s and established companies that need to develop new products and services.
Our core competencies and skills are
- Digital Marketing
- Bespoke Software Development
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Digital Marketing consultancy services
Although these business areas provide us with literally unlimited opportunites for us to generate content, it is also a very competitive. The competition continues to grow every single day, and from the outside looking in, it may also appear that the sector evolves everyday.
This is way it is very important for us to concentrate and focus on potential problems our customers are most likely to face, and create valuable,insightful and actionable content they can use to solve their problems but also to create services they can buy to get their problems solved for them.
People like people who help people
Choose the right platform
There are a plethora of blogging platforms available all of them with the relatively the same features. They all differ in usability and preferences etc. Some are paid for with some following the same Free Open Source Model as WordPress.
We obviously recommend WordPress, (this blog is a WordPress blog). Why we would recommend WordPress is based on our experience it is the most widespread, reliable, secure and robust platform available. Easy to install, configure and use and most importantly it is serviced by large community of users, so help is usually just a web page away.
If you need assistance installing and maintaining your WordPress blog, we can help with that as we provide that service for less than what you would pay for your mobile phone contract.
Speaking of mobile phone contracts, you need to keep in mind that a vast majority of your visitors to your blog will be accessing it from their mobile devices, so at a minimum your blog needs to have a responsive design, so it is viewable on all devices.
Your business blog is very much a part of your marketing and advertising campaign, So be sure that you utilize your logos and colour schemes on your blog. The more people recognize your brand, the more people will remember you.
Try to keep your blog free from distractions. It’s a good idea to provide some advertising space on your blog for your associative business activities but these shouldn’t divert your users attention away from your content.
Avoid having any videos that automatically play when landing on your blog. It is one of the biggest complaints about blogs and people will not want to visit you again. Also , do not be tempted to put any email newsletter subscription popups they don’t work and only annoy your visitors.
unless your business has a key objective building a list of firstname.lastname@example.org, don’t use email subscription pop ups!
You need to give your visitors a reason to join your mailing list. Not just demand that they join your mailing list in the first 8 seconds they land on your page, then keep on nagging them the whole time they are on your page.
Typically just one or two well placed and simple Calls To Action (CTA) are required. The do not need to be to obtrusive and ideally should only ask for one piece of information. Typically an email address.
Ideally it should be placed near an area after you have provided some relevant and insightful information that will help your visitors solve an issue.
Your CTA should be clear and easy to understand and promise to deliver even more assistance to help them furhter along the path to solving their problems.
Your business blogs colours, logos, fonts and styles should closely resemble your website. We suggest integrating as we have done, your blog as part of your website. In our case there is very little separation and for the most part our users have no idea whether they are on our website or blog. We never even make a mention of the term “blog” , its all just one!
Establish a cadence
You need establish the right cadence in regards to how many posts a month you’ll publish. It doesn’t really matter what this frequency is. Don’t be lulled into the thought that somebody somewhere will be waiting around at 10:30 on Tuesday for your posts to be published. It really doesn’t work like that. Your users will not be focused on the when but rather the what.
We have set the minimum number of posts a month that we expect to publish per month and we aim to hit that number every month.
We don’t have a specific day or even time we expect to publish – we publish as and when our posts are ready to be publish – Some months we have published 4 posts in 1 day and others we’ve posted 1 post per week.
There have been occasions where we have exceeded our minimum and if we’re honest we’ve also missed the minimum. We haven’t experienced any good or ill affects either way.
The truth is, your blog cadence is purely for your own benefit. If anything it helps you to tune into the business problems your customers are facing. It also benefits your customers due to the fact that you are providing value by providing relevant and insightful information to help them solve their problems.
Your blog cadence is a means to illustrate to your customer base, that you are thinking about them and their problems! .
Growth will be gradual
It is important to accept that the growth and popularity of your blog will be long term game. It’s not going to become a household name over night and your organisation will not experience a spike in sales just because you published a post.
You need to remember and always bear in mind, that your blog is a mechanism to communicate, engage and interact with your customers. It is all about building trust and familiarity with your customers.
The only secret recipe to creating a popular blog, is to focus on customer needs, wants and desires.
Write content for your blog targeted towards fulfilling your customer desires. Your focus should be towards providing value to your customer, the information they find on your blog, must be useful, engaging, enlightening, insightful and most importantly remarkable. If you achieve that your company blog will be re-market-able!
Multitude of skills required
One of the hardest things for many organisations to grasp, is that blogging actually requires a unique mix of skill sets to get it right. Many people think blogging is just about writing a bunch of articles about your business, promoting them and watch the sales come rolling in.
This is a complete fallacy and in fact without actually formulating a detailed and comprehensive marketing plan your blogging efforts will be completely wasted and highly ineffective. It will take time, a lot of effort, perseverance and continual experimentation for blogging for business to actually work.