Maintaining a business blog is still an effective way of engaging with consumers, but with so much online competition from other businesses and the growth of social media, retaining customer attention is harder than ever before. To be truly effective, your business blog needs to be highly focused on delivering shareable content that is also in line with your evolving marketing goals. Remember the following key principles and your business will stand a better chance in today’s crowded online environment.
Define Your Marketing Goals
Before launching a business blog and before each post, it’s vital to think about what your marketing goals are at any specific time. Are you trying to improve brand recognition, drive sales, gather important data about your customers, educate potential customers, or develop your brand’s personality? Maybe it’s a combination of the above. There are many different ways to approach a blog post, but each one should have a clearly defined purpose. This helps to ensure each post is optimized to engage, inform, and convert prospects. When businesses complain about their blogs not delivering results, it’s often due to poor planning.
Use Knowledge to Strengthen Credibility
Every blog post has the potential to increase the credibility of your brand. Informing and educating readers is a powerful way to gain the trust of people who have become cynical of old-fashioned advertising. Aim to become a powerful voice in your industry sector and you can soon become the go-to resource for news, information, and inspirational content. If you can achieve this, you will not only convert more readers into customers, but they will also promote your brand on your behalf.
Address Your Ideal Customer
Many businesses still focus too much on their own affairs instead of addressing the needs of their audience. Keep your blog content more in line with your marketing goals and remember that people are looking for solutions to their problems. One way to ensure your blog posts are relevant to your target audience is to ask your readers directly what questions they would like you to answer about your products and services.
Maintain Writing Quality
Many business blogs fail because they are poorly written and fail to engage the reader within the first paragraph. You need to quickly communicate the value of continuing to read your content. It’s also important to post original content, not only for your credibility, but also for improving your SEO. Use an editorial calendar to make sure you have enough relevant content to publish every month, and time each blog post to align with your marketing goals.
Don’t Forget SEO
The blog’s page title should include relevant keywords, and when appropriate try to include your company name in headings to gain authority for those keywords. Also make sure the page’s meta-description includes keywords to inform the search engines. The title of the post and actual copy should also contain relevant keywords, but not too many. Before you upload an image to a post, name it first with relevant keywords, and remember to include alt text for occasions when an image cannot be displayed. Navigating to other content within your domain and your own content on external sites will also help you rank higher with search engines.
Many business blogs still struggle to engage effectively with prospects because they simply lack focus. Each individual blog post needs to a have a clearly defined purpose. Before writing each post, consider its main objective. Do you want it to generate leads, promote interaction, or boost sales? Perhaps you just need to raise awareness of a particular product or service. Whatever it is, remember to make it clear in the post and whenever possible, include a strong call-to-action.
Remember the Bigger Picture
There are various ways to optimize your business blog to maximize its impact. Remember to make it easy to navigate to your primary business pages and keep readers engaged by providing clear links to similar content within your blog. Linking to your social media channels will also encourage interaction on other platforms, enhancing your online presence. Don’t forget to use recognizable sharing icons to strengthen credibility. Including a social media share count on every post will also encourage people to share your content.
The Next Step
The best business blogs can become the heart of a company’s website, or even stand alone as a go-to resource, enabling customers and prospects to share content around a brand. If you don’t have time to write consistently good content and your marketing budget allows, you could even invest in a full-time or part-time writer. If not, just remember these golden rules for better business blogging and with a little creativity and dedication, your blog can give your business the edge over the competition.