Blogging is one of the best ways for companies today to share their expertise on topics with customers and potential customers. In fact, people view the content shared in blogs as a source of authentic information. The infographic below contains some powerful stats on the importance of blogging for businesses:
Now that you’ve started a business blog, the next step is creating content. You’ve read that the combination of valuable content and high posting frequency not only results in increased readership, new customers, and repeat visitors, but also helps with search engine visibility. It’s important to keep your content fresh. Ideally, if you’re looking for fast growth, post once a day; otherwise, 2-3 times per week is fine. This translates into a lot of content you’ll need to create. Here’s the hard part: What do you write about?
The goal is to create content that your readers will find interesting enough to comment on and share with their networks. Thus, you need to know exactly who your customers are and what their problems are. Once you have a thorough understanding of your target audience, you can begin to develop content to fit their needs.
Here are 10 tips and strategies for developing original content for your business blog:
Content Tip # 1: Create a content calendar
A great starting point is to create a publishing schedule or an editorial calendar. This eliminates having to come up with what to write about at the beginning of each week. Start with the big picture – an annual schedule. Add events that you might want to develop content for such as tradeshows, conferences, product launches, etc. From there, schedule monthly topics relating to each event. Then, go into weekly details.
Content Tip #2: Talk to your sales force
An overlooked source of content is your sales force. Talk to them. Ask them to turn in application briefs at your weekly or monthly cadence meetings. These are quick problem / solution write ups that chronicle their customer interactions.
Content Tip #3: Tap into your customer service department
Another excellent source for content is your customer service department. These people are helping customers every day. Ask them for a list of the top ten frequently asked questions.
Content Tip #4: Re-imagined content
Use existing content and re-purpose it. Do you have a white paper, article, or presentation? Break it down into a blog series. Do you have a video? Feature it in a blog post. Look at your marketing brochures, or better yet, highlight case studies on your blog. Take a press release and create a short post from it.
Content Tip #5: Don’t forget about your engineers
Talk to your engineers, create a how-to guide, and turn it into a post.
Content Tip #6: Best practices
Create a best practices guide and blog about it.
Content Tip #7: Do some keyword research
Get ideas from keyword research. Use the Google’s Keyword Planner tool to determine the words and phrases your customers are searching on. Develop posts relating to them.
Content Tip #8: Talk about popular topics
Sprinkle in some content that might not exactly relate to your business, but are trending topics such as Lean principles and Green initiatives (e.g., how to reduce your carbon footprint).
Content Tip #9: Special guest stars
Invite guest bloggers to contribute to your blog.
Content Tip #10: Ask your readers
Ask your readers for ideas. Poll them and find out what their interests are.
What do you think of these tips and strategies? Did I miss any?
Gunelius, S. (n.d.). Blog posting frequency overview: How often should you publish new content on your blog? Retrieved from http://weblogs.about.com/od/startingablog/qt/BlogPostingFreq.htm
Handley, A. & Chapman, C. (2012). Reimagine; don’t recycle. In Content rules (p. 55-68). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Scott, D. M. (2011). Blogging to reach your buyers. In The new rules of marketing and PR (3rd ed., p. 237-250). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Category: Advanced Tactics