Blogs are often considered at the heart of social media and the great benefits of having a blog have been felt by all types of businesses. From its use a fantastic resource for SEO building to its ability to show the ‘human’ side of your business and establish you as an authority in your sector, having a blog for your business, in most cases, is considered a fundamental tool in your social media marketing efforts.
However before you jump in and start blogging, there are several key strategic elements you must consider to ensure your blog is going to be in line with your business objectives and ultimately be a successful addition to your social media marketing strategy.
Determine Your Blog’s Business Objectives
One of the first things you must do is determine what you want your blog to achieve for your business. Whether you want it to support sales by giving potential users useful information in the form of how-to videos or use it as an outlet to build your brand by providing content that supports your offering, having clear objectives for your blog helps optimise its reach and impact.
Define Your Target Readers
In addition to determining your objectives, having a clear idea of your target readers is paramount as your posts can then be tailored around content that maximizes interest and engagement from your readers. It is also important to consider how your demographic behaves on social media, whether they are people who actively comment or can be described as lurkers, as blog posts can then be tailored accordingly in order to maximise your potential for impact and engagement.
Develop Your Blog’s Voice
Blogs are a great way to show a ‘human’ side to your business that customers appreciate and prefer. From this, it is important to have an idea of what voice you want for your blog that can be consistently applied across all your posts, especially if your blog is going to be managed by several different contributors. Put simply, avoid generic corporate speak and replace it with your own unique voice and readers will be drawn to and engage with your blog.
List Features to be Regularly Included in Your Posts
Deciding on what major content categories you want to include regularly helps you to stay focused and maintains a clear direction for your posts to go in order to ensure your content is in line with your business goals and is targeting readers needs. Part of the process is also to determine how often you will post new columns to your blog as having a clear schedule of when you will be posting is paramount in order to ensure it is in line with your wider social media strategy.
Outline Creative Elements
Consistency should also be applied to the creative aspects of your blog, that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration fo your blog it ensures all these factors are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand across all social media platforms.
Now it’s time to start writing your blog, there are several fundamental basics to follow to ensure you create a powerful and engaging blog post
Say Something Interesting and Useful
Write your blog with your target audience in mind so rather than trying to appeal to a generic wider audience, your content contains specialised information that those interested in your sector would read. By openly giving out advice and information you will become an online repository of useful and valuable knowledge and this will attract the attention of your target audience.
People always respond better to something that is new, fresh and clever so always brainstorm ideas in the mind-set of producing something that is creative and breaks the mould of other generic blog posts. You are competing in the fast-paced and growing industry of social media marketing so you need to make yourself stand out and give potential customers a compelling reason to choose you over your competitors.
Keep It Short and Sweet
An ideal blog post is between 400- 1000 words in order to be easy enough to digest quickly. It is widely accepted that online readers are becoming lazy and it becomes difficult and unappealing to read something crowded with text and heavy paragraphs, so keep paragraphs short and snappy. Keep in mind readers will often read less and less further down the post they read so make sure the important points are made early on.
Never Go For The Direct Sell
When you first start blogging it may be tempting to go with the direct sale approach, posting information about how wonderful your business is and all of the things you sell or offer. This however is not a successful approach and in most cases will see you viewed as a spammer and will quickly lead to people losing interest in your blog. To avoid making this mistake you must strike a balance between subtle business blogs and ones centred on customer engagement, with a favourable emphasis on the latter.
Have a Compelling Title and Leading Paragraph
It is paramount to draw the attention to your post by making your headline and introduction exciting. Choose the major point of your post and outline it clearly in the beginning. this is essential if you are going to encourage your readers to click through to the full post.
Balance SEO With Good Content
Whilst it is important to include keywords in your blog especially within titles, you need to strike a balance between catchiness and SEO. Don’t flood readers with keywords but do pay attention to clean URLs and Meta descriptions.
Include a Call To Action
Blog posts should end with something that moves the reader on to the next step be it a call to comment or to connect on other social media platforms, this should not be an opportunity to hard sell however as this often loses your readers trust.
So hopefully now with these tips you feel confident enough to start your own business blogging! If you are stuck for content ideas then here is a very useful post from Carol Tice that has 50! http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223023