Biz Bloggin': Making Posts Make Cents
Content marketing is an excellent way to get your brand and message seen by potential clients and customers. However, if you've never run a blog before, you might be a little lost on how to keep it populated with engaging content that draws traffic and customers. The Content Marketing Institute reports 36 percent of businesses have an issue with producing engaging content, and 21 percent struggle with producing enough content. If you're at a loss for words on your blog posts, here are five types of blog posts your audience will find useful and engaging.
1. Behind the scenes
All too often, customers find that businesses are nameless, faceless entities. They don't develop any particular brand loyalty because one store is the same as the other, for all intents and purposes. This changes when you let them see behind the curtain. Detail how products get made in your factories, explain the day-to-day happenings in the office, or provide information on how you develop a product line. Not only do you educate the customer on your business, you're putting a personality to the brand.
2. How-to guides
Customers don't want to sit down with a manual and read through it to get their products up and running. Provide how-to guides, preferably illustrated, on exactly how your customers can use their products. These guides can also explain common troubleshooting techniques, advanced features and anything else that would benefit from in-depth explanation.
If you want to push the viral content angle, use lists for your blog posts. The list topics can be related directly to your product, something about your industry or humorous list topics. For example, a web hosting company might create an article called "5 Must-Have Scripts for Windows Hosting," "10 Ways Hackers Ruin Your Day," or "7 Cloud Hosting Benefits."
4. Customer showcase
Do you supply customers with products they use in their own projects? Show off what your customers have made in a post. Not only will you build brand loyalty with that specific set of customers, you're also showing the practical ways your potential customers can use your products. A picture is worth a thousand words, and when a customer is engaged enough to share with you, you want to reward them.
5. Industry and news commentary
You don't want to regurgitate news stories, interviews and industry press releases. If blog readers wanted to see that, they could go to plenty of other sites. Give them a reason to read your blog posts on the industry by providing your own expertise and insight into the movers and shakers of your industry. If a new technology gets introduced, talk about the practical ways you can use it, or the downfalls that come from new tech.
Yahoo Small Business reports companies who blog have 97 percent more inbound links than those who don't. Even if you can't keep up with a regular blog posting schedule, putting up anything gains you far more than staying away from blogging. After you blog, don't forget to promote your post. For more advice on effective promotion, check out our previous post here.
What tips do you have for successful business blogging? Share them in the comments.
And if you'd like help with blogging and content marketing, please contact me.
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."