Many businesses, specifically companies that sell products to consumers, view blogging as a cost of doing business. BlogWorld Expo New York (#BWENY on Twitter) is an opportunity to learn how to make this investment yield return, however, surprisingly few businesses appear to be here to take advantage of the extensive offering of blogging advice.
7 Business blogging tips
Here are seven tips I picked up at today’s Blogworld Expo sessions that can help you take your business blog to the next level. When you’re developing your business blogging strategy, don’t overlook internal blogs as these can be very useful for internal communications and training.
- Know your audience. As a business, you may know what products and/or services your customer buy, but do you know what information they need to be persuaded to close a sale? Further, do you know what information is needed to ensure that they utilize your product fully? While your sales force may only be thinking about closing the deal, in today’s social media savvy world, you want to make sure that customers like and talk about your products. To this end, it’s useful to develop marketing personas that provide a deeper understanding of your customers.
- Get everyone involved. Present a broader array of information by getting all of your employees to engage and write for your blog. This spreads the blog’s workload across the organization. Based on their job, these employees bring different insights such as knowledge of common customer inquiries, how to fix certain challenges with your products, or what special recipes or patterns customer like. This can give employees the sense that they’re part of something that’s bigger than they are. Don’t forget to recognize your contributors with their photograph and biography.
- Augment your blog with other forms of content. Think broadly in terms of photographs, videos, audio, and presentations. (Here’s a fuller view of different content formats and how they can be created across your organization.) The goal is to expand how you present your firm’s knowledge. For example, do you need a video to show customers how to put your products together? Alternatively, can you use a presentation given at a trade show to enhance your blog.
- Include links. Use links to help readers find out more about the topic. They can be to past articles, outside resources and your product offering pages. Have at least one internal link and one external link. Links are core to your SEO strategy.
- Have a professional editor to ensure content quality. One of the things that many people fear is having others read their writing. Therefore hire a professional editor go through your content and ensure consistent quality. This is particularly important for business blogs that represent your company. Your blog’s writing quality reflects on your brand.
- Promote your blog. One of the challenges that business blogs face is the fact that people spend time creating strong content but then it languishes on your blog because no one knows about its existence. Like other marketing initiatives, blogs must be promoted with your social media engagement and on your internal media such as your website, emails and billing. A rough rule of thumb is to spend about two-thirds of your time creating the content and one third promoting.
- Measure your results. This is a point I always make but it’s easy to overlook if you consider blogging a cost of doing business. Christopher S. Penn pointed out that it gets down to a net earnings per lead. Further, Chris defined ROI as earned revenues minus money spent on initiative divided by the money spent on the initiative. This is a clear-cut definition that incorporates the cost of employee(s)’ time.
Use your business blog as a vehicle to engage prospects and drive them to your website without pushing your promotional message. If your business blog isn’t helping you achieve your goals, assess whether it’s positioned correctly and whether your content is engaging.
Are there any suggestions that you’d add to this list? If so, please include them in the comment section below.
Here are some related articles that you might find of use:
- 60 Point Blog Checklist
- Business Blogs Chase Wrong Metrics
- 7 Marketing Tactics to Get Prospects to Act
Tip of my hat to Lee Odden, Christopher S. Penn and John Jantsch.
Photo credit: norwichnuts via Flickr