There are many opportunities to connect with your customers and prospects, but one of the best yet often neglected avenues is through a blog. Not only does a company blog provide you a vehicle to keep your audience updated on recent events and developments, but it also lets them know that your organization is ever-evolving; you’re constantly looking for new and better ways to serve your customers and improve your product offerings.
Your business will also benefit from the added search-engine optimization (SEO) juice you’ll get from regularly posting new content to your site, as well as from sharing that content on your social networks. Blogs are a great idea for all sorts of reasons. But only if you go about it the right way.
It’s all too easy to kick off a blogging program with the best intentions, only to see it wither and die on the vine. How often have you visited a company’s blog only to find just a couple of stories posted, and the most recent was uploaded eight months ago?
Failure to plan, as they say, is a plan to fail, and blogs are a great example. The good news is that once you’ve drafted a plan that covers five key areas you’ll be back on your feet. In fact, you can reset and reinvigorate your blog in a single, hour-long meeting. All it takes is a little preparation and focus. Here are the five points you need to consider:
Give Them What They Want
If you’re not already tracking your blog activity, then there’s no time like the present. Dig in to look for links, shares and comments on social media (you’re sharing those updates on social media, right?), as well as on-site analytics. This helps you pinpoint the topics and posts that resonate with your audience and can be invaluable when it comes to your editorial and content discussions for new material.
Give Them What They Need
Though it will vary by industry, it’s possible that some of the “touchy-feely” posts, such as employee or volunteer events, might earn more clicks and shares. That’s fine. Don’t stop posting that type of material.
But don’t forget that your blog is also a great platform for all sorts of internal topics. Talk about new hires, new initiatives and new product developments. It makes readers feel like company insiders and can give new projects additional momentum.
You already have weekly status meetings. Why aren’t you interacting with customers and prospects just as frequently? While you don’t have to do a new blog post at 3 p.m. every Tuesday, you do need to determine and maintain a cadence.
Commit to creating blog content on a regular basis. A good goal is to aim for 10 new posts each month. If that sounds overwhelming, remember that not every post needs to be an in-depth story. The key is that you have a steady stream of diverse material that keeps visitors coming back. Creating and maintaining a content calendar will keep you on track and focused, and it’s a great one-stop resource for your team and other contributors if they have questions.
Proof, Rinse, Repeat
We’ve all been there — you’ve seen and proofed that email/product flyer/blog post five times already, and so has everyone else in the department. You’re behind on your deadline and the day has flown by.
Don’t post that article just yet! Give your content one more look to make sure there are no sentences left swinging in the wind, the punctuation is on point and everybody’s name is spelled correctly. It will only take you a few minutes, and it can save all sorts of headaches and phone calls.
Sharing Is Caring
It’s all well and good that your posts are showing up on your blog page, but don’t forget about your home page and social media. If you haven’t already incorporated your blog into your home page content, then stop reading this immediately and get started. Your home page is the first page most visitors see when they visit your site, and it’s important that you have current, timely content that’s always getting updated.
Be sure to share your social media content with your social media followers as well, but make sure you’re sharing the right material on the right channels. Images from a volunteer effort can be a great choice for Facebook and Instagram, but might not get as much traction on LinkedIn, for example. Regardless of channel, each and every post should be shared via social media.
Lastly, don’t forget the sales and account management folks at your company. They’re always looking for some good news to share with clients and prospects, and a recent blog post can be a great way for them to keep those conversations going. Share your content calendar with them, and let them know which posts are the most popular. A weekly or monthly recap can be a great way to do this.