Blogs have become an important part in marketing businesses online – have a short meeting with any marketing expert and they’ll tell you that running a regular and well written blog helps to push your brand out there and make your website more visible on search engines such as Google. The problem for many business websites is that their blogs are pretty dull and fail to engage customers in the right way.
Blogs are Great
You’ve set up your website, got all the information out there that your customers need and a contact page so they can get hold of you. So, why do you need a blog? First of all it keeps your website active – search engines such as Google like sites with regular updates so if you are posting an article or two a week you are boosting your online visibility. Secondly, a good blog provides your customers with value added extra information that is useful to them and can increase the likelihood that they will keep coming back to your site and remain engaged with your business. Finally a blog can be less formal than the rest of your website and is a great opportunity to interject your personality, professional opinions and connect closer with your readers… people buy from people, so put some personality into your blog posts!
Writing the Useful Stuff
Too many business blogs contain information that is not particularly useful. Many will use it as a sales tool to push products. This is missing a trick with customers and potential customers for a wide number of reasons.
Interesting articles get shared. Interesting articles get talked about. Interesting articles set you up as a respected, reputable expert in your field. Here are a few suggestions to ensure your blog contains interesting articles:
- Build a list of subjects that your customers will be interested in.
- Don’t write carbon copies of other articles out there, put your own point of view across and, more importantly, your own personality.
- Don’t be afraid to express your own opinion, after all you are good at what you do right?
- Educate don’t sell
- Ask questions of your audience to encourage interactions and receive valuable market research
- Use language that ordinary people will understand – your aim is to entertain and inform, not bore the pants off your customer
- Blog the interesting stuff on a regular basis and customers are more likely to keep in touch
- Get the human interest, if you are at an event share with us who else from your connection sphere is there, name them, link to them and let them know they have received a star mention in your latest article
- Add some ‘real’ video to emphasise your content
- Use dynamic images, people are very visual, learn about how to use representational images
- Use case studies that are factual and engaging, these allow your target market to see real examples of your products or services, making it easier for them to see themselves using you
- Use your blog to showcase your offers, your promotions and competitions – have some fun – you’ll be surprised at the engagement levels a caption competition will receive – yes even for a professional services company
- Invite guest articles from others who are experts in their field, have the same target market as you but are not competitiors
- Showcase members of the team, humanise your organisation – especially if your industry is usually perceived as ‘a bit stand offish’ – people buy from people!
- Jargon busting articles, each industry has it’s own jargon, don’t presume we all know what you mean! Compile a glossary of terms – tell us what we don’t know
Using the Right Language
The tone of your blogs is important. Do you want to be formal and dry? Do you want to add a little humour? Do you want to be controversial? Our advice is that you need to settle on a writing style that is likely to engage your customers. To do that you have to be passionate for the subjects you write about. Unless you are talking to scientific types who expect a certain level of academic language, then keep your writing simple and even then scientific articles and be personalised with humour and personality interjected. Put some personality into your blog posts! If you want a guideline then look at something like the Huffington Post website and how it constructs its news articles.
Put Some Personality into Your Blog Posts. Where Did Your Personality Go?
Contrary to popular belief, your personality does come through in your writing. At least it should. Put some personality into your blog posts If you are composing the blogs yourself then there are a couple of tricks to bring some big personality back into your posts. Try writing straight from the heart about a subject you care about and which you know your customers do too. Don’t worry about keywords or making a sale or any of that other stuff, simply write something that is interesting. You don’t have to publish as soon as you have written a post – it always pays to leave it a day or two so you can check it over before you putting up on your site. A great subject written with passion trumps any dull article that just tries to sell stuff.
Finally, don’t be afraid to collaborate and experiment. Often great articles come from two people working on a post, bringing their own personalities and knowledge together to make articles that attract people to your site.