In today’s highly competitive online marketplace, businesses are in continual competition for consumer attention and interest. With only seconds to engage your next potential customer, how can you make your company’s website stand out from the pack? One way is to create a blog for your site.
A 2018 Clutch study published in Small Business Trends noted that 73% of consumers surveyed reported making purchases based on marketing content. In addition, 70% of Clutch respondents reported that they consider content marketing to be both useful and valuable. So how can you reach these consumers at the time they’re ready to buy?
How a Blog Positions You for Success
Marketing experts agree that most consumers don’t simply shop—they look for solutions to specific problems. And they tend to validate their purchase decisions with reviews and content. So, a successful blog can capture their interest during that critical period when they are looking to buy. Here are a few ways a blog supports your business.
A company blog engages consumer interest. What stops visitors to your site from clicking away? Informative, thought-provoking content is a great way to grab and hold consumer interest. The longer a visitor explores your site’s content, the greater the chance for engagement and conversions to hard sales. The Clutch study noted that a blog is superior to both product descriptions and reviews in terms of generating interest.
A blog positions you as an authority. If you’re sponsoring a blog on your site, it can be helpful to choose content topics that highlight your company’s experience and authority in the field. This is your chance to shine—you may discuss topics of direct or tangential importance to your business, highlight your company’s mission and goals, or even showcase your corporate culture, facilities, or processes.
A blog lets you optimize content for online search. A blog isn’t simply an article, opinion, or review. It’s a valuable opportunity to generate interest and engagement. That’s why it’s so important to optimize your marketing content for search. A few well-placed key words or phrases can boost your search rank and help potential clients find you more easily.
Sharing blog articles promotes engagement on social media. Add a quick note about your company’s presence on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to your blog to promote interaction with potential consumers. If your content is B2B focused, consider sharing it on Linkedin as well. Search Engine Journal has compiled a list of other places to consider sharing your blog content.
Marketing experts agree that most consumers don’t simply shop—they look for solutions to specific problems. And they tend to validate their purchase decisions with reviews and content.
Before You Jump in, Make a Plan
Starting a corporate blog on your site might initially seem easy, so why not just wing it? Well, most enterprises go better with planning, and even with a blog you control, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your blog delivers the interest you want.
Blogging is a commitment—be ready for it. If you’re planning a weekly or twice-monthly blog for your site, you’re going to need to do some planning. Lay out potential topics well in advance so you have time to make adjustments on the fly. For example, you may want to coordinate publication of a blog post with a time-sensitive offer or giveaway. Be sure you have enough back-up content, so you don’t run short.
Develop your online voice and tone. Chances are you gave a lot of thought to your company’s public face when you established your website. A company blog is the perfect environment to fine-tune your reach and to establish the authoritative, approachable tone you want for your business. And be sure to edit content before posting. Spelling and grammatical errors, regardless of how small, reflect poorly on your brand and can have a negative impact on your content’s authority.
Choose a length for your posts. Most blog posts run between 750 and 1800 words, with an observed engagement advantage for blogs in the 1000-word area. Longer posts (>2500 words) run the risk of being skipped as too time-consuming, while posts <500 words can easily become lost in other page content.
Optimize for search with meta descriptions. We mentioned this above, but it bears repeating. Optimizing your blog with key words or phrases can boost your Google ranking, setting you apart from the competition. Optimization also means going behind the curtain (to the parts of your site consumers can’t see) and creating meta descriptions and tags that will help guide consumers to your site.
Monitor and tweak. The online world is constantly changing, so being adaptable is essential. By monitoring your site’s analytics, you can gauge consumer interest and engagement, learn which posts pull best for you, and make adjustments to your content to better appeal to your target market.
We hope you find these tips helpful as you begin your small business blogging journey.