A well-planned blog can be good for your business and your customers.
Blogging is just one of many marketing tactics available to SMEs looking to promote their business. Easy to get started and inexpensive, a business blog can prove a powerful tool within any online marketing strategy, provided it’s done correctly.
As with social media platforms, blogging isn’t something to be taken lightly. There are many examples of where social media posts have come back to bite businesses and high-profile individuals. (Who can forget Ed Balls Day?)
Blogging requires similar care and should never be undertaken without proper planning. Many blogs fail because businesses do not have the time or resources to keep them going, or business owners might not have the technical know-how to develop a successful blog. As with any online tools, blogging has to be right for the business in question, and if a blog is ill prepared or poorly maintained, it’s not going to achieve its goals.
You certainly shouldn't be afraid of blogging, though, as there are some real, tangible benefits to be had. Blogs can help to drive traffic to your website, providing a relatively cost-effective way of potentially improving sales, while they can also help to establish you as an industry expert. Furthermore, blogging can help to develop your voice and establish a better rapport among your client base, while also helping to reach new audiences at the same time.
Here are some tips to get your business blog up and running.
Plan, Plan And Plan Again
Content planning is everything in blogging. Time-poor business owners and a paucity of ideas are perfectly valid reasons for SMEs to steer clear of blogging in the first place, but they don’t have to scare you away.
A little bit of planning goes a long way, and posts targeted at identified customers can genuinely improve the bottom line if planned correctly. Think about your business services and any phrases or keywords related to them, and you’ll have the starting point for a whole range of topics to write about. It’s not a bad idea to then physically mark out on a calendar or diary dates to write and post that content, encouraging you to stick to them when you might otherwise have lost interest, or simply struggled to find the time.
Think carefully about your target audience, too. The blog is there to promote your business and to target potential new clients, so always think about those clients when writing any blog posts.
Show Your Knowledge
A great business blog should provide readers with genuinely useful information, positioning you as an expert within the industry. Helping potential clients to further their own business skills and possibly make themselves some money in the process is likely to result in more business and, ultimately, greater profits for you.
Make It Personal
Just because a blog is about business topics, doesn’t mean it has to be written in a dry, corporate manner. A blog is meant to be interesting to read, so put a bit of yourself in every post. Readers respond to a human voice, so make sure yours is heard.
Do It Right
When researching the blogging platform you’re going to use, make sure you pick the right one for your needs. Research the options available to you, and don’t be put off if it means spending money on the right blog host and theme for your business.
Having a blog that customers can interact with is a good idea too, giving them an opportunity to react directly to your messaging and also giving you the chance to measure interest in your business.
It’s vital that you measure how your blog is doing in terms of reaching the right audience. Google Analytics is one such way of measuring a your blog’s traffic and other statistics to see who is reading your posts and where they're coming from.
You’ll also be able to use tools like Google Analytics to gauge which of your blog posts are gaining the most interest online, helping you to decide which areas to focus on for future ideas.
Speaking of blogs... why not check out the rest of ours while you're here. We cover everything from cyber security to data protection.