Establishing a blog for your business can serve multiple purposes that go beyond marketing your company, and can include outreach to your existing customers as well. In addition, you can establish your firm as a source of guidance in your area of expertise, and can ensure that readers know exactly what your specialties are.
When businesses initially contemplate blogging, it can sometimes be challenging to know where to start. As one of Feedspot’s Top 100 blogs for startup entrepreneurs in 2020, we at Escalon have gotten to know some of the best ways to engage blog readers. Below we’re sharing five things you should include in your blog to attract readers and to keep them on board.
Make Sure Your Firm’s Values Show
Your blog is part of your company’s forward-facing content program, so your company values should always be present in every article, infographic, chart and video you share. For instance, if your company specializes in environmentally friendly waste solutions, don’t post a video in which one of your thought leaders is holding a plastic water bottle. If you specialize in customer service, don’t share case examples of bad customers that you had to eject from the company.
In addition, most businesses uphold values that present them as ethical and fair, which means you never want to post something that denigrates your competition, customers, vendors or other people. Your posts should be positive and uplifting, and should give readers what they’re seeking.
Write for Your Audience
Another key to ensuring that your blog works for your company is to write for your own specific audience. And of course, this means you must know your audience before you start posting content. Ensure that you are frequently reviewing your website analytics, your target audience, your existing customers and those that you are hoping to bring in so you’re aiming your content at those demographics.
For instance, if you are selling bicycle tires, it might be a good idea to share an article about the best bike routes in America, but an article about how to get discounts on diapers would seem completely off base. In other words, know what your audience is seeking and deliver content geared to them.
Include Expert Insights
Your blog is meant to show your expertise in the industry, and you should therefore include insights that demonstrate your knowledge. This may include information from surveys you conducted, white papers you created, details of solutions that have worked for your clients and interviews with your company’s thought leaders.
You can also venture beyond your team to provide insights from others in the industry. For instance, suppose you’re a retail business that sells clothing and you provide advice for others who do the same. But in your next post, you’re interested in sharing details about how to let an employee go when they aren’t meeting your needs. In this situation, you may want to interview an HR expert and quote them in the article. Even though you’re sharing information relevant to your audience, it’s outside your area of expertise, and you can highlight someone who does have that expertise.
Don’t Focus on Just One Format
If you love to write, chances are strong that you provide in-depth articles on your blog, but you may not want to stop there. Not everyone loves to read — some people are visual learners and do better with other types of content, such as graphs, infographics, videos and charts.
You can then track the performance of the different content types — you may be surprised at what you find. Whereas you might have thought that video would be the best format for your audience, your analytics may show that your articles perform exponentially better than your videos do. So experiment with different formats, but always keep an eye on how they perform.
Stay Relevant, Fresh
To ensure that your blog strikes a chord with the community, make sure you’re always publishing relevant, timely content. Rerunning something from last year that did well then but is out of date now will make you look out of touch with what’s going on right now. For instance, if you see that last June, you ran a very popular post about hosting large weddings at restaurants, you may be tempted to share it again this June. However, most restaurants aren’t able to hold more than a few people right now due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and it would make your blog look stale to share that again this year.
In addition, duplicating content may cause you to lose some of your SEO rankings, because Google and other search engines frown upon repeating your articles over and over again.