With today’s increasingly unchecked world of Internet noise and great, big, sparkly distraction, creating something that your audience will (or want to) see is an all-time challenging feat.
Blogging may prove a tricky forte, but it’s the very real, very informed people that provide this regular stream of mastery that keep a company’s heart beating - even when the consumer is not directly engaging.
Blogs act as a cost-effective, SEO-fueling hub of brand voice and service clarification, as well as are some of the best ways to encourage an active flow of traffic to your business’ website. Unsure why your blog isn’t gaining the traction you had hoped for? New to the game? Use our Top 10 Tips for Better Business Blogging to enhance your content marketing strategy.
1. Take the “Would I Read This?” test.
As with all of your social media endeavors, giving yourself the ol’ “Would I Read This?” test is crucial. Ask yourself - if you were a member of your target audience, would the subject matter... well...matter? Would it be something you need, want, or could utilize to better yourself or further your goals? In our case, we strive to ask ourselves what companies making social strides might be into. We research, discuss and have blog planning sessions in order to figure out the best way to offer guidance, both for the seasoned and the amateur. Don’t go blindly into blogging.
2. Showcase both your - and your brand’s - expertise.
This is it! This is your literary time to shine, your shot at providing a sample of whatever it is your biz does. Think of it as a free consultation, or a place to toot your own horn without being snotty. Build the trust of your community by saying, “Hey, I actually do know this stuff and keep up with my industry’s news.” Being relevant and skillful looks fabulous on everyone.
3. Creative verbiage.
Have an open mind. Use the thesaurus. Read your work and decipher whether you sound bland and dry or refreshingly interesting. (Pro tip: aim for the second.) You’ll be amazed at what a little sultry synonym can do here and there.
Go through two proofers, aside from your own read-through. Check for accuracy, add sources when necessary, and above all, pin-point and eradicate all grammar errors before publishing. Yes, you may in most cases have the ability to edit your posted blog, however, comments based on common GSP mistakes are cringe-worthy. You certainly don’t want the only comment on your post to be a keyboard warrior’s correction - it doesn’t bode well in regards to Tip #2.
5. Stay consistent with company voice.
If your company is fun, quirky and unique (like mine) why fix what’s not broke? Don’t get me wrong- your voice is important. However, so is the brand you’re ultimately attempting to garner a profit with. Keep in mind the small things - is “healthcare” spelled in one word, or two? If you’re a ritzy hotel in Dallas - would it make sense to talk about budget travel? Are you an Oxford comma believer? Big or small, consistency is best across all channels. Don’t get too crazy if who you’re representing errs on the conservative.
6. Engage with comments - most of the time.
While the scenario in #4 may not be the most exciting to answer to, it’s critical you connect with the most vocal of your audience. Whether it be the same customer who adores everything your social emits or a left-field query, show that your organization is composed of authentically intelligent, caring human beings. You might see an uptick in engagement.
Don’t forgo imagery. Not only does it make your blog more pleasing to the eye, it’s great for SEO.
Construct subheadings for the same reasons. Subheadings do a nice job of breaking up monstrous blocks of text, while also dispensing added SEO nuggets. These mini-titles make it easier for the search engine automated robots, or “crawlers”, to scout you out. Just don’t forget - subheadings aren’t subheadings unless you format them correctly. *(Bolded and/or underlined does not necessitate it being a subheading. For instance: When posting your blog to WordPress, your subheadings will only be SEO friendly if you write them in one of the "Heading" fonts - ideally, your title would be "Heading 1," your subheadings would be "Heading 2" and onward, while your body text would be written under "Paragraph.")
9. SEO Keywords.
Use words that pertain to your industry. If you’re a moving company, words such as “hotel,” “renovation,” “logistics,” “residential” or “FF&E” (Furniture, fixtures and other equipment) will quickly draw in your target market. Use them in subheadings, and sprinkle them freely throughout your work. What are your customers searching for? What questions are they asking and how? Guide your writing by what you feel will be searched.
10. Call to action.
What do you want your audience to ultimately do? Check back in for more blogs? Pick up the phone? Sign up for an e-mail newsletter? Or perhaps, just to respond? Your blog is a creative outlet, yes, but it is still both a product and business venture. Treat it accordingly. Speaking of...
Need a little more help tackling your blogs, or prefer your friends at SMD to give it a shot? Give us a call at (469) 248-0616. Feel free to make our “hotline bling.”