In today’s highly competitive markets, there is a pressure not only to get sales but to do it in the most cost effective way possible. While a lot of businesses hire professionals to create a campaign for them, entrepreneurs with a limited budget choose the blog as their marketing vehicle. Blogs are not only for small companies though, they can do wonders for large corporations too, which is why more and more Australian companies are writing blogs to complement their SEO strategy.
Aside from being a low-cost alternative to establishing a web presence, when done right, a blog can also help you improve your search engine rankings. Not all blogs are created equal and there are some things to remember if you want to maximize the potential of your corporate blog.
1. Add your blog to your main website. A blog on your site gives it a personal touch and can establish trust among visitors, thus attracting links and improving search rankings. By hosting it in a separate domain, you miss out on these benefits and may not get the results that you are aiming for.
2. Be professional and build a strong brand. A professional blog needs to be purpose driven, each post staying true to the blog and the company’s objectives. While it’s nice to know some random information about a company’s employees once in a while, office scandal or malicious content is a no-no. Even though a blog is meant to provide transparency for your readers, your corporate blog is still a reflection of your company values so avoid blogging about something that can hurt your image and eventually, your business.
3. Post great content. Avoid posting news that everyone else is talking about. Unique and well written content shows your readers that you have something different to offer and not just a spin on the same article they see in every other blog. Helpful articles and expert opinion would create interest and build you up as a good source of free information.
Another way of making your blog more interesting is by adding images to improve its visual appeal. A lengthy blog of merely text creates reader fatigue and a simple photo or chart provides a quick and easy remedy.
4. Keywords add value. A good corporate blog utilizes keywords in titles, headers, subtitles, image texts and anchor texts. Well researched keywords for your industry help search engines crawl your blog, leading searchers to you.
5. The corporate blog is for sharing, not for selling. The rest of your website was already made for the purpose of selling so treat your blog as a venue for you to share useful information and helpful insights. Readers will easily notice if your blog is just a bunch of selling tactics and that would turn them off. Of course the ultimate goal of any business blog is to bag a sale, but this is best done discreetly.
6. Reach your customer with a personal tone. We have earlier said that a corporate blog must be professionally written and that is true, but a bit of charm in the manner of writing, a bit of “human-ness” will help it connect to the readers more. By writing with emotions like compassion and empathy, readers are able to relate to the article. Humility is important too, and usually gets readers glued to your blog.
An overly serious or impersonal blog eventually bores the reader and usually does not result to a loyal following.
7. Give what your readers want. Spend time to find out what information your target audience is looking for but could not find an answer to. By knowing which topics are in demand but not yet answered, you get an opportunity to be the sole, or at least, first source of the much needed information. If you deliver an intelligent blog that addresses the need, your blog will definitely attract visitors and sign-ups.
8. Blog regularly. Once a blog is started, it must not be left without new content for a long period of time. Keeping your blog updated ensures that readers stay with you as they expect fresh and interesting posts on a regular basis. Updating your blog also gives your customer the assurance that you are still there, available when they need your product or service.
9. Delay comment feature. New blogs will naturally have no comments for some time and it can put a dent on your credibility when readers see 0 comments. A good trick you could use would be to activate the comments feature only when the blog already has a good readership and you think someone will most likely post a comment.
10. Monitor traffic. Check your blog’s analytics to determine which posts attract readers and which don’t. By looking at the analytics data, you can better understand reader behavior and therefore write your blogs accordingly.
A blog can indeed be a powerful tool in business and any company can benefit from one. Niches may be different and topics vary, but the tips provided apply to all types of corporate blogs. Sure, business blogging can be quite tricky, having to create a balance between professionalism and a personal approach, but it is an art that can be mastered with practice, research and passion.
July 25, 2011