Remember the U.S. army’s “Be All You Can Be” campaign? An incredibly successful and popular recruiting slogan was used for over 20 years until it was retired in 2006. How about your business blog, is it all it can be for your industrial company?
I’m assuming you want your business blog to be more than just a personal journal. One way or another, you want it to be an integral part of your industrial marketing efforts in generating leads and driving sales. You want your business blog to become the hub that attracts traffic, establishes your credibility and ultimately, moves those readers forward in their decision making process and become paying customers.
How do you turn your business blog into a powerful sales tool? I’ve listed six business blogging tips here to get you started.
1. Make a plan: Even before you start writing content and posting, you need to have a clear set of goals. What do you want the post to do for your company? Are you pre-selling a product or service? Do you want to increase awareness about your company within your niche? Are you providing a solution to a challenging problem? Is it to establish your credibility and expertise on a particular topic? It will be difficult for you to create a compelling call to action at the end of your posts if you don’t have a set business objective in mind. Without that, you would be reporting news and not being an authority in your niche. There are plenty of news portals out there. You don’t want to create another of those unless you are planning to sell advertisement space on your business blog.
2. Write about what matters to your readers: You are passionate about your company and want to write everything about its products and services. However, are you addressing the concerns of your readers? It is all about them and not you. Do a bit of keyword/phrase research before deciding on a topic or a title of your posts. Don’t be afraid of putting long tail keywords in your titles so that people searching for those words can find your post. The term ‘long tail’ was first used by Chris Anderson to describe the strategy of targeting less-competitive niche markets instead of highly competitive broad keywords. You want your blog post to attract the largest targeted readership.
3. Post often: If you want to build a loyal following for your business blog, you need to post often to keep your content fresh .Your readers will visit your blog frequently and bookmark it only if they can count on you for their regular fix of topics that interest them. They should look forward to your next post and not be left guessing as to when you are going to post again. You don’t have to write a thousand words post each time, shorter posts are good too. Mix them up for variety.
4. Let form follow function: Your blog’s design should never overwhelm or distract from the content. That’s a basic principle I like to follow when designing a blog, a web site or any type of marketing collateral. The navigation, layout and the placement of every element should guide the reader intuitively in a logical manner. Don’t assume that your readers will take a desired action or click on a link just because you’ve placed it somewhere on the blog. Lead them to it. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Or do you want them to download a white paper? Give them multiple ways to do so.
5. Optimize your business blog: There are thousands of blogs on the Internet. You need to optimize yours if you want to be found in major search engines. If you use WordPress for your business blog, you need to download two very useful plugins. The first one is All in One SEO Pack and the second one is Google XML Sitemaps. Both are free to download and will automate some of the SEO chores. Another great plugin I use to encourage people to leave their comments is CommentLuv.
6. Learn and “borrow” ideas from others: Let me make it clear here that I’m not advocating that you copy someone else’s blog. Most marketers aren’t inventors or innovators, they are duplicators who know how to put a new spin on something and differentiate themselves. “Borrowing” ideas is not stealing something from someone else. Motivational speaker Anthony Robbins once said, “If you want to be successful, find someone who achieved the results you want and copy what they do, and you’ll achieve the same results.”
There you have it, six quick ways to make you business blogs even more effective.
Do you have a blog for your business? How effective has it been for generating leads? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.