There are three kinds of businesses online. Those with blogs they use to spread their brand, those who have blogs but never update them, and those who consider blogging “not a way to spread their message.”
The last two have it wrong. Totally wrong.
Blogging is powerful when done correctly, and the best part is: it is really easy to get right. The hard part is you must blog regularly or you will fall out of the minds of you followers and potential clients. Here’s how to keep your momentum up and keep it easy.
What a blog does for your brand
Your goal with a blog should be to engage and inform your visitors. You will have visitors who are already interested in your company and just want more information about your product or service. You’ll have visitors who found their way to your blog because someone referred them. Also, you ‘ll get people who are researching your industry at large, and are looking for providers of a specific product or service to narrow the field of their choices. Make sure your blog is engaging to all of those types of visitors. The more you educate and show your expertise, the more you create trust for your brand. No one will buy from you if they don’t trust you.
What you shouldn’t do with a blog
This is where companies get it wrong. If your company blog is nothing but your ads and your customer specials. Stop. Step away from the blog, you’re doing it wrong and making the Internet cry. No one wants to read ads.
The flip-side is no one wants to read stereo instructions either. If you get super-technical in a post about what you do, that’s a great opportunity to explain the jargon of your industry. Educating your visitors about what you do and why you do it is a great way to build trust in your brand.
Another golden rule to follow for brand blogging is: Never, ever bash a competitor, even if they are bashing you. Negativity is something that will drive your customers and potential customers faster than fast. If you’re getting trashed online by a competitor, take the high road and just keep putting out there what makes your widget better, faster, and the features that make your widget the one to be proud to own.
What you should do with a blog
Invite engagement. Early on, you won’t have a lot of this mysterious engagement stuff, and you might feel like you’re the radio DJ out in the most rural station in the world, broadcasting to…hopefully someone. This is where people start to lose their steam and post less instead of more. Set up a schedule for posting (be realistic) and stick to it. Your product or service fills a need for a segment of the population, craft your words to talk about uses and solutions using your product that people can relate to.
Another plus, and we’ll go more in-depth on this in an upcoming post, is Google uses how much time someone spends on your post as a quality signal. This is why detailed infographics and videos are fantastic for promoting information about your brand. People spend the time to get informed and Google considers that a sign you’re doing things right.
Blogging works for everyone if you figure out your buyer persona
One of our clients provides passports, visas, and copies of birth certificates. Not a super exciting industry at first blush, and not one where they will see repeat customers on a regular basis (unless someone is really scattered and loses their personal documents constantly which would be my client’s absolutely DREAM client). Our client built their brand around the fact when a customer or potential customer calls, they answer the phone and work one-on-one with that person. When you consider the thousands of individuals they service monthly, their commitment to personalized service to individuals they may not see again for years is impressive. We schedule a blog post every day and built both inbound and social media marketing campaigns based on situations people who might need that service face: lost birth certificate, changing a name on a passport due to a relationship status change, or taking a job in Venezuela. Also several, “It’s okay if you only call us when you need us” type of ads on social media. So people may not need the service right now, but they will remember our client when they do. The response has been good so this way of reaching out to those particular customers for our client has been a win.
What about the inevitiable unhappy customer that posts a comment?
If it is a legit complaint posted on your blog. It’s ugly. It burns. Your first impulse might be to delete that comment and move on. However, if the concerns voice something you need to fix, acknowledge it. It’s a great way to show you take the satisfaction of your customers seriously. You can either advise them you’re contacting them immediately via email or phone call or if it’s a minor fix required, state it publicly and showcase your willingness to make it right. An unhappy customer is almost always an opportunity to create a brand loyal customer if you follow through.
Cool stats that will make you want to leave this screen right now and write a blog post!
If you’re on the fence about devoting energy towards your blog, check out these two stats from the marketing gurus at Hubspot:
Nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes. If that’s not compelling to think nearly half of companies, your competitors among them, are leveraging their blogs for marketing, consider the result: companies that blog have 55% more website visitors. Another study released by Hubspot reported that a whopping 71% of responders stated that information in blog posts directly affected their purchasing decision.
See? I told you that you’d get inspired and want to go post something as soon as you read that.
Tips for what you need to blog successfully for your brand
1- Your blog must be hosted on a platform that is mobile-friendly. WordPress is usually a good bet. You can test the mobile-friendliness factor of your blog URL here.
2. Create a posting schedule. An editorial calendar is a must. This is part of your marketing and should be thought of as an investment for expanding and selling your brand. Decide how many times per week you’re going to post and stick with it. Be realistic with your time allotted to blogging.
3- If you have any employees or partners that are gifted wordsmiths, give them a platform to showcase their knowledge of your brand on the company blog. It’s good to have many voices.
4- If you have a lot of great ideas but time is a factor, talk to us. We will work with you one-on-one to craft an editorial calendar and content you’ll be happy to have representing your brand. Find out about our blogging packages.