One of the most important factors for your business’s success is the positive perception of your brand by your customers. And one of the most effective ways to create such a positive perception is to tell your stories using blogging.
Blogging allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. When you write blogs about your brand and associated stories, you create a unique impression that remains with readers and help makes your brand memorable.
What’s more is there is generally a high trust factor associated with blogs. A 2013 report from Technorati showed that blogs were the third most influential digital resource for making overall purchase decisions. Blogs rank more highly than Twitter and Facebook for shaping opinions that motivate someone to buy.
However, your blog just can’t be your latest product brochure or a notice board for your specials. Consumers expect blogs to share valuable content and enrich their lives in some way – if yours doesn’t, your blog will be as deserted as a ghost town.
If you’re going to use a blog to build your business profile and attract audiences, here are three steps you need to consider to ensure success:
1. Have a blog strategy
Just like any marketing activity, it’s important to have a strategy outlining your objectives and audience you want to target. This is what will direct what type of blog you create, the subject matter you post about and the style you will write in.
For example, will your blog style be professional or more casual? Will it focus on sharing expert information on a certain topic or theme? This detail needs to be planned from the start so your blog has clarity and doesn’t confuse your readers.
2. Plan your content
Doing some planning about your content before you start blogging will mean you’ll be ahead of the game from the start. A good idea is to start a document where you keep a running list of questions you get from your clients, advice you’ve given to clients, customer service questions and questions you’ve been asked on social media of at speaking functions – these could all make great topics for blog posts.
Once you’ve got some great topics, make sure your keep posting regularly. There’s nothing worse than looking at a blog and the last post was January 2012! Set yourself a posting schedule and a deadline. Or perhaps, try writing your posts in batches and scheduling them to be published every week.
3. Drive traffic to your blog
The adage, “Build it and they will come” no longer applies. Once you’ve got your blog started you need to make sure you attract readers. One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your blog is to write often and write well. Sounds simple, but it means that your readers will keep coming back to read your posts.
Apart from that, you should also consider:
- Making your content sharable so your loyal readers do the work of attracting others for you.
- Optimise your blog posts for SEO. For WordPress blogs this might be as simple as adding a free plugin.
- Share your blog posts on social media. Make it your LinkedIn status update, tweet a link to the post (several times), share it on Facebook and email your blog post to key people that might find it interesting.
- Comment on other blogs. Read other blogs and comment on them so that it links back to your own blog. You can also offer to be a guest blogger on other blogs and websites to increase your exposure.
Blogging is an incredibly powerful way to attract and engage audiences and demonstrate your expertise. It can position you and your business as an industry leader and create relationships with potential clients that are based on value-add and trust. What’s more powerful than that?
This article was originally published on SmartCompany.