The humble blog; often overlooked as an old-school marketing tactic, it’s still one of the most important tools you can use to help customers get to know your business.
And, of course, to generate leads.
A well-tended blog section gives you a regular stream of fresh social media content, boosts your search engine position and helps draw people to your website – in fact, companies who blog regularly attract 55% more visitors than those without a blog.
And while blogging isn’t about selling and product-pushing (it’s more of an education and engagement tool), it can certainly impact on your bottom line; B2B companies with blogs attract 67% more leads than those without.
When I visit a company’s blog and see that their last post was six months ago (or more!), it can be instantly off-putting. It makes me wonder whether they’re short staffed, whether they don’t care about communicating, or even whether they’re still in business.
But writing a blog people want to read can be time and labour-intensive; thinking up a constant stream of enticing information is a challenge, and writer’s block is very real. Before you know it, your blog feels like a chore you’ll eventually get round to – but never do.
So here’s a little inspiration to help you plan your next post and focus on things you actually want to write about.
#1. Forecast a trend
What’s on the horizon for your industry? What do you think could be huge next year, or have a big impact on your sector?
#2. Take readers ‘behind the scenes’
Readers love to get a glimpse of what goes on ‘behind the scenes‘. Take them on a short video tour of your premises or make a picture gallery of how a project came together.
#3. Quiz your team
Help readers get to know your team by profiling staff – it doesn’t have to be dry (i.e. ‘Our chartered surveyor Simon qualified 20 years ago and has always had a keen interest in the built environment’). Instead, give your team random questions to answer; favourite film, last pudding they ate, best (clean!) joke they’ve heard, what motivates them, their biggest achievement, favourite travel destination, etc; this adds personality to your blog and keeps it human.
#4. Bust some myths
Are there any common misconceptions in your industry, or your business? If so, a ‘true’ and ‘false’ myth-buster blog could be useful.
#5. Post a ‘how to’ video
Blog content works best when it combines mixed media; strong text-based blogs are crucial for SEO, but you can also bring your blog section to life with picture galleries, infographics and videos. Film a 60-second clip explaining how to use your products or how to get the most from your service. You can use text and graphics instead of your voice, if you prefer.
#6. Share what’s inspiring you
Sometimes, you want a break from talking about yourself or your company; instead, you could talk about other things that are inspiring you – whether it’s people in your industry, technology, trends, other companies, topical news stories or designs.
#7. A ‘day in the life’
What does a typical day look like for your business – if there is such a thing? Doing a timelapse or video of your day helps readers understand more about what you do and how you work.
#8. Have fun with stats
Everyone loves a good statistic – and infographics are the best way to illustrate them. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – just a handy graphic to bring your numbers to life. How many cups of tea do you think you’ve consumed in the last year? How many products have you shipped? How many different counties, regions or countries have you done business with? How many projects have you completed? How many emails have you sent? That sort of thing.
#9. Tackle a common question
If you’ve noticed you often get the same question or comment from customers, a blog post is a great way to address it in a bit more depth.
#10. Look back on your year
How’s your year been? What new developments can you share? What were your favourite projects to work on? What challenges did you overcome? What are you focussing on next year?
#11. A prize for a poll
Polls are a hugely valuable tool for gathering information and finding out your customers’ likes and dislikes. They’re also very easy to run, especially if your website’s hosted on a CMS like WordPress. Incentivise your poll with a free prize giveaway to boost engagement – and don’t forget to post the results!
#12. Join in a national event
There are heaps of awareness days out there, from National Sandwich Day to Stress Awareness Month and everything in between. What could your team do to tie in with the events that resonate most with you?
#13. Delve into the past
Take readers back through your company history; this could be done as a graphic timeline of how you started and grew, or as a personal post about how and why you first started your business.
#14. Be charitable
Have you or your team taken part in any charity initiatives, or raised money for a good cause? If so, how did it go?
#15. Explore typical mistakes
Helping customers avoid common mistakes is always valuable; what problems do you see people encountering time and time again? Where could they typically go wrong? How could they avoid these pitfalls?
Hope these tips are useful!
And don’t forget…
If you love the idea of a regular blog but you’re time-starved or not fond of writing, do drop us a line. Venti Comms can take care of everything for you – from researching and writing your blog to publishing it on your website, adding important SEO data to boost your rankings, and sharing it across your social media channels.