You already know you need to write and maintain a blog for your business, whether your industry is B2B or B2C. Blogs are simply the best way to introduce your potential clientele to your business and the services you offer.
But blogs can add a lot more value if you use them properly. Here are 10 ways to use your blog to add value to your business and drive traffic, leads and community to your website.
10 Intriguing Ways to Use Your Blog
- Let it serve as a gateway to your company. Your blog not only reveals your business expertise and specialties, it also gives your prospects a very good idea of your cultural DNA and leadership style. This allows your readers to self-select into the best-fitting prospects for your business, saving your sales team (or you!) time and money as you explore a working relationship.
- Create business partnerships through guest blogging opportunities. Do you have a related industry in town? Consider finding the leaders in related industries and asking them to write guest posts for your blog. For instance, if you are a real estate professional, have a home inspector write a piece for you. If you run an Adult Living Center, have a local chef write an article about maintaining nutritional diversity when cooking for one or two. Not only will your blog benefit from the additional perspectives, but you will have an opportunity to forge relationships in your business community.
- Showcase your work in a more casual way than a case study or a gallery of work. Sometimes case studies are — let’s be honest — boring to read. Use your blog to write about recent work you have done and infuse more personality in it. By the way, write the piece as customer-centric as possible; tell your client’s story, don’t brag about your own. Share a video, write about a particular problem you faced together with this client, or show some behind-the-scenes pictures.
- Build support among your own team. Get content written from others in your company. You will be amazed at how supportive yours sales team will be when it is their own content appearing at intervals on the blog! At heart we’re all kindergartners who can’t wait to show mom the picture we drew at work today: showcase thought pieces from across the breadth of your organization.
- Showcase your thought leadership. Your blog is where you can dive deeply into the vertical markets you serve, even if you have more than one vertical and they vary substantially from each other. White papers and blogs position you as a thought leader in your industry, so take the opportunity to research and take a position on industry-specific topics.
- Use your blog content in your email newsletters. After you have taken the time and effort to write a blog, take a few moments to make sure your brand evangelists have seen that content. Use it in your next email newsletter. The readers of your email care enough about your brand to give you their email address and a small portion of their attention on a regular basis. Take your best content and make sure your email list sees it. Go one more step and suggest that they share your content, and add social media links to make it easy for them to do so.
- Craft your blog as if it is the only interaction visitors will have with your website — because in reality, it may be. In essence, your blog is the front door and lobby to your overall business structure. Make it non-threatening so that visitors from social media channels will want to wander through that front door! These days customers are looking for an experiential journey, a custom-created experience. Your blog is the first step in that highly personalized, relational marketing.
- Use targeted blog links with prospects to help them move through their buyer’s journey. Writing an email to a prospect? Include a link or two to relevant blogs in your PS or the body of your email. Give your prospect another touchpoint with your brand, and make it easy for them follow through. And make sure your links are clickable! You wouldn’t believe how many emails come through with links that are plain text. No one will take the time to cut and paste to their browser. No one.
- Use interviews to showcase clients. Create some targeted questions to ask them, not just a broad “Tell me about your experience with our company.” Ask them, instead, for their perspective on industry challenges. For instance, “Tell me a little bit about why you are moving to video on your website instead of narrative.” You should get a nice snippet about attention spans, engagement rates and so on. Follow it up with “How do you budget for frequent video?” By the time those two questions are answered, you have a great blog post.
- Answer your top prospect’s questions. Reduce the amount of time you need to educate your prospects on your product or service by answering their questions before they ask them, in your blog. Every time you write the answer to a common question, not only do you eliminate the need for your salesman to answer that question, but you garner the SEO juice from creating the blog with those specific keywords. Our brains are hardwired to think in question format, so take advantage of our inquisitive nature and answer questions! Ask your sales team for a common list of questions they are asked over and over; begin with those and keep writing!
Reap the Benefits
For those moments when your motivation wanes, here are just a few reminders of the benefits you are going to receive from maintaining your commitment to your blog.
- Rise in organic rankings on Google and other search engines
- Rank high for specific keywords that are important to your industry
- Position yourself as a local and national expert
- Keep your company informed internally of industry developments
- Demonstrate longevity and stability in your industry
- Craft your brand story and history