Tag: business blogging
Every industry is guilty of jargon. Hands up, the marketing, social media and tech worlds are up there with the key offenders.
The Cloud? Big Data? Both are topics being discussed a lot at the moment, but you’ll be hard pressed to find two people with identical definitions. Referencing buzzwords is fine when you’re talking to those in the know, but when it comes to reaching potential customers, it probably isn’t the right approach.
The truth is that your prospects are time-stretched and information-overloaded: can you risk demanding that they translate wording before getting to your key message? Chances are, they’ll click elsewhere at the first sniff of ‘blue sky thinking’.
Why do people use jargon?
Opinions on jargon remain divided. In the red corner stand the jargon-philes, willing to load their content marketing with enough buzzwords to make even a management consultant blush. In the blue corner stand the staunch anti-jargonists, insisting on proper command of the English language in order to convey clear messages.
As a journalist by trade, my heart leans towards the blue corner brigade. After all, what is the point of language if not to communicate clearly and effectively? Yet the content marketer within notices the ease with which I use the word ‘content’, which would surely have been considered jargon before the profileration of – let’s call a spade a spade – writing, images and the like distributed for marketing ends? More »
Whether your corporate blog covers topics particular to fashion, medical negligence or marketing software, while the industries are unique, the challenges of blogging for business are largely universal. Topping the list of hurdles is the mission to build and expand the blog community. Of course, creating top quality, value-laden blog content is imperative, but beyond this lie some no-brainer methods to ensure that your content gets seen by the right people.
1.Use LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn might not be the right network for every business. For marketers seeking to reach Joe Public with their messaging, we generally advise using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to augment a blog strategy.
However, for organisations keen to increase their blog traffic and establish a thought leadership position within a given industry, LinkedIn Groups offer a hugely cost-effective channel. Reaching a targeted, business-focused audience, LinkedIn Groups also create viable commercial opportunities.
Select groups wisely to ensure your message is getting in front of the right people. For a boutique PR shop, ‘Public Relations and Communications Professionals’ would be a shrewd starting point, boasting over 250 professional members. A healthy number of members is important, but so are engagement levels as measured by numbers of comments and interactions. More »
So you’ve worked hard to create a successful business blog, well maintained with a consistent flow of content and promoted well enough to reach a wide base of industry movers and shakers. Why then, would you allow, even encourage, guest bloggers to benefit from your efforts by piggybacking your platform?
Guest posts improve your blog
As a dedicated blogger, a more useful stance is to examine how inviting guest bloggers can actually enrich your blog.
Crucially, allowing guest bloggers to post to your blog actually increases your network. Of course, it’s advisable to carefully review any blogger you’re thinking of inviting or accepting to post on your blog. The most beneficial posters will be experts in your sector or those with senior positions in companies or fields related to your blog, rather than full time bloggers. They will bring with them true expertise, and are also likely to have their own valuable following.
Grow your reach
What does this mean for you? Guest bloggers are highly likely to promote their guest posts within their own blogs, Twitter feed, LinkedIn account and so on, drawing their readers to your blog. Posting to another blog, especially if the guest is highly respected, acts as a seal of approval on said blog, laying down the welcome mat for new, high quality audience members. More »
The link between business blogs and social media is fairly straightforward to most businesses: publish a post and then promote it via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
While there’s clearly nothing wrong with such a strategy, promoting corporate blog activity only after posts have been published runs the risk of limiting exposure and reach. The ideal strategy strikes the perfect balance between being well-planned, yet also opportunistic.
As a guide, prolific social media and content commentator Lee Odden suggests that in order to effectively scale blog promotion efforts, around two to three times as much work should go into growing social networks as goes into linking content to them.
Building social networks can seem like a constant and largely uphill struggle, yet without this activity even the most ardently planned editorial calendar can fall foul of online invisibility.
With its content calendar established, a business then needs to consider outreach activity on the core five social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. If the corporate blog publishes a significant amount of video content, then YouTube is a logical addition to bolster a video SEO strategy. More »
Commercial waste management. It isn’t a subject matter likely to inspire the liveliest dinner party conversation. I was surprised then, to find myself strangely riveted to the PHS Wastetech blog Who knew the complexities of veterinary waste, or that tightening the retail supply chain could help in the battle to reduce waste?
Hats off to the content marketing team at PHS for creating and maintaining a blog about waste that is in turn lively, topical and human.
We hear all the time from marketers facing a similar challenge. Their first statement goes something along the lines of: “My business is dull. Nobody out there cares about what we do”. A question commonly asked is “How can I create blog content that people will bother to read?”
To anybody resonating with the first statement, remember that the service that your business provides is useful to your customers. If nobody needed what you offer, or cared about what you do, the business would not have been created, let alone still exist.
When it comes to developing blog posts that people will be drawn to read, we advise marketers to focus on three areas of content creation:
Those who aren’t involved in waste management won’t seek out a waste management blog. Agreed. It is critical to determine who exactly will be interested in your niche, whether they be buyers, suppliers or consumers, and cater to them with each and every article published.
Timely content tends to perform well, long-term analytics reveal. Tying business blog content to either what is in the news or important events in the social and cultural calendar tends to create broader appeal. It’s also well worth keeping an eye on what is trending – even in the world of trash. When US-based removal business 1-800-GOT-JUNK? spotted a trend for ‘trashion‘ (fashion made by recycling items destined for the dustbin) it wrote a related blog post. It’s often surprising to see how niche services can successfully link blog content back to mainstream culture. More »
Online engagement is imperative to securing sales in the world of e-tailing, and assuming that your site is already rich with product information, clear CTAs to purchase and images, you’re now ready to create a more immersive experience.
The challenge lies in offering informative, detailed content that reveals your brand’s unique personality and encourages shoppers to engage with you in a more meaningful way, beyond the usual product-surfing.
For online retailers wanting to nurture existing customer relationships and attract new customers, a company blog is the ideal solution. The beauty of blogging in online retail is that whether you are selling cosmetics, car parts or carpet cleaners, there will always be topics of interest that you can expand upon.
1. Solve customers’ and prospects’ problems
Shoppers seeking out any kind of product come armed with their unique set of issues and challenges, and with a corporate blog you can tend to their needs with your unique viewpoint and customised solutions.
Solve your customers problems, and in so doing equip them with the knowledge and information that encourages engagement and purchase decisions.
2. Be at the forefront of industry trends
Serve up the latest news from your sector to keep customers up to date on the latest trends. As always, the goal is to inspire customers, sparking ideas in their own minds to get them purchase-ready. If you sell apparel, you could mix-and-match clothing options to create must-have seasonal outfits or cover fashion world events as demonstrated to perfection by Asos.
If the products being sold are more sensible than sexy, such as kitchen flooring, find an interesting angle – say showcasing renowned venues or celebrity homes while offering advice on how to achieve similar results on a budget. More »
We’ve all been there. You spend the best part of a morning agonising over creating the perfect, most unmissable blog post. It ticks all the boxes of your content strategy in terms of being relevant, informative, topical to your readership, keyword-rich and rounded off with a punchy call-to-action. It’s time to hit publish, but you still haven’t come up with a compelling blog post title.
A blog by any other name would smell as sweet, but would it do an effective job in enticing readers to find and engage with it? This post weaves in findings from the Content Marketing Institute and offers some tried and trusted methods of effective blog post title writing.
1. Research keywords
It might require a radical change in the way you develop content, but try to come up with blog post titles before even starting to write. Assuming your SEO strategy is already in place, take the time to align your blog headlines with overall SEO tactics. If you’re struggling to decide between two words or phrases, turn to Google AdWords keyword tool for guidance.
2. Place keywords at the start of titles
Another SEO best practice tip is to use keywords at or near the beginning of your headline; readers tend to make the decision on whether to read on or not before even getting to the end of a post title. More »
Lots of people within the legal sector and beyond anticipated that social media would wipe out the humble blog, leaving in its wake a new evolution of the internet. However, not only has social media facilitated blogging by providing new ways for blog content on legal issues to be distributed and consumed, it has highlighted the unique perks of blogging that other third party channels simply cannot compete with.
For lawyers (as well as other professionals), a blog remains the hub for online identity and disseminating information for numerous reasons, including:
1. A blog establishes your identity online
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I work for an established legal firm with an excellent website and corporate blog – why would I need my own blog?’ Plan for every eventuality and by building your own independent online presence, in so doing reap the multitude rewards that come with regular blogging for business.
2. Blogs beat websites hands down for relationships
Many in the legal profession would argue that a website is the essential component of their online presence. Think, though, of two of the most important sources of a lawyer’s work: reputation and word of mouth. Both are as important to a lawyer’s success now as they were 100 years ago. Thankfully, todays blogs equip us with a means of establishing and nurturing new relationships. Websites certainly have their place for conveying essential information, but they do not provide the relationship-building and networking opportunities of blogging. More »
How do you feel about your blog? Is it a dynamic place for the cream of your sector to enjoy compelling content and share lively, topical debate? Or is it a lifeless archive of articles which might be interesting enough but lack sparkle and relevance? Nobody likes a boring business blog, so here are a few ideas and tips to breathe fresh life into a stagnant blog and keep it bang up to date:
1. Your customers
Your customers (and potential customers) are the reason you launched your corporate blog. They are your target audience, your reason for doing business and thirdly – they should always be the inspiration behind every post written. Therefore, it makes sense to listen to them and draw from their questions and challenges as a source of blog topic ideas.
Collate questions as they come in, either by phone, email, face-to-face or through social media, and address the most commonly cited issues your customers face in useful blog posts. This approach applies to any sort of business, from landscape gardening to selling fashionable clothes. Say a gardening business is continually asked by its clients what kind of shrubs to plant in certain soils, the business could respond with a “5 Tips for matching plants to your soil type”. A clothes boutique owner who is asked daily how to put outfits together could write “How to Pair Old and New items in your Wardrobe”.
How to do it: Essentially, this method is all about listening, so be sure to do so wherever your customers are – be that in your shop, in their homes, on Facebook or Twitter.
2. Keep on top of your sector and current events
It might sound like a no-brainer, but in order to stay relevant and current it’s vital to keep abreast of not just your industry but also broader current affairs. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every blog post you publish, so look to outside sources for inspiration. Every time you sit down to create a blog, ask yourself if there is anything newsworthy that you can apply to your sector, or any interesting developments within your niche.
How to do it: Sign up to popular blogs within your sector and beyond. Read the news stories that LinkedIn curates for you, and see how your connections are responding to them. When it comes to staying topical, RSS is your best friend. More »
Are you happy with your corporate blog? Perhaps it is ticking along nicely since launching, generating a handful of social shares and the occasional comment (which of course, you take the time to respond to thoughtfully). So you now have buy-in from the board, who have been converted from somewhat cynical (‘But will this blog actually make us any money?’) to loosen the purse strings enough to help you get a dedicated blog team in place and a steady stream of content flowing.
But with the board now wanting to see exactly what ROI their investment is generating, the pressure is on to really deliver. Read on for six advanced blog tactics that will take your blog from almost zero to marketing hero:
1. Get clever with keywords
One of the most effective ways to beef up SEO is to create your own media content for your blog. Use your own original images and video wherever possible, rather than relying on stock images. Your readers might link to your blog which will result in more exposure if your images are linked to and embedded elsewhere on the interweb. Second clever SEO tip: aim to pepper keywords liberally into your captions, descriptions and image titles. This is especially important for images, as it’ll help your blog to rank higher in results when people are searching images rather than text.
2. Showcase your personality
As important as it is to be informative, your blog also serves as one of the faces of your brand. These days, consumers like to know the face or faces behind a business. Try to inject some colour and personality while still keeping it professional. Blog writing is different to straightforward journalism or news reporting, so don’t refrain from polishing your content up with opinions and anecdotes to help it shine. More »