Symptoms of Spam: Is Your Business Blog Guilty?

content creationIn the world of marketing, it can be easy to see your business’s blog as an everyday opportunity to promote your business, company, service or product. The idea of your business being able to reach thousands or even millions of people at once can seem like a dream come true, with your blog serving as the perfect opportunity to inundate them with all the information they’ll ever need about exactly what your business offers and why it’s useful to them.

Unfortunately, using your business blog as a primary megaphone to announce each and every benefit your business offers will send people away from your blog, and your company’s brand, in droves. If you’ve noticed that your business’s blog doesn’t seem to be getting much engagement with your followers, it’s likely that your blog is displaying more than a few symptoms of being “spammy.” If you aren’t sure if your blog falls under the category of spammy, take a look at our list of indicators below.

1. Every Post is Related to Your Product or Service

Using your business blog correctly can yield a plethora of benefits for your company. You can attract new customers, engage current ones and build a rapport with your audience that can lead to a personal and loyal following for your brand.

One way to blog incorrectly, and also come across as super spammy, is to use every single blog post as a spotlight for the multiple benefits your product or services offers. This advice has been distributed time and again, from all manner of marketing voices on a number of platforms. We’re taking the opportunity to re-emphasize its importance: a way to alienate your followers and become annoying and spammy in record time is to use every blog you post as a shameless attempt at self-promotion.

2. You Publish Under Your Company’s Name Instead of a Writer’s

Providing your readers with a personal connection to your company is a vital part of inspiring brand loyalty. So what better way to provide a personal connection through your blog than showcasing the expert opinion of one of your employees? Putting names to faces, providing pictures and allowing your employees to showcase their knowledge and skills in their own style helps bridge the internet-shaped gap that exists between your company and its human followers. By having faces, names and individual writing styles to attach to your company, you help your blog remain legitimate and personal for your audience.  When you simply publish under your company’s name each time, the blog seems more like an auto-generated boilerplate that stands to advertise to, rather than connect to, your followers and customers.

Your blogs should be well-researched and thorough each and every time they go out. A blog that doesn’t have links to authoritative sites to validate its claims seems like a lazy, quickly-turned-out afterthought, one which your audience might have trouble finding credible. The effort that it takes to find credible sources of information and provide links for your audience will show that your company is interested in providing your customers and followers with beneficial knowledge and not just constant inundation with pressure to buy.

4.  You Offer Nothing of Value to Your Audience

This point is directly related to using your blog for more than self-promotion. Your company blog should be more a source of knowledge and authoritative, well-researched information than a billboard. Consider your audience and then ask yourself the following questions: what are they interested in? What information is most relevant to their lives? What do they find funny? Make your company blog a source of information that is both valuable and entertaining, and watch the brand loyalty grow.

Offering valuable content extends beyond simply providing your audience with useful knowledge. Providing a variety of styles of information is also an important part of keeping your company blog engaging. Pictures, infographics, memes, videos, surveys and inner-office updates are easy ways to provide relevant and interesting content that won’t overexpose your company or alienate your audience.

5. You Don’t Respond to Comments

In order to avoid the dubious accusation of “spammy blog,” you must take the time to respond to your followers’ comments. And this means addressing each comment individually with more than a handful of standard phrases. If your audience is taking the time to read and interact with the content you post, you have an obligation to respect their efforts by engaging them further. A lively presence in the comments section will further solidify your blog as a non-spam source of quality information, run by real people.

Additionally, you must referee the inevitable spammy comments your blog will receive. Recognizing spam is an easy thing; taking the time to delete each spammy comment your blog receives might be more challenging. Catching spam as soon as it crops up in your company blog’s comment section is preferable; keeping your company blog clear of spam will indicate a vigilance and regard for the types of content your audience is exposed to, and further solidify your company blog as a credible and reliable source of information.

Image Credit: Miles