Using blogs as a business tool is a relatively new concept, but one that is growing exponentially. The truth is that companies are becoming more public and more personal. This is a major step forward for business as a whole, as it allows customers to connect more deeply with their favorite brands. An emotional connection will always trump all others when it comes to making a buying decision.
In his book Descartes Error, Antonio Damasio, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California said that “when we are confronted with a decision, emotions from previous, related experiences affix values to the options we are considering. These emotions create preferences which lead to our decision.” It is this concept that has fueled the need for business blogs as a means of creating those emotions within potential leads and existing customers.
To maximize the effectiveness of your company’s blog, consider the following 6 strategies as a means of improving your content, optimizing your potential, and forging that emotional bond with your customers. These six tips are one of many methods that you can use.
Actionable Strategies To Maximize Your Business Blog
1. Establish Credibility With Qualified Writers
A business blog is authoritative and commands respect. These things only work if the person writing it has the credentials to make claims and back them up with real facts. The tone and quality of your content will always fall back on the person writing it. If someone is well versed in the subject at hand, it will show in the words they use and in the overall power of their message.
Here’s how you address this now and going forward:
- Ensure your writers are fully understanding of the subject matter, if not, have them interview experts or perform the necessary research beforehand.
- When you enter new territory, consider a guest post from an expert in the field.
- Interview transcripts and quotes from experts are also a great way to increase the credibility of your posts.
2. Include An Overview In Your Introductions
As all of us in the business sphere know, time is most certainly equivalent to money. No one likes to have their time wasted. When you’re writing a post, get down to brass tacks while you’re still in the introduction. Tell your readers what the post will cover and what topic you’re addressing. They will be grateful for the transparency and this will give you an opportunity to shatter their expectations by now only addressing the topic at hand, but going beyond it.
Here are some actionable tips to help you with this strategy:
- Keep your introduction short (200 words max) and include your overview here.
- Limit any and all fluff, every word should be useful.
- Make your overview short and use specific keywords for maximum SEO
3. Make Your Headlines Pop
Crafting an amazing headline is easier said than done. Creating award winning blog headlines is an art, but there are some basic strategies you can abide by to start your posts out on the right foot. Remember, this is the first thing people see when they reach your blog, so it needs to capture their imagination immediately.
If the headline is great, then the person will click on the post and continue reading. If it doesn’t address their concern or answer a question for them, they probably won’t bother to read any further.
Try these tips to form irresistible headlines:
- Use a headline that explains the “how” of a topic. Something like “How To Write Captivating Headlines For Your Business Blog.”
- Address the “why” of a situation. Like this: “Why Business Blogs Succeed Or Fail.”
- Ask a question that forces readers to doubt their opinion on something: “Should All Businesses Have Blogs?”
- You could also place a phrase before the headline and break it up with a colon. “Growing your Business: Why Your Company Needs A Blog.”
4. Bigger Words Are Not Better
When many business blogs begin their journey, they sometimes think that the only way to establish an authoritative tone and credibility is to drown their readers in enough vocabulary to make the SAT blush. This is absolutely not the case. Plain English is easier to understand and doesn’t alienate any of your readers.
Always strive for an approach that is simple and informative without being needlessly complicated.
Here are some tips to make that happen:
- If you need to look up the definition of a word, don’t use it.
- Don’t purposefully tone down your writing, but don’t strive to make it needlessly complex either.
- Always remember that your content should be easy to understand and informative.
5. Don’t Lose Your Mind Over SEO
The ranking that your business blog achieves on search engines like Google and Yahoo is very important. While SEO in the past used to be based on keyword use, these days have changed due to updates in the algorithm of how search engines seek out the best content.
It’s all about the value and relevance of what you’re writing. Keywords and structure are needed, but success is determined by how well your content manages to answer the question at hand. By this logic, if you construct your posts around the strategies above and below this one, you will automatically optimize your content without having to drown yourself in keywords.
Remember these tips:
- Write from a reader’s perspective. Answer their questions and expand upon your keywords into other similar topics to broaden the relevancy of your posts.
- Make sure everything is laid out logically with small paragraphs, bullet points, and numbered lists.
- Using experts (as suggested above) will bring about plenty of keywords naturally as they already know the subject.
6. Everything You Publish Should Be Valuable
The goal of a business blog is to generate more leads and ultimately more customers to the company. That being said, your content should always provide a value to the reader. If you give them something for free, be it information or advice, you’ve shown them that you care beyond the amount of money or time they represent. This is massively important in building that emotional bond I mentioned earlier.
When readers visit a business’ blog, they are looking for an answer to some kind of question, or perhaps they are trying to seek advice on something. Of all the other blogs out there addressing the same subject, make yours the one that does it best and they will come back to you for all of their needs.
Put these tips into action today:
- Understand you readers and their needs. Do your research, offer surveys, find out what they want from your blog.
- Apply this knowledge to your content, address hot button topics and commonly asked questions with the above strategies included.
- Respond to their questions and comments to provide further value.
The Final Transformation: Five Questions To Ask Yourself
With all of these strategies in mind, the next step is to find out how you’re going to implement them into the blog you have now, or the one you’re going to create. Consider these five questions when you begin to redesign and transform your blog. Ask yourself these things and it will help you find the best ways to implement the strategies above.
- What is your blog’s role in the company’s marketing strategy
- What are your CTAs (Call-to-Actions) asking of your leads?
- How can your topics and content styles lead readers to take that next step?
- Where can you share (in regard to social media) this content and promote it?
- How can you bring your whole team on board with these new strategies?
A business blog can do wonders for your company and your lead generation. The secret to success is not a turnkey solution, but it is something you can start accomplishing today. Ask yourself the questions above and take these strategies with you as you forge a new and more powerful blog.
Be sure to share your business blogging strategies and your thoughts on this article in the comments below.[Photo Credits: Search Engine People Blog via photopin, anyjazz65, and Keith Cooper cc]