Business blogging requires genuinely engaging prospects and customers. The thing is people are all different. This means you need to have some different types of content on your blog to attract and retain readers. You must also have diverse content to help you accomplish the various goals of your blogging program.
You need the right blend of content to grab the attention of visitors, gain rapport with readers, educate them on your approach, and establish your expertise in the industry. A tall order, really, but doable.
Many posts about blogging list anywhere from 10-80 different types of content you can utilize. It may almost be overwhelming to think about blogging if you start with this approach. However, there are probably about four main categories that many different styles/tactics of posts can fall within. Clearly understanding the business benefits of these four groups will help you produce a strong editorial calendar that delivers ROI. So here they are:
- Core Concerns – The most lasting content on your site will be content that is relevant and useful to customers. It sounds simple, but addressing core issues that visitors need help with is the key to blogging. For example, if you’re a bicycle retailer, a “core concern” blog could feature the proper ways to shift gears while riding in different types of terrain. This kind of information remains relevant for years.
Frequently asked questions and search engine keyword research are good ways to find and select the topics for this type of content. Google offers a free keyword tool that will show how many visitors search for a specific term during a 30-day window, as well as suggested keywords too. Try choosing at least six of these and turning them into blog post headlines every other month to build the foundation of your blogging program.
- Brand Identity – Create some content around what your company stands for. This means finding ways to explain your company’s values and efforts that demonstrate their responsiveness and responsibility. People are looking for reasons to trust you.
A great way to get started with this type of content is to consider your policies. For example, do you have any guarantees worth talking about? Review other policies that customers may come across and see if you can explain the reasoning behind them. If your company is taking a stand regarding an issue, demonstrate to readers why you’re making this commitment and how it reflects your brand promise.
- People – And by this, we mean your people. Employees need to be part of your long-term blog strategy. People respond to people. You want this for your blog. This is also where your content can take other forms as well. Maybe someone has a really interesting hobby that can become a podcast. A company holiday party or picnic has the potential to be a vlog. Letting employees participate empowers them by allowing them to speak for your company. They have the power to show how what they do helps and even enriches customers’ lives.
- Nuts n Bolts – Now you get to show how your products and services work. This is when you’ll educate visitors about the value of what you have to offer. These types of blogs will make up 50 percent to 75 percent of your content.
Try some “How To” and “Behind the Scenes” blogs that give readers an insider’s view about how your products work. You are in a sense teaching your customers about what you do. This requires to some degree framing a problem and providing the solution in an easy-to-understand format. Along with that, customers like to hear about how a product can save them time and money, so a good “Did You Know” post can help with this.
Also, give your customers proof of your product’s success. Case studies, webinars, comparison infographics, quizzes, survey results, etc. all provide valuable ways to demonstrate the value of your offerings.
You need to be constantly on the lookout for new recommendations and ideas to share with your readers. Use your blog as an opportunity to share information with prospects and solve their problems, maybe a problem they didn’t even know they had yet.