Why Your Blog Blows..in the Wind
Blogs have taken center stage as the best online tool to deliver return on investment (ROI) for a business. Why do I say this? Consider the multi-functionality of a business blog. Engagement, branding, sales, authority, loyalty and customer service. Used effectively it's like the Swiss Army knife of business tools.
It allows you to connect directly with your target audience by providing content. No filter, no hoping for a press release to be picked up, no waiting for the print issue to be delivered to subscribers. The blog has leveled the playing field and put the business owner in control of creating and distributing a targeted message. So why aren't more businesses taking advantage of this awesome tool?
It seems they're living in a world of confusion. Many business owners are missing the blogging boat because their primary thought is "how can we make money with our blog?" Tweet this!
Then there is a segment of business owners who simply don't see themselves as publishers or bloggers. They believe they're in the business of, well, doing their business - and not that blogging stuff. Another percentage thinks it's too technical and they can't afford to gear up.
Unfortunately these misguided beliefs leave the doors wide open for savvy competitors to steal your prospects, customers and even potential employees.
A blog is not just created as a vehicle to advertise your products and services. It's also not some new magical revenue stream that's going to make you rich by cashing in on advertising dollars. And don't worry, no one is going to expect your company blog to be the Harvard Business Review or Forbes.
A blog allows a company to connect with readers. It confirms to that audience that a certain company exists online. If you're an entrepreneur, small or mid-size enterprise then you can grow your brand through content including commentaries, articles, videos, photos, audios, links and more.
Here are four tips to get your blog on the path to success:
- Know your audience. If you were going to buy traditional advertising on television, radio or print you'd have to know how the audience compared to your ideal or existing customers. Would you agree? The media property would describe these audience demographics to you and the various advertising options.Imagine yourself sitting in the chair as the account executive of that media entity. For your blog there is an audience. If this is a business blog, the audience should match your customer profile. What do they want to know? How can you serve them? This starts to form the content strategy and theme for your blog.
- Plan for the long term. If you're going to start it, then finish it. The worse kinds of blogs are the ones that have no content for months at a time. How can you expect an audience to read your posts if there is no consistency? Too often someone gets hot and excited about the blog this week, but without a strategy for content, updates and engagement the blog dies. Content is the lifeblood of a blog.
- Develop a content mix. The great thing about content today is that it is abundant! Every blog post does not have to be a 2,000 word article or thought piece. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words? What about a post that consists of a picture gallery or even a single image.Since almost everyone has a smartphone create a video post. Shoot a two-minute or less clip and add it to your blog. For bonus points first put it on YouTube and then embed it into your blog post. If that sounds too technical don't worry about it. Start where you are and add the video. Add the YouTube Channel and embedding at a future date.
- Keep it interactive. A blog promotes engagement. If you find that now your audience wants to make comments, ask questions and seek a deeper relationship with your brand then embrace the moment. I've had clients shut down the comment section of their blog because they couldn't handle the engagement with their audience.Hey, a blog is not a website from 1990. There was a time when the communication was one direction, company to consumer. We used to call it "brochure-ware" because the website content didn't change for months at a time. That ain't a blog.
Today's blog content can change daily, and even several times a day. And this is not a bad thing if your business involves engaging with people. It may not be what you're used to, but there are a variety of services to help you manage this new and powerful tool. Don't lose out on all of the advantages because you're stuck in an old head. Make your blog flow not blow.
So what say you? Are you on the blogging train or have you fallen off? I'll be looking for your comments in the box.