As many of you would already know and those who don’t will now know that a blog is a blended version of the term web log. A blog written for a business website or a blog hosted and managed by a business for its own benefits can be termed as a Business blog or Biz blog. Depending on the type of business, these blogs can be a source of publicity, customer engagement and revenue generation. They are an excellent way to communicate with the existing and target customers to share knowledge, post new services or just keep an open channel of communication.
However, by following a few guidelines you can get the best from your business blog. My objective of writing this post is to help all those who have a blog aimed at promoting their products / services and those who have been wanting to get started, but did not know how.
Set the Context
Is the blog written to bring more business and buyers or to share knowledge or create a brand image? Decide and set the context. Once this decision is made, it will be easier to plan and post relative content. An apparel brand could have a blog that gives information on “Power dressing” and link back to the sale site.
Brand your blog
Business blogs must have similar branding as your business. The biz blog must be an extension of your business marketing collateral and designed in accordance to it. A business blog hosted as part of a website can get the users interested in the “online shop” leading to better engagement and sales.
Schedule your calendar
Have a schedule of what and when you post. For e.g. – Watch this space for our next session – “How can we help you with XYZ?” This helps in keeping the interest alive and brings the reader back to your blog. You could also have regular contests wherein you can give away a gift voucher or limited versions of software to nudge sales.
Nominate the writing team
The blog should be written by a person who has the skill to communicate your idea to a vast and diverse audience. Just knowledge about the business is not adequate, it is better to have a communication professional, write your blog with your inputs. It’s very important that the written content is comprehended by the reader in the correct manner.
Be Authoritative and Share
Whatever the context of your blog, make sure the content has an expert view of your business that makes the reader learn something. This way, next time the reader has a question about your industry; your blog would be the first stop. With content comes good social interactions and obviously good search engine rankings.
Encourage two way communication
Encourage queries on your industry and your business in particular and respond quickly and relevantly. Encourage feedback and suggestions to understand the reader’s perception of your product or service. Feedback can many times provide consumer insights which may not have been known. This ensures a better product / service and adds to the organization’s growth.
Encourage guest bloggers
Guest bloggers can add value to your blog by not only bringing in their fresh perspective in your area of business but also by offering a back link to your website. Guest bloggers are generally credible reviewers or experts in their fields of business and their contribution on your blog can add credibility.
A Biz blog is reputed only if the content is fresh and relative. Stale blogs are ignored and lose users fast. This will also impact the brand image. A weekly post is considered a good frequency, but consistency is more important.
Have working links
Make sure the blog works. “Page not found” or any other broken links are bad for business. Your blog audience is judging your business capability though your blog. Links like “About Us” and “Contact”, should also be in plain sight and not hidden.
Promote your blog
No amount of great content on the blog can be of any use, if it is not read. Publish your blog link on your business page if it is not already within the website. Even if it is within the company website, link the blog page on your other pages. If you have a social media presence, publish the link on those pages as well. SEO and link building help, but make sure you sign up for Google Analytics to understand what “keywords” are leading to your blogs for future optimization. This is important to analyze, if the targeted audience is searching the blog.
A well-managed business blog can be used as promotional collateral and lends itself to wide exposure, and if the above points are kept in mind, an intelligent business can use it to its full potential.