By John Brackett, founder of Smash Balloon, the world’s leading social media feed plug-ins for WordPress.
Are you thinking about starting a blog for your business? If so, you’re making an excellent choice for the future of your brand. Consumers are more likely to connect with brands that produce high-quality blog content.
It’s not easy for an online store to succeed unless they are also putting out content on their website. Without posts to read, people don’t have a reason to stay on your site unless they are there specifically to buy a product. In other words, you won’t see much engagement or traffic from visitors.
If you’re not sure how to begin your content marketing journey, here are several tips that will help you find your footing and create a successful company blog.
Understand Your Target Audience
Before you can start coming up with titles or working on your blog’s design, you have to take the time to understand your target audience. Without visitors, our websites would be next to worthless, right? So, understanding the people who will eventually see your content is a practical first step.
You can learn more about your customers by reviewing your on-site analytics, reading social media feedback and looking at direct competitors’ blogs.
Use this information to develop personas for your target customers. It’s not uncommon to have upward of five customer personas, even for startup businesses. Designing these profiles comes down to your customers’ needs. Use their pain points and goals to frame their needs, and then include demographics to get more specific with your analysis.
Establish Your Brand Voice
Now, it’s time to talk about your brand voice. Think about the blogs you find yourself visiting every week. What do they have in common? Odds are, they all have a distinct brand voice that helps push their message across in a different way from everyone else in the industry.
It’s your job to get readers to feel that way about your company. The best way to establish your brand voice is to use your buyer personas and determine what tone would fit well with your demographics. For instance, if your crowd consists of people over 50 years old, you would likely want to avoid slang and informal speech.
Similarly, if your audience is 25 or younger, you can see truly remarkable engagement by using humor in your writing and taking advantage of visual comedy like gifs and memes.
Establish your brand voice early, so consumers know what to expect when they visit your blog. It’s OK to make adjustments to your tone and presentation over time, but starting out with a consistent voice is the fastest way to build an engaged audience.
Publish Data-Driven Content
You have a much better chance at establishing a successful company blog if you publish data-driven content. That’s not to say that you can’t use your personality and occasionally publish opinion pieces. However, data-driven content is a significant element that separates decent blogs from excellent ones.
Users enjoy reading blog content because it teaches them about a topic or helps them develop their skills. Adding data to your posts helps with both of these factors because you’re educating your audience and giving them actual numbers that they can use when pursuing their goals or overcoming industry problems.
There are several types of data-driven content you can publish on your blog. E-commerce storefronts and SaaS businesses alike can benefit from adding statistic-based content and case studies to their website.
You’ll have to do additional research to publish this type of content, but the payoff is worth it. Think about topics you can write about that have little-known or interesting data and make those posts a priority when you start publishing content to your blog.
Encourage User Engagement
Many business owners struggle with getting consumers to engage with their content. As a result, they give up on their blogging efforts and miss all the benefits of having a robust content marketing strategy.
If you want people to stick around and engage with your posts, you have to give them options to engage. There are plenty of engagement options you can add to your blog. For starters, you should include a comments section at the bottom of every article. If a user reads your post and wants to start a discussion, they can use the comments section.
As people start voicing their opinions, others will also want to chime in. Before long, you’ll have a ton of readers talking about your blog post while still on-site. These conversations tend to bring people back to read what others have to say over time, which contributes to traffic and engagement on-site.
We also recommend that you make it easy for users to share your content on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. These websites see billions of users a year, so you can get more people interested in what you have to say by making your content shareable. You can choose whether you add your social media feed directly to your website or include simple share buttons that users can click to repost your article on their social media account.
Review Your Results
Our last piece of advice for you after you’ve established your blog: Content marketing is a process that never completely ends, so it’s essential to track the results of your posts and sale campaigns within specific articles.
A quarterly audit of your content can help you determine which posts are working and which need improvement. Take views, bounce rate, conversions and engagement into consideration when measuring the success of your blog posts. You can learn from your top-performing posts as well as the ones getting little to no engagement.
Before long, you’ll find your footing and have a wildly successful company blog.