Blogging for Business
Blogs are one of several publishing platforms that people use to consume information online. A blog can be a useful tool for business communications with the public and can be an easier way to publish content online than updating a company website.
Blogging has changed over the years with a few blog publishing platforms like Wordpress, SquareSpace, and Wix dominating business blog building while social media blog tools like LinkedIn and Medium gaining popularity.
Effective business blogs – and successful blogs in general - tend to have the following qualities that help attract and grow a following:
- Frequent or regularly published posts.
- A strong voice or point of view.
- A strong focus or theme.
- Featured and accent visuals.
Blogs are not for posting text content alone. Visuals including photos, illustrations, infographics and videos can be instrumental in attracting attention to your blog. Much of social media marketing these days concentrates on visual content so when publishing to your company blog, plan to create or purchase visual assets to embed into each post.
A company blog is a tool for social media marketing. Some of the best uses of a company blog that can benefit your business include:
- Building your brand.
- Enhancing your reputation.
- Showcasing your expertise.
- Publishing current and archival information.
- Educating existing customers and prospects.
- Enhancing your social media marketing.
There are some downsides to blogging for business. Blogging are content-intensive and can be very time-consuming to maintain. Once you have a following of regular readers, they may expect to see new content from you on a frequent basis. You can lose attention and readership by failing to blog on a regular basis.
Different Types of Blog Posts
There are many different blogging styles and types of blog posts. Here are a few popular post formats:
Narrative Post - The format of an article, story or a diary entry.
Referencing Post - This post links to another post or article online and includes some commentary to provide context.
List Post - A popular post style to read and easy write. Consists of a numbered or bulleted list based around a theme.
Opinion Post - Like an OpEd, the opinion post can generate a lot of comments. Be careful mixing personal opinions on your company site if they aren’t compatible.
Multimedia Post - This post uses images, video, animation, even audio as the content.
In the past, blogs were not looked at as direct sales tool because people were not conditioned to visit a blog to shop. These days, blogs often contain reviews, links to make purchases and blatant advertisements. Blogs can provide more detailed information about your products and services to help you sell more or better serve your customer base.
Like social media, blog posts should consist of content that is more universal than commercial to appeal to a wider audience. If you sell pet products, advice about pet care would be relevant content of interest to your customers and prospects. If you are a graphic designer, blogging about graphics software tricks and tips could be a great way to establish your expertise. If you are a landscaper, blogging before and after photos and details about your landscaping projects can educate others while selling them on your skills.
Hosting Your Blog
While using a blog as your main company site is possible, most companies still maintain a more static website or static pages with key background information and use a blog for more current news and updates. If your blog was built separately from your website, it should be integrated seamlessly into it rather than forcing people to visit another site.
You can build or redesign your company website using blog publishing tools, constructing it with a combination of static pages and a blog with regularly updated blog posts. Company blogs are generally more effective and easier to manage when part of your company website.
Effective business blogging includes clearly identifying tangible and achievable goals and planning by using an editorial calendar to keep your content on track. If you’re going to undertake blogging as a marketing communications tactic, find the right blog tool and blogging style that suits your company, then line up the resources to keep your blog updated, interesting and useful.