What is a blog?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a blog as; “a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.”
Before going into marketing, I saw blogging as more of a ‘hobby’ however I am now knowledgeable and experienced in the industry I understand that a blog is a hugely important and profitable marketing tool.
It can provide return on investments (ROIs), drive traffic to your brand, increase your social media following and much more.
Continue reading to find out why every business should have a blog and my top tips on how to get started!
Why should every business have a blog?
Online marketing can be seen like a domino effect.
The majority of your brand awareness will likely come from the 3.6 billion social media users.
Your blog posts should therefore always promote your blog which transfers social media viewers to website viewers.
The traffic driven to your website will then convert these visitors to leads and increase your return on investment (ROI) which is ultimately the end goal.
A blog is often the middle component between a viewer and a sale. Therefore, is a crucial part of a business’s online presence.
Starting a blog might seem quite daunting, especially when you have no background in content writing.
That is why I have provided my top tips on how to start a business blog:
1. PLAN BEFORE PUBLISHING
A blog without a plan will lack in success because you need to consider demographics, a unique selling point (USP) and the list goes on. You can’t assume that your target demographics for your social media platforms will transfer directly over to your blog. Distinguish between the target audience for your social media, website and blog.
Once you know your blogs target audience you will understand how to plan promotional content for your blog, monthly content etc.
In order to succeed you need to know who you want to fuel your successes.
It is important to understand what sort of content you are going to be publishing. Once you know that you will know your target audience and which social media platforms you are going to use to promote your brand.
What do you want to achieve from your blog?
Your blog should add value to your business which means providing a niche angle that your competitors in the industry aren’t doing. You want your blog to reflect your brand ethos whilst giving your customers an educational value.
People read online to be informed and entertained, they don’t read to be sold to.
Sale talk becomes very boring, very quickly and you will struggle to draw monthly content out of purely promotional print.
This is why planning before launching a blog is crucial.
2. UTILISE SOCIAL MEDIA
Now you have planned and recognise the differing audiences between your social media platforms and your blog it is important to re-analyse social analytics. Research the individual analytics prior to choosing the platforms you will use to promote your blog. This is to ensure your target market will be reached.
If your blog is industry informative you might decide that Linked In, a business to business (B2B) platform is more suitable to push and promote your blog. However, it is also beneficial to use your current audience to promote your blog as well as branching out to different platforms.
Every time you post a new blog promote it on social media.
Once your blog has hit a certain number of views promote it on social media. Reward your viewers for reading your blog by doing giveaways which are promoting via social media. This maintains customer loyalty and encourages people to speak about your brand in a positive light.
Distinguishing which platforms and which audience in the planning process is important. Once your blog posts start to go live you will know how and where to advertise. On more visual sites such as Instagram you might want to consider making visual representations of your blog. Whereas, on Linked In you could write a short summary attracting industry partners to click the link.
Remember that content differs from platform to platform.
3. CREATE ORIGINAL CAMPAIGNS TO PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
Social media is a free promotional tool which allows you to reach a huge audience. An audience that you cannot reach anywhere else. Social media allows freedom of creativity.
By running a campaign to promote your blog through social media you can translate the written word into a visual masterpiece.
The beauty of social media is that you can catch an on-looker who is scrolling through their feed and send them to your blog without contacting them directly. This is therefore engaging with your current following and gathering a new market. Once you have engaged a viewer to your blog, you are more likely to see a return on investment (ROI). This is because your blog should be linked to your website and your website is where you showcase your services and products.
Recognition is key and is the only way you will build a successful blog. Social media is a really valuable tool to bring awareness to your blog.
4. FIND A UNIQUE SELLING POINT
Create/pinpoint a unique selling point (USP) for your blog.
What is the niche angle of your business and portray that through your blog posts? What I mean by this is, say for example you are a marketing agency. There are currently more than 25,000 marketing agencies in the UK.
Now this might make you feel like a little fish swimming in a VERY big pond.
However, every business has its exclusive attributes which make them stand out and be successful.
For example, CB Digital stands out because we’re not a one man, one service company like the majority you see online. We want to create a budget friendly, all round service for SME’s (small to medium enterprises). We focus on fashion, lifestyle & hospitality businesses because that’s where our expertise can help fellow business owners grow online.
Chloe Bucknell founded CB Digital during the Covid-19 pandemic to support fellow designers and marketers. She ultimately wanted to help brands who rely on shop or event sales to up their game on E-commerce!
CB Digital’s blog therefore aims to inform and educate our clients and others in the industry at no cost to benefit and guide SMEs through the current economic hardship.
I spent three years studying Journalism so when identifying a clients USP I always think of it like a newspaper pitch.
What part of your business would make a front cover story?
Did you also start your business during the pandemic which meant saving multiple other business from economic collapse?
Are you a fashion brand which specialises in sustainable clothing?
Could you write a monthly blog about sustainable fashion, for example how the toxic dyes used in denim often contaminate and harm the soil during the biodegrading process… or something similar!
Having a USP is important because it will not only help maintain interest in your current audience but also attract a wider following.
5. USE YOUR BLOG TO INFORM INSTEAD OF PROMOTE
Use your blog to make a positive impact on your readers. Don’t use it to sell your product.
A blog is there to add additional value to your brand. Demonstrating that you are up to date with the industry trends or movements.
As I have already said people do not read a 2,000-word blog to be sold to the entire way. Entertain and inform instead!
However, subtle incorporation of your services and products in certain posts can work well.
To indirectly remind your readers of your brand without them really noticing can be very beneficial for your ROI.
For example, if your post is educating your readers about starting a business blog, I could include a short sentence about how CB Digital can offer your business a helping hand.
The sentence would read…
‘If you believe that your confidence in your writing capability is going to get in the way of your pursuing your blogging dreams then CB Digital provides an effective copywriting service which combines message, tone and technique.
We understand the importance of how a blog is consumed and deciding which technique will work best for your brand.’
Do you see what I did there? I made sure that you hadn’t considered CB Digital until over halfway through the post.
Make the reader feel like you are being a friendly face in the midst of information, rather than hounded them with 2,000 words of sales talk.
The likelihood is the reader won’t get past the first 100 words and click off your page because they’re bored and disinterested.
6. INCLUDE VISUALS
It is estimated that over half of your readers will spend 15 seconds or less on your blog.
P.s. if you are still reading… Hello! And thank you very much for reading my post.
Back to the post… Don’t let this statistic be disheartening or make you think ‘why bother writing 2,000 words of content if all that’s going to be read is the first paragraph!’
This is why it is so important to include visuals throughout your blog, whether it be an infographic, video, a map, a picture… or whatever is suitable for your post.
You want to encourage the reader to keep going, to spend 5 minutes of their day reading your content.
The best way to do this is every so often reenergise their attention with a fun video, picture or interactive poll etc.
7. BE CONSISTENT
Most businesses publish a blog post once a month.
This is an effective schedule to follow because it doesn’t bombard your readers with information, however it gives them something to look forward to and appreciate when reading it.
You could post, for example, on the last Friday of every month?
Maintain a day and time that you upload.
This attracts customer loyalty and ensures people know when to view your post.
A question all clients ask me is how do you maintain interest in your brand?
The answer is a blog.
It adds additional value to your online presence and allows readers to see that you are up to date with everything you need to know in your specific industry.
Don’t be afraid to start a blog.
Just because you think you’re no good at writing, your business therefore can’t have a blog.
Invest time and effort into writing your blog posts. However, we also recognise that sometimes it is physically impossible to juggle client requests, with creating social media content and the list goes on.
Here at CB Digital we can work together to create a blog which fits your brand. We can write the content for you and provide imagery.
You might not recognise it straight away, but blogs are an extremely beneficial tool in the long-term marketing strategy of your business.
Thank you for reading this article and good luck in your blogging journey! Let me know what you think via our social media platforms which are linked below…
Marketing Communications Manager