I have helped businesses of all sizes expand their presence on the internet. I’ve used a number of different channels including organic and paid social media, paid search, display ads, SEO and content marketing.
One of the most effective ways I’ve found to help businesses grow is to leverage a blog to drive people to the company website.
Blogging for businesses is a misunderstood endeavor. I think too many businesses simply post company updates and share big announcements on their blogs. While sharing company culture and news can help hiring efforts by giving candidates an idea of what’s happening at your company, these posts don’t drive business results (revenue, new users, etc.).
To understand the true power of business blogging, you first need to understand SEO. This is an often overlooked marketing channel, and even many experienced marketers have very little experience with SEO.
So, what exactly is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, this is optimizing your site to be as search engine friendly as possible, and as a result increasing the traffic your site receives organically from people searching on Google.
Additionally, SEO involves looking at trends and data on what people are searching for on Google. If people are asking questions that are relevant to your brand, adding the answers to your site on your blog, can bring those users to your website–and as a result increase traffic to your site, raise awareness for your brand, and actually generate demand for your business.
SEO essentially does what paid search ads do, but it brings you the visitors for free. If you have identified the most relevant keywords and published content on your site that specifically answers those queries, over time more and more visitors will come to your site organically as you start to rank.
The reason so many businesses skip SEO content is because it is a long term investment. You may have to publish content consistently for 6-12 months to see a large increase in traffic. However, once you start ranking and getting traffic the visitors can keep coming for years after you’ve published content (and you don’t have to pay for them!).
What are the Uses for a Business Blog?
- Make Your Sales Team’s Job Easier: Blog content is highly valuable, and useful, for explaining the functionality and use cases of software products, for explaining how to use your widget, or for comparing your business to your competitors. All of these functions can eliminate road blocks for your sales team by answering people’s questions before they decide to purchase.
- Raise Awareness of Your Product or Service: Writing articles related to your business’ niche or industry can bring people to your website who weren’t aware of your brand, but who are likely to be potential customers at some point. These kind of visitors, once made aware of your business will be more likely to purchase if they stumble across your brand again in the future.
- Educate Your Target Customers: Your business can use its blog to share the importance of your product or service, and why your customer needs to use you. You can share case studies that show how others have used your business to help improve their lives, or results for their own businesses. When customers have a better understanding of how to use your product or service, they will be more likely to purchase and to get the most out of it.
How can a blog help you in promoting and advertising?
Writing valuable blog posts on your site that act as resources for potential customers attract their attention and help raise awareness of your brand. Since you can strategically create certain content to attract your target audience, you can add in call-to-actions within your blog posts that can help you capture leads or encourage visitors to make a purchase.
You can also use blogs to help establish your brand as an authority in your industry. After someone has read a few of your posts and started to trust you, they’ll be more likely to buy from you when you ask them later on.
How do I write a promotional blog?
Salesy blog posts are gross. Nobody wants to read a sales pitch that doesn’t provide any value. That’s exactly why you use blog posts that are relevant and valuable to your target audience.
Let’s say you’re selling insurance and you want to attract people who may be interested in purchasing insurance. Your ideal blog posts should not be “25 Reasons to Buy Insurance from Us!”.
Instead, you should write posts like:
- Top Financial Decisions You Can Make in Your 20s
- 5 Steps To Protecting Your Assets
- What Is Insurance?
- How To Decide How Much Insurance You Need
All of these posts allow you to attract people who are researching insurance, and then provide them valuable resources to guide their decisions. Within these posts, feel free to include information about your services if it’s relevant and valuable.
How should you promote your blog on social media?
So now you’ve written a killer blog post for your business’ website, but how should you go about promoting it?
I recommend using the information in the post itself, but repurposing it for other platforms. For example, you can highlight the main points from your blog post in a Twitter thread, share a teaser on Instagram and TikTok, and record a video of you discussing the topic to post on YouTube.
Within these social posts you can include links to your blog post to encourage readers to visit your site to read your full article.
You can just share links to your blog on your social accounts, but typically these kinds of posts see very low engagement and won’t bring you much traffic. So, you should focus on repackaging your content so that it fits with the content that users expect to see on each platform.
What are some examples of amazing business blogs?
If you want some inspiration for what your business’ blog should look like, these companies do a great job of sharing articles that are high value and very relevant to their audience.
- Trello Blog – Trello is a web-based project management tool whose popularity has grown steadily over the past few years. Trello uses its blog to share enterprise use cases, teamwork tips, leadership resources, Trello tips, and customer stories.
- SEO Blog by Surfer – Surfer is a content optimization platform designed primarily for SEO purposes. Surfer’s blog shares on-page optimization tips, content creation strategies, and SEO tips. These are the exact resources that Surfer’s target audience are going to be looking for.
- Spread Privacy – The Official DuckDuckGo Blog – DuckDuckGo is a privacy-friendly search engine that helps minimize the tracking and algorithmic filter bubbles that traditional search engines can perpetuate. DuckDuckGo uses its blog to share privacy news and research findings – which is the exact type of information that it’s audience of privacy-focused internet users is likely interested in.
- Expert Advice from REI – REI is a retailer that sells outdoor goods like camping equipment, apparel, and hiking boots. REI’s Expert Advice section on its website is essentially made up of a ton of valuable resources that help people understand exactly what they need for their adventure and how to use the equipment that REI sells.