So you’re thinking about starting a company blog? Good! User-friendly platforms like WordPress, Blogger and others can make getting your company into the blogosphere relatively simple.
Keeping up a schedule of posting? Different story. Like most marketing activities, successful blogging takes planning. You have to consider things like: How often to publish? (Once a week is a good schedule.) Who will be authors? Who will write? (Authors may be the same as writers…or not.) What are you trying to achieve? Who’s your audience? What messages do you want to convey?
To ensure your blog is in it for the long term you’ll need two things beyond your plan: 1) a schedule of topics and authors (to prevent last-minute panics,) and 2) an organizer who keeps the project on track.
What to Say: A few good content ideas
Promoting your company is probably your ultimate goal, but blogs aren’t meant to be heavily promotional. Your blog should offer readers content that’s educational, helpful, interesting…or some combination thereof.
Here are a few content ideas to get you started:
- How to’s. Establish yourself as an expert by explaining how to solve problems that are common to many of your customers.
- Existing Content. If you already have whitepapers and case histories, you may be able to rewrite them as blog posts. Long whitepapers may even become two posts.
- Fun facts. Offer statistics relevant to your industry. Infographics are a great way to make data more visually appealing.
- “Looking back” stories. Write about how a process or task used to be done in the past. These entertaining stories also demonstrate experience.
- Case histories. Share how a customer used your product or service to solve a problem.
How You Say It: Watch your tone
The internet is more laid back than other business environments. Be real. Have a personality. Many popular blogs are friendly, relaxed, engaging, helpful. Great content delivered in this kind of accessible, personable tone will give you a blog that enhances your credibility, image and recognition.
Stay away from promotionalism in your blog. It just doesn’t play well on the internet. This is the place for sharing information or entertaining. So if you’re sharing a case history or “how to,” restrain your natural desire to extol your product’s virtues. An objectively written post that focuses on the solution—free of specific product references—will educate your readers and subtly support your product.
Here are tips to keep in mind as you hone the voice of your blog:
- Forget what you sell; share what you know.
- Lighten up. A blog should sound less formal, more conversational.
- Your objective is to educate or entertain or both.
- Limit promotion to a sentence or two at the end of each post.
- Brevity works. Less is often more in this case.
Your blog may not get thousands of readers with your first post, but don’t be discouraged. The important thing is to keep it up. Over time you’ll create more and better content, hone your voice and, ultimately, develop a following that includes potential customers.