Last year, 55 percent of business owners who blog said it is their number one inbound marketing strategy and that they benefit from their efforts. Yet nearly half of U.S. based small businesses still don't even have a website, let alone a blog, according to this 2016 report.
Your abandoned blog pages may be one of your most powerful marketing tools, but busy entrepreneurs often dismiss the idea of blogging. Yes, it's time-consuming and it can be costly to generate enough content to make a difference. Yet, investing time and money into your blogging efforts could very well be the answer to your lagging numbers.
Marketers that use blogs get 67 percent more leads than those who don't. Let's say you convert ten percent of those added leads; would it be worth it? For most businesses, it's very well worth it.
Let's not forget what a strong online presence does for your brand, as well as the loyalty and trust it generates. 60 percent of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading their custom content. According to HubSpot, 47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative. What happens if you don't have that content available to them? Yes, it's likely that they'll move on to someone who does.
Naturally, your blog content needs to be well-distributed and working together with any other content channels you have in place. But first, let's tackle one of the largest problems faced by business owners when the challenge of beefing up their blog arises: Ideas for content.
1. Begin by publishing a list of the most frequently asked questions about your product or service. Since people perform online searches by asking questions, there's a lot of keyword value here.
2. Talk about how your business came to be; what's your story?
3. Offer valuable insights or tips related to the problem that your product solves. Don't pitch, give them value.
4. In certain business models, it's appropriate to write inspirational or motivational content. Demonstrate your emotional intelligence!
5. Feature a star employee.
6. Create video content. People love behind-the-scenes video, for instance. Or, you might do demos of your product.
7. Share what your customers are saying about you in social media, reviews, and emails. Talk about how their comments tell a story about your company values and culture.
8. Write about your company's contribution to any causes or campaigns you are involved in.
9. Feature industry experts in guest posts or interviews.
10. Do a contest or giveaway. Make sure you follow your state laws.
11. Play off of content in the news by offering thoughtful insights about how it relates to your industry. Be careful not to offend, a little diplomacy goes a long way.
12. Review a conference or event you've recently attended.
13. Talk about a problem you've encountered and what you've learned from it, or other words of wisdom and solutions.
14. Share the mistakes you've made as a business owner and what you've learned from them.
15. When appropriate, talk about topics like life balance, leadership, and company culture.
16. What resources would you recommend to your followers? Detail each resource in a sentence or two.
17. Write about where you find your inspiration or what fuels your creativity.
18. People love kids, cats, and dogs. Videos, stories, and images on these topics go a long way. (Make sure you have written permission to share or credit the source.)
19. Talk about rewards programs, charge card bonus programs, and special perks that your readers can take advantage of.
20. Posts on "how to" are very popular. What can you teach your readers?
21. Recommend books, movies, other blogs, or handy apps.
22. Share useful observations about famous people.
23. Is your business growing? Share the news of what your future looks like. Are you hiring?
24. Share tips related, but not specific to, your product or service. Do you make body soap? Beauty and health tips are great. Are you an accountant? Budgeting and savings advice is perfect.
25. If appropriate, talk about personal and professional growth. Share stories, express your wisdom, be a touch vulnerable.
26. People love quotes. Choose an appropriate topic and make a list of related favorites.
27. Who are your favorite people to follow in social media? Why?
28. What tips can you share about productivity and how to keep up your passion and motivation?
29. Ask your readers to share a story about a specific topic. Consumers and business owners like to hear about others' experiences.
30. List your top ten Ted videos and why you find them enjoyable or valuable.
31. Shoot some themed videos on a specific topic. Keep them short and simple; no professional makeup or equipment required.
32. Talk about your favorite cause or charity and what you and/or your business does to support it.
33. Use your life experiences to share learning opportunities. I once wrote a popular blog about the life lessons gifted to me by my sister with Down Syndrome.
34. Share news about other companies in the industry who are not direct competitors. What does it mean to the industry or the world you and your clients are involved in?
35. Talk about your target market: the latest trends, activities, statistics, and so on.
36. Curate content. Of course, cite and link to the source.
37. In general, share your expertise. Don't be afraid of giving it away.
Many business owners find that an investment into content marketing goes much further than advertising in print, on the radio, or television. Be patient, give it time, and try to have a little fun.