A company blog can be a crucial instrument in any company's marketing strategy to attain increased visibility, draw in potential customers and build a loyal following online. The key is to update the blog regularly with relevant content that educates and provides real value to readers, instead of just rehashing company news and announcements.
These seven entrepreneurs share their best tips for creating influential blog content and explain how a well-planned blog can make any business stand out among the competition.
Set up a separate educational section.
"Our preferred approach is separating news from educational content in the form of tutorials, guides and articles," explains DevriX CEO Mario Peshev.
Company news should not be ignored entirely either, as that section is very important for investors, recruits and even team members, Peshev says. But an educational section can help bring in more customers by providing valuable information.
"Tutorials can be a separate type of data that is also supplemented by external contributors, consultants and industry leaders, in addition to interviews and roundups within the industry," Peshev adds.
Provide thought leadership.
The key for any company blog is to provide thought leadership and help establish the business as an expert in its field by offering tips and helpful advice, thinks Angela Ruth, customer experience rep with Calendar.
"The blog is about your audience and should illustrate what you know about what they need or want," Ruth adds. Businesses should start by checking websites like BuzzSumo to see what is trending in terms of topics of interest and then create a list of topics and title ideas for their blog, she explains.
A crucial aspect of creating influential content, according to Money Crashers Personal Finance co-owner Andrew Schrage, is giving it a personal touch: "The entrepreneur should either create compelling and relevant content on their own with a sprinkling of personal anecdotes displaying their expertise, or they should have their writers do that for them."
By getting personal, entrepreneurs can make the content more relatable and, therefore, establish a better rapport with the audience.
"For the most part, influential content is only valid when backed by personal experience. Make sure this shines through at least to a modest extent on your blog," Schrage recommends.
Think about the community.
A successful company blog should also focus on creating an online community instead of serving as a one-way communication tool to share company news and highlights, underlines Yellow Umbrella Ventures Managing Director Arry Yu.
"Think of the blog as a virtual community center, and highlight stories and wins from employees, customers and other aspects that the greater company community would appreciate," Yu says. Also, in order to demonstrate authenticity and transparency, she recommends using real photos instead of stock photos.
Publish expert roundups.
"Expert roundups are a great way to bring in some of the smartest people in the industry to provide different takes on a problem," believes Karl Kangur, founder and CEO of Above House. Publishing the opinions of other experts in the field can help a business build trust with its audience more easily.
In addition, this kind of content is extremely shareable and "linkable," which can help a business grow its audience massively, Kangur explains: "Everyone who participates will almost always be inclined to promote it on their end because it makes them look good."
Conduct case studies.
A company blog can also benefit a great deal from publishing customer stories or case studies, as this type of content can help convert potential clients, explains MemberPress CEO Blair Williams.
"Customers love reading case studies, especially if they relate to your product or service and they are considering making a purchase on your website," Williams says. "You can conduct your own case studies where you dive into the information that will appeal to your audience and provide them data-driven, interesting information."
Solve a problem.
Arguably one of the most important goals of any successful blog looking to better engage with its audience and grow its customer base is to solve a problem, insists Stephanie Wells, founder of Formidable Forms.
Published content should focus on customers' pain points and should be properly optimized around relevant keywords to come up in Google searches.
"For instance, if customers want to build trust with their own clients, they might look that up with something like 'how to build trust with customers on my website.' If your blog content answers this question for those people, you'll become a trusted source, making those users more likely to buy," Wells concludes.