A good blog can improve your ranking in internet searches related to your business, enhancing the chances that prospects will find you. It can also help improve engagement with current clients while positioning your business as an expert resource. The ever-looming challenge to consistent updates? Viable content ideas. Here are six tips to surmount that hurdle.
1. Talk to Sales & Customer Service. These professionals are on the front lines, hearing customers’ concerns, complaints, objectives and challenges daily. Company bloggers should mine sales and service colleagues for information on the particulars, then create blog posts offering solutions and success stories addressing these issues.
2. Riff Off Hot News. What are some important issues trending in the news? How do these issues intersect with your business and the concerns of your customers? Craft blogs that deliver insights on those topics, addressing potential opportunities for clients and how your services and products can help. Perhaps you work for a supplier and have noticed the growth of music industry merchandise sales in recent years. Create a blog post that presents distributors with product ideas and tips for capitalizing on the trend.
3. Mine Topics From Social Media. Pay attention to Twitter chats and Facebook/LinkedIn groups in which ideal clients and prospects are active. This can include joining chats and groups focused particularly on the promotional products industry. Turn your attention to discussion topics that get ample engagement.
4. Leverage Free Tech Tools. Set Google Alerts that cover everything from key clients to target industries to competitors, as well as terms like “promotional products,” “branded merchandise,” “swag” and more. Your inbox will populate with content tied to the alerts, providing a potential basis for blog ideas. Also, consider using question-generating tools like Answer the Public and Ubersuggest. The former takes keywords you enter and transforms them into a list of questions, which could be the foundation of blog posts. Ubersuggest delivers a rundown of related keywords and questions, as well as the relative difficulty of ranking for the terms in organic searches.
5. Create Original Surveys. Don’t be afraid to ask clients and prospects questions on topics that are important to them and intersect with your products and services. For instance, a distributor might conduct a survey on corporate holiday gift-giving. Feature the results in a blog post – or multiple posts – including charts and graphics that attractively illustrate the findings while providing contextualizing insight and advice.
6. Build on What Has Worked. Routinely review how your posts perform to determine which get the most views and comments. Next, create new posts that spin off the top-performing posts. In a similar vein, review comments and questions on current blogs; they could be the basis for future posts.
Include images. Stock art works, but originals are better when possible.
Feature embedded videos and social media posts. It gives more life and depth to the blog posts without adding words.
Share your blog posts via social accounts and by subscription-based email deployments. Also, have a “subscribe” button on each post, and enable a subscription box to appear when a web traveler lands on any of your blog pages.
Hyperlink to sources you’ve cited, and consider tagging the sources when you post your blog link on social media platforms. That could lead the tagged sources to share your post and/or link to your blog, which helps with online visibility.
Shoot for the word count sweet spot, which is to say a little less or a little more than 1,200 words. Shorter to mid-length formats can be packed with strategic keywords and phrases, and tend to work better for companies with audiences looking for precise information to facilitate a purchasing decision and when you’re selling commonly available products and services.