Blogging is one of the best ways you can communicate the culture, values, and story of your company. Yet, it’s the one tool that seems to be the most difficult for organizations to commit to doing. Most don’t think they can create enough content. It is daunting, no doubt about it. But here is a great starter list to help reduce the fear of undertaking a blog for your business.
I like to start my clients off with one blog per month. Twelve subjects per year? Easy. Once you have the hang of it, up it to two per month, and when you’re ready you can tackle once per week. Take turns with someone else on your team or staff to lighten the load. Blogs should be shorter than you think so it’s not the thesis of your college days. Many marketers recommend blogging every day or three times per week. If you are just starting out, expecting that this is a pace you can do is simply setting yourself up for disappointment. One per month is achievable and you can quickly add to your routine if it’s working for you. Create a twelve month calendar and assign subjects to months that are appropriate for your business. Persistence is key!
Seasons, weather, and holidays. How is your business effected by the seasons? If you are a tax accountant, first quarter looks very different for you and your clients than the rest of the year. Clothing retailers adjust their offerings based on the season. What are your seasons? Also, each day, week, and month celebrate something. If today is National Peanut Day and you sell peanut butter, talk about it!
Busy time and quiet time. Your communications are quite different when things are slow as opposed to when they are busy. What product or service would you like to sell more of during the slow season?
Industry related events. Most industries have annual conventions and educational events. When you return after attending one of these functions, what have you learned that you can share with your customers?
Education. Every industry has it’s changes and you are an expert in your field. What changes in your industry do your customers need to be educated about?
Employee features. You probably don’t do it alone. Highlight the great team you have that helps you provide great products and service. Your team will get a boost in their morale due to recognition and your customers will learn more about the faces and families behind the product they are getting from you. It becomes personal.
Vendors and partners. The vendors you work with are great for a reason, tell us about it! Talk about why you choose to work with them. Those partners will be grateful for the free press and it will solidify your relationship.
Case study and/or client success story. Seeing how you’ve helped others will help your reader identify and apply the story of success to themselves.
Testimonials and interviews. Get client testimonials (especially when they are really happy!) and let their words to the talking. Video testimonials are the best. Talk to industry experts, your best customer, vendors, thought leaders. It takes content out of it’s normal context and provides a new way to talk about your subject matter.
Product release. What new product are you proud to be releasing? Give us some excitement by building it up. Let us know why you created it, what the demand was, how we can get it, and when it’ll be ready.
Hot topics. If there is something exciting and dramatic going on with your industry or if it’s in the news right now, weigh in with your opinion or break it down for the audience if the subject matter is confusing.
History and story of your company. Why did you start your business? What is important to you? People want to like the people they do business with and want to do business with people they like. Give them something to go on. They will tell your story for you when they recommend you to their friends.
Differentiate yourself from your competition. What makes you different? What is the benefit that your customer will get using your services? You can take this opportunity to clarify if there is any confusion about who does what. This is also very important to be able to express in all marketing scenarios.
Identify obstacles and solutions. These are the ones that you know like the backs of your hands. The problems they will encounter and the solutions that will help them overcome. Walk yourself through the typical client conversation, what problems do they experience?
Survey. Take a survey of your clients or prospects and release the information as a dataset. Tell them if you were surprised what you learned, what the community thinks, or what was reiterated.
Frequently Asked Questions. These are the 10 or so questions that everyone asks you. You answer them all the time. Since people continue to ask, you should continue to answer. These never get old. The trick is to express the question and answer in new ways.
What was the best blog you ever read or wrote? Tell me in the comments.
Kerry is a Social Media | Technology Trainer | Speaker | Author based in Santa Rosa, CA. She offers consulting and social media training in the form of individual lessons, customizable classes, and is available to speak at your event. People and tech, together changing the world.