If you don’t already have an online presence in the form of a blog, then there’s a huge hole in your marketing strategy. Regardless of what you’re selling or the service you’re providing, a blog is not only a great way to get your message out to the masses, but to earn those valuable ranking points that get you noticed by Google and, in turn, noticed by the general public.
Of course, blogging for blogging’s sake isn’t a good idea and will add little value to your website (mobile or desktop) or product. However, if you have a solid strategy then there’s a myriad of benefits to creating a regular stream of content. Whether you’re trying to establish your brand, reach out to new audiences or simply add some extra value to your site, a blog is a must for any small business, but only if it’s done correctly.
Fortunately, the “big boys” have been on the blogging bandwagon for a while now which means there are plenty of examples of how to do things effectively. In the rest of this article we’ve picked out some of the best big business blogs and outlined what they do well and why you should aim to do the same.
How to Manage a Small Business Blog
Make Sure it’s Focused
The first thing you need to do before you put pen to paper (read: fingers to keyboard) is think about your goals. What do you want your blog to say? What purpose do you want it to serve? Once you have a goal, you must then ensure that every post contributes to achieving that goal. Using this strategy will not only make sure your blog has cohesion, but that it is fit for purpose. A good example of a big business blog that has a focus and sticks to it is Coca-Cola.
Using the company slogan “The Real Thing” as a starting point, the Coca-Cola blog known as Unbottled aims to give a human face to the company. However, instead of focusing on dull CEOs, Unbottled recounts human interest stories, offers music suggestions, interviews and inspirational stories. All this contributes to the idea of Coca-Cola behind a human, helpful and “real” brand.
Diversity with a Singular Goal
If your budget permits then it’s always worth enlisting the services of additional writers. Having a multitude of voices on the site will not only make your content more engaging and improve the customer experience, but it will enable you to tackle more topics and, importantly, increase your output. For Google, content is king, and the more high quality written content you can publish, the more the search engine will love you.
A good example of this is Dish’s blog. In a subjective industry such as subscription television it’s important to offer a range of opinions from a group of authoritative voices and Dish has achieved this by hiring a team of writers. Each is able to create personal pieces about their experience with cable or TV in general, or talk about some high-level tech we all use in conjunction with it in order to enrich the reader’s experience. One point to note, however, is that you must ensure your writers are on the same page. Make sure they know the purpose of the blog (which is of course to bring attention to the product that keeps the company in business) and all craft their content accordingly.
Make it Unique, Make it Quality
One of the ultimate goals of any business blog, apart from providing site visitors something good to read, is to get people to share your content. Sharing is caring in the online world and the more people that help push out your content, the more hits and, thus, sales you’ll get. Of course, there are plenty of things you can do yourself to get people to share your content on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. However, you’d like the sharing process to be organic and a great way to get people to promote your work is to make it interesting.
As we’ve said, every post should contribute to your overall goal, but every post must also be high quality. Aside from ensuring the basics are covered, such as eliminating typos and bad grammar, you need to make sure your blog has a voice that speaks to your audience. Make each post vibrant, informative and entertaining. Don’t simply write something in order to fill a page.
Probably one of the best companies at upholding these virtues is American supermarket giant, Whole Foods. Over the years food blogs have always performed well and Whole Foods has latched on to this with a range of entertaining and informative content. As you’d expect, there is a ton of recipe ideas and health information, all of which is content that is highly shareable. Not only that, but the Whole Foods CEOs also have a blog which helps to give the company a more human face.
If you’re a small business without a blog, you need one. If you’re a small business with a poorly maintained blog then you need to follow the tips outlined in this article. In essence, a blog needs to be focused, diverse and high quality. If you can manage these three things and put together a set of guidelines so that your team can also follow them, then you should have something well worth reading.