In order to survive, companies must live on the cutting edge, constantly upgrading and improving their services and products to stay ahead of the competition. In the mad sprint to stay ahead, it’s easy to let the blog fall by the wayside.
But don’t let it. Your blog, when optimized correctly, can serve your company as not only a marketing tool, but a sales tool as well.
Below are tips to improve your firm’s blog and amp it up into a more engaging and productive tool to better help your business.
The main purpose of a blog is to inform. Readers seek out blog posts to answer their questions. It’s always good to ask yourself: “What questions does my business get asked the most?” and “How can I answer those questions on our blog?” to help drive the topics of your content. The content needs to be original, evocative, engaging and educational, but most of all, it needs to be valuable to your target audience. Find out what your target audiences find useful, then use that information to inform your topics.
For several blogs, the temptation is to make the blog a news resource for your business, re-posting press releases, promoting upcoming events or announcing business/product news. That type of content is great to promote on your website, but not on your blog. Make sure your blog is focused on helping your readers understand your business and answer their questions.
So, when does your blog become a sales tool? Keep reading to see below
Promote the expertise of your team
As I mentioned earlier, use your blog to establish you and your co-workers as thought leaders for your industry. It’s one thing to say your team is staffed by the industry’s top experts, it’s a whole other thing to actually prove it. This lends more credit and authority to your company in your sales efforts.
Put together a team of bloggers from your company’s creative thinkers, most recognized names and most experienced veterans. Have them write posts regularly (we have a calendared rotation here at Thoma) to lend a variety of voices and opinions on your blog. If they are unable to commit to blog writing, have them answer quick Q&A interviews that can be published in posts or in short videos. It’s perfectly fine to think of ways to engage your company’s thought leaders with content other than typically written blog posts.
Also, always feature a photo of the blog writer with the blog post. This way, readers can put a face to the name and more easily establish the writer in their minds as a thought leader.
Use visuals and video
When writing a blog post, it’s easy to create a lengthy piece of content with few breaks or visuals. It’s always good to include an image or graphic to break up the text. And these images don’t have to be original — pull from stock image or GIF libraries or re-post infographics related to your content (just make sure to give attribution with a link to where you found them).
Now more than ever, video content is extremely important, regardless of your industry or niche. Already, 78% of people watch videos online every day and videos take up 82% of consumer internet traffic. (source: Cisco). Video is growing in popularity because it’s easy to digest and engaging. And video can be used in so many places — in your emails, your social media, your website, your blog!
Pro Tip: If you are posting a video to social media, make sure it uses subtitles. After all, 85% of video on Facebook is watched without sound.
Give your take on trends and news
Industries are constantly challenging, changing and upgrading itself — which means there’s always a wealth of news to talk about. Use the expertise and knowledge in your office to write commentaries, make predictions and share your opinions. Don’t be afraid to take a side on a certain issue — so long as you back up your stance with data and past experience. Readers want to feel that the blog they’re reading is coming from actual people, not company robots.
Here’s a list of ideas to get you thinking…
- How does net neutrality affect your business? What is your company’s stance?
- Video is the one of the most powerful marketing tactics today. How is your company using video?
- How might advances in artificial intelligence affect the way your company works?
- How can you relate your business to news even outside your industry?Such as topics trending on social media?
Always include a CTA
Here is where you use your blog to really support your sales. Every blog post must end with a call to action. You’ll see two CTAs below on this blog post — contact us or schedule a meeting. This helps guide the reader to the next step toward learning more about your business. They’ve already read about your smarts, now guide them to read more about your company’s product or service.
A reader is unlikely to contact your company after reading one blog post. However, after reading your blog consistently over an extended period of time, they’re more likely to contact you or learn more with each post. That’s why it’s so important to have a CTA on every post.
Your CTA also needs to be clearly visible with actionable verbiage such as “Contact a rep now” or “Schedule a meeting” Make sure it stands out as a button or in a different-colored text. You want to draw attention to the CTA so that it’s not easy to miss. That link should then take the reader to a page that asks for information — name and email being the most basic — so that your sales team can start engaging them.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help your firm improve its online content and marketing, contact us today or schedule a meeting to see how Thoma can put its expertise to work for your business. If you’re interested, give us a call or send us an email.Learn More Schedule a Conversation