Having an engaging blog for your small business is one of the most important tools in anyone’s marketing arsenal. A versatile piece of content, blogs help boost brand awareness, create a relationship with potential clients and direct traffic to your website.
Recently, Sea Salt Marketing Founder Amanda was invited to speak about the power of blogging on the Business Simplified podcast, hosted by business coach Tracey Leak (you can listen to the episode here). In this episode, Amanda spoke about what blogging is, how to do it effectively and how you can use blog content to target niche audiences.
Read on to find out how blogging can go beyond your website and impact your overall digital marketing plan.
What is blogging exactly?
A blog is a short, written piece of content, made for a digital audience. It’s usually about a specific topic with the aim to educate and nurture your online audience. At Sea Salt Marketing, we usually suggest our clients post one new blog a month, to keep the content fresh and current.
But a blog isn’t something that just sits on your website. It’s actually one of the most important and versatile pieces of marketing content there is. This is because blogs can be used across your digital presence. For example:
- With the use of keywords and phrases, your blog can help boost your SEO and ensure your business appears at the top of Google searches.
- Once written and published, your blog can be pushed out and shared across your social media channels, newsletter and email automation campaigns.
- For additional exposure, you could send the article to your local paper or share it with a digital influencer in your field.
What should you blog about?
The best place to start is with your FAQs. What do clients always want to know when they approach your business? What are some misconceptions about your industry? What do people get right or wrong about your line of work? What is most important for clients to understand before they invest in your business?
These kinds of questions should shape your approach to blogging. You should be trying to make educational, engaging content that will resonate with potential clients.
You can also write blogs about consumer or business insights and reports into your industry. This is a great way to transform what might be dense or technical writing into digestible content that is of interest to your audience. It will also help you appear more knowledgeable about new developments and insights into your industry.
Can you blog about what’s popular?
Trending content is essential, as people are generally more likely to click on contemporary articles that discuss popular topics. For builders, this could mean candid discussions of home building TV shows and how they do (or don’t) represent the realities of building a home in the real world. Seasonal content is also effective in getting more eyes on your site.
While blog content should largely be educational, that doesn’t mean you can’t get personal. A blog is a great way to show your unique voice and business values. Use your blog to share award successes, write about projects-in-progress and detail current and completed case studies.
The dos and don’ts of blogging
The first rule to remember is that people don’t like to be sold to – no one likes dodgy car salespeople trying to offload items that clients don’t even want. Tone down the sales pitch and go for something more welcoming and educational. Offering valuable information is a better way to build lasting relationships with your potential clients.
Keep your blog focused. Just choose one question to answer or one topic to explore in each article. If you try and jam too many ideas into one blog, you’ll lose the interest of the reader, and you’ll also use up a lot of good ideas that could be used for future blogs.
Lastly, always check for spelling and grammar errors. This is the easiest way to look unprofessional. Make sure you have a friend or colleague look over your article before you click publish!
Make sure your blog content ties into your marketing message. You want to be pushing a point of view that aligns with your business and fits in with what you can offer clients.
A clickbait title that grabs the attention of the potential reader is essential. This could mean writing a blog in a listicle format or having a number in the title – like 6 reasons why, 5 ways to… and so on.
A blog post should be around 500 words so that it can be digested quickly. To make the piece easy and engaging to read, slabs of text should be broken up with subheadings, strong images and video content, where possible. Also, be sure to pepper your piece with plenty of SEO keywords and phrases that people Google frequently in relation to your line of work.
It’s also important to make use of Google Analytics as well. Use the tool to look at what people do on your site, and how long they stay on a certain page. This should shape your blog plan as you’ll be able to see at a glance what people are reading, and what they’re not.
Finally, make sure your blog includes a call to action. Where do you want to direct potential clients after they’ve read your blog? Do you want them to read more blogs, sign up to your newsletter or get in touch directly? Think about this aim when writing, publishing and sharing your latest blog.
How you can use blogs throughout the entire marketing mix
Blog traffic is really valuable. One aspect of blogging that people rarely consider is how you can use data collected from your website to craft niche Facebook Ad campaigns that target the perfect audience for your company. For instance, by installing a Facebook Pixel on your blog page, you can create ads that target the same specific people that have read your blog. You can also use this data to help reach a similar audience via Facebook.
At Sea Salt Marketing, we are passionate about digital tracking and measuring, and showing our clients exactly how their investment renders return, enquiry and a boost to their business.
To learn more, listen to Amanda speak on the Business Simplified podcast here. If you’re looking for a professional to help you craft engaging blog content for your business, reach out to Sea Salt Marketing today.