Today businesses have access to a variety of communications tools to share messages, opinions and insights with their stakeholders. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat allow users to share messages instantaneously, and often without a second thought. Although communicating with stakeholders via social media platforms enables organisations to build meaningful relationships, it’s important for businesses to also build a stream of owned communications on channels that are not dependent on a third-party. The most efficient way to do this is by building a website where you can share unique blog content with your followers.
Blogging gives businesses the opportunity to portray their brand and personality in the best way possible. While setting up a blog for your business may seem intimidating, the abundance of online tools and resources ensures that it’s never been easier to reach your stakeholders via your owned channel. With this in mind, we’ve prepared the following tips to help you create meaningful content.
Planning and Goal Setting
Before you begin writing content, it’s important to consider the information you want to share with your stakeholders and why you want to share it. If necessary, research your topic to ensure that you’re providing accurate, informed and expert information. Blog content might include providing advice to customers or sharing opinions on industry changes and technologies.
Once you have brainstormed potential content ideas, you can map out the expected dates for sharing your blog posts. Try to share content on a consistent basis, so that your readers know when they should visit your blog for insights. This could be weekly, biweekly or monthly, depending on your ability to create content.
Choosing a Subject and Identifying an Audience
The subject of your blog should be related to the business you’re in, and shouldn’t veer outside this scope. If a member of your team is skilled in a specific subject, consider asking them to contribute their insights on this to your blog. Sharing the responsibility of blogging across your business will enable you to create a greater pool of ideas for content. Different writing styles that emerge will also add personality to your blog. To organise team members’ blogging efforts, draft a rota outlining who is responsible for each blog post.
Your audience are the people you want to read your blog post. When choosing a subject, writing style and tone for blog post content, it’s important to consider your target audience and their preferences.
Structuring and Writing Your Blog
Like any piece of writing, your blog post should follow a clear format, with a beginning, introducing your topic, a middle, where the main discussion takes place, and an end, offering key insights for readers to take away. To ensure that your content is comprehensive, organise your thoughts and draft an outline for your blog post before you begin writing. This will also help ensure that everything you write is clearly linked to the main subject of the blog.Proof-reading your content is just as important as writing it. Always review your blog post’s spelling and grammar before publishing. If possible, get a colleague to review and edit your content. It’s likely that a fresh set of eyes will spot errors that you haven’t noticed.
Social networks treat content with images more favourably than those without, so it’s important to include a relevant image with your blog post. Including images is also a great way to break your content into sections. If you don’t have an image to suit your content, you can source royalty free images on Unsplash or Pexels. It is also good practice to add alt text to your pictures. This will describe your image to users that are unable to see it.
Marketing Your Content
A blog post takes a lot of hard work, but without appropriate promotion efforts, it’s likely that your writing won’t reach the right audience. The following are key considerations for marketing your blog:
- Use appropriate images or visuals to accompany your social media content. By developing original content, your blog post is likely to garner more interest from consumers. According to Sprout Social, 65% of people are visual learners, so it’s important to consider the impact an interesting image might have on the ability of the reader to recall your blog post. Free tools, such as Canva, allow organisations to create captivating visuals.
- Research relevant hashtags and search terms associated with your content. Finding and using appropriate keywords in your social media content will allow readers searching for your expertise to find your blog post easily.
Google Analytics is a great, free tool that allows organisations to easily analyse the performance of their websites and blog posts. The platform breaks down information about your website’s performance into several key areas, including audience, acquisition, behaviour and conversions. Metrics that you should consider monitoring include:
- Average time spent on the page: This provides insight into how long users spend reading your blog post. If the average time spent on your blog post is low, it’s likely that your readers aren’t interested in this type of content.
- Bounce rate: Bounce rate refers to the percentage of users that leave your site after viewing one page. A low bounce rate suggests that your blog post is driving interest for your business.
- Pageviews: Pageviews refer to the number of times your page (in this case, your blog post) has been viewed.
- Unique pageviews: Unique pageviews aggregate pageviews generated by the same user during the same session. For example, if a user views your blog post three times during a session, this is considered one unique pageview.
Although setting up and running a blog can seem daunting, today there are a wide variety of free tools available to businesses to support their online presence. As we continue to operate amidst the uncertainty of Covid-19, now, more than ever, is a great time to reach out to your stakeholders via your website and blog.