Your new website is up, it looks great and your social media icons are prominently displayed at the top of each page so your customers can connect with you at all times.
All is well right? Well, maybe not.
Does your site have a separate blog? If not, you might not be maximizing the capabilities of your website.
Blogs are different than your main site because there you can delve deeper into what it is that you do and connect better with your customers and visitors.
A website is basically a marketing tool to showcase your business, your products and services and can used as a way for customers to purchase what you’re selling. A blog can be a journal, magazine, photo gallery, book shelf, a snapshot into your iPhone calendar or anything else you want it to be.
You can be more creative using blogs and this can allow you to attract more customers and followers on social media. Think of your website as your business’ restaurant and menu and your blog as its ambiance.
When you ask business owners to enhance things they already have in place they get nervous, but building a blog into your website doesn’t have to be a chore. Most website creation templates offer designs that are conducive to connecting a blog with your already existing site. There are even blogging content management system templates that can be made to look like websites.
Once you get the blog up and running you’re probably wondering what to write about and how to promote it. Here are 10 strategies you can use to get the most out of your small business blog:
Open the backstage door. If your business is active in the community, give your readers a behind the scenes view into the initiatives and causes that you’re involved with. Make sure to take professional and sharp looking photos when you’re participating in events so you can present them on the blog with a story about how your company is involved.
Broadcast your best: If you’re tapped for radio, TV or print interviews, document the experiences and share them on your company’s blog. This way your followers can get to know you better. People are more likely to patronize a business they feel more connected to.
Promote best practices: If you have achieved big wins in your business specialty, you can share some of your successes and how you achieved them without giving away trade secrets.
Use your audience to build stories that will appeal to them. Ask them what their challenges are in these areas and then give them real-world stories about how you would deal with it. Be not only a product, but an expert people can rely on.
Use creative polls to gauge what is important to your customers: You can then create larger stories using the results from the questions you asked.
Honor the reader: Create a monthly segment that highlights a valuable customer or social media supporter. Write up a blurb about them and give them a prize.
Share, share, share! : The great thing about having a company blog is that you can use the content for your social media sites. Promote stories on Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr using photos and video and on Twitter with engaging hashtags (#SmallBusiness, #Work, #BizBlogs, #BestPractices etc…).
Take your readers with you: If you’re attending a business conference, trade expo or other business event that takes you across the country, use diverse ways to capture your experiences and learning. Interview other attendees with your Smartphone and post the audio files, snap images of the business panels and create an Instagram photo gallery, live tweet speaker sessions and create a blog post with the embedded tweets and YouTube yourself on the road. All of these examples would be great blog post entries.
Community Cultivation: Congratulate your business peers on their achievements by including them in “best of” lists and profiling their businesses especially if there is a chance there could be a collaboration between you in the future.
Read other blogs: A good way to get ideas for your own content is to see what others in your field are writing about and sharing with their communities. If you’re inclined, it could also be rewarding to comment on their content as well.
Encourage emulation : When companies are successful people often want to incorporate similar tactics, practices and philosophies in their own business plans. Give your readers selective insight into what you’re reading, listening to and watching and how you approach your craft. This could include creating a visual bookshelf or office hours music playlist.
Have fun with your business blog!
Image Credits: Blogging For Business