Content is Still King; Is Your Corporate Blog a Welcome Mat?
Whether you lay claim to a local startup, a small business on the rise, or a Fortune 500 giant, operating a company website without a featured blog is wasting away a grand content marketing opportunity in today’s digital age. Making the effort to host a company blog with a steady stream of relevant content serves as an invaluable tool for establishing sustainable brand awareness, enhances influence in a targeted field of expertise, and to further engage a connection with a growing readership who may become loyal customers in return.
However, driving a prosperous business blog is not easily done overnight and often comes with many pain points along the road to content marketing success. Here are a few business blog tips worth fancying.
Don’t forget the folks on mobile devices
Back in 1999, just 38 million people had access to broadband internet. Today, over 1.2 billion have it on their mobile phones. Odds are, when a newcomer finds his or her way to your company blog for the first time, there is a solid chance they found it while navigating on a mobile device. If the blog’s mobile layout is cramped or cluttered and the method of consuming content is more confusing than it is convenient, expect the attention span of an average user to swiftly jump ship without looking back.
Raise the bar in subscriber versatility
On top of the social media buttons that jump to official microblogging accounts like Facebook and Twitter, it’s about time for business blogs to recognize the importance of offering readers more versatility as to how they subscribe to blog content. Sure, joining email lists can be enticing if user interest is very high on a particular brand, but promoting a more advanced form of RSS syndication that dissects a blog’s content is a game-changer. For example, rather than offering one solo firehose feed that collects all content, why not offer a plethora of feeds broken down by topic, by author/contributor, by multimedia type, by article length, etc. The fact users are forced to subscribe to all content that may include publications like event announcements, job listings and press releases, when all we may really want is to be notified when the blog’s next tutorial video comes out, makes subscribing to anything at all less appealing.
Use curation to fill in holes where content creation lacks
Consistency and commitment are of utmost importance when trying to build and maintain trust between a blog and its readership. Unfortunately, one of the common trends that brings a business blog to its demise is the pressure that comes with producing high quality content that never skips a beat. Under certain circumstances, content staff can be limited and writer’s block happens to the best of us, which is why blogs need to be more open to the idea of publishing content created outside the walls of the company. The Delta Airlines blog is a great example of one source reaching out to another in order to keep incoming content fresh and robust. Providing a hat tip reference to the National Geographic Travel blog, Delta Airlines is able to stick to its path as a travel destination influencer all while taking a break as the blog’s content creator on that particular day.
Engage, engage, engage!
Lastly, I wanted to dish out a few more examples of awesome blogs that simply get it when it comes to audience engagement. Bucketfeet, an artist inspired shoe company uses its blog to get fans involved by asking people to email images of themselves modeling the brand’s shoes in their day-to-day activities. The most artistic images get featured on a popular Kicks of the Week post. 37Signals, a tech company specializing in team building and remote collaboration, takes a similar route to Bucketfeet by asking users for submissions to be featured on a future blog post. For example, readers were asked to submit a painful story of a terrible work commute experience. As an incentive for making a contribution, the blog offered a $100 gas card to the best (worst) response.
In today’s digital age, customers expect more from their brands than simply being tossed a sales pitch telling us why we should buy their product. By implementing content marketing strategies across a blogging platform, brands are able to create an identity that shows the business strives for more than simply economic prosperity. Without truly reaching one’s audience, that identity remains detached from its true potential.