How to Plan an Effective Business Blog That Gets Results

Blogging isn’t a one-style-fits-all affair, and it is important to bear that in mind when writing a business blog. A loose, chatty and unstructured approach is fine for a fun hobby blog, but will not bring you the results you need from a blog for business.

Professional blogs on your business website have one goal in mind – bringing in more customers – and they can be extremely effective in doing just that. However, to achieve that result, you need to plan the post meticulously or risk it sinking without trace. Here are some tips for planning an effective business blog that brings in those results you want.

Competitor Research

Your business blog is your chance to really set your firm apart from your competitors and you need to bear that in mind when choosing a subject for a blog post. Take a look at what your rivals are blogging about. Is there anything they are missing? Is there anything that they have written about, but which lacks detail or clarity?

You don’t have to steer away from the same subjects, that would be difficult if you work in the same niche, but you do have to do it better. Remember, a large amount of the potential traffic out there comes from potential customers using search engines to find out information before they make a purchase or take on a service.

The more authoritative your professional blog is, the better chance you have of ranking well and claiming a larger portion of that search traffic.

Work Out Your Unique Approach

There is no point writing a post that features exactly the same information as someone else’s. You need something unique in there to give people a reason to read your musings over your competitors’.

Take a look at your competitor research and work out the plan of attack that fits your business best. Are you a disruptor? If so, find some received wisdom in your industry that you disagree with and tell people why you think it’s wrong. Look to say the unsaid. What do people in your niche understand but never mention?

It doesn’t have to be so dramatic though; you could simply bring your own individual experience into a topic and provide an angle on it that no one else has published. You could also collate disparate pieces of information that you found interesting from other business blogs and compile them in one place, adding your own tips too.

Look at it Like a Customer

Now you have your topic and you know how you are going to approach it, you have to think about how to present it in a way that will interest your potential customers. They are the people you want to entice to your website, so you need to channel your energy into piquing their interest.

This is where you try to channel your ‘user persona’. Maybe look at your website as a visitor, rather than as someone in the business. Consider what a user might be looking for when they arrive at your homepage and work your way through the site to find it. What questions might they have that aren’t already answered on the site? What else might they want to know before they finally hit ‘Buy Now’? You could also look into the queries inputted in your site’s search facility and try and answer any that crop up often.

Tailor your business blog to answering those questions and letting readers know how reading it will help them. Highlight the pain points it solves, explain why they need to click onto it. Pinpoint and target the exact audience you want to talk to when you blog for business as they are the ones who are most likely to convert.

Keyword Research

With all the information you have decided on so far you can write an excellent professional blog, but your potential customers need to be able to find you. Now is the time to find the keywords that relate to your business blog and that you can rank for.

Tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends help you discover the terms that people are searching for in relation to the topic of the blog. Pick a word or phrase to act as the focus of your article and then maybe one or two additional keywords. These could be variations on the focus keyword phrase or simply other related terms.

Business Blog Structure

The structure of a business blog is important to know before you start writing. If you can visualise the throughline of the article, it is easier to stay focused and prevent yourself from wandering on to tangents that either add nothing or even distract the reader from the main point of the blog. 

There is no perfect structure for a blog for business, but there are certain elements that need to be present. A striking title is a must. It has to capture attention, address an issue that readers might have and promise a solution. It also must be clear. You only have one chance to make that first impression and an engaging headline encourages the user to move on to the blog below.

In addition, make sure you have a relevant and striking image to go with the blog. It is all about capturing the user’s attention at this stage if you want them to read on.

Add in internal links to get people moving about your site, especially to the places where they can make a purchase. You should also make use of H2 and H3 headings to make it easier on the eye and to give Google more of an idea of where your article is going. Aside from that, the structure of your argument is up to you, but do remember to keep yours to your point. A professional blog needs a clear voice if it is going to convince people to buy.

Need Help With Your Business Blog?

Of course, planning an effective business blog takes time and effort. In a small or medium sized business, you might not always have that kind of time to spare, even though a professional blog can be one of the most effective forms of marketing.

If you love the idea of getting your blog for business up and firing on all cylinders, Supportal can handle your posts for you. Our expert Content team research and understand your business, find your voice and write unique, carefully tailored posts to suit your needs and targets. Contact us today to find out more about our business blog service.    

Spread the Word! 5 Easy Marketing Ideas for a Small Business on a Tight Budget

As a small business, it is sometimes hard to make your voice heard above the noise of a crowded market. The big names in the industry have the lion’s share of the advertising power, so how do you get the word out about your products or services? Here are five simple marketing ideas for small businesses. The best bit, though, is that they won’t cost you a fortune!

 

Make a Video

It has never been easier to make great looking online video content with little or no outlay. This is particularly handy because a video is the single best marketing medium in terms of the way customers interact with it. If you have a smartphone, you are already well on your way to making that all-important marketing video.

But what does the video need to include? You have a few options here. ‘How-to’ videos related to your business bring in decent search traffic and build trust for your brand if they are easy to follow. Product description videos are proven to help potential customers make up their minds over whether to make a purchase. Finally, funny videos about your business and the people who work there create a human connection between viewers and your company.

Once you have decided on the type of video you want and shot the relevant scenes, you need to edit it. Most computers and laptops come with free editing software, such as iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, on which you can easily edit scenes together and add titles and other effects. There are also a number of options for editing on phones and tablets too. All of which are relatively easy to learn.

After that, simply upload it to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and promote the heck out of it. All it costs is a little bit of your time for maximum potential effect.

Online video gives the most amount of information in the shortest amount of time. Click To Tweet

 

Host an Event or Webinar

The best way to draw in new customers is to become the local expert on something relating to your business. But to do this, you need to blow your own trumpet and present yourself as such.

A great way to do this is to organise your own event or webinar. For instance, if you are a florist, you could host a flower arranging class. If you run a computer repair business, you could hold a class to go through the most common issues that occur with people’s laptops. Obviously, you might want to limit this event to only show the really simple problems that you wouldn’t charge for, such as people accidentally turning off their trackpads.

This allows you to meet your prospective customers, who will now think of you when they next need flowers, their computer fixed, or whatever it is that you offer.

People love to learn new skills, so you should easily be able to find enough willing attendees. You could offer it as a free course on your premises, or rent a venue and charge a small fee to cover the costs. If the classes become very popular, it might even turn into a decent money-making wing of your business.

Webinars work in a similar way, but you broadcast your class on the internet, rather than in person. Either way, these are great marketing ideas for a small business on a tight budget.

 

Encourage Online Reviews

One of the simplest marketing tools available is the humble online review. Simply encourage your happy customers to take two minutes out of their day to tell others about you. This could be on Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, or anywhere that offers customers the chance to rate your services.

 

Survey Audience and Promote the Findings to Local Media

Your local media is desperate for stories that originate in their patch. If a story is driven by a local company, they are likely to run with it. With that in mind, you should consider putting a poll or questionnaire online for your audience about something relevant to your business.

An example is a mechanic asking their customers which jobs they are confident of being able to complete on their own cars.

Encourage people to take part and to share the survey with their friends in order to beef up the statistics. Once you have some results, stick them into a handy press release and send that to your nearby radio stations and newspapers. You should be able to spin a story from the results. For instance, in the mechanic’s example, you could lead with “Local Garage Discovers 80% of People in [local area] Can’t Change a Tyre”.

Both papers and radios stations have a remit to include a large proportion of local stories within the news sections. Even if your survey is on a national topic, the fact that it is compiled by a local business is enough to give it a regional angle that these outlets will love. You may find your company name prominently in print and broadcast all day thanks to this handy marketing tip.

 

Blog

The fifth of the marketing ideas for a small business on a tight budget is simply to blog. There is no better way to keep your website fresh with the new content that Google craves when it works out its rankings. You can stamp your authority on your local area or in your chosen sphere by producing regular, SEO-crafted, compelling content.

A blog gives current customers reason to return to your site, making them more likely to use your business again. It also makes it easier for new users to find you through search, increasing the chances of them making a purchase with your company for the first time.

In addition, you can also create entertaining and informative posts that people will share with their friends. This means they do your marketing job for you. Supportal can organise your web content, including regular blog posts. Take a look at the Services page to find out more.

Google is your best friend when it comes to your website rankings. Give them what they crave! Consistent, informative content! Click To Tweet

 

Marketing Ideas for a Small Business – Get Help

If you don’t have the time to plan these marketing ideas for a small business on a tight budget, contact Supportal today. We can help plan your marketing strategy. Drop us a line and we can discuss your needs.

Infographic: How To Find Blog Post Ideas Fast

The thought of coming up with a series of blog post ideas can be daunting. It probably feels like you have written about everything you can. We assure you there is always something. Your next blog post topic is right under your nose you just need to know where to look!

Our infographic provides you with some ideas we use that will hopefully get your juices flowing and reduce your stress levels.


Infographic

Infographic: How to find blog post ideas fast

Ready to find out more?

If you need help with content creation, blog post ideas or anything related contact us, our experienced team will be more than happy to help.
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