There is innovation in the air right now. Have you felt it too? Whether that be product development, using technology to disrupt processes or simply transforming marketing efficacy; a thirst to strive for a better, safer industry, coupled with the winds of change prompted by the pandemic have created a dynamic environment.
Barbour ABI is committed to innovation in sales and marketing methodology in the construction industry and, thinking about how we can support our clients and wider industry colleagues further in terms of strategy, tactics and tips that really work, I am proud to announce a new, free service called ‘Marketing Mentors’. From now on in, you can enjoy weekly blogs, white papers, listicles and guest articles from industry experts exploring how you can maximise your investment in Barbour ABI, as well as ensure you are getting the very best return on investment for every £ spent in marketing.
Posting regular blogs on your company website is a cost-effective way to connect with customers and help strengthen your brand. Fresh content also works wonders for your SEO ranking.
If you’ve not started blogging yet, don’t be put off. I’m sharing my blueprint for creating blog content that your audience will actively search out, read, share – from writing click-winning headlines to measuring results.
#1 MAKE IT ENGAGING
Write for your audience, not yourself.
Your blog is the one part of your website that is written directly to, not for, your target audience. Make sure it’s not all about you.
No matter what each post is about, it should answer the eternal question, “What’s in it for me?”. Only you know what customers want from your business, so use that intel to build deeper, stronger, profitable connections.
HINT: The sweet-spot for a good business blog post is one that is both professionally interesting and genuinely useful, from building brand engagement and advocates to converting potential customers.
#2 PLAN YOUR BLOG CONTENT IN ADVANCE
It’s the best way to avoid ‘fear of a blank page’
No time to write a blog before the big product launch? Can’t decide what to write about next? You need a content strategy.
Firstly, plan out your blog posts, factoring in when you are going to write in each one. And stick to it.
With a little planning at the start of each month, you’ll have enough ideas to keep the blog flowing for weeks.
TIP: Think about key dates or occasions that affect your customers. From spring property booms to new legislation, there’s a critical time to share quality information and promote it on your social media channels. Want deeper insights into industry trends to shape your blog content? Visit AMA Research, our specialist market research division.
#3 REALISE THE POWER OF A GOOD HEADLINE
Google’s search bar will help you nail it
There’s a reason why blog headlines are so important, beyond being the first thing people read. Your headline impacts on how the blog post itself is found on Google and Bing.
You need a headline that gains clicks and an active audience, so it must communicate what your blog post is about.
HINT: Try using long tail keywords – phrases that internet users enter in search engines to find out more specific information. For example:
SEO-friendly blog title with a long tail key word: ‘Why our reclaimed art deco tiles add value to your bathroom’
Not-so-SEO-friendly blog title: ‘A wide range of new tiles for your home’
#4 CREATE HELPFUL CONTENT
Remember, your reader is your customer
New or loyal, your customers will have specific questions. Don’t just tackle these in your website’s FAQ section. Instead, try answering them in more relevant and constructive ways, through a blog post.
HINT: Check out your what people say about your company online. Get to know your audience better than anyone – and understand enablers and barriers to their goals. Think about how to solve their short and long term problems.
#5 DON’T ALWAYS DIY
Get the whole team involved
You don’t want your blog posts to be 1D. So they shouldn’t be the job of just one person. Vary the subject matter and approach. Get your team involved. Use their passion or expertise to connect with your customers in fresh ways. You could uncover blog-writing gold!
TIP: Ideally, you should be blogging at least once a week. It tells the search bots and spiders that your website is constantly being updated.
#6 Be a tannoy AND a receiver
Consider asking your web guru to make sure the blog comments section is turned on. Think of every post as a direct conversation with your reader on a subject of mutual interest. If you can’t do that on your website for any reason then you can always engage with your audience using the social posts pointing them to the blog.
HINT: When you get comments on your blog, good or bad, reply back. Not just because it’s good practice, search engine algorithms LOVE a bit of interaction. It says your site’s content is good and that could send you up the rankings.
#7 KEEP IT SINGLE-MINDED
A good blog post is about one topic, one story, one idea. No more.
Before you start writing, be clear on what each blog is about. Write a mock headline to give yourself some structure so that you can focus on the content. You can refine it at the end.
#8 PASS THE SCAN TEST
The secret of a well-written article
Good blog posts are quick and easy to read.
Make your posts easy to skim by cutting content up into sections and lists.
- • Vary the way you present information to keep the reader engaged
- • Like pulling phrases out in bold or using CAPS (not too shouty, mind)
- • Find ways to visually add intrigue to complex subjects
#9 THE GOLDILOCKS FORMULA
Not too long or short, but just right
Good company blog content is about 400 to 1,000 words.
If it’s much longer, make it a two-parter.
Ideally, give yourself a longer timeframe to write a shorter blog.
#10 MONITOR AND MEASURE
Analyse your blog performance for free
You can’t monitor what you can’t measure.
Use a web stats tool like Google Analytics to measure your website’s performance before you start blogging in earnest.
It’s free and quick to install, then you can monitor how each blog’s performance affects click-through rates. You’ll also learn how people found your blog in the first place, and which posts and subjects are the most popular.
HINT: Use this information as a good base to judge what’s been a success and how you can improve your future blog activity.
#11 BE UNEXPECTED
Arouse curiosity not suspicion
Why does blog content seem to fall into round numbers, like the perfect 10?
Sometimes being random feels more genuine and creates a warmer response. It doesn’t feel forced.