Company Blog: It’s Not Just About Getting Likes, Shares and Retweets


Company Blog: It’s Not Just About Getting Likes, Shares and Retweets

Every single person who’s interested in ranking his or her company on top of Google search engine results for specific keywords, knows the importance of blogging and creating great and original content for their company website.

These days, a lot of people use blogs for business purposes. Why? – Because, next to giving you the opportunity to capitalize on specific queries and create great backlinks, a blog allows its writer to share his or her knowledge and expertise about a certain subject with the world, and thus help guide even the most educated users or potential clients to make smarter decisions (meaning, purchase their products).

If you have an online e-commerce platform, you’re basically just selling your stuff from a fancy digital cart. So, when people finish up buying certain goods, if they don’t need anything else from you, they’re gonna leave your site and never come back. Your blog is what keeps them coming back for more. It keeps providing your targeted audience with additional value on a weekly basis by making it possible for them to form strong relationships with your brand and see you as an expert in your field.

Judging by some of the changes that Google is making to its algorithm, I think that in the near future blogs and content marketing in general will become even more important for every business who wants to gain something out of its online presence.

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Why Don’t Some of Your Favorite Companies Blog?

Because they don’t really know how to run a blog. Next to that, they don’t really understand all the benefits behind blogging.

As a person who has been in this content marketing game for quite some time now, I came into contact with all sorts of different serious businessman who have one thing in common – they see my line of work as nothing more than a form of advertising. They think that the same set of metrics they use for advertising is going to apply for content marketing as well. You and me both know that they couldn’t be more wrong.

More often than not, these people set unrealistic goals for their content marketing team and before you can say blog post, they rain all over their parade and shut down their company blog, thinking that the ROI is too small to even bother with it.

Like I already wrote on this blog, content marketing isn’t just a tool for collecting clicks and increasing website traffic. No, it’s far more than that. If done right, it can really help you build up your brand authority.

If you think about it, there’s no better place to broadcast all sorts of different promotional campaigns and information about your company than on your official blog. It’s a place that’s solely dedicated to making sure that people who have any interest in the services or product that you’re selling find out what you’re all about, and why should they do business with you, instead of your competitors.

There are a lot of ways on how you could stimulate people to make a better connection with your brand via blog. One of the most popular ways is to start writing posts that showcase your expertise and help your potential clients see just how serious you really are about your work.

Writing a blog that can actually help people with their problems and issues about specific subjects or scenarios, has proven to be a great tool for large numbers of currently successful businessmen.

A lot of today’s active buyers are influenced by content. So when your potential customers are looking to make a purchase, and they’re looking for information, be it reviews, essays, features, and benefits, they are looking for content online to influence their decisions. So, if you want to motivate them to try your products or services, you have to create consistent and relevant content that influences their purchase decisions.

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To some this might seem like a lot of work, don’t get me wrong, it is, but what you’re doing here is crucial for your business. You’re finding new ways on how to locate new clients, educate them about your service and expertise, and thus help them see you as a credible source for doing business with.

The biggest reason why content marketing fails is because it stops or it isn’t consistent. Remember, the content that you produce and share with your readers is like a showroom of your expertise. You don’t want them to see it as empty or filled with outdated junk.

How Do I Achieve Success Via Blogging?

By writing what your audience wants to read about, instead of what you like to write about. In this section of the post I’m not going to write about how to amplify your content. No, I’m going to write about how to create something that’s of real value to you and your targeted audience. If you’re interested in learning how to maximize the reach of your hard work, you should watch this video on MOZ. Ben Lloyd and Brian Rauschenbach really did a great job here explaining all tactics they use to make sure that their content lives up to its full potential.

Let’s get something straight. People don’t really care about you or your brand, they care about themselves. Before starting to create any type of content, you must first fully understand that. If they don’t see some benefits in what you’re sending their way, they’re not going to engage.

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling or what kind of life experiences you’re sharing with them, people will always first ask themselves this same question: “What’s in it for me?

Stop Focusing on Vanity Metrics, Provide Your Audience With Something That’s of Real Value to Them

I found this research online which states that just two in ten people who invest in content marketing know how to effectively measure their efforts in this field. Shocking, right?

These other eight from our group fail at content marketing only because they focus on so-called “vanity metrics”. Getting likes, shares, Google pluses and retweets doesn’t mean much if you’re not building an audience. Your goal here isn’t to grab someone’s attention for a couple of minutes. No, you want to position yourself in people’s eyes as someone who knows what he’s talking about, and to whom they should frequently come for answers about specific problems.

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Most companies make the same mistake here. They don’t have a real plan with their content marketing. They just create random posts, hoping that they’ll go viral. “Spray and pray” is the term we in the business use to describe this kind of content strategy. Why? – Well, I think it’s self-explanatory.

There’s nothing I hate more than when I meet with a client and he starts to ask me question like how many viral posts a month can I guarantee his company, if they sign me as their content manager. First of all, having not one, but hundred viral posts doesn’t mean anything if people aren’t really investing their time into reading your content. A while back, Fahrad Manjoo wrote this great post on Slate.com where he pointed out that a lot of content that is heavily shared online is never read in its entirety. Same goes for those most linked-to pieces. They are neither shared nor read from top to bottom.

Knowing this, we can pretty much now agree that creating viral posts shouldn’t be on top of our content marketing list. Instead of that, we should focus a lot more on capitalizing on user behavior and anticipating their intent. The goal here is to provide your targeted audience with something that will entertain them, as well as help them solves their current problems. This is the recipe for implementing an effective content marketing strategy into your blogging. This kind of setup will later on help you earn quality links, increase your brand awareness and position yourself as an expert in your field. As Julie Joyce, owner of Link Fish Media,  wrote in her post for Search Engine Land, in order to get it right, you must invest your time and effort into each ingredient of this magical recipe.

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Creating a great company blog is not something that can be created overnight. No, it takes a lot of time and effort, but, in the end, it’s all worth. Don’t give up your blog, not at least you really try to make it work. If you figure out how to anticipate your potential users intent, I promise you, you’ll see your business grow into a real powerhouse on the web.

That’s all for now. I hope this post helped you better understand all the benefits behind owning a successful company blog. If have anything to add to this subject, feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section below. If not, well – thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my content.

See you again,
Kindest regards,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.

How to Create Content for Boring Industries that People Will Engage With?

Everyone who knows how to deconstruct their ideas and rearrange their elements into a linear stream of words can write content for brands who are in the entertainment industry.

The whole process of writing content for such blogs, magazines and other publications that tend to inspire people, trigger their most intense emotions and inform them about activities of people and things that they truly love, is more than a pleasurable experience.

But what happens when you find yourself in a situation where you have to create content for companies that don’t really offer flashy and attractive services?

Let’s be frank. Writing content for a web hosting company is no easy task. Although quite important, web hosting is not something that most people are usually excited about it. Those who are, already know everything there is to know about it, and those who aren’t, are not even interested in learning the essentials.

So, how do we get people excited about something that they aren’t excited about? – By thinking from a different perspective, digging deeper and finding those specific details that tie everything together.

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Creating content for boring industries is basically the same as creating content for any other type of business that people find interesting. The only extra spice you need to apply here is to think beyond the keywords and your basic SEO tricks, and focus heavily on whom you’ll be targeting with your content.

When you really sit and think about it, every business out there is basically a machine that provides solutions to certain problems. If people suddenly stopped getting hungry, all restaurants would immediately go out of business. If cars were perfect, auto shops wouldn’t exist, and so on, and so on.

Just by focusing your content marketing on a problem and how a certain product, service or business is going to solve it for everyone who comes into contact with it, you already have your hands on something that a large number of people would be more than interested to read about.

Robin Swire wrote a great article about this subject on MOZ a year ago, titled “The Art of Thinking Sideways: Content Marketing for “Boring” Business”. Be sure to read it.

As Mr. Swire cleverly stated in his post, to create outstanding content, you need to go beyond your own expectations. If it doesn’t “wow” your clients, it will never “wow” your targeted market and get those highly authoritative, juicy links. I agree with everything here, but I also think that there’s a lot more to it.

I personally think that there’s no such thing boring business, only boring content. Every business has its interesting side. There’s always something there that stimulates generations of people to dedicate their time into making it their life’s calling.

We live in a day and age where people’s decisions are mostly driven by what they read online. We are all dependent on information, and if presented right, with all the delicious benefits, there isn’t a single subject that people wouldn’t consider reading.

Don’t Bury The Dead Yet, There’s Still Some Meat On Those Bones

As a person who has been writing content for quite some time now for all sorts of different companies, I have learned that the first step in figuring out how to create engaging and interesting content for your targeted audience is to audit what you already have on your site.

The cornerstone of your new content strategy lies in understanding what makes those people who are already visiting your website keep coming back for more. Once you figure that out, you’ll have a solid foundation on which you can later build your new content marketing strategy.

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Auditing an entire site can be a painful process. Sure, there are tools out there that are designed to help you bring this exhausting mission to an end as fast as possible, but still, even with them by your side, you’ll still need to do some heavy lifting.

Luckily for you, Simon Penson wrote a  great and pretty detailed blog post for SearchEngineWatch about this subject. Read it now and learn how to audit your entire website without losing your mind in the proces.

Create Content for Your Audience, Not Yourself

Many people make this mistake. They all produce content that seems interesting to them, without ever considering the fact that their targeted market not might share their enthusiasm.

Like I already wrote millions of times on this blog, knowing your desired users intent is probably the most important thing when it comes to setting up your content marketing strategy.

Even though this is something that almost everyone who has a steady internet connection is already familiar with, people still somehow manage to screw it up. A lot of businesses out there still create sterile and boring blog posts that nobody likes, only because they fail to see content marketing as something more than just blogging for keywords.

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Yes, keyword selection plays an important part in your content strategy, but you shouldn’t focus all your energy on it. Every content marketing strategy starts and concludes with keeping users coming back for more. Your goal here is to figure out what your potential customers need and give it to them in a manner in which they prefer to receive it.

With this in mind, your content ought to be developed around the interests of your audience. In order to create such a thing, you must first get to know to whom you’re speaking to. You must first know who your potential customers are, what they like, what they dislike, where do they hang out online, and what kind of content do they usually follow.

Ken McArthur wrote a short and sweet piece on his blog about how to find who’s your audience. Read it, I think it will help you gain a lot more detailed picture on what and whom you should focus here.

For example, as our research has shown, a vast majority of people who visit our website on daily, weekly and monthly basis are owners of small and medium online businesses (or are planning to start one) who are in need of a stable, fair and reliable hosting solution for their company website.

Going deeper into detail, we came to an understand that these individuals visit content driven websites such as Search Engine Land, MOZ, Content Marketing Institute, Backlink, HubSpot who mostly create blog posts that serve to educate young entrepreneurs and help them overcome some of the more common mistakes that people tend to make when starting an online business. Knowing this, we have decided to shift our focus from writing boring web hosting content to content that’s directly related to the do’s and dont’s of running a successful online business.

With currently more than 10.000 active paying customers from all over the globe on our servers, I think we’re on the right track.

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What we’re doing here is feeding our targeted audience with content that’s of high interest to them. Creating a customer-focused and customer-centered strategy is something that is very important to us because as much as our clients are interested in getting quality service, so are we in reaching out to new high-quality clientele.

Patience is Bitter, but its Fruits are Sweet

Although this is the right way to go, this strategy still has some holes in it. This kind of content requires time to work, and we all know that most business owner hate to wait. Well, tough luck.

It always surprises me how quickly most businesses write off blogs because they don’t convert or instantly gather large number of followers. A lot of old school businessmen fail to see that content needs time to work. They’re all concerned about silly metrics that aren’t really capable in measuring the impact that certain pieces of content are making on your business.

Content marketing is not like online advertising. You cannot see what you gained from it just by looking at the numbers. Next to building your audience and helping you climb up the ladder of Google search engine results, this form of marketing has significant effect on your brand authority, which is a pretty big deal. Positioning you as a trustworthy source and expert in your field is something that has no price. This kind of thing will encourage people to talk about your work offline and online, and thus, help you grow into a real powerhouse in your field.

If you see people engaging with your content, and if you see them commenting on your posts and sharing them with their friends and business associates, stick with your content marketing strategy even if it isn’t going as well as you hoped for. People need time to form new habits. It will take more than a dozen blog posts and viral use cases / case studies to stimulate people to visit your website every single day and make it their new “home page”.

Be smart, be persistent, and I promise you, you’ll live to see your efforts pay-off.

Once again, thanks for reading,

See you soon,

Kind regards,

Goran @ AltusHost B.V.

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