A well-maintained, regularly updated company blog can do a lot of great things for your business’s online presence and overall branding.
- Marketers who make their blog a priority are thirteen times more likely to have a positive return on investment (ROI) on their marketing efforts.
- Companies with blogs receive 97 percent more links to their sites.
- B2B marketers that blog receive 67 percent more leads than their counterparts.
Obviously, starting a company blog isn’t that simple. You need a content strategy, and once you have your content strategy you need to plan out how that will be executed through your blog topics.
Depending on who you are, what your content goals are, and what industry you work in, some will have an easier time with their content topics than others. Our clients are in the insurance industry, and that’s not always the easiest field to create content for. Businesses and individuals alike need insurance coverage in their day-to-day lives and operations, but it can be difficult to make some of the more technical coverage details easy to understand and interesting to a casual reader. Or, if your business has a very specific focus, it can be tough to constantly come up with new, fresh ways to discuss variations on one topic. But there’s always a solution, and sometimes the inspiration can come from unexpected sources.
Know What Your Audience is Looking For
No matter what your goal is—generating leads, making sales, enhancing brand awareness, retaining current customers, or increasing engagement—the best way to achieve it is by knowing what your audience wants, and creating content to address their needs and goals.
If you’re familiar with SEMRush, you may know about their Topic Research feature. If you search a potential topic, you will receive a collection of content topic ideas centered around that starter topic, and you can sort by Difficulty, Search Volume, or Efficiency. Along with the topic ideas, you will also see the keyword difficulty, other trending headlines about the topic, and a list of questions that people are asking about that topic. This information can be a great way to find a clearer direction within a broad or generic topic.
Answer The Public is another tool that you can use for this purpose. If you search a keyword, you will be provided with a visualization of the questions that people are searching involving that keyword as well as similar keywords. The base tool is free, but they also offer a paid “Pro” mode with unlimited searches, location-based results, saved reports, and other features. Like SEMRush’s Topic Research, this tool is a great illustration of what concerns people have and what problems they’re looking for solutions to.
Keywords are important, but don’t forget about social media. In addition to looking at trending topics on sites like Twitter and Facebook, take a look at groups or pages on social networking sites that are related to your company or your industry, and see what people are talking about there. More than focusing on what they like, look at what they’re complaining about. Is there something that they’re confused about? Is there something that they think could be helpful for them? If you have the ability to solve their problems, this is the perfect content for you to establish authority and nurture leads.
Look at the Competition
Obviously you shouldn’t copy another business’s content, but seeing what the competition’s doing is a good way to gauge what’s popular, what’s not working, and what is missing from the conversation. What works for your competition likely won’t be the right content for your business and your clients, but you can use it as inspiration for your own, personalized ideas.
Are the comments in a competitor’s blog post all asking a question about one particular topic? Did your competitor write a blog post about a certain insurance coverage but fail to mention an important exclusion? Think about what your competition is doing, and how you can bring your own voice to the conversation.
Build Your Brand
Though addressing your clients’ needs and wants is an important function of content, it’s not the only function. Not every blog post or infographic needs to answer an age-old question or provide a cutting-edge solution to one of life’s greatest conundrums. Instead think about branding and lead nurturing. Say a visitor finds their way onto your site through one of your other blogs (maybe one that did answer a question). They’re intrigued, and want to learn more about who you are and what you offer. Blogs and other content that explain your business’s identity and provide a more comprehensive or applicable look at what you offer can be the deciding factor that take this person from a one-time visitor to a lead, or even a client.
Consider Current Events, But Also Timeless Content
They always say that you should look to the world around you for writing inspiration, and when it comes to your business’s blog, the world’s goings-on can be a great source of content. Consider the following:
- Industry news
- Current events
…and how they might affect your clients or your industry as a whole. Also consider the time of year: certain topics will be more relevant depending on the month or season, and staying on top of the trends will make your content much more likely to be seen.
That being said, not all of your content needs to be ripped straight from the headlines. In fact, it’s better that a good portion of your content be evergreen and able to be re-shared (with minor adjustments) year after year.
If you use Google Analytics, you can see which of your posts were the most popular and received the most engagement. This works in two ways: you can generate new content that is based around a similar topic, and you can update older content (especially if it contains statistics or any other potentially dated information) with new ideas and information, change the date, and re-publish it (with a note that this blog has been updated). As long as you don’t change the URL, you can bring yourself a nice boost.
We hope that this information was helpful to you, and that you’re currently buzzing with fresh, new ideas for your company’s blog. If you’re still looking for more information on how you can improve your content marketing, enhance your online presence and bring in more leads, contact us today.
About Neilson Marketing Services
Since 1988, Neilson Marketing has been implementing innovative marketing solutions and strategies for our clients in all areas of marketing. Contact us today at (866) 816-1849 to put our talent, expertise, and vast resources to work for you. Let’s make things happen, together.