Maintaining a blog is an essential component of the most successful online marketing strategies for small business. Not only does blogging drive traffic to your website and thereby put your audience in close contact with information about your company's products or services, it also gets customers and prospects engaged with your brand. As readers' interests become piqued by industry-specific or other relevant content they encounter on your page, they come to see your company as an indispensable source of insight.
But if you want your small or mid-sized business to be seen as a thought leader in your field, a poorly maintained blog with infrequent posts and drab content won't suffice. In order to draw and retain the attention of your audience, your written content must be well-crafted and noteworthy enough to stand out in the crowded online space, and your page itself should communicate a certain sense of energy. In your efforts to boost engagement with your blog, consider these four strategies.
1. Develop a voice
Tone is an important element in the way people interact with content. Often, the voice of the brand is what stands out first when individuals encounter a company's materials. As such, you'll need to think closely about the tonal qualities your blog content puts forth. Do you want your brand to be perceived as edgy or conservative? Do you want to break cutting-edge industry news or provide more instructional material?
Your answers to these questions will need to reflect your target audience and your SMB's strategy for positioning itself as a thought leader in relation to the profile of your prospects. For example, if your customers tend to be decision-makers with a considerable amount of industry expertise, you'll want to tailor the tone and approach of your blog to express a level of knowledge and experience that is comparable to their own. If your audience is full of consumers, however, a lighter, fun or edgy tone may be best.
2. Get visual
Providing some variety to your blog will help readers break up the content and focus their attention more effectively. Incorporating graphics alongside your written content can help prevent your readers from feeling as if they're swimming in a sea of text. Infographics, for example, provide an accessible, visually engaging way to present complex or technical information, ranging from hard data and statistics to breakdowns of products or concepts. In such a text-saturated culture, stunning visuals can be a standout component of online marketing for small businesses.
3. Be smart about search
You can maintain the highest-quality blog in your industry, but if you're not visible on Google and other major search engines, it will be extremely difficult for users to find your content. Forbes contributor Drew Hendricks recently spoke with Blogpros founder James Parsons about the importance of aligning blog content with keywords and often-searched phrases.
"Know what they're searching, and write great content that caters to those searches. Without that key element, you aren't going to get the powerful exposure that most businesses are looking for," Parsons told Hendricks.
4. Stay consistent
People love regularity. Particularly in today's fast-paced business world, routine helps give some order to our hectic lives. Tailor the days and times you post content to your blog around this need. For instance, if your audience knows that you publish articles every Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon, they'll grow accustomed to visiting your blog at those times and look forward to engaging with your material.
This strategy has a few benefits. It helps establish your SMB as a consistent, reliable organization that follows through on expectations. What's more, consistency in posting means your audience can create a little ritual around visiting your blog, and once the habit is formed, you can depend on that engagement.