Okay… you’ve embraced (sort of) the whole idea of spilling your guts (writing) to your customers at least once every week or two. But what do you say in a blog?
Yikes! Who knew that this part was going to be so – well – hard? After all, you’re the expert in your business and you know everything there is to know, so why on earth is thinking up what to say so difficult? I hear this sentiment from business owners all the time and I have three words for you – plan your content. Getting your yearly content planning done upfront will help you avoid the monthly torture of searching for inspiration, and set you up for both blogging and marketing success!
Here are a few tips to use when brainstorming your blog content:
1. What Do Your Customers Want to Know?
Think of the questions you’ve heard during your time in business…they’re a great place to start. If you answer those questions, you’ll place yourself in the expert seat. Survey your marketing list to find out what your audience wants to know.
2. Lists: Popular and Simple.
Everyone loves a list: ‘5 Ways to Keep the Kids Entertained This Summer’; ‘Three Reasons to Check Your Tire Pressure Monthly ’; ‘10 Surefire Tips to Save Money on Your Electrical Bill This Summer.’ Think about your business in terms of helpful lists you can create for both your customers and your prospects. Readers like lists since they are easy to read (ahem, ‘skim’), and they tend to gather the critical information together in one easy-to-find place within the article – but remember to vary your posting style.
3. The Yearly Business Cycle.
What customers want – and what you need to give them – changes throughout the year. Think about your marketing themes and use them to drive blog content ideas. For instance, a promotional products company might be asked for short-sleeve company apparel in the springtime, promotional pens and bags during trade show periods and customer appreciation gifts during the holiday season. You should provide blog content that is a rich source of information for your customers when they need it. Keep topics seasonal and relevant for your customers.
4. Set Up a Regular Feature.
Try spotlighting your customers once a month – they’ll be flattered and honored, I promise! Another possibility for a monthly feature could be an educational post on specific products you offer. Just don’t go overboard – your blog is not the place for a hard sell! Also, think about inviting a business owner with a related service or product to do a guest blog once a month.
Remember, content planning is the key to easy blogging! Planning your blog content over the course of the year is essential to business blog success. Your blog is another marketing channel for your business; so make sure your blog content complements your broader marketing objectives.
Have you started your business blog content calendar for 2012?