Content Marketing for Business: Blogging Basics
Content is king, right? And content marketing is a great way to connect and share with your customers and stakeholders. When you hear the term “content marketing,” the first thing you might think of is a blog. A blog is only one method of sharing your knowledge and ideas online, but it can be very effective when done right. If your business is just getting started with content marketing and blogging, our SocialStrategy1 Q&A with our analyst Teri Guill offers you a few guidelines.
Jenny: Why should businesses blog? What are the benefits?
Teri: Blogging is a great addition to your marketing toolbox. It’s a way to share your insights and expertise. Including a blog in your content marketing strategy can help you establish yourself as an expert who is passionate and up to date in your industry, and it can help you build relationships with (and provide valuable information to) your various communities—customers and clients, employees, colleagues, fans.
Jenny: So, what advice would you offer to blogging beginners?
Teri: Well, just like any other part of your business, content marketing needs to have purpose and strategy behind it. Know your goals—what do you want to achieve with your blog? Have a plan and maintain an editorial calendar, but make it flexible enough to keep up to date with changes and trends you see in your business. And another key is patience—gaining a loyal readership takes time!
Jenny: Being a good writer is a definite asset for building a blog. Any tips on writing for a blog?
Teri: Finding your voice is important—establishing the right tone and personality, and being consistent in your writing. Also, remember that many web readers are “skimmers,” so make your blog posts easy to scan for the high points. Using headers, lists and bullet points can help with this.
A good blog both captures and keeps a reader’s attention. Writing snappy, sharp headlines can help spark their interest, and writing posts with passion can help keep their interest. And if they’re interested enough to comment at the end, make sure you engage with your readers, too.
Jenny: Social media, of course, is a great way to share your blog. How do you incorporate social media into your content marketing strategy?
Teri: Well, the key here is not just sharing, but engaging. Definitely promote your own blog if it’s relevant to your fans and followers, but don’t overpromote: you need a good balance of conversation and other content. Places like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks are awesome for extending your community and connections. This is where the golden rule of social media comes in—to effectively build a great community, you need to be a community member yourself! Read other thought leader and relevant blogs, and comment on them. Follow industry influencers, clients and colleagues on Twitter. Retweet them and share their content. Start and join conversations.
Your turn to weigh in: Are you a blogging newbie or a content marketing expert? What are your favorite tips and tricks for first-time bloggers?
Teri Guill is a Strategy Analyst with Social Strategy1 and helps clients with social media monitoring, reputation management and online strategy. Look for her posts monthly on the Social Strategy1 blog and connect with her on Twitter @teriguill.
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