Your company blog is an important marketing tool for reaching out to your customers. However, it can have an opposite effect on them if it's not used correctly. New bloggers often fall prey to some advice that at first seems pretty good. However, seasoned bloggers warn that some of the advice is, well, bad.
A blog should stand out as a means for readers—your customers—to see your company, its brand, and its products in an approachable format. It’s a chance for customers to get to know your company on a more social level, but not to the extent that it becomes too casual. Your blog is an extension of your company and should retain a sense of professionalism. It’s a powerful way to draw customers in, so make sure it doesn’t push them away.
Here’s a list of some of that not-so-good advice and how you can avoid making your blog repulsive to readers.
Write like you talk
Writing like you talk is often misconstrued as “write like you talk to your friends.” While it's true that blogging is a more social way of writing, there’s an art to how you deliver your message. On one hand, readers may struggle in deciphering your company’s jargon. On the other, they may already be aware of company lingo, so take care that your tone of voice doesn’t come across as condescending.
Your customers want to be included, like in a classroom discussion, in the learning of information. Readers respond when they are drawn in to the conversation but turned off when they feel as if they are mere observers or outsiders. Additionally, take care that you aren’t too casual either. As mentioned before, you want to keep things professional.
Draw your readers in with curiosity headlines
Curiosity headlines are those that drive a lot of clicks. Upon reading the headline, your customer immediately begins to look forward to all of the juicy information your post contains. Use curiosity headlines judiciously. If you pique your readers’ interest with headlines that generate curiosity, be sure the post that follows the headline doesn’t disappoint. You don’t want your readers’ interest to wane after the first line, and you especially don’t want your readers to read the entire post and then realize it doesn’t match what they thought they were getting. If their curiosity isn’t satisfied, the chance that they will return to read your posts is slim. If it is satisfied, they will want to return to your blog for more.
Invite your readers to take action
Calling your readers to action–asking them to sign up for your email list or newsletter, or to follow you on various social media websites–is a great practice, but if you ask your readers to subscribe to your list or newsletter, make sure it offers them something new and exclusive, not simply a recap of what’s already on your blog. If you ask readers to follow you on your social media websites, be sure to stay up-to-date with your tweets and posts and, again, offer your customers a taste of something other than what’s on your blog. There is no need to visit your blog if your customers are already getting the information from your other marketing sources.
Provide links to additional content
Similar to the advice above, providing links to additional content can be a great strategy, but it can prove overwhelming for your readers if not given some thought. Whenever you provide a link, your reader is being taken away from your post, so make sure they have a reason to return. This is important. You have taken the time to write and provide valuable information for your customers, and if you take them away from your blog, they should still be compelled to come back. The additional content link you direct them to should be highly relatable to your post and should generate questions your post will answer. Additionally, don’t provide so many additional links that the reader gets frustrated and leaves your post altogether.
Blog every day
You want your company to be visible and have a strong presence in the online community. It would be great if your customers visited your site every day. Additionally, you want your blog to be up-to-date with the best your company has to offer. However, don’t waste your readers’ time by posting articles that are not relatable, informational, or helpful simply for the sake of posting daily. Readers prefer waiting a day or two to read quality content as opposed to reading an article that turns out to be uninformative. This is one of those situations where “quality over quantity” is a true statement. If your blog is filled with “fluff,” then your customers won't trust your blog, even when good content is posted.
A recurring theme in all of this deconstructed advice is trust. You want your readers to see your company in the most positive light. You want them to trust your blog, so trust them as readers. Use your blog as a way to communicate with your customers on a level plane where both parties are, even if in different roles, equal. When your blog reaches out to customers, there is a better chance of them taking hold.
Do you have tips on how to be a better blogger? Please comment below! (And we'll respond!)
September 4, 2015
Thank you for your feedback! Lindsay