(By Jacqui MacKenzie)
“The blog is your opportunity to reach out to your customers and provide them with in-depth, valuable information that they can’t find on your website. It allows you to connect and engage with them daily – answering questions, providing feedback and responding to comments. This interaction shows your commitment to building a community that benefits your business and your customers.“
We’ve all seen them – the company blog that is buried within the site map, with a single “Welcome” post that is three years old. Or the blog that is littered with bad grammar, typos or business jargon.
A bad company blog can give off the impression that you’re lazy, technology-challenged, or you think you’re smarter than your readers. No blog at all is better than a bad blog.
Writing a successful company blog takes time and effort. It’s a way to start, continue and strengthen a meaningful conversation about your business and your brand.
So what does a great company blog say about your business?
You care about your customers.
The blog is your opportunity to reach out to your customers and provide them with in-depth, valuable information that they can’t find on your website. It allows you to connect and engage with them daily – answering questions, providing feedback and responding to comments. This interaction shows your commitment to building a community that benefits your business and your customers.
You know what you’re talking about.
When you write comprehensively about industry-related topics, you can establish your company as a leading authority in your field. Let readers know that they can rely on you for sound advice, useful information and knowledgeable opinions – and they can count on your products and services, as well.
You’re not a dinosaur.
You should be sharing your blog through Twitter and Facebook. Being active through social media channels can help you connect even further with your audience, and lets readers know you’re up-to-date with current trends and always thinking forward.
You’re well-known and respected in the industry.
Networking with other bloggers in your niche can increase blog traffic and in turn, increase leads. Engage other industry thought leaders in the conversation – contributing guest posts for other prominent blogs, for example, can help you expand your blog’s reach even further.
You have the resources to create quality content and designs.
Readers can tell if you’ve created a company blog with no knowledge of Web design or copywriting. A well-designed, well-written blog is crucial to drawing attention to your blog and keeping it there, and demonstrates the ability and talent behind the scenes – whether you have a staff of designers and writers maintaining the site, or you have taken the time to learn these skills yourself.
Blogs allow for a more casual, personal tone than your company website. Your blog has a voice –your voice – to give readers a sense of the people behind the business. Don’t fill your posts with industry jargon or make your readers feel inferior; this will only repel readers from your blog and your business. A blog that reads like a friendly chat over coffee, containing stories with which readers can relate, makes your company seem more approachable.
Do you know what your company blog says about your business?
Jacqui MacKenzie is a writer for Straight North, one of the leading Internet marketing companies in Chicago. She writes for a wide range of clients, from merchant account providers for credit card processing restaurants to manufacturers of electrical gloves.