December 28, 2011
Dave published this at 10:41 am
As your business winds down 2011 and looks forward to a fresh start, it is likely to review company practices for the past 12 months to see what worked, what did not work, and what flat out needs changing in 2012.
If your company blogs for its customers now is as good time as any to review the material you put out there for clients and others, seeing what is resonating with those who may end up putting money in your pocket.
In the event your company blog is getting little or no traffic at all, perhaps you can relate to those poor people down there in â€œWhooville,â€ those same folks who are targeted every year at this time by none other than The Grinch.
You see, The Grinch doesnâ€™t like happy things, one of which is a productive company blog that drives traffic to your Web site, increasing the chances of selling your products and/or services.
So how can you outsmart The Grinch at his own game?
Well, you need to:
- Set your blogging goals for 2012 â€“ What is it exactly that you seek to accomplish with your companyâ€™s blog? Are there clear intentions with the blog or are you just seeking to fill some space and/or producing a blog because others do it? Donâ€™t wander out into the cold aimlessly with your blog this winter, map out where you want it to go ahead of time;
- Peer in on some successful company blogs â€“ They say copying is the greatest form of flattery. While you do not want to duplicate a rivalâ€™s blog, you can certainly learn from them as to what is working and what is not. See how they interact in real-time with their customers, if they blog about industry trends and analysis, do they mention and/or offer special deals, coupons etc. through their blogs;
- Review your content â€“ No blog is successful if it contains stale and boring content. If your staff does not have the proper time to give to a blog, then you need to think twice about having it in the first place. The more successful blogs are those that provide relevant content, are updated frequently, have an appealing look to them and are rich in keywords that search engines will pick up on. If your company blog has trouble meeting some or all of those areas, you seriously need to rethink the purpose of having one;
- Balance communicating and sales â€“ If the company blog is just one big sales pitch, it will likely fall on deaf ears for the most part. You need to find the proper balance between selling and serving, i.e. the blog should provide informative material for your customers and potential clients, not be an advertorial time and time again. You will likely be in a tug-of-war between your marketing/editorial folks and the sales staff. The former will want to provide solid copy that offers relevant content, while the sales team will seek to turn the blog into one big sales pitch;
- Alter your posting times â€“ When posting your blog, alter the times it goes live to the public. Some helpful hints includeâ€¦. Fridays are a bad day to post because a lot of people have their minds off of work and turned towards the weekend. Then again, a blog centered on outdoor activities and purchases can be good for this time of the week. Tuesdays are generally considered a good day to post due to the fact Monday is out of the way and more attention is likely to be paid to it. Lastly, make sure to end the blog with a call to action so that customers and those potentially interested in your business have reason to respond;
- Lastly, use your blog to interact with customers â€“ Real-time interaction with customers is priceless, even when they are upset with you and your products and/or services. The one thing you need to remember is that not all businesses have company blogs, hence you have an additional means by which to interact with customers that they do not. Take advantage of that opportunity and speak to your customers on a regular basis.
Your companyâ€™s blog can be the envy of many other businesses if you devote the right time and resources to it.
Heck, even The Grinch would smile about that.
Photo credit: holderbaum.educationextras.com
Dave Thomas, who covers among other items home-based jobs, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.