A company blog is a great way to engage your customers, showcase your company and demonstrate your industry expertise to prospects. However, you have to provide useful, engaging content for the platform to have real use.
Good blogs are a goldmine of value for both your readers and your company. To learn what successful online writers include on their company blog, we asked 17 startup founders and YEC members for suggestions.
A Solution to Their Biggest Problem
Customers come to you to solve a problem — what is it? Use your blog to help them solve this problem. Start with the most common questions your customers ask you and make each blog post a useful, easy-to-understand explanation. Basing your blog on real customer queries will ensure you’re writing content that they actually want to read.
Detailed How-To Videos
How-to content is incredibly valuable, and video is often the most popular format for this kind of content. Ask your sales or marketing team what the biggest problems or most popular questions are, not just about your product but within your industry as a whole.
Visual Stories and Infographics
People respond to posts that are visual, so including not just your story to explain where you came from, but also demonstrating your effectiveness as a company through an infographic will take you far. These are the kind of things that get reblogged — I would even go as far as hiring a graphic designer to do it up for you. Trust me, it works!
Your Vision and Mission
Presumably, you are spending a lot of time solving a hairy problem that is valuable to someone. What is the problem, who does it affect, why is it painful, what is your vision for a solution, why does it change the world, and why should people care? Sell the dream and sell the vision. People are inspired by vision and someone taking on the world.
What They’ve Asked For
Ask your customers and prospects what they want to read about. While you might have an idea, you might be missing out on a bigger topic that they’re interested in. You don’t really know until you ask.
– Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.
People read blogs to get solutions or expand knowledge about topics they are already familiar with. Creating something that helps a person fix a problem empowers them to be independent. That is one of the best features of the Internet, and a big part of why people use it. They want information that empowers them to make life easier or better.
Educational, Informational Content
Focus on educational, informational content that isn’t promotional. Also, address what needs you see when working with clients. What are their pain points? What do they care about most? Always consider how you can provide information that alleviates pain points and fills a need. That’s what the best content does.
Reverse Engineer Your Competitor’s Best Content
Find content from your competitors that has already done well. Take what you find and make it even better. You can find the top content from your competitors by going to Moz’s Open Site Explorer and plugging in a competitor’s website. Click the Top Pages tab, find the content with the most links, and you’ll discover the content customers will actually care about.
The more numbers, the better. CEOs and decision makers are going to want their information fast and easy. Industry stats that are relevant to your buyers are the easiest way to get their attention. “5 Stats that Will…” or “The 11 Stats that You….” Titles like that quickly inform the reader that what’s inside is relevant to them.
Your Personal Side
A great way to get customers to read about your company is to supplement your article with a photo of you. In addition to the service and products you provide, customers want to see YOU, the creator, the person who is going to solve all their problems. It’s why successful business owners, from Steve Jobs to the owner of your local dry cleaner, are able to connect with their consumers on a deeper level.
Write About Your Why
One thing customers and prospects will actually want to read about on your company blog is your “why.” Simon Sinek talks about this and calls it the “golden circle.” To find your “why,” answer these questions: What’s your purpose or cause? What do you believe in? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Lastly, why should anyone care? People care more about what you believe than what you do
Whatever People Ask on Your Sales Calls
Take notes on what people ask on sales calls. Use those questions to craft your first articles. Don’t make it a Q&A about your company, but instead use the questions to educate your potential customers on the industry as a whole and how your company fits into the mix. Use the blog to educate and engage first, and sell second.
Not Your Product
We’re a software company. Our releases are very exciting to us, but our readers and customers want to know the problems our software can solve. Our blog is a place where we write interesting stories that just happen to use our software to draw conclusions.
Short Customer Success Stories
People crave storytelling, and that is doubly true in marketing. Craft your message around success stories that weave in your most critical value propositions so that your potential customers can picture themselves as actual customers and emotionally connect with what you can do for them.
Surprise your readers by writing a well-balanced blog post about how you compare to your competition. If they’re better than you at something, admit to it. Writing an article like this will also force you to honestly self-evaluate your company. What are you doing better or worse than your competition. Transparency is almost always a good thing in the long run.
Stories About and by Real People
People want to know what motivates those around them and hear stories about their successes and failures. We have a section of our blog called The CPXians, which allows our employees to write about anything they want — life hacks, personal career journeys, “pro tips” on impressing clients, predictions, etc. Our marketing team publishes what fits our brand voice and we keep our site visitors engaged.
– Mike Seiman, CPXi
An Explanation of Industry Lingo
If you work in a highly technical industry or one that has lots of acronyms or industry jargon, simplify your content by providing a blog post that educates the reader on your industry. That way, when they call you to discuss your services, they can feel confident they are speaking your language.
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