The idea of starting a company blog nowadays is quite a popular one. Look online and you’ll find that leading brands such as Innocent, Argos, Whole Foods and even Tesco are managing to create a social hub around what they do, maintaining customer trust by keeping them informed and offering useful, engaging content.
But many smaller businesses with much less market share are hesitant to start a company blog, for various reasons. In the same way that social media was once dismissed by leaders as an unnecessary extra to their marketing efforts, brand blogging currently remains a pool of the unknown into which businesses are afraid to dip their toes.
However, many reasons for not blogging are simply down to either a lack of understanding about the platform, or a result of negative conjecture from the ones who executed it badly.
Here are some common myths about brand blogging you shouldn’t believe.
1. ‘There’s not enough to write about.’
Not knowing what to write about is perhaps the first and most common stumbling block for brands wanting to start a blog. The important thing to remember is that your blog doesn’t have to be limited, as long as you’re aware of your target audience (the people you’d like to be able to sell to) and will be posting things likely to be of interest to them.
Product guides, monthly round-ups, top-ten lists and tips are all easy, recyclable templates for producing content your audience is bound to be drawn to. Keep it relevant to your industry or field, and perhaps pay special attention to the kinds of problems or challenges your customers are likely to face on a day-to-day basis.
If you’re trying to bring a more transparent, human element to your brand, maybe you can give weekly insights into the goings-on of your office or workplace, and even hone in on individual employees who can share their own tips and advice. Be sure to stay in the know about ongoing developments in your field, so you can be the first to inform your customers when something changes. This will help them to see your brand as a reliable authority figure, and builds trust.
For some examples of brands that are doing a great job of content, click here.
2. ‘It’s just another advertising platform we don’t need.’
You might think that with SEO, PPC, and possibly video ad campaigns, your company is all set for the marketing side of things. But a corporate blog shouldn’t just be seen as ‘another marketing tool’. It’s so much more than that – it’s a way for you to open up to your readers; establish your brand identity and build up a long-term relationship with customers both new and old.
It’s here too that many business leaders make the other mistake of only using their blog to talk about their own products and processes. Not only will this bore customers to death and probably make them lose interest over time; it also yields little benefit in the long term. Customers will buy from brands usually by the way they make them feel – whether this is through TV adverts; shop window displays; social media banter or the type of content they push out through their blog. It doesn’t matter how much you tell your customers how great your new product is – they need more from you before they can believe it.
3. ‘It brings no direct reader-to-customer conversions.’
This one isn’t technically a myth. It’s true that blogging is a difficult tool to measure when it comes to customer conversions. However, the fault lies with businesses seeing conversions as the main goal in the first place.
When somebody reads your blog for the first time, the chances are they won’t immediately buy a product there and then. But if the same reader has been finding themselves drawn to your blog time and time again (for information, advice, or maybe just entertainment), who will they think of first next time they need a product or service in your niche? It’s true that blogging doesn’t bring fast results when it comes to increasing sales, but it will steadily bring results in many other ways you may not have considered. These include:
- Building the authority of your website, leading to higher rankings on Google and therefore more organic web traffic
- More exposure of your brand through higher rankings
- Bigger and stronger brand identity, helping customers to really relate with you
- More shares on social media, if you post content your readers really like
- Insight into your most popular products and topics, which lets you know what customers want more of
- Encouraging customers not to just choose your brand, but to stick around and give you their repeat business.
4. ‘It requires too much time/resources/manpower.’
Another frequent reason for leaders writing off the blog idea is that they don’t believe they’d have the time or manpower to make it a success. But the truth is, managing a company blog really doesn’t take much upkeep, if you know how to do it efficiently.
There are a few ways to go about producing and scheduling blog content on a regular basis. One way is to delegate a post per week or per month to every member of your team, so everybody can choose a topic they feel is relevant and contribute individually. This could be sharing updates about current business projects, or putting together some tips or advice on a recurring challenge your customers are facing. If you choose to do it this way, make sure your team members are all competent writers; otherwise have posts checked by a resident copywriter to keep grammar, spelling and discourse in check.
Secondly, you could outsource a copywriter with experience writing content in your field, to deliver a company post every week or month. Not only does this help take the strain off for a minimal cost; it also won’t be eating into anybody else’s time. However, it’s advised that all ideas and topics are still discussed within your team and that the content writer is fully briefed before posting. If your blog is to properly convey your true brand image, you’ll want to have as much control as possible over what’s being pushed out there.