When used regularly and wisely, blogs are useful tools for driving two-way communication with audiences. Over the years, Axia Public Relations’ team members have fielded questions about the relevance of blogs and whether businesses should even bother, given concerns surrounding time investment and lack of topics. In short, it’s important to view your blog as an active extension of your business. To help with content creation, we’re sharing another short list of ideas to inspire blog neophytes.
1. Host a contest. Hosting a contest can be a fun way to build and maintain interest in your business. If you operate a chain of fitness studios, you could ask your followers to submit stories about their best gym experiences and reward the winner with a free gym membership. Or the owner of a restaurant chain could ask readers to share their least favorite recipes, which staff chefs can then re-imagine into successful treats that all would enjoy. Contests are a creative way to engage and involve readers and also do a bit of self-promotion. Be aware that most contests require full disclosure of rules, so be mindful of this element as you create your campaign/posts.
2. Create and post a video tutorial. Using available video applications (YouTube, etc.), any business can easily create and post blog videos using a simple smartphone. Video summaries of written posts are a great idea for any company, but you can also make and post instructional videos. Perhaps you are a manufacturer of pet doors. Given various styles, measurements, etc., a “How to Measure” tutorial video would likely attract a lot of views. Recruit a member of your staff to demonstrate how to properly measure for easy installation and then upload the video to your blog.
3. Design and post an infographic. Graphic imagery is not only more eye-catching than plain text; it is also much easier to share across highly visual digital platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. Using online tools (like Canva), any company can create useful infographics on topics specific to its business or industry. For example, if your business is coconuts, create an infographic map of where in the country you send your largest-volume shipments on an annual basis. These quick-view graphics can extend your blog reach through social media channels and inspire additional followers and link-backs.
4. Invite guest bloggers. Seasoned bloggers are super smart to leverage this form of creative content creation as it costs them little in the way of time and energy. Regardless of your industry, there are many others who can bring a fresh perspective or unique angle to yours. Invite others to guest-post about topics they are passionate about; this will add even more flair to your blog and may even net additional followers. Make certain that you give those you invite proper appreciation (a thank-you and promise to share the post over social media is basic courtesy) and avoid posting multiple guest posts at one time. Mix things up and do guest posts once a month or once a quarter, maximum.
5. Highlight your customers. Testimonials and those who deliver them are valuable currency in business and the basis for your professional reputation. The first step is to know what people are saying about you. Positive word of mouth, combined with industry success, provides a potent mix of creative content that, once shared in blogs, further extends your brand and reputation and, at the same time, supports and highlights important clients. For example, a business specializing in bathroom remodels may want to take “before and after” photos of a recently completed job (with permission) and complete at least one blog post about the client, what she wanted, what the company did, the budget and, of course, the results.
To maximize the benefits of your blog, it is important for it to remain active, fresh and engaging. When content seems absent, just look around for inspiration. Leverage graphics, video, testimonials, topical news and even your FAQs to support all business areas. To learn more about how to both support and extend the reach of your neatly crafted blog across social media, download Axia’s social media management guide.
Wendy Bulawa Agudelo has more than 15 years of experience in technology, business, consumer and non-profit public relations. In addition to serving on the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress PR Task Force, Wendy enjoys cooking and rooting for her favorite New England teams.
Featured image credit: 123rf.com