In my last post I talked about the kinds of things you want to write. No selling. Focus on sharing information, developing your voice, giving back to your customers, etc. Now I’d like to talk about HOW to go about presenting that information. First and foremost, don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of posts to attract different types of customers.
What do I mean by different types of posts? Go out and browse some other blogs to get ideas. Keep in mind that they don’t have to be in your field. You aren’t looking to be inspired by the content, but rather it’s presentation. You are not constricted to only posting a few paragraphs of text. Experiment with different types of blog posts and then go back and measure which got the best results. Which got the most hits? Which got the most customer comments?
I’ll give you some examples of popular varieties:
-Lists. If you’re a cupcake shop, list links to your favorite recipes or your favorite ingredients to work with. List your most memorable business moments. List the inspirations that got you started with your business. And so on. Take a look at List.ly to get some ideas and to see how this can positively impact your social media.
-Case Studies. Even though they might seem to be geared towards law or medicine, case studies are useful for a wide variety of fields.
-Roundups. Recap information you have shared, things going on in your field, etc. It is a good way to give readers a quick overview of what is going on with your business or industry.
-Contests or polls. This is a great way to engage readers. Find out what your customers want, their interests and what they care about, particularly as it relates to your industry.
-Infographics. Graphs, charts and other kinds of graphics have become widely popular throughout social media. They are great visual aids to presenting information about your industry, and as the majority of people are visual learners, will encourage them to read on.
-Videos. These involve a little more work and money, but are a great way to get internet buzz. Don’t be afraid to share videos someone else created that you think are relevant, just make sure you note where the video is from.
-Podcasts. You can do a variety of things with podcasts. Back to the cupcake shop example, make a video of yourself making cupcakes from scratch. All you really need is the camera most computers already have internally. Introduce some of your employees or customers. Show your business in action. Podcasts don’t have to look super professional or expertly produced. They just provide another way for customers to get to know you.
-Images are another great thing to include in your posts. You can include screenshots from your computer. Whether you have a Mac or a PC, googling “screenshots” will immediately tell you what you need to do. There are also programs like Paparazzi (for Mac) or WebSnapShot that can help you with more complicated things. For photos that you haven’t taken yourself, look in Flickr or Google Image Search and look for Creative Commons licensed pictures. These are free, you only need to credit the photographer. The great thing with images and videos is that search engines love them and they are more likely to rise to the top when someone is searching for your subject.
Another option for larger businesses is to have multiple authors writing and sharing content. This can be a little tricky, as you need to have a plan in place. Don’t force your employees to write – find people who want to do it and are enthusiastic about coming up with content and new ideas. Make a posting schedule and make content guidelines. Make sure you proof-read the first couple of posts and clear things before they are published online.
Finally, you want to use SEO-friendly keywords in your posts and blog titles, so that it is easier for customers to find you through a search engine. Using a tool like Google Adwords Keyword Tool will help clue you in to what your stats are and what they should be. Don’t simply write out a string of SEOs, but when you revise your text, make sure key words are included. Pick 5 or 6 words that you think are the most relevant. Most blogging services provide a section on the side to tag keywords or to add SEO. Make sure you take advantage of this.