For small and offline businesses to remain competitive in their respective industries, they must go beyond their usual marketing strategies of using print brochures and business cards to maximize their advertising efforts. This explains why blogging has become more and more prevalent in the promotion of brick and mortar businesses.
However, it takes more than just publishing a blog post to market your offline business. You need to work within a content publishing schedule, use online tools to aid you in reaching out to your customers, and find new ideas to test and implement in your business.
Below are content marketing tips that allow you to map out a sound and doable plan.
1. List down promos and events for your business
Take note of your company’s special events and establish the content for your blog. Create a yearly calendar using a spreadsheet and input the name of the events and the covered dates to have a concrete schedule to follow.
2. Create an editorial calendar
Creating a blog lets you publish company news, announcements, and helpful articles for your customers and potential clients to see. However, blogs without careful planning tend to get ignored by businesses. Without regular updates on their blogs, they lose their credibility, as well as potential customers or brand advocates online.
The trick here is to stick with your publishing schedule so that readers would only learn more about your business, but also develop a habit of visiting your blog regularly for great content. The premise here, therefore, is for you to craft unique and relevant articles to be published on your blog on a consistent basis.
Using the information seen on your spreadsheet of special events, you will be able to determine the kinds of content to be written on your blog. For sales, you can list down tips on how your customers can use the products on sale in your company. For events, mention the incentives that they will receive once attending your show or function.
If you have no events or sales to promote for that day, publish helpful and usable content that will nonetheless provide readers with practical information that they can use in their everyday lives while still keeping your business in mind.
Ideally, your content must persuade readers to visit your shops and purchase your products, if not convert them into brand advocates. Keep these in mind while composing your content plan on your calendar using a spreadsheet.
3. Publish posts diligently
There is no exact figure as to how many posts you should publish on your blog every week. One thing you won’t have to do, however, is to update your blog every single day of the week just for the sake of putting out new content.
You have to be aware that your blog is an extension of your business – the posts found on your blog can affect the perception people have for your business. Publishing haphazard content on your blog with reckless abandon may damage not only your blog, but also the image of your brand.
Suffice to say, quality trumps quantity every time.
The point of writing for your blog is to put out fresh and useable content in the best possible manner so users can refer to in the future as a valuable resource. Therefore, publishing as low as a post every week is fine as long as it features unique and helpful content about your niche or industry.
4. Do your research
Link or refer to authoritative sources to lay down the groundwork of your post. Read different articles online about the topic to have a better grasp of what people think or say about it. From here, you can formulate your own approach and concept as to how you plan to write your blog post.
5. Write hypnotic headlines
Users click to read your blog post depending on how the title is written. Emphasize on the advantages that readers will get upon reading your article or create an air of mystery to your post through your title. Although these should mesmerize users to check out your post, also ensure that the content delivers the promise of your title.
To get a better idea on how to write your headlines, Copyblogger has published a set of posts for this particular topic entitled “How to Write Magnetic Headlines.”
6. Be exhaustive as possible
Although brevity is the soul of wit, going overboard with your blog posts has its benefits. Making your content as epic as possible lets you cover a lot of ground about the topic, allowing you to target a wider audience.
7. Deviate from the norm
Provide information not featured on other published pages. A quick Google search should show you the most popular information about your topic. You can either rewrite the ideas to put your own twist to them or write an entirely new idea in reaction to the popular ones to get a reaction. This helps your post stand out from the rest.
8. Dare to be different
Content that is “safe,” i.e. offers little or no resistance to popular belief, is barely read. Since you are writing about a position that you share with everybody, there is no point in reading it. Therefore, turn the tables around by attacking the opinion of the many. Make a compelling case using substantial arguments to not only get people to read your post, but also persuade them to take your side and spread the word!
9. Target one keyword per post
SEO-friendly content contains keywords to increase their rankings on search results for specific terms. However, targeting multiple keywords in your content is similar to multitasking: by aiming to rank for all your keywords in a single post, you end up ranking for nothing. Instead, focus on one keyword for every post to maximize your rankings for a particular term.
- Zemanta –Let this blog publishing assistant help you find commercial-free images and related links to be featured for your blog post. The plugin appears on the sidebar of the editing page.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – Arguably the most robust SEO plugin for WordPress, this lets you set your focus keyword, view the page analysis of your post following the best SEO practices, and customize on-page SEO factors for your blog.
- “100 Blog Post Ideas (Turn Your Brainstorming to Autopilot)” by Sean Platt – Coming up with new topics for your blog post can get demanding, which is why this post will help you come up with endless ideas to be included in your editorial calendar.
10. Write for others
In line with developing your audience, you must reach out to other bloggers and write guest posts for their blog. Use the search operators when using Google to find relevant blogs within your industry that allows for guest posting. You could also sign up for an account at MyBlogGuest or BlogDash to pitch your content proposal directly to blog owners.
Aside from receiving an inbound link to your blog for SEO purposes, you form a bridge with other bloggers for a long-term guest posting spot on their blog. This also allows you to lengthen your reach to an untapped market segment that you could encourage them to purchase from your stores through your posts.
11. Accommodate your audience
What you set out to achieve with your content marketing for your blog is to gain a solid readership. This consists of brand advocates and potential clients of your business who frequent your blog because they have become fans of your content, if not your products or services, through the posts you have written.
However, instead of them constantly visiting your blog for new posts, you can make it easier for your readers to know if you have made updates. Below are ways to do this:
- Set up an RSS feed – Really Simple Syndication (RSS) lets you syndicate your content automatically online. Your readers then can subscribe to your feed to receive blog updates using their RSS reader of choice.
- Set up a newsletter – Instead of using an RSS reader to receive your latest blog posts, your readers can sign up using their e-mail addresses for updates.
- Create social media accounts – Keeping in touch with your fans and followers using your Twitter and Facebook fan page and build longer lasting and more intimate relationships with your audience.
For the first two, you can sign up on FeedBurner or MailChimp for free to create an RSS feed or newsletter for your blog. Once you have created an account, you can display a link on the sidebar or header area of your blog so users will easily see where to sign up to receive your updates.
How about you? Do you have “killer” content marketing tips that you’d like to share? Let everyone know how they can boost their offline businesses through their blogs by commenting below!