How to Increase Traffic to Your Brand Blog and Grow Your Audience
The first thing that I do with any new client is to see if they have a blog. If they do, I read it to gauge what they are doing correctly and what they could improve. Much of the time brands, especially smaller ones create a blog as a taken because they read somewhere that they should be doing that sort of thing. These ‘token blogs’ often serve as dumping grounds for company news, sales pitches and SEO-fodder. They tend to have little to no engagement and a quick check on Analytics shows a mere trickle of traffic.
Having a well-read blog is now a cornerstone in gaining new customers and forging loyal ones out of your current customers. It shouldn’t be written for search engines - it should be written for people.
“They don’t want to be force fed your latest products - that’s what the rest of your website is for”
Begin with looking at the sort of content you are putting out on your blog. The key question you need to ask yourself is whether your content will make its readers better people. Are you being helpful by addressing your customer pain points? Are you aiding your readers in some way that can help build them as a person? That doesn’t mean you need to fill your blog with guides - entertaining posts have a positive impact on the reader, even if there are no educational takeaways. But nobody wants to know that you were recently featured in a magazine unless it’s useful to the reader. They don’t want to be force fed your latest products - that’s what the rest of your website is for.
Then, look at your tone of voice. Brand blog can predictably have a corporate voice. This is safe, but not engaging. Blogs should have personality, so instead of writing as a faceless company, put staff faces to posts. Readers will be far more interested in what you have to say if you’re at their level. Humanising your blog is one of the most important things you can do, and it may only take a small incentive to get your staff writing for you.
“Thank people for posting positive comments and ask what they would like to see from the blog”
Next you should be getting the word out through social media. Twitter can be great if you’re ready to engage your customers and not just spam blog post after blog post on your timeline. This will make you look like a machine, and nobody wants that. If your customer-base can be mostly found on Facebook then post it there and don’t forget to engage. Don’t just leave the content sitting there - thank people for posting positive comments and ask what they would like to see from the blog in the future. StumbleUpon is also a great tool for getting your content discovered, but only put your best stuff on there. While you’re at it, make sure you have social sharing buttons on your blog.
If you have a company newsletter (and you should) then do a weekly blog post round up and send out to your subscribed customers. Sometimes great content can be the difference between a potential customer who has signed up to your newsletter out of curiosity and a sale.
Finally, consider reshaping some of your more popular blog posts into different kinds of content. Got some great B2B internet security advice? Consider writing a whitepaper, a Slideshare show or even hosting a video Q&A on Google Hangouts. Never let your content rest - if it’s truly good content then you can spin multiple pieces out of it or even create a whole campaign.