In my 12+ years in the Internet marketing industry, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a company (in any industry) that couldn’t benefit from launching a business blog. SEO thrives on the consistent production of quality, engaging content. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is King” getting thrown a lot, mostly because it’s true! A business blog is just one piece of a well-defined content marketing campaign, although it is arguably one of the most valuable components.
Some of the major benefits of a business blog include:
- Educate current and potential customers
- Define a company “voice”
- Increase online brand presence (each post can rank in the search engines)
- Generate links and grow traffic
- Build reputation as industry expert
- and more…
However, like just about everything in life, getting something of value means you have to put in a lot of work. One of the biggest complaints I hear from my clients is that they don’t have anything to write about. Without new, unique topics fueling your blog, it’s dead in the water. I’d rather a client never launched a business blog than create one and leave it stagnant!
Most of the time I can come up with half a dozen different topic ideas for my clients during our phone conversation, simply because I see every piece of information as a potential blog post! The trick to coming up with new content topics is to not over think it and use what you’ve got to your advantage.
One of the biggest assets any company can have is their “front line” employees. Your front line employees are the people who deal with your customers (both current and potential) on a daily basis. They are your sales team, customer service representatives, cashiers and floor staff—and they know your target audience inside and out. This makes them a veritable fountain of content topics.
Next time you’re brainstorming topics for your blog or guest articles, call in one of your customer service representatives. What questions do they routinely hear from your customers? Are they about your products, your company or your industry? These are questions coming directly from your target audience which means they are looking for the information and are unable to find it. You have the opportunity to become their go-to resource! For instance, do some of your customers call because they need help installing the latest version of your software? Write how-to post (or series of posts!) guiding them through the process.
Ask members of your sales team to keep a pad of paper at the ready when they are on the phone with a potential customer. How do they position your product as the solution to a potential customer’s needs and problems? That’s a blog topic. What is your competitive advantage? That’s a blog topic. Who would benefit the most from your product or services? That’s a blog topic too!
In addition to your front line employees, every department in your company is going to have a unique perspective on the same situation. For instance, the members of your product development team are going to approach/describe your product in an entirely different way than your marketing manager. Use those unique perspectives to your advantage and create blog posts that attack a topic from every angle. This will help make your content appeal to a broader audience and keep your blog from getting stale and repetitive.