Maintaining a blog is one of the best things you can do for your business’s online presence. In addition to increasing traffic and widening your audience, it can also be a great opportunity to develop real connections with your consumers. The best business blogs are the ones that engage with their readers on a personal level and put a human face to their brand. Talking to consumers in a genuine way is often what sets a blog apart from others.
This task, however, is often harder than it sounds.
Some businesses spend months, even years maintaining a blog and never achieve the viewership or interaction goals they had originally set. Having a successful blog is not simply a matter of putting out as much content as possible. It’s about addressing the needs of your audience to keep them engaged with your site over time.
There are a variety of factors that make a blog stand out to its audience and keep readers interested and entertained, as well as helping them feel informed. Below is a guide on how to optimize on these aspects to set yourself apart from other business bloggers in your industry and keep your posts engaging to your readers.
Business Blogging: Look and Layout Affect Engagement
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to keep your content engaging has nothing to do with the content itself. When someone clicks on your page, the first thing that will catch their eye is the aesthetics. Colors, fonts and overall layout should be strategically set up to be compelling and attention-grabbing. Additionally, the content should be laid out on the page in a way that looks inviting. The last thing a reader wants to see is a page full of large paragraphs with no breaks. Long reads are daunting.
However, if your post is a longer one, consider including a table of contents. That way your reader can easily sort through it and pick which parts jump out at them. It also increases the interactivity, allowing readers to actively engage with your content.
Another way to improve the aesthetic is with images. Did you know that blogs with lots of pictures and graphs get nearly double the views? Including images helps keep the reader’s attention and break up the piece into bite-sized chunks. Just be sure the pictures you find online and use are in the public domain, or that you have proper permissions to use them. Some great sites for getting free, high-quality stock images are Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels. If you can afford it, I also suggest investing in a monthly subscription to Adobe Stock, where you can get unlimited access to thousands of free high-quality images.
Business Blogging: Strategic Headlines Help Engagement
When it comes to business blogging, headlines are an important tool to use strategically. The headers above the content, rather than just the content itself, should be engaging enough to make the reader want to see more. This means that they need to be more than just summaries.
If all you do in the header is paraphrase, in fewer words, what the content says, your viewers will have no need to actually read the content. We’ve all stumbled upon articles like this–where the headline gives everything away and the content is basically there to fill up space. It’s a common mistake, especially when writing step-by-step guides or cataloging various products or services. The reader will see the item in the headline, skip the content and move on.
In order to prevent this, use this analogy: your headline is to the question as your content is to the answer. In other words, your headline should arouse curiosity, rather than satisfy it. That way the viewer is compelled to continue reading to find out more.
Business Blogging: Staying Relevant Affects Engagement
As a business blogger, staying up-to-date on the latest trends in your industry is important if you want to engage with a wider audience.
Now, this does not mean that you should always follow the trends and write about the same things that others in your industry are writing about. But you should always be aware of these things so that you can make an informed choice about whether you want to chime in on the topic. Keep up to date on current events as these are often the topics that keep readers most engaged.
One tactic some business bloggers use is to try to be one of the first to jump on a trend. By doing this, your readers may begin coming to your site as their main source of industry information.
On the other hand, some bloggers are more choosy about which current events to discuss and only write about things that their brand can offer a unique spin on. Remember–don’t be afraid to be opinionated. If you want to highlight your unique brand position, you may have to bring some strong opinions to the table. You can’t please everyone, and sometimes, controversial topics are ones that get the most buzz.
Business Blogging: Being Useful Helps Engagement
As mentioned above, one tactic that can help engagement is to be a trusted source of industry information. While some readers are there simply to be entertained, others are interested in learning or gaining some new knowledge on the topic. Understand your audience so you can cater to what they want.
Once you address your readers’ needs, tell them exactly how you can help them–whether you say this directly or not. Show them that you have wisdom to share, not just in one particular post, but in your overall blog. Then follow through with your promise. Enlighten your readers. Leave them feeling more knowledgeable, educated and informed than they were before. You are the expert, so let your blog posts prove this to them.
Business Blogging: Being Personal Helps Engagement
It’s been said before but we will say it again: your business blog should reveal your unique brand position.
When writing a blog post, keep a strong sense of your brand’s personality in mind. You should be able to answer with certainty what makes your blog unique. What distinguishes it from other business blogs in the industry?
Perhaps you cover certain kinds of topics in more detail than others, or you have a unique way of propositioning solutions to perceived problems, or you use a lot of personal stories and imagery to get your points across. Whatever it is, own your individual style and align it with your brand personality. One thing to remember when business blogging is to keep your writing voice conversational rather than formal. Yes, you are their trusted industry expert, but you should also be their friend. Your readers should feel like they are talking with someone on their own level.
You are the voice of the industry that they can count on. Be authentic. After all, a big reason blogging works so well to engage with readers is it puts a human face to the brand. Use this perk to your advantage. Be personal, be genuine, and, most importantly, be human.
Overall, the point we are trying to make is this: in order to be engaging, you must write not just for your target audience, but to them. Speak their language, both verbally and visually. Anticipate and address their needs. Be a source they can trust, depend on, and grow loyalty toward. Let them come to your website with their guard down, knowing that they can rely on you to both inform and entertain them, to both enlighten and connect with them. Give them something useful and interesting that they can take with them. If you follow this guideline for making your blog posts more engaging, you will begin to establish and/or deepen your relationship with your audience, which will vastly increase the effectiveness of your business’s blog.
Did you know that business blogging is a big part of our work here at SocialNicole? Writing and publishing our blog is part of our own social media marketing plan, and as a leading social media agency, we know blogging inside and out! Want to learn more of what we have to offer you and your business in the world of blogging and digital marketing? We would love to hear from you. Contact us today about partnering with us to take your business’s social media presence to the next level.