A good blog can do a lot of things for your business. In particular, it can drive traffic to your site and build brand awareness for your new startup—if you follow some best practices.
Here's how to use your startup's blog to raise your company's profile.
Using your startup's blog to boost site traffic
There are at least four ways you can lead visitors to your site with your blog content.
1. Search results.By writing about topics your audience is searching for, and by including those search keywords in a natural, readable way, you can win audience members who are looking for exactly what you deliver. Go beyond text keywords to ensure that each post's tags, SEO title, and other metadata align with the search results you're targeting.
2. Social media shares.When you know what your audience is interested in, you can write social media promo posts they'll be eager to click on, save, and share with their networks. Use the right hashtags and compelling images to boost your posts' share rates.
3. Other content platforms.Your startup's blog should be the only place your posts appear. Content-sharing platforms like Medium and LinkedIn, plus similar sites specific to your industry or audience, can deliver a bigger audience, earn more shares and lead to more site visits.
4. Signup forms.Develop a great looking email signup call to action button for your blog and convert some of those first-time visitors into subscribers. As your list grows, you'll have the potential to reach a larger audience with each post and email update.
Driving brand awareness with your blog
Big traffic is great, but only if it serves a larger purpose like building brand awareness for your new startup. Whatever your industry, niche, breakout product, or audience, there are two things every brand must establish to succeed: trustworthiness and expertise. Here's how you can use your blog to do it.
Becoming a trusted brand
To win the trust of investors, vendors, and especially potential customers, your brand needs to become familiar, demonstrate responsiveness, and earn social proof.
Blogging to build familiarity
You don't need to blog multiple times a day or even daily to build brand familiarity, but you do need to keep a regular schedule. Develop a format, tagline, and image style that your readers will quickly come to recognize, and stick with a set of hashtags that aligns with your goals. You may also want to set up a branded link account so you can share content from your blog and other sources. Your startup's branded links can increase the number of touchpoints your brand has with your audience.
Blogging to show responsiveness
Make sure you're blogging for your audience, not at your audience. Besides responding to comments on your blog and social media accounts, you can also build blog posts on reader questions, problems, and success stories.
Blogging to show social proof
People trust the brands that the people they trust trust. (Trust us on this one.) If your product or blog post gets a high-profile mention or share, blog out a thank-you note. Presenting at a trade show or symposium? Doing a local service project? Guest posting in a high-profile forum? Blog about events and accomplishments that demonstrate the trust you've earned from people in your industry.
How do you earn that trust in the first place? By using your blog to show you know your stuff.
Proving your startup's expertise
For entrepreneurs, this should be the easy part. After all, you're starting a business because you're smart, innovative, and want to help others. Your blog can be a place for your brand's expertise to shine, as long as you follow a couple of simple rules.
Mind the details. Would you sign a 6-figure contract with a business whose website is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors? Would you want to invest with a CEO whose blog posts contain even small factual errors?
This is why your 6th grade English teacher was so tough on you – she knew someday you'd present great ideas to the world, and she wanted people to judge your ideas on their merits, not your spelling. Have someone else look over your copy before you hit “publish” to check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Check every fact in your post and include citations to back them up. If you're not a natural writer, use some of your startup scratch to hire a copywriter or an agency to write your blog, based on your topics and ideas.
Remember that your startup's blog is really about your audience. Yes, your new product has lots of amazing features that set it apart from the competition, but does your audience want all the technical details? Some emphasis on innovative features and processes helps define your brand, but your blog needs to consistently show the benefits of those features for your audience. Focus on what your audience searches for and how your startup delivers for them.
Those are the basics. Create good posts that build trust and prove your expertise and then help your audience find them through search, social, email, and other channels. As with everything digital, track your results. Over time, you'll see that certain blog topics perform better than others and that some social channels or content platforms deliver the best results. Use that data to continuously improve your blog to keep building your brand and growing your audience.
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