As part of a content marketing strategy, blog posts are powerful tools for driving traffic to your website, building your brand, and gaining trust amongst your customers.
By addressing your customers’ common interests in a blog – and answering their queries before they have to ask – you’ll soon be considered a source of knowledge, or a thought leader, in that area. This means that people will look to your blog for advice on certain areas, which will encourage brand loyalty and trust amongst your audience, and save you time answering queries in the long-run.
To come up with blog content which is valuable for both your existing and potential customers, think about what they might want to ask you before they book a visit. Alternatively, think about what you’re most confident talking to them about in person – for example, if you’re a hotel in St Ives, you might feel most qualified to write about the best beaches in St Ives, or the best restaurants with a view in west Cornwall.
If you’re unsure and need a starting point, a handy tool to use is Google Trends, which allows you to input a term that you’re familiar with, (a good example for the above business would be “St Ives”), and be given a wealth of alternative ideas that can form the basis of a blog.
Creating high-quality, regular blog content that’s relevant and valuable to your customers should increase traffic to your website, as well as the likelihood of conversion (enquiries, sales, or bookings). This is because if they’re aware that a new blog has been published, more people (or leads) are likely to visit your website and be exposed to your product or service.
Social media: It’s important that this content can be found in the first place, and one of the best ways to make it more visible is by sharing it via your own social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest), and encouraging your followers to do the same. Before you do this however, you need to be confident enough in your blog’s content, making sure that it aligns with your brand and social pages, and is of genuine interest to your audience. This goes back to the point above – what are your customers likely to be looking for, and are you qualified to talk about it?
Search: Balanced with evergreen content, or pages that do not age (such as room information), creating highly relevant and regular blog content is a great way to keep content fresh, increasing your ranking in search engines like Google, so that more website traffic (or visitors) will get to your website organically. As well as making sure that your blog’s core content is spot-on for your audience, be sure to input highly relevant metadata (the details that appear in Google’s search listing) when editing your website. Most websites will have a free SEO plugin (for example, Yoast SEO), which will give you information about how well your page is likely to perform, and how to make improvements across both your page’s core content and metadata.
By writing about things that are relevant to you, you’re building your brand’s presence online, and demonstrating its values, unique selling points, character and personality.
Use your blog to talk about the good things you’re doing in your business – for example, paying your team above national living wage, or using locally sourced ingredients across your menu – as well as causes you’re passionate about. A great example of this is The Olde House in Chapel Amble, which is demonstrating its eco-friendly ethos and commitment to sustainability by promoting a break which offers a free night’s stay for visitors who travel by electric car.
Another great way to build your brand is by aligning yourself with other brands which complement your own. Going back to the example of being a hotel in St Ives, you could create a blog about the best restaurants or galleries within the local area, providing outbound links to these businesses on the website to increase your search ranking.
Alternatively, host a brand partnership competition, where both parties agree to contribute to a prize and cross-promote on their channels, whether that’s on their website or social media. This is an effective way to build your brand online, and grow your following amongst relevant audiences, whilst increasing your search ranking and driving traffic to your website.
We hope that this post has given you more confidence when it comes to running a successful blog. However, if you would like to find out more about our content marketing services, visit our content marketing page, or contact Jim on 01208 895089.