Here at Search Engine People, we often recommend you maintain a blog for your business. A blog is a great way to provide valuable information to your customers, as well as potential customers. Not to mention a blog can help your rank on search engines, which will help more people find your website. To make sure your blog gives you the best return for your effort, it is important to consistently publish fresh content. In fact, we've told you before that blog frequency impacts customer acquisition. 92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog. But it can be difficult at times to generate enough content.
Some people think all blog posts need to be extensive and take a long time to write. I'm here to tell you that isn't the case. Short posts are great too, and can provide as much value. Also, there are many different types of posts that might be easier and faster to write, or might even require no writing at all!
Here are 12 of my favorite types:
Give your audience step-by-step instructions on how to do something with your products or in your industry. It is likely you already have some instructions already, so these types of posts shouldn't take too much time to pull together. You can even give instructions in video form, maybe even using Vine or Instagram, and then embedding the video on your blog. The video's don't need to be long. Bacardi gave a 6 second how-to for mixing the perfect Cuba libre.
Help your audience understand a concept in your company or industry. Give them an extended definition of the concept or term and a bit about why they should care. Simply Measured does a great job of this by explaining social media measurement terms.
This post right here is a list post, my friends. A list post is simply a collection of related ideas or suggestions. Posts like Top 10 Most Popular Toys This Holiday Season, or 5 Favorite Vacation Spots are fairly easy to pull together. Your audience will like the easy to digest format and even if one point doesn't connect for them, they will likely find value in the other items.
4. News Roundup:
One great type of blog post is to recap recent industry news. This type of content is best as a standing weekly post, covering some of the more important and interesting news of the week.
This is another blog type that can be written or a video. You can interview an employee to give customers a look behind the scenes and a more personal connection with your business. Or you could interview an industry leader to provide valuable information to your audience. It is also a great way to grow and nurture relationships within your industry. You could even highlight a customer and give them some love!
6. What Others are Saying:
In this type of post you pull a collection of opinions and statements on a certain issue. You can pull a list of blog posts on the topic, or even tweets. These posts can show the bigger picture of a popular topic. Then you can summarize the issue and add your own opinion or the company's stance.
This is another type of post that you likely already have the content. What are your customers asking about? What are the questions you find yourself answering again and again? Pull them together and put them in a blog post. Depending on your business, you could turn this into a regular post with the frequency determined by the number of questions you receive.
Infographics are a great way to pack a lot of data in a more fun, interesting way. For a while they were everywhere. They are still an effective type of content, just don't overuse them. If you don't have a creative department to create original infographics you can use Visually to create them. Or you can post an infographic someone else created as long as you add an opinion or viewpoint from your company.
9. Survey or Poll:
Ask your audience a question, or several questions. It will give you information and its a great way to engage your audience. Disney Parks did a great job asking their fans to choose the best ride to cool off. The video is a great way to feel like you're there!
If you give a presentation at a conference or event, don't let that be the end of it! Your presentation is excellent content for your business blog. Post the deck on SlideShare and embed it on your blog. Lee Odden has other great tips for optimizing your presentations for greater return.
11. Case studies:
You might already be writing case studies for your business and they can be terrific content for your blog. A case study is an analysis of a challenge or success for your business or client. Its your opportunity to outline a problem, how your company addressed it and what you learned.
12. Behind the scenes:
Your customers, and potential customers, want to know about your business. They want to get to know you and feel like they are working with a group of people, not just an emotionless corporation. So give people a peak behind the curtain and tell them about the employees and events at your company. Show some personality and have some fun! This is a great way to engage your fans, as well as a potential recruiting tool. For example, Southwest Airlines gave a fun behind the scenes look into filming a commercial.
Remember, not every blog post needs to be a novel. There are many different types of content you can share on your blog. These are just a few ideas to get you started. The main goal is to make sure you are consistently publishing fresh, interesting and valuable content on your blog.
What other types of blog posts do you recommend?
Karianne Stinson is Account Director at the new digital content creation agency, Mediabrands Publishing. Prior to Mediabrands Publishing, Karianne was Manager of Social Strategy and Planning with Seattle-based social marketing agency, Spring Creek Group. Karianne helps global and local brands create interesting content, manage their online presence, and grow their social communities.