How To Increase Reader Engagements With Your Business Blog
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I cannot be the only person who thinks that many of business blogs are an utter failure. Hell, I will go even further and say that almost any blogs used specifically for the sake of marketing are pretty much a failure.
Having a blog for the sake of having a blog or because other businesses do is totally wrong. It’s the attitude that results in wasted investment
When behind a business, the blog is there to promote the brand, to boost exposure with content marketing strategies, or to build awareness of the business name. How often have you seen a business blog with nothing but generic (sometimes badly written) posts containing nothing of value? For me, it is too many times to count.
That doesn’t mean that your own business blog has to be a failure. With a bit of thought, consideration and effort, you can make something that not only promotes your brand but also engages the reader.
How to Measure a Business Blog Success?
This is a more controversial topic than you might think.
Blog seldom lead to direct purchase (because of a different intent: Those landing on a blog post did not intend to buy. They came for information or out of curiosity in most cases).
Blog visitors may never actually but but they may influence their friends into buying: And here we come to a lost conversion path…
What else? Traffic is a misleading metric… Brand exposure is hard to measure.
So how to measure a business blog success?
I know some marketing experts won’t agree with me but I measure the blog success by seeing its engagement grow.
What is an engagement and why does it matter?
When it comes down to it, there is no hard and fast definition of what it means to engage with someone online. Does it mean having them share on social media? Leave a one time comment? Engage in an actual dialogue with back and forth interaction? Contact you one on one? What?
I would say that it is all of those thing, together and creating a much more rounded form of engagement.
Social Media Engagement
I read somewhere recently that social media shares didn’t matter. The author makes the point that a lot of people who share content don’t even read what they are sharing. I would agree on this… to a point.
Many people do skim content they share. Fewer people read and comment. Others share and bookmark.
Even if someone blindly shares, that social media update is your second chance: If you couldn’t grab attention of the first sharer, you have a chance to appeal to his/her social media friends.
I am going to leave out the ambiguous comments that may or may not be spam, here. Single comments from one time visitors thanking you for the article, or making a quick comment, are probably your best indicator of content value because they took the time to say something, even though they didn’t have a whole lot to say. It sounds funny, but getting people to take that time even though there is no real reason shows that you are doing something right.
Here is your biggest feat: getting continued comments from the same people, either on one post, or across multiple. This is a signal that you are building a community on your site and fostering something lasting and real. It is complete engagement, and something you want to aim for.
How Can I Maintain My Blog While Getting Engagement?
First of all, you need to avoid the pitfall of writing content for the sake of having it there. You are first and foremost trying to engage your reader. The promotion of your business is going to be a secondary effect that happens on its own. Sure, you can occasionally slip in a reference of your brand in there, but don’t make that the point.
Second, you are going to post often, but not to the point of excess. What is excess? Any time that you are stretching for a topic or something to say, or turning to generic topics people could find anywhere, it is time to back off for a bit. At the same time, the more content you can post while still maintaining quality, the better.
Third, you are not going to be an industry news dispenser. Nothing is more annoying than a business blog that has taken it upon themselves to lazily rewrite a news story. What you should do instead is offer a unique perspective on the story, or an opinion. Maybe find an interesting way to break it down. Be an original, not a copy.
Here are Some Essential Tools to Finally Start Seeing Engagements on Your Business Blog!
Don’t forget the basics! Keep an eye on your blog performance: No one will engage with a slow or broken site. Here’s a great tool to monitor uptime and here are more tools to monitor your site easily.
Viral Content Buzz (free) lets you bring your content in front of active social media users who share your content with their followers. As a result, lots of new interactions with your blog articles!
Postmatic (freemium) notifies your blog readers of new comments and lets them reply to the comments by email. Commenting is much more easier now!
TrenDemon (free) is helps boost user engagements using personalized recommendations and call to actions.
Click to Tweet (free) allows readers to tweet quotes from your articles. That’s a great way to generate more tweets!
Social Warfare (paid) is another good option here: Apart from tweetable quotes, this plugin adds nice-looking sharing buttons which are reported to up social media shares considerably!
How to Monitor and Measure Engagements?
There’s no easy answer to that question. Social media engagement are all over the web: It’s hard to keep up!
Social Metrics Pro (paid) is a good plugin allowing you to monitor basic social media stats (numbers and trends)
There’s a free option too but it will require a little bit of set-up: Social Activity Analyzer
Cyfe is a social media dashboard allowing you to monitor your mentions and social media statistics within one dashboard.
Here are a few more tools you can use to monitor who interacts with your content.
It All Comes Down To The Same Thing: Quality
In the end, the only thing that really matters from beginning to end is quality. Quality of your content, quality of your engagement, quality of your strategies and goals. Gone are the days of coasting by, having a business blog for the sheer reason of keyword stuffing posts for SEO. Not only does that not work due to Google’s policies and algorithms, but it isn’t good for attracting and hooking readers.
Anyone reading this who thinks having a business blog is just something you do, like registering a company name, should rethink whether or not having one is right for them. Those who want a blog purely to announce things like product releases, company updates or give discounts/free merchandise should skip the blog and stick to social media for the task. Facebook and Twitter can handle that just fine, and are easier to maintain.
Anyone else who really wants a business blog? Just make sure you are putting the reader first, not your brand’s promotion, and that you are doing everything you can do create a community. The rest will fall into place before you know it.
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