Conduct a Google search about great blog content, and you’ll find tons of articles discussing different types of quality content to put on your business’s blog. What you’ll find a lot less of? How to know what kind of blog will benefit from each type of content. Once you’ve got a solid brand image and a strong idea of your audience, you need to produce content that fits with both. Instead of using content you hope will work because someone else did it well, explore which content will fit with your business’s blog.
The right how-to article can draw new traffic to your business blog and website. How-to articles work best for businesses that generate a lot of FAQs, or spend a lot of time answering customer questions. For example: your business sells skincare products. People constantly call you (both before and after buying your products) to ask how to use a cleanser/toner combo. That’s a fantastic opportunity to create a how-to blog post. If you offer a beauty service nobody else in the industry does, consider an aftercare how-to.
When creating how-to blog posts, you’re aiming to draw in new customers who are looking for products or services in your industry. Don’t be afraid to show them how to do little things, like a car dealership or a mechanic explaining how to change a windshield wiper. If your post is informative and helpful, the people benefiting from it may call you when they need significant car work done. You look like a credible expert when you have good how-to posts on your blog.
Businesses with the resources to make videos will get a lot of mileage out of how-to videos. Because you can visually demonstrate things that are difficult to describe in words, short videos are a helpful resource. Videos are especially shareable on social media, too. Keep in mind that your videos need to look good. If you don’t have the budget to produce a quality video, stick with written articles for now. It’s better to have a fantastic piece of writing than a bad video on your blog.
The audience for infographics is wide, because humans process visual information quickly and easily. Think about how much easier it is to scan an infographic than it is to skim an article, especially when you try to remember what you retained an hour later.
The trick with producing quality infographics is finding a good topic and presenting it in a stimulating and unique way. Infographics are easy to mess up. When they’re too complicated or they don’t offer information in a digestible way, you lose readers fast. When deciding whether you want to create infographics for your readership, take a few cues from Forbes: use the visual information in infographics to promote your brand.
An infographic isn’t just a collection of data represented in an interesting way. Infographics are very shareable, and when you use them right they’ll bring lots of links back to your blog. So, what does that mean for your business’s blog? Create an infographic when you want to build your audience. Then reach out to influencers on multiple social media platforms so that your infographic gets shared. Don’t waste the time and resources in creating an infographic if you don’t plan to do the work required to share it and build more blog traffic. Better yet, let an agency do that work for you.
Image via Flickr by homethods
You have to be careful with listicles. In some ways they’re fantastic content because they offer bite-sized bits of information in a shareable format with a catchy headline. But listicles get old fast, and if they don’t offer anything new, your listicles get buried in a sea of similar content and don’t drive the traffic you want.
Listicles fit in almost any blog format, which is why they’re so abundant. Like with infographics, the key with listicles is providing quality content for a specific audience. Using your long-tail keywords is a good strategy when creating listicles. Do considerable research into the listicles already available on the topics you’re considering, too. When you find a niche to fill with a clever listicle, that’s your post.
Reviews are tricky, and they won’t work for every business blog. A CPA’s blog probably won’t need to post reviews, while a beauty blog will post tons of reviews. Does your business sell other people’s products? If so, reviews can be a helpful way to build traffic. Otherwise, stick to informative posts, how-tos, and infographics.
Even if reviews fit your business blog’s format, writing a quality review takes finesse. You don’t want your review to sound like a sales pitch for the new products you’re stocking, but you don’t want to be negative about something you’re hoping to move off the shelves. Basically, you have to sound honest.
A great way to approach reviews in an honest way is to write about what kind of customer each product is best for. Instead of saying that car lacks legroom in the backseat, say the car is best for young single professionals who want a car that’ll fit in any parking spot and good MPG to get from A to B, and steer families (and tall people) to other models. If a lotion leaves an oily sheen, say it’s better for people with dry skin, and recommend something else to your shinier customers.
When you’re strapped for time or low on content ideas, resource lists are a good way to continue updating your blog with quality information. But don’t think of it as a list so much as a post full of industry information. Collect great industry posts, videos, infographics, and social media updates, and create a list. In a sentence or two, explain why you think the linked post is great, and what you think your customers will get from it. Always make sure you give proper attribution.
Start with these guidelines, and pay attention to the shares and responses you get with each type of content. This is an ever-changing formula, so never be afraid to alter how you’re creating content when something isn’t working, or stops working.