This article first appeared on MediaHQ.com.
A successful blog can really benefit an in-house PR team.
It allows you to humanise your brand and it helps you create trust with your customers. It also lets you establish your brand as an authoritative voice in your area of expertise.
We want to share with you some things we’ve learned from our own blogging experience.
Know your audience
This is the golden rule of all writing. Who am I actually writing this for?
We know that MediaHQ’s audience is largely made up of people working in communications, so we appeal to their wide range of interests and assume they have a high level of knowledge of the media.
Consider when you are going to post and how often — that’s how you will build up a regular audience. Our target is a minimum of three to four a day, every day.
Experiment and see when you gain the most traction.
Part of growing an audience includes sticking to a schedule. Don’t just post randomly. Try and come up with at least two months’ worth of material in advance so you have a shelf of ideas you that you can draw upon. Gather together a combination of concise targeted pieces and longer feature articles.
Asking experts to write guest posts can also enrich your content (we’ve done it). The point is to try different strategies. See what elements work well on the blog and then turn them in regular features on your site.
Is this worth sharing?
Before a MediaHQ.com blogger writes a post, they ask themselves: “Would I read this?” If the answer is anything but a solid yes, then it is not worth doing.
Today’s readers are becoming much more selective about what they click on. Pure bait tactics just aren’t sustainable. You need to give your audience something that will educate them on more than just company news — offer them something that will make them want to come back for more.
Of course, you should definitely use your blog to highlight recent achievements or promote a new product, but don’t stop there. Focus on the culture that surrounds your brand.
If you can own your brand’s niche then you will build up credibility in your area of expertise, and ultimately gain the trust of potential customers.
It also gives you the opportunity to syndicate material to media outlets (it worked for us). Again, this will help establish you as the go-to guys in your area of expertise. Journalists might even call on you to respond to a news event.
Develop a voice
A blog can really help shape your brand’s public voice. It creates trust and personifies the company.
It is really up to you to decide what voice will most appeal to your audience, but the tone should be both conversational and authoritative.
You have to be consistent. Why not draw up a brief style guide to follow? That way you can be strategic about your blog posts, instead of churning out mismatched content.
It is helpful in crisis situations if you adopt a strong voice. A blog post won’t entirely save you from a PR nightmare (if you want tips on how to solve a crisis under pressure, look here), but it can at least help defuse the situation. A carefully written blog post shows honesty and won’t be misinterpreted as method of putting spin on the story.
Make it newsy
Follow the news agenda. Think like a journalist and write posts that respond to timely topics.
It will help your blog posts travel further on social media and it allows you to open a dialogue with customers.
Share, share, share
Categorise the content and add tags in order to boost SEO.
Make sure you regularly plug your posts on relevant social media platforms. If you need to brush up on your social media skills, take a master class.
If you are writing about people who have a strong presence on Twitter, for example, be sure to link to their handles. If you can entice them to share the post, then you have successfully managed to boost your views.
What are your blogging tips? Share them with us, @mediahqnews.
Conor – @conormcmahon