Business Blogging: 3 Tips to Engage Your Readers in Conversation
Business blogging is more than just a way to get content about your company “out there.” A good business blog should become a hub for conversation; it’s not only a great marketing tool, but its a portal for your customers to be heard. The more you hear from your customers, the more you will know what they need and want from your business. If you struggle with writing content that will compel readers to respond, here are a few great blogging tips to start opening up your blog for more conversation.
1. Write as a person, not as a business.
In Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, authors Scoble and Israel write that if you aren’t maintaining a blog and having “naked conversations,” you can’t learn from your customers, and “they won’t come to see you as a sincere human who cares about your business and its reputation.”
Each person that contributes to a business blog has their own perspective and personality, and those should be shared. Obviously, there’s a balance between company brand and a corporate blogger’s own perspective and personality, but this balance can be made by some blogging standards and rules. Businesses are made up of people, and customers like to see the personalities behind the company. Allowing your corporate bloggers to share their own personalities in their blog posts creates another opportunity for customers to feel they can relate to your business.
I know when I read a business blog post written by a person who has obviously had some freedom to write from their own perspective, I am more likely to want to respond. At the time when I respond, I don’t necessarily feel like I’m interacting with a business. I feel like I’m interacting with the person who wrote the article. The more I’m compelled to respond (and assuming the blogger has replied back), the more I feel invested in that company, whether I do business with them or not. When it comes time that I need something that business has to offer, I will turn to them because of the interaction I’ve already had with them.
2. Your company blog is not a podium.
Have you ever had a “conversation” with someone who thought their opinions and voice were the best thing since sliced bread? These interactions are not conversations at all. It was really just a time for that person to feel good about themselves because they had a lot to say. What I’m saying is, leave room for your readers to interject something. Let them feel like they have something to contribute too. Because they do have something to contribute.
3. The customer has a story.
People like to see stories about themselves, their friends, their families, their business associates. These are the stories that not only create conversation, but these are stories that are shared. What does this mean for your business? Write articles about your customers. A good conversation doesn’t stop when the talk is over. A good conversation will be continued when one of the talkers shares that conversation with another person. One of the best ways to get your content shared is to write about your customer. Keep in mind that you will want to get your customer’s permission to write about them. But trust me, more often than not, your customer will love reading about themselves and sharing it with others.
I haven’t covered everything there is to know about starting conversation with your blog. Of course not–that would be breaking my second piece of advice to you. So, what have you done to create conversation with your blog? What have you found that always works? I would love to hear from you.
- Business Blogging Tip #1 – be Real, be Transparent
- Business Blogging Success Summit 2011 by Social Media Examiner and Blog World
- Business Blogging Tip: 3 ways to Be the Brand
- Business Blogging Tip #3 Be Strategically Focused
- Business Blogging Tip #2: Get R.I.C.E. – Relevance, Interactivity, Context, Ease of use