If you've ever kept a blog, there's probably been a time when you've stopped and asked yourself either: (1) Why am I doing this? or (2) Am I doing this right? Hell, maybe you've asked yourself both. I know someone has likely asked themselves one of those questions and failed to identify the answer every time I visit a website, click on the company's blog, and see that the latest post is from 6 months ago (or longer).
Your blog isn't simply a cool vanity project. A great company blog is a necessity for keeping your brand relevant, keeping your customers engaged, and ensuring your company's visibility. When I see brand that hasn't posted a blog in 6 months, I begin to wonder if that architecture firm is still in business, if that designer is still selling their line of housewares, or whether that cool, designer boutique hotel I heard about is actually worth all the hype. So back to those original two questions: why you're keeping a blog and are you doing it right - those answers are simple, particularly once you've done the work to identify who your target audience is. Who is your customer? What questions do they have? What do they want?
Once you achieve clarity around your customer, your blog can easily serve to:
#1. Develop your voice as design industry thought-leader
A company blog is a podium form which to launch yourself to the forefront of your industry. Developing think-pieces on industry topics and or creating content around news and trend helps to establish your company, and you, as a design, real estate, or hospitality industry thought-leader. I’ve received everything from partnerships with Modernism Week, speaking requests from the AIA, “thank you” emails from iconic Mid-Century architects, to job offers, and meeting requests as a direct result of posts I’ve written. Develop your blog and develop your status as an industry leader.
#2. Tell your brand's unique story
Content shows who you are - what principles you represent as a business in a concise and approachable way. If a visitor to your website is not able to understand what you do, or the value that your business offers them, they’ll never connect with you, let alone purchase your goods or services. Design and architecture tell a story... Who we are... How we live...And all of us connect with design--more than we know. Are you telling your story the way you want it to be told?
#3. Increase your visibility by boosting your website's SEO
SEO is often thought of as buying Google keywords so that your brand shows higher in Google search results. What SEO actually is, is maximizing the amount of visitors to your website from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” search. By definition then producing and sharing great content from your blog increases your amount of “free,” “organic,” AND “editorial” traffic. Buying Google keywords can only take your customers to you site. Smart, engaging content, however, will take them to your site and encourage them to convert.
A well rounded (SEO) approach should include content if you are to convert leads because thousands of people on your website is useless traffic if you fail to engage them and they bounce just as quickly as they as they arrived.
Learn how to create and maintain a blog that works for you as opposed to one that makes you work.