Writing a blog is one of the most effective forms of content marketing and can give both large and small businesses a direct line to consumers for a minimal monetary and resource investment. However, if you can’t develop a community around your blog, you’ll just be broadcasting information rather than engaging and building relationships that turn audience members into paying customers and loyal brand advocates.
With that in mind, here are five tips that you should follow in order to build a sense of community on your business blog. Together, the content, comments, and conversations that happen on your blog (and off) play a critical role in enabling your business to reach its goals.
1. Ask for Comments
At the end of each blog post, invite readers to leave a comment and share their opinions. Sometimes simply prompting them will motivate them to actually take time to type up and publish a thoughtful comment related to your blog post. This is the first step to jump starting conversations on your business blog.
Furthermore, make it easy for people to comment and be sure to moderate comments so spam and inappropriate comments aren’t published.
2. Respond to Comments
If you don’t respond to comments, you can’t interact with your readers and develop relationships with them. In other words, fewer readers will become customers. Publishing content and calling it a day won’t work. The nature of a blog is interactive, so you need to join the conversation and keep it going or there is little reason for visitors to publish comments on your posts.
Think of it this way—you wouldn’t ignore a person speaking to you if they were standing in front of you, so you shouldn’t ignore them if they take the time to publish a comment on your business blog either.
3. Write Meaningful Content
Your business blog has to be useful to your target audience or no one will read it (or the wrong audience will read it and they won’t turn into paying customers). Always take the time to publish high quality content and infuse your brand personality into every post. Blogs should be personable and inviting or no one will comment and there will be no chance to build a community.
Remember, you should never broadcast via your business blog, and it should never read like an ad or any kind of marketing message. Yes, you can certainly share occasional special offers, but that isn’t what gets people talking, sharing, and forming into a powerful community that is sustainable long after those special offers have expired.
4. Write Often
To build a sense of community on your business blog, you need to publish new content often or people will forget about you. Consistent publishing is critical to staying top-of-mind among your target audience and deepening your relationship with them.
For small business owners with limited time and budgets, creating content on a consistent basis can be challenging. Don’t stress! Instead, take the time to write at least 2-3 new posts per week. They don’t have to be thousands of words As long as they’re useful and meaningful to your target audience, you’re doing it right.
5. Look Beyond Your Blog
You should not operate in a silo online because you’ll be very lonely. That means you need to leave your blog and interact with your target audience where they’re already spending time online. Are they active on Twitter or Facebook? Do they spend time in specific online forums? As an example, Capital One stays is very active through their social media channels, especially through Twitter.
Invest some time to find them and then engage with them. In time, you can bring them over to your blog by sharing your useful content, and they just might become a loyal member of your blog community and a loyal customer!
This post is sponsored by Spark BusinessSM from Capital One® and is the sixth post in a series of eight.