The word “ever” is a bold word. It means that you’ll never see an infographic that’s this long, this comprehensive, ever the rest of your life. Normally, I would never make such a claim about anything. Babe Ruth’s 60-homer season was never supposed to be broken, either.
However, I can say with confidence that this one will not be beaten. It’s huge. It’s so huge that I had to split it up into four parts to have the images hosted on the site, then decided to just keep it hosted on the source site because it really does need to be seen in all of its glory. Hattip to Venchito Tampon Jr from Digital Philippines for bringing this to us.
One of the most common recommendations for businesses this 2013 is to ramp up content generation and content marketing. They need to do this if they want to maintain a presence in the first SERPs.
Search engines, particularly Google, are working towards providing users with the best possible search results—and that means high-quality websites with original, well-written, and high-quality content. Technical SEO is still important of course, but that alone will not buoy a company website for long.
A blog in general has many uses, but if you cross-match that with the qualities of a company blog, it can give a company the following advantages:
1. For SEO
A company blog is a sound solution for company websites that don’t really need to change or update their content that often. SEO 101 tells us that constant updating is necessary in order to rank, and so a company blog resolves that problem. It may be launched on a different platform or site altogether, but the company’s name and link will always be in the forefront.
If you are paying for a recommended SEO company to manage your official website, you should also commission it to create a company blog, if there isn’t one created yet. Anyone can see how useful a blog can be for SEO: it enables you to do content marketing, link building, market content through social media, and even earn additional income through advertising and PPC, among others.
2. For Marketing and Promotions
A company blog is an excellent venue for releasing press statements, official announcements, and promotional offers. These bits of news can also be for the benefit of the company’s own employees in lieu of an internal memo or email.
In between these important blog posts, the blog’s writers can post articles and write-ups on topics related to the industry the site belongs to, or the products and services it offers to customers. These blog posts can help with your marketing efforts, too. They allow people to see the relevance of your company and the products and/or services you offer. That will encourage them to purchase something or pay for your services.
3. For PR (press relations)
Internet users also tend to be trustful of company blogs. People have the impression that as an authority blog, they contain correct information, accurate facts and valuable articles. Of course, it’s going to be the responsibility of the bloggers to live up to that standard. Doing so will help impress upon the readers the integrity of the company.
The purposes of a company blog are not limited to these three. It depends on what you want to achieve with it, besides being more visible in the SERPs.
Topics for a Company Blog
We’ve mentioned earlier that a company blog can be a useful tool for official announcements and the like. But, since it’s unlikely that a company will need to make such posts every week, company bloggers will have to write about other things to keep up with the regular blog post schedule.
The freedom of a company blogger to select topics to write about is often limited by the following conditions:
It must be related or pertaining to the industry to which the company belongs to. It makes sense for a cosmetics company to blog about must-have beauty and skin care products for winter or summer, for example. However, readers will no doubt be confused if they find a post talking about budgeting and finance in the same blog.
It is in line with, or at least supports, the mission of the company and the principles it stands for. A company that promotes green energy, for example, will not publish posts that applaud technologies and innovations that compromise the environment.
It shouldn’t be blatantly speaking negatively about the company’s competition. Not only is this unethical and unprofessional, it also leaves a negative impression on the public.
It should never put the company in a questionable light.
So what does that leave company bloggers to write about?
The exciting products being developed that customers should watch out for.
A commonly-asked question, which is fully answered and explained in the post.
Everyday situations will show how your products/services will be very useful.
The company’s chosen charity or a recent outreach program.
Economic developments and upheavals, how the company responds to them, and how its products/services will be affected/not affected by them.
Sympathetic posts about the common problems your target audience face.
Transcribed video blogs featuring the company, its stores and branches, the employees, etc…
Accomplishments of the company, including awards and recognitions it receives.
A company blog should be a positive reflection of the blog itself. It should be presentable, professional-looking, has obvious credibility, and is trustworthy. Company bloggers can’t go wrong if they keep that in heart and mind.
One of the hardest parts about blogging is staying consistent and pumping out enough content to keep your readers coming back for more. It’s a challenge, not just because of the time necessary to stay consistent and abundant, but also because it’s possible to run out of ideas. Don’t get me wrong – there’s not really such a thing as running out of ideas completely – but we can hit a road block and sometimes we need to get some inspiration.
Other times, all you need to do is take a look at the infographic below that will give you some examples of types of posts to help keep your juices flowing, your fingers typing, and your content bursting. This graphic comes to us through Copyblogger.
The other day I wrote an article about whether or not to use responsive design on a website. There are really only two choices nowadays – responsive or adaptive – and I recommended in the case of websites such as car dealer websites that adaptive was actually the better choice for now.
Needless to say, I received some nasty emails from those who are fans of responsive design. I, myself, am a big fan of responsive design and noted as much in the post. However, there are certain “heavy” websites that should lean towards adaptive until the internet infrastructure and delivery technology are mastered.
With that said, blogs must be responsive to succeed in today’s media consumption society. There was a time not too long ago when the big push was for “news nuggets”. It was a world that we thought we were getting into that focused less on long-form content and more on content that got to the point quickly. That was a false-positive on the death of long-form content and I was one of those who was (at least partially) wrong about it.
Today, people really do want to take their little gadgets that they carry with them everywhere and read a whole story.
More importantly for the sake of responsive design, blogs are “lite” websites. They aren’t car dealer websites. They aren’t realtor websites. They aren’t loaded (normally) with a ton of hi-res pictures, HD videos, and a ton of widgets and calls to action on every page.
Bloggers, if you thought I was talking to you the other day, I wasn’t. I’m talking to you now. Go responsive or go home.
Some of the greatest columnists and opinions writers of the past have nothing on today’s celebrity bloggers. It’s not that the Michael Arringtons and Michelle Malkins of the world are any more talented than traditional journalists before the internet. They simply have a bigger stage, are easier to access, and have no rules containing them.
Journalism in the era of blogging has taken the restraints that made it necessary to have a journalism degree and a perfect written diction and replaced it with the type of shock and awe commentary that was once reserved for underground publications and tabloids. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it at all; as editor of my high school paper and reporter for a city newspaper (yes, I’m old enough to have worked at an actual newspaper before the internet), I have to admit that blogging is much more fun than trying to remember to never put a comma before the last piece in a list of four or more.
Journalism is no longer simply about reporting the news. It never really was, but today there is simply a lot more leeway given to the reporters that aren’t held back by old-school publications. As a result, one would probably have an easier time identifying a writer for Mashable than one for the LA Times.
Bloggers have become part of the news they are reporting. This is a huge benefit for publications that take it to the limits on social media. Look at Buzzfeed, for example. This team has done one of the most masterful jobs in memory of taking something pretty good and exposing it to the world through social media domination. Arstechnica, Techdirt, and PoliticusUSA fall into the same category.
What do they all have in common? They play to the people. That has always been a goal of many publications, but the digital age tempered by the rise of social media has made it a benefit to slant the news, to personalize it, and to build an expectation around controversy from the publication and its writers. We want to be polarized because it makes for more fun on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
There is and always will be a place for true reporting. It’s necessary as source material from which all of the blogger opinions can derive. We don’t have to be in Washington DC to have a quality political blog. We don’t have to be in Hollywood to have a strong entertainment rag. We have the internet. We have social media. Let the opinions flow.
It’s not for everyone. Some people just don’t like to hear their voices played on audio or video. I know. I used to be one of them.
If you can get over that fear and if you want to get your YouTube channel some watches while helping to get your content seen and heard, it’s a quick and easy way to kill a couple of birds with a single stone. The concept is pretty simple. Write a blog post, then read it off while recording a video. Attach the video to the story and now you have an easy way for people to either read your blog post or watch it.
Perhaps more importantly, it takes the art of writing and allows you to get creative in the fastest growing medium. Remember, everything is going mobile. While it can be annoying trying to read a blog post on a smartphone, listening to it on YouTube is often much easier. If you get good at recording the audio from the posts and applying it to either a visual of yourself reading it, a slideshow, a scrolling transcript, or other images that are pertinent to the video itself, you can make for an alternative experience for your content.
Some people are readers. Others are listening. There’s even a few people that like to do both. I tend to listen to a video or podcast playing in the background while reading something else. Here’s an example:
Content has been the big play for over a year now in the world of marketing. It’s the glue that holds social media marketing and search engine marketing together and it’s becoming so prevalent that the old ways (the ones everyone started using this year) are already starting to become obsolete.
Don’t get me wrong – the techniques themselves still work. The problem is that everyone is starting to get it. The competition level for content marketing at the small business level has gone from non-existent at the beginning of 2013 to hyper-competitive before the end of the year. It’s too easy, too important, and has too many people talking about it for most companies to miss.
Perhaps as bloggers, we did our jobs right. Now, we’re faced with a dilemma – taking it to the next level. Thankfully, the strategy is pretty much the same with an expansion into a two-style mode. By going with this format, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the competition that is starting to catch up to you.
Style 1: The Local Content
This is the easy part. For localized small businesses, it’s all about talking to to and about those in the local area in order to build buzz. The concept is this: post content that is enjoyable or useful to your potential customers and they will share it on social media as well as generate an occasional link or two.
It’s the style that everyone’s starting to get. Just in the automotive industry alone, we’re seeing multiple dealers in the same city making videos about how to change a Mazda key fob battery, writing articles about their first shipment of Chevy Corvettes, and bringing in local celebrities for interviews and discussions.
Just because so many are starting to do it doesn’t mean that you should stop. It means that you have to step up your game. You have to make your content better, get more people to share it, and post more often than your competitors. It means that you have to work harder than everyone else, but that’s one of the things that are necessary in order to stay ahead of the game.
Style 2: The Broader Content
The goal with all types of content is to become the authority on your topic. We have known for a while that localized content works, but it’s not able to stand alone anymore in most industries because of the competition level. To make it stand out ahead of the competitors, you need to hit the national arena.
This means that you can no longer just be the local authority. You have to get the type of content out there that can resonate with a broader audience. This is only possible if you’ve already mastered the local content style and you have a strong following for it.
Going broad is harder. It requires that the content have a more general appeal. It means that your local following will share it as well and that their friends and family from the rest of the country or world will see it and find value as well.
It could be reactions to national news about your industry. It could be universal help items that are not localized. It could be great videos, images, or infographics that anyone anywhere in the country can like.
It also requires a bit more professionalism than the localized content. An iPhone video might work for a quick walkaround of a new inventory item, but to get the national appeal, it has to be better made than that.
* * *
This is the type of thing that many people fear. Just when you thought you had localized content mastered, hearing that it won’t be good enough to keep the gap large between you and your competitors in 2014 can be disheartening. However, if you really think about it, every new challenge like this is an opportunity to shine above and beyond them.
There are two things that can make or break whether or not your blog post is going to be read – quality of the post and the title itself. Between the two, quality is more important in getting people to continue to read your posts, to share it, and to possibly even subscribe to your blog, but when it comes to visibility, the title is much more important.
The reason is simple. We get hooked into something or we don’t. With so many options available for us to consume media, there’s no way we could read everything that we want to read. Time is precious. How we spend it is often dictated by what catches our attention. For this reason, the title is so very important.
Here’s an infographic by Boot Camp Digital that breaks down ten winners in the title arena.
Here at Wikimotive, we get questions in the mail every day looking for advice. We want to help everyone, and we gladly do it free of charge, but we know that sometimes your questions can get lost in the shuffle of the daily mail. To ensure that we see every question that you may have for us, we’re creating a dedicated email address. From now on, you can send any questions you have to email@example.com, and we promise to get back to you as soon as possible. In most cases, it’ll be right away, and it will never be longer than 24 hours.
What kinds of questions can we answer? We have experts in the following areas:
With all of the tools and apps available today, blogging should be easy and straightforward. Yet, many bloggers find themselves struggling to make a cohesive schedule, meet deadlines for clients, and attract the interest of readers.