Ideas for What to Cover on Your Company Blog

The essential benefit of content marketing is simply… survival”(Katherine Kotaw, CEO).

True indeed, but there’s better reasoning behind a company’s blog: communicating with customers and readership, voicing the opinions of employees, collaborators and management, showing latest releases, services, and products. And more.

Research shows that blogging replaced SEO as top traffic building strategy and 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company’s voice through blog posts rather than targeted ads (source: Digital Marketing Resource Center).  With these facts in mind, here are a few ideas and examples for what to cover on your company blog.

Structure Your Company Blog Like a Course

One of the main counterarguments of blog posts is if you publish very often, the old posts tend to slip the readers’ eyes, unless they rank top in social or search-engine search. But if a visitor clicks your homepage, chances are he/she will most likely access the latest blog posts.

To offer the best information to your readership and customers alike, structuring your blog as an online course can be just the thing to make it work. One example is AcuityTraining.

On their blog, they cover how-to articles related to Excel for business intelligence, MS Office and Adobe. As well as how to prepare for interviews or tips and guides for first-time managers, which breaks away from the traditional “company blogging”.

Add Icons and Gifs to Outline the Subject

Why stick to boring preview images, when there’s so much more out there? Besides adding gifs in the posts and setting up a casual voice for their articles, RavenTools has recently started to add icons just side to the article title.

An article that talks about mobile UX will display a smartphone icon, for example. As opposed to images and videos or gifs that require additional CDN subscriptions to compress files and ease the page load, icons occupy as little as a few kb per image and do not impact site speed. This works not just for a marketing tool business, but for any type of digital services or online products or apps.

Beyond Professional: Personal Advice for Your Customers

A company blog doesn’t always have to stick to company products or services. You can do so much more, such as promote the stories of your customers as blog posts, share life at headquarters beyond Insta stories.

Or why not simply discuss overcoming difficult moments in life, like WP Diamonds does on their blog? The company blog covers important aspects such as recovering after a divorce, what to do with jewelry as inheritance, lifehacks for readers, and more. All using a positive voice as empowerment to men and women worldwide.

More than a Health Directory

Directories have existed since forever, but what if yours could go beyond? GreenGoodnessCo is a fine example of a health directory exceeding limits.

Their blog section is filled with recipes, how-to articles, wellness and health resources, experts highlights, user stories, local best healthy meals, restaurants, juice bars, and more. This approach does not only help businesses with local listings, but also aid visitors looking for more than just a place to eat, drink, hang out at.

Takeaways

Remember that 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company’s voice through blog posts, which means business blogging is still highly relevant. How you do it, it’s only up to you. You can go beyond the typical approach by

  • a) structuring your blog as an online course, like AcuityTraining;
  • b) using icons side to article titles so people understand the overall topic before they click, following RavenTools’s example;
  • c) going beyond professional, and addressing pressing issues of today’s society such as divorce, marriage, lifehacks, like in the case of WP Diamonds; and,
  • d) reinventing a concept such as GreenGoodnessCo’s health directory into a new place for users to find inspiration, information, and motivation for a better, healthier lifestyle.

How Social Media Saved the Travel Industry [Infographic]

While it might seem hard to believe, the travel industry has exploded in 2016 thanks to social media.

How platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, apps and websites shaped the travel industry is a topic we are going to cover today.

But before that, some relevant stats from last year’s reports.

What 2016 Looked Like in Numbers for the Travel Industry

The tour and leisure activities industry has become a multi-billion USD market. In Europe alone, tours and entertaining activities account for over 40 billion USD, while in the US, there are over 67,000 businesses accumulating approximately 20 billion USD revenue. Travelers are more inclined to spend on sightseeing and experiencing the local life than to shop and party, which makes this segment the 3rd largest of the travel industry, after air and accommodation. 

There is a rising demand for balance between early and last minute bookings and offers. Millennials are part of the segment consumers who do not like to wait, and usually book their travels one week or less prior to departure (19%). 30% of millennials also worry that costs will rise, and therefore are more inclined in booking right away. 82% of US travelers are more tempted towards domestic trips as primary vacation. 59% of travel related searches belong to people aged 35-64. Main reasons for traveling in 2016 included relaxation, adventure, time with family, friends and rewards for the hard work and results.

Last year was a "year of adventure and new experiences", according to TripBarometer’s 2015 predictions. 69% of all-age consumers planned to experience something new, and 17% wanted to solo-travel for the first time. 1 in 5 global travelers have visited a destination because they saw it online in a TV show. With only 31% of travelers booking based on previous experiences, the majority of them embraced the idea of new, lesser-known and unique destinations.

Adventure and novelty were key marketing messages used by travel companies to attract their customers. 

How Social Media Impacted the Travel Industry in 2016

According to Tnooz, 95% of respondents interviewed in a TrustYou survey stated that they read online reviews before booking a trip. TripAdvisor user stats say that 1 in 5 users will almost always check reviews before deciding on an attraction. Out of these, Australians (82%) and Generation X (74%) are more inclined to check other opinions before trying.

More than 200 new user reviews or messages are being posted on TripAdvisor every minute, and over 6.2 million businesses in over 128,000 destinations use Trip Advisor.  
A new term has become quite popular: "bleisure". Inspired by nomads and people who travel and work remotely in the same time, the new trend addresses a mix of business and leisure, embraced by technological advances.

Last year has also brought a new perspective on the "mobility" of the industry, with traveling becoming more mobile. It seems travelers just can’t escape technology and are always connected to the online world, independent of location. Increasingly more people use Instagram and Snapchat to find attractions and destinations, empowered by the personal messages and burning hashtags.

Maps, flights, Uber – in one word, information at just one click away. Consumers enjoy the perks of gig economy giant Uber in major cities around the world, especially when "bleisuring". However, experiential travel is in high demand, as well.

For people seeking adventure, marketers are realizing they need to give travelers a taste of experience, as pictures and videos are no longer satisfying the hunger for authentic travels. A movement which has given way to adventure parks, set-up beaches and more, in order to keep consumers hooked and interested at any given time. 

Two types of travelers have emerged from last year’s travel boom: the "money rich, time poor" and the "money poor, time rich". The first, who wants to have everything planned ahead of schedule, booked, and dealt with, in order to save time, without caring much about budgets, and avid user of the hashtag #richkidsofinstagram.

The latter, defined by the average millennial who wants to gain as much of an authentic experience as possible, in a state of total "time insensitivity", but who does not have the money to afford luxury, an avid user of #hostelfriends and AirBnB. Each in their own worlds enjoying a different type of travel experience.

Social media isn’t just Facebook. With 2.5 billion global users by 2018, and introduction of Messenger functionalities for all major social media platforms, we can only imagine how impactful platforms will become. Twitter stats dating from 2014 reveal that 44% of consumers are more inclined to learn about a new travel brand by using Twitter, 27% will share positive experiences, creating buzz for travel brands and over 39% of users access the platform during their travels.

Gen Z use of Instagram is on the rise, while for the same segment of consumers, Facebook is on a steady decline. To add more, 5 out of 6 millennials connect with companies on social media and expect perks. 97% of millennials will share pictures during their travels through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Newly launched flight search TripSeats reports in their infographic that 68% of travelers are happy with social media ads and consider them to be effective in the decision-making process. Millennials again seem more open towards providing an aid to the industry, with 83% of them being open to provide their travel data to companies. More stats are available below.

With these stats in mind, it does seem like "the world is just a click away". To where from here?

Infographic

Anybody Out There? 5 Ways to Build the Right Online Audience

Personalizing online content often means creating stories that make people feel connected to a business or product. However, while it may be easy to make up stories that help people feel connected, creating an audience might be a bit more difficult.

Creating online content is like standing on a stage at a talent show. The different audience members like different kinds of acts. Some prefer music while others want to watch magic. The internet is similar to this since you are trying to draw in a multitude of diverse interests.

Finding ways to grab people’s attention can seem difficult and frustrating. However, with the right approach, any business can create a new audience, the key is to create a musical magic act.

Make your website mobile friendly

Most people read website on their phones or tablets while they’re on the move. Making a website mobile friendly is one of the easiest ways to create an audience for your product or service. In addition, Google made mobile-friendliness a ranking signal in April 2015.

  • Find a conversion platform
  • Use mobile plugins
  • Use a web design that is responsive to mobile

Use the right hashtags

Customers looking for products are going to be searching under hashtags. Think about the diversity of your customer base. FM Digital Group suggests marketing to multiple demographics can expand customer base by thinking of different categories of hashtags that can help.

For examples, just because you are a nail salon doesn’t mean that your manicures are just manicures. When tagging the designs on Instagram, go beyond the traditional nail art tags and decide how to market the actual designs. Think about the cross postings that hashtags can give across multiple social media sites.

Choose the right social media channel

Different social media networks offer different audiences and opportunities.

  • Facebook has the broadest range
  • Twitter works best for moving information quickly
  • Pinterest’s users are primarily women and works best for DIY projects, fashion, exercise, beauty, photography, and food
  • Instagram which is entirely pictures and video works best for food, art, travel, fashion and other products that are visually appealing
  • Tumblr is mostly young people with half its visitor base under 25, but if your product is a niche product, this where the audience lives

Find your influencer

Influencers vary by business, but each can become your brand ambassador. In your industry, think about the voices. Building a relationship with one of them might be the best way to build an audience.  This strategy takes time. To make it work, you need to build a genuine relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. If it’s not real, neither the influencer nor the audience will stick around.

Read what others are talking about

Be involved in the conversations that others are having about your industry. Follow up on your competitors to be just as involved as they are. Competitors are just other people with the same audience as you. This means that the customers you want to engage may be engaged with them. By analyzing where your competitors find their audience, you can find your own.

Building an online audience sounds daunting. However, in the same way that the musician at the talent show is able to get the music fans to applaud a good show, so can you become capable of establishing a name for yourself.

Image source: Pixabay

Roxana Nasoi
Roxana is an online community builder and marketing consultant with 8years of experience in startup branding, community building (former Elance.com ambassador, between 2012-2015) and marketing consulting for Fortune500 companies. You can read her blog, SERPlified, and connect with her on Twitter (@roxanasoi). She enjoys traveling, dancing tango, running and reading good books.
Roxana Nasoi