Marketers can often be left overwhelmed, scratching their heads to come up with ideas for their business blog. If you own a community-based business, and you are not blogging about your local favorites, you are missing an opportunity.
I recently had the good fortune of speaking at a law firm conference. From that experience, I began working with several new clients. As I do with all of my clients, I conducted a thorough audit of what they are currently doing online for their businesses. I found one big thing in common - a lack of community content on their blogs.
Each client tends to blog about their areas of practice, rather than the communities they serve. I understand the value in industry specific blog posts that can help with business networking and search engine optimization, but it leaves out the clients.
This idea will drive traffic to your site, empower your employees, and support your local community. Are you ready?
You should allow your staff to contribute to your blog, give them a voice. You retain editorial control, while you encourage them to participate. Ask your staff what their favorite businesses are in their own neighborhoods. Have each contribute a blog post outlining their favorite restaurants, cafes, things to do for the family, live music venues, movie theaters, etc. Take it a step further and give the employee a gift certificate for one of their picks. Word will spread and other staff will want to contribute something.
Create a blog series of Nashville Neighborhood Favorites. Be sure each blog post links to the corresponding business, so readers can click to learn more. Include photos of the businesses and brief descriptions of each. The posts shouldn't be grocery lists, they should be succinct articles describing the best local shops. What makes them your favorite?
This is important. Once each blog post goes live, you need to notify the businesses that are featured. Don't assume they are tracking mentions of their brand.
You can probably find each company's Twitter profile from their website. Mention them in a tweet and link back to your blog post. Don't include all of their Twitter profiles in one tweet, break it up to several tweets and schedule them throughout the week.
Hi @XYZ, we included you in our favorite Germantown businesses. Check it out: LINK
Do the same by tagging the businesses in Facebook posts on your company page. By tagging them they will be aware they were featured as a favorite on your blog.
Here are a few great reasons why this strategy works:
- You empower your employees.
- You support your community.
- You produce content on your blog consistently.
- Your organic traffic can increase to your blog when someone is searching for "best coffee shop in Germantown".
- The featured businesses will likely share your blog post with their friends, fans and followers, which will drive traffic back to your blog and increase awareness of your brand.
You don't have to be a law firm, any local business can benefit from creating staff neighborhood favorite blog posts. Give this method a try and let me know how it works for you. If you need more ideas for your company blog or social media strategy give me a shout.
Photo from Flickr by Christian Schnettelker.