Question: We are a B2B that has been blogging for a few months. The content we are writing is good, but we aren’t getting much (if any) traffic to the blog. How can we improve our traffic to make our blogging efforts feel more worth while.
This is such a great question and I’m so glad you asked it. I’ve talked a lot about this indirectly when I talk about Influence, Online Relationship Building and Creating Communities, but here I am going to answer this in a more practical sense.
First, I want to commend small and medium B2B’s that are taking to content and blogging to drive business and improve relationships with their current a potential clients. This is a great approach and it is going to become more and more relevant each and every day. With content being the means for the public to build relationships with a brand, it is so important that your business is talking about how and perhaps more importantly why your solutions make sense for your audience.
Hence: Don’t. Give. Up.
So to your question…How (oh how) do we get more people to read your blog. The key here is promotion. Did you know that you should spend as much time promoting your content as you do writing it? In fact I have heard that even heard some experts go as far as 20% of the time creating and 80% promotion. Now, I know that for many businesses, there is hardly enough time to both create and promote, but then again what value is great content if no one is reading it?
What is important to understand is that the promotion early on is even more important than once you have established your online presence because in time you start to build an audience of people who regularly read, subscribe and share your content. But in the beginning, your content is just one of millions of pieces of content created. The process of getting the content read and keeping it moving in social circles takes work.
However, there are ways to move this process forward and many of them you can start doing today. Here are 4 must-do activities that I have found successful in driving your content to more people.
Be Profound (Even Provocative) on Social Media: This isn’t another be on Twitter and be on Facebook promotion. Having an account doesn’t make your company social. Make sure you are writing micro content for social bookmarks that make someone want to click on your blog. Instead of just clicking the “Tweet” button, take a minute to write something that will catch the eye of the reader. Ask a question or make a thought provoking statement. Challenging the reader helps gain eyeballs.
Be Consistent with Promotion: A lot of small businesses will publish a post and then share it to all of their social sites and then say…”Why didn’t anyone like, click, share etc…Let me ask you this. If the first time the Guy/Gal you thought was cute or the Company you really wanted to work for said no, would you just say “Meh, I quit?” Of course you wouldn’t, promoting is about consistently sharing and it is more than just automating. It’s making the brand human, the content relevant and the delivery consistent.
Be Present: If you want people to read your content, try putting it in places where it is relevant. For instance, groups on LinkedIn and communities on Google+ would be a great start. This gives you a place to share with ideal customers, geographic audiences or others with similar interests where you can be discovered. Beyond groups, make sure that you aren’t just sharing from your “Company” social handles. People tend to follow people more than brands and by sharing the content personally you will often get more interest and traction.
Build A Sharing Culture: Look, if Mom isn’t reading your content then no one is. So maybe mom doesn’t work for you or with you, but I can’t tell you how many companies can’t even get their own employees, partners, stakeholders etc. to share the content that they are creating. Start with the employees and leaders of the company and then work toward your current customers/supporters, (Newsletters are a great way to do this) then work toward new prospects and targets. This is much faster and more realistic than getting a wide audience of new readers right off the bat.
And there you have it…Don’t wait for readers to come to you because if you build it, they will not come, unless you do a little work.