Congratulations! It’s a blog.
Whether you’re giving birth to your company’s first blog or relaunching one that went stagnant some time ago, you’re probably pretty excited. And rightfully so, because you’re engaging in a powerful marketing tactic that can help boost your website’s SEO, bring visitors to your website, solidify relationships with current customers and convince prospects you’re the right company to meet their needs.
You also probably want to hurry up and tell the world about the great content your company is creating, but don’t move too fast. It’s better to take a strategic approach and get the most out of your new blog’s initial publicity push.
A large part of my job is helping companies launch, maintain and promote their blogs. Here’s what my colleagues and I recommend when it comes time to promote a new business blog:
Hurry up and wait
You want to wait at least a month after starting a new blog to launch a big promotional push. If you publicize a blog after just one or two posts, people who come to visit won’t have much to read and may assume that you are like many companies that start blogging then stop or only post sporadically.
If you wait a month or so, though, you’ll have eight to 12 posts, which will give visitors plenty to read and reason to stay on your site longer. That number of posts will also demonstrate that you’re blogging consistently, so people will have reason to believe that if they come back again, there will be new content appearing on a regular basis.
Update your website
Your website designer probably made some adjustments to add a blog to your site, but before you make a major external publicity push, you should make sure you’re doing your best to promote your blog on your website. Be sure the blog is featured prominently in your website’s navigation, include a widget to allow people to sign up for the blog’s RSS feed and consider adding a list of the most recent posts as a sidebar that appears across your website’s pages.
Put out a press release
Yes, press releases are still relevant and beneficial these days. What’s changed is how you write them; today’s press releases must serve double-duty as storytellers and SEO boosters. Write your press release as a carefully crafted story designed for human readers — while including relevant keywords, links and an image, such as your company’s logo. And don’t forget to include a call to action.
Announce it via e-mail
Your company should be sending out a regular e-mail newsletter to customers, prospects and other audience members. E-mail is a great vehicle for sharing the news of your new blog and featuring some of its best posts.
Include a summary of each post you want to feature along with a link and a call to learn more by reading the full post. If you don’t send out an email newsletter, now is a good time to start. A regularly-updated blog will fuel your email newsletter with content.
Share it with your social circles
Announcing your business’ new blog via social media is a great way to get people to read and share your posts. When you start your big publicity push, write posts announcing you have a blog and sharing the posts you’ve already published.
Don’t abandon posting other material on your social channels, though. You won’t gain as much traction if everything you post is about yourself and what you’ve done.
When you’re considering which social channels are best for your company, don’t forget about our favorite SEO driver, Google+. Google+ plays a significant role in how Google views your company as a content creator and ranks your website. If your company doesn’t have a Google+ page yet, you need to get one and post everything you publish on it.
Brooke Howell is editorial services director for Reputation Capital Media Services, a Baton Rouge, La., marketing agency that helps B2B companies and their marketing agencies produce high-quality digital content, including blog posts, e-mail newsletters, white papers and multimedia. Before joining Reputation Capital, she served as the small business and entrepreneurship editor at SmartBrief, developing several new newsletters and also editing publications in fields such as women’s business leadership and franchising.