We were surprised to find out that blogs were first started 27Ys ago by a student who wanted to publicize his writing. His posts were short, had a link, and included his opinions on the topic. About 5Ys later, Blogger and LiveJournal became popular blogging tools. These types of platforms made blogging easy to customize and provided an opportunity for bloggers to sell advertising. Today, blogs are an important part of marketing for many companies. With 91% of B2B companies using blogs or other forms of content marketing, according to GrowthBadger, we expect many bankers are blogging these days. Blogs are a great way to disseminate news, promote your brand and services, explain your values, and discuss ways to solve problems to become a “go-to” place for potential customers. If you haven’t tried your hand at blogging or if you are interested in sharpening your blogging skills, here are six steps to creating a successful blog post and building your brand.
- Make a point. Each blog post should have a specific point to make, benefitting both readers and your institution’s larger goals. For example, provide valuable information on various financial fitness topics and reinforce your role as a trusted community advisor.
- Call to action. Include a call to action where it makes sense. If your blog post is about Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness, for instance, ask the reader to call or email the department in charge of that program or even try your free online calculator. You want to provide easy ways for your readers to reach your institution for more information.
- Choose topics that matter. People read posts because they have problems to solve and questions to be answered. Use bank data to find out what subjects are on your customers’ radar screens. If your phone support team reports that they’re getting a lot of calls about mortgage refinancing, consider writing a blog post on that topic. Or maybe your website’s internal search function shows that many website visitors are interested in various payment options. That should be your cue to write a blog post about your institution’s payment capabilities. Other bank staff can also serve as your ears, telling you what subjects they’re hearing about from customers.
- Write concise, narrowly focused posts. Stick with writing about questions that you can easily cover between 200 and 500 words. A post called “How To Pass on a Family Business” could easily be too broad. Books are written on that subject. A post called “Four Signs That You Are Ready To Transition Your Family Business” is likely to be much more focused. If you have more material on this topic, take it and turn it into additional blog posts, to be deployed when the time is right.
- Promote your blog posts. Make your blog easy to find. Post summaries of your blog post on your social media channels and link to new blogs on your website’s home page. Consider letting existing and potential new customers opt-in to receive an email alert when a new blog is published.
- Track blog engagement. Is anyone reading your blog? By using Google, you can track your blog traffic and volume of customer comments. Look at your call to action. Has the department contact on your blog post seen an uptick in calls? Your blog post can take at least some of the credit and guide you on future blog posts.
While blogging isn’t new, it can certainly be regularly reviewed for reader engagement. Take a little time to assess, measure, and adjust your blog posts and you could be pleasantly surprised at the results.