When it comes to creating and maintaining a company blog, a common misconception is that the articles have to be technical to work.

But this isn’t the case.

While highly-technical blogs may work for some industries and topics, in many cases the most engaging blog posts are the ones that everyday readers can relate to.

That means the most effective blog posts are usually the ones that are tailored to an audience, employ simple language and seek to help the readers in some way.

If you’re thinking about starting a company blog or want to refine your current approach to blog posts, here are a few things to consider.

Write for your audience

It sounds basic, but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t stop to consider who they are writing for.

Some assume knowledge not necessarily possessed by the reader, and some assume interest in technical specifics that might not exist.

And sometimes business blogs get caught up in wanting to impress their readers.

The problem is, although readers may very well be dazzled by the depth of your technical knowledge, if you don’t engage your audience or achieve your goals you’ve squandered a marketing opportunity.

Be sure to tailor your blog topics to your audience’s needs so you can create genuine value and encourage them to keep coming back for more.

When you create good content, it makes for a powerful addition to your marketing activities.

Answer a question

Most people want an answer to a question or find a solution to a problem.

Often the most successful company blogs are not thought leadership or highly-technical pieces, they are the ones that simply answer the questions many people have.

What questions do you get asked regularly by customers? What is a misconception about what you do? Now blog about that.

This approach will not only help you to rank higher in search engines but in the process, you’ll establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Why you don’t need to write technical blogs to be effective

Tap into different stages of the buying cycle

Articles or blog posts are most effective when they play to the different stages of the customer buying cycle.

The first stage is awareness; where the client recognises they have a need but doesn’t know how to address it. If customers are continually approaching you with specific needs, address them in a blog post.

The next stage is research; where the customer has become interested in purchasing an item or using a service and is now online comparing what’s on offer. At this stage, it’s not about your technical know-how, it’s about how you want your customer to feel about your brand.

Consideration is the stage where the potential buyer or client is looking for specific information. They will be looking for detailed description, quality photography or video demonstrations – all of which can be captured nicely in a blog entry.

If you’ve got a best-selling product or service, why not talk about it in depth in a dedicated blog post? It’ll not only give your potential customers a detailed insight into its key features, it may also cement your product or service as a preferred choice.

The last stage of the buying cycle is the actual purchase. It’s about nailing the sale and getting bogged down in technical detail has no place here.

Non-technical blogs also play an important part in retention. If your blog focuses on building a sense of reliability and usefulness rather than technical detail, clients will continue to come back.

Keep it simple

Consider this: blog headlines that are non-technical often perform better in searches because they mirror exactly what people type into search engines.

Search aside, always remember that the aim of a company blog is to communicate – and the most effective communication employs simple, non-technical language.

Need help with a blogging strategy or production?

At Assemblo, we help businesses and brands to create and maintain regular blogs.

If you’d like to explore how articles or blog posts can support your business objectives, get in touch.

Call (03) 9079 2555 or fill in the contact form below.

The ABC has announced a $1 million boost to its podcast production, aimed at supporting emerging community-based podcasters, while at the same time increasing the diversity of its content.

Australia’s national broadcaster recently launched The Podcast Fund at the opening of the annual podcasting conference, OzPod 2017.

According to the director of ABC Radio Michael Mason, the fund will focus on small, community-based podcasts as well as provide up-and-coming podcasters with a larger platform and audience base.

“The fund will also be used to commission podcasts around specific communities and their interests across a wide range of activities including sport, culture, lifestyle, comedy and the arts,” he said.

The ABC hopes young, talented and passionate podcasters will benefit from their expertise and experience.

But it will be a two-way street. The ABC is expecting to use the program to extend its reach into communities and audiences of special interest through new creative partnerships.

Australians are proving to be huge consumers of podcasts, with 17 per cent of the population listening to a podcast at least once a month.

The ABC is already at the forefront of podcasting, with about 115 million unique downloads this year alone, with an average monthly download of 16 million.

Their most popular podcast Conversations with Richard Fidler has already been downloaded 20 million times this year.

Many believe that podcasting is poised to take over radio in terms of reach and revenue.

A recent study showed that a third of people say they have had trouble finding what they want on the radio.

Listening to podcast

On the other hand, users can search a myriad of podcast topics to find one that interests them, which they are then able to listen to at a convenient time.

The trend looks set to continue, with the use of smartphones and tablets continuing to rise, as well as the ever-increasing consumption of audio material.

The Podcast Fund will be run by ABC Audio Studios, and will bring together the corporation’s podcast production teams and its long-form radio production teams.

The funding will be used for formulating ideas, developing and planning formats, production processes and engaging with audiences.

The ABC will call for submissions in the coming months with new podcast content scheduled to drop in 2018.

In the information-rich environment of the present day, content is king. But what do you do when you run out of ideas?

Rather than let your blog or content plan sit idle, here’s what you can do when you’re all out of ideas.

1. Use a content idea generator

Yes, there is such a thing! Content idea generators are the perfect tools for those who think the creative well has completely dried up.

For blog post ideas, try Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator. This tool works by using certain algorithms based on marketing keyword topics. Simply complete the required fields with terms that you’d like to write about, and it will come up with a week’s worth of relevant blog post topics instantly.

You’ve written your blog post but you can’t quite come up with an engaging headline. Never fear, CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is here. The free tool gives your possible headline a ‘score’ and analysis of its key words to measure its impact in the format you’re proposing (e.g. Blog post, tweet). The tool can be nifty for fresh ideas on certain words in your content, and also doubles as a learning tool for tips on words that connect with your particular audience.

Portent’s Content Idea Generator can give you a quick topic for a blog post or tweet if you just type in a word – perfect if you have a single key word and all you need is a fresh topic to match. The tool generates ideas for types of content based on the keyword you provide, such as ‘give readers a straight up resource’ or ‘write a post in second person’. It can suggest some pretty random ideas but it is likely to offer a fun take on a serious topic. Give it a go!

2. Explore trending topics

Another go-to for content inspiration is to perform a quick check of Google Trends to see what is trending in your area.

You can drill down by topic (eg. health, tech, business) or search for your own terms to see what is trending on something specific.

Looking for trends in specific location? You can do that, too. Google Trends allows you to search for trends by region and sub-region, meaning you can get ideas for content Australia-wide or specifically for the suburb you’re creating content for.

This is a great way to get topic ideas for content that is on trend, timely and relevant.

4 ways to generate fresh ideas for your content marketing

3. Analyse the competition

We’d never suggest you rip off another’s work but you need to keep an eye on your competition to monitor what works and what doesn’t.

Is there an idea in a key topic they’ve missed? Perhaps there’s a gap or an opportunity your content could fill?

If you don’t know who your competitors are you can do a quick search on Buzzsumo by topic. It’ll rank content ideas based on the current volume of social media engagement.

Sometimes, all it takes is a little look at what the competition is doing to generate some fresh content ideas based on your own point of difference.

4. Get ideas from your audience

Do you know where your audience eats, shops and spends their time online?

Find user forums and networks and don’t be afraid to sleuth online Q+A communities like Reddit and Quora for customer concerns.

What’s a question your readers really want answered? Write a blog post addressing that exact problem.

Mine your customer’s forums for marketing topics they’re exploring – you could just find a nugget that leads to your best content ideas ever.

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