We encourage our clients to generate regular, relevant, interesting content for their online channels. One of the most frequent questions we get asked by clients is ‘should we have a news or blog section on our website?’
And so, we wanted to tell you why it is a good idea for these two types of content to be separate and labelled correctly on your website.
Blog vs News
What’s the difference between a news and blog section on your website? Your news section is a factual time line of your company, a representation of your brand and home to important communications, such as:
- Announce new products, services or offering
- Announce recent achievements or awards
- Announce upcoming events
Blogs take on a different form to news. Classes as ‘value-added content’, they are an opportunity to showcase your brand in a different light, adopting a more informal tone and addressing topics that, whilst falling outside the category of news, are relevant and engaging to your audiences (how will you know if it’s relevant to your audience? A content strategy will help with that).
A blog will be more opinion based; use it to get under the skin of a topic or issue your audiences care about, and take the time to offer a more detailed and interesting point of view. A blog gives you the freedom to talk about anything loosely related to your business, is there a shared passion between your team and your clients? Would your audience be interested in, an in-depth look at industry specific news or an interview with one of your clients? The blog section of your website is unique to your business, but it should cover three simple elements:
- Informative – Teach your audiences how to use your product or describe your services in greater detail
- Editorial – Offer opinions and reviews about topics related to your industry
- Promotional – Announce upcoming sales, promotional events or contests
Have a think about what topics your audiences will be interested in an put together a content plan, or enlist an agency to help you understand and target your audiences. Remember to add any extra links to your blog post to decrease your bounce rate and encourage your readers to visit other pages on your website, keeping your readers on your website for as long as possible.
Tone of voice
Every business has an identity and communicating it successfully is what makes a business a brand. When writing a news piece, the ‘author’ will typically be the organisation itself, which is why tone of voice guidelines to inform all marketing communications is essential, from site content and print collateral, to social media and email marketing.
When you create a blog post, more often than not, it will be attributed to a particular team member and they will take ownership of the piece. Here there is the freedom to work with their tone of voice, an approach which often leads to higher levels of engagement. That said, ensure the content still adheres to your business’ overall brand guidelines and content strategy. For example, authors should be able to show that the content fits within your established goals for content, as set out in the content strategy.
Get your tone of voice right and your brand becomes a powerful force, reaching out to people in a persuasive way that builds trust and gets results.
Top tips on writing a news and blog post
Your blog is probably one of your company’s most valuable marketing tools. Blogs can help build trust with customers, generate leads, provide added value to your audience and build brand awareness. Here’s some top tips to consider when creating a new blog post:
- Know your audience
- Create content that adds value
- Optimise your content for Google
Start at the beginning with our guide ‘Choosing the right blog title – a 3 -step guide to getting more clicks’
You may think that writing a news article is as a lot easier than a blog, but the truth is to get the most out of your news section you need to follow some key tips:
- Capture your readers attention with the header
- Structure your news article correctly with an introduction, main body and conclusion
- Keep the information short and sweet
Planning is key
Both your news and blog section serve a purpose and often both belong on a website. To get the best from both, make sure you have a clearly defined purpose for each and that your team are briefed on the difference between the two.
This will help you plan your content and will also manage your audience’s expectations when they land on each section of the website.
We’re an opinionated bunch at Spindogs and so we decided that a blog was the right way to go for us!