No matter the purpose of your blog, a practical and strategic approach is essential for success. This includes your marketing strategy. After all, your blog wants a large readership or traffic. Without an effective marketing plan, you simply won’t have the visitors you need for your blog to be useful. After hours of work developing content, it would be heartbreaking if nobody read any of it.
What is the value of a blog to a business?
You’re providing useful and valuable information to people that are interested in your brand. You’re able to collect data about them at the same time and turn them into potential customers!
- Prove you’re the expert by having content relevant to your business
- Capture those people searching for answers who aren’t yet your client
Marketing skills are in abundance in your marketing team, but chances are they’re all a bit too busy to provide your content for you. Blogs for business are still grossly undervalued. When you consider the opportunities a blog offers, you can understand why so many social media and SEO specialists rave about them.
“Consistency is key in any excellent marketing strategy, especially for a blog. If you want to achieve true success, you cannot let your blogging efforts go untapped for months at a time.
Ideally, you’ll want to blog daily, but if this is not feasible, go for weekly posts with thorough keyword research and you should begin to see phenomenal results in due time.” Christopher Grozdon | DASH-SEO, Austin, TX
The list of benefits goes on and on. You can perform qualitative market research through your blog. Blogs are also perfect for supporting any branding or positioning strategy.
Most importantly, they provide an extra outreach to engage your customers, encouraging comments and feedback.
Oh yes, and they can also convert a lead into a sale!
What Marketing Skills Are Relevant To Blogging?
Now it’s clear to see what can be achieved with a blog, it’s important to discuss the marketing skills you need to ensure its success and return on investment:
How Search Engine Optimization Plays A Role in Blogging
Search engine optimization is just as important for your blog pages as it is for any other sales or corporate page on your business website. In fact, your SEO objectives might dictate the content plan.
All blogs need content, and this content should be added to several times a week IF you can actually generate EPIC content.
Fresh content for businesses can be challenging. After all, you want to keep it relevant to your product offering, but this makes topic options quite narrow. Think practical uses, case studies, and fun facts.
Implementing Keyword Strategies
Choosing organic keywords to target is perhaps easier for businesses as there are fewer you would be interested in. They would also be more specific than a general lifestyle blog might be working toward.
It’s worth taking the time for some formal training in SEO strategy so you can learn how to pick the most appropriate keywords. At the moment, long tail keywords are best, but as search algorithms change, you need to keep on top of your SEO from managing sitemaps and meta content to your the topic of the blogs you write.
Part of your SEO training will help you learn to make the most of competitor research. Tools like SEM Rush can give you an inside view of the keywords your competitors are targeting.
A good strategy is evolved from the analysis of all the data available.
This needs to include the most used keywords and the keywords your closest competitors are utilizing. From there, you can make informed decisions, writing content that naturally absorbs the keywords your business needs to target.
How PR Works In The Digital Age
Your business blog is also a great place to reach out to journalists and build up better PR. You can post white papers and case studies here. It’s important to keep your content topical so stay abreast of the news that may affect your customers. Always try to tie in these topical or trending stories with your blog content.
You should also use your blog to help establish you or your company as an industry expert.
The more you post, the bigger your influence. This can help you become an authority-voice on certain topics, and can easily lead journalists in your direction.
Check in with some writers each month to see if there is anything you can help them with. Don’t push a puff piece as a press release though. See if you can shape something fresh to help a journo out with a story requirement.
Your blog is also an ideal place to talk about new product development or changes to your services. Make it a story relevant to a typical reader, rather than just a statement. It must have an angle and a point for reading.
How To Create An Online Branding Strategy
Your content should have a consistent tone of voice. This tone of voice should match the brand perception you’re trying to build. A brand persona relies heavily on all the communication you release.
That is especially important for your blog. After all, anyone can read your articles. They need to get to know what your brand is about. Think about who your brand appeals to. This needs to match your target customer demographic. How do these people like to be addressed or spoken to?
Blogs are far less formal and far more personable than corporate pages or product pages on your website.
Your content should reflect this. Think of it as social media rather than just another page on your website. So be social! Be more chatty and informal.
Be friendly and welcoming. Be helpful and inquisitive.
You want to engage your visitors and customers. You want to give them help and advice. In return, you hope they will click through to product pages or give you their email address. This isn’t a sales push, though.
Content Marketing Strategy and Planning
Your blog should be a part of your overall marketing strategy and campaign planning. It should also have a marketing strategy and plan of its own. Your objective here is simple.
The most important thing about blogging from a company blog is putting out useful content. So often I see see established brands with uninspiring and content that is useful to no one.
Use your blog to establish your authority on your industry vs putting out generic content and expecting people to care. Evan, Digital Marketing Consultant at Yando.io
Attract the maximum number of people to your site, keep them there for as long as possible! You can measure this with analytics very easily from your own website stats.
A second aim for your site would be to convert that traffic into leads or directly into eCommerce sales.
Map your customer journey from your blog page to the product page that is related to it. Customers should be able to reach further relevant content in a single click.
Any standard blog template can be ideal for this. If you’re building the blog into your existing corporate website, make sure it is mapped out easily for visitors.
Next, you need to plan your content release. Brainstorm thirty or forty article ideas to get you through the first couple of months. Titles are important here, but for planning purposes numbers might suffice.
Many WordPress plugins offer automated posting to FaceBook and Twitter. Consider a scheduling tool to help you publicize content further.
Don’t Forget to Leverage Social Media
Social media is an essential part of successful blogging. But did you know that other blog sites could be just as useful to you? When you’re writing content articles, you need to include links to other in-depth information.
“Promoting your blog article is the most important, and difficult task when it comes to successful blogging. Lots of people can create great content, but in order for your content to get more visibility than others, you need to promote it successfully.
Using your own network, but also tapping into new ones such as relevant LinkedIn- and Facebook Groups helps. Content is something that can be easily “copied”, but that’s not the case for your promotion strategy”. Steven Van Vessum – Content King, SEO auditing software
For example you coule pick a couple of blog articles that are relevant to your content and to your audience. While you’re posting those articles to socials, be sure to notify the blogger that you’ve linked to them by @ messaging their profile or even emailing them! This is the first step in building a relationship with an influencer.
Reach out to your followers and friends across all your social media accounts too. Offer promotions that are exclusive to that platform. This can help increase your followers as content is shared.
Photos are important across all the platforms, and images are essential for a successful blog. Use them wisely. Sometimes people share a picture just because they like the picture.
Pinterest is perfect for this. Make sure your pics are eye-catching and offer click-throughs back to your informative blog articles.
Even More Needed Marketing Skills
Your writing skills need to be pretty good if you want to provide much of the content for your business blog. You’ll need in-depth product knowledge and your finger on the pulse for what’s hot. Reaching out on a personal level in a public forum is hard to do.
There is always the risk of negative backlash. Don’t be a Trump.
Adopting your company persona instead of taking such feedback personally is essential. At the end of the day you are representing your business and must maintain professionalism.
Bloggers are very creative individuals with the ability to make what they’re writing about topical and interesting. Perhaps the most important part of the writing process is the title.
It has to be interesting and entice the reader to click through to the content.
It might suggest it can solve a problem that many of your readers should share. Perhaps you’re offering something highly desirable or revealing a secret? Whatever the title, the content must deliver on the expectations you are building.
How To Calculate Your SEO & Blogging ROI
At the end of the day, blogging can easily become a full time job. That level of involvement needs to be worthwhile. Be careful how you choose to measure this return on investment.
Don’t forget that a blog fulfills parts of many different marketing objectives.
You might choose to measure each article that you post. After all, you’re writing each piece of content to meet a distinct objective, aren’t you? If not, why not? Did you calculate how much organic SEO potential is even available?
You want to engage your visitors and customers. You want to give them help and advice. In return, you hope they will click through to product pages or give you their email address. This isn’t a sales push, though.”
A lot of marketers push to their visitors aggressive pop-ups that almost can’t be closed. Based on these techniques they present their success as a higher CR but what they don’t realize are tons of visitors who are disgusted and leave them because of that.
Don’t be the aggresor. Give to your visitors content that rocks and they’ll follow you or leave their contact details voluntarily. Real attention must be deserved and not enforced. Filip Podstavec, Marketing Miner
In terms of brand reach or recognition, this too can be measured with relative ease. A third party survey service, or simply the number of people searching for your brand online will undoubtedly start to increase.
You might choose to partner each article with another campaign in your strategy. How will you balance and measure the impact of each on your key objective? This is up to you – simply detail that choice in your reporting.
You Forgot About Link Building!
Google uses the quality and number of other sites that link to yours as part of it’s algorithm to determine if you deserve to get top rankings for those keywords you identified.
“When it comes to outreach/link building for blog posts, you must exercise quality over quantity with your content. People aren’t referencing your content just because you’ve written 200 other articles.
They reference your content because it’s high quality and provides facts and data, helpful information and “how tos”, news or other quality information.” Mitchell Abdullah – SEO Manager at Enventys Partners
Here’s some resources to develop a killer link building process that works for your niche:
- Moving Man
- Some white-hat strategies
- Link Building for boring industries
- eCommerce Link Building
- Real case studies of effective link building
Tailor your posts and linkbait to suit the sites that you want to get the links from. Writing something truly EPIC requires you to first research all similar pieces of content and _then_ author your own.
When done, you want to be able to tell every webmaster “Hey, I have answered exactly what you and all those commentators were asking about”, making the decision giving you that link a total no-brainer. Philip Blomsterberg, Swedish SEO at sökmotoroptimering.se
Use Blogging To Build Your Buisiness
Blogging is and should be a big part of your overall marketing strategy. Don’t push it aside. Results can be seen live and instantaneously making it more measurable than you think. How important is blogging for your business? Have more questions, let me know in the comments I am happy to get into some real discussions!