Business blogging is a powerful tool which when wielded rightly, can impact your marketing significantly. How do we say this?
According to Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, blogs are online sources that are most likely to influence a purchase (31.1%) and are most trusted (29%).
Here is what you need to do to make your business blog a powerful pillar supporting your marketing:
1. Be Aware of Your Goals
Have complete knowledge about your content marketing, social media and blogging goals. What have you set out to achieve in these three areas? How do you plan to achieve those goals through your business blog? Also, make sure that these goals are specific, measurable and align with your overall business objectives.
2. Be Informed about Your Target Audience
A primary reason for blog underperformance would be faulty audience targeting. Define marketing and social media personas which will help you know your target audience. Knowledge about your target audience will help you zero in on topics based on their content interests. If you find that you have markedly different audience groups to target, you can have more than one blog but with related content marketing strategies.
3. Align Your Topics to Your Content
See that your topics are aligned with your target audience’s content preferences. This helps in positioning the right content. Content consistency helps build an audience since they know what they can expect from you.
4. Prepare a Content Calendar
Great blog posts don’t spring up out of the blue without proper planning. Map out a structured calendar with the frequency of posts, relevant industry events/trade shows to be covered, major content areas you need to cover etc. established. An established content calendar helps ensure regular, streamlined
5. Formulate a Content Marketing Plan
Posting great articles on your business blog and expecting to garner leads doesn’t cut it. You need to invest efforts in taking your blog onto higher ground for increased visibility. If your content is good, increased visibility will translate into views and leads. Promote your blog through paid ads on other social media accounts. Automate blog delivery to users so that they receive your blog posts through emails and feeds without having to do it actively. Also incorporate social sharing buttons on your blog pages for better content distribution and virality.
6. Assign Adequate Resources for Your Blog
To build a good business blog, you need to allocate necessary resources, human, technical and financial. You’ll need resources: to generate quality content, for creative work (images, design, formatting etc.), to work on the editing (get the language right), to market your content and to iron out technical issues.
7. Work on Content Optimization
Your blog is a major contributor to your search rankings. Optimize your content by using relevant non-brand keywords. Integrate your blog’s URL into your company site URL which helps in branding and further search optimization. Also, make it easy for people to access your blog from your website and vice versa.
Structure your content is short paragraphs. This makes it easy for people to consume your content.
8. ‘Brand’ Your Blog with Your Identity
Stamp your brand’s identity on your blog with focus on brand colors, logo, font etc. Consistency in the look and feel of your brand site and blog makes customers familiar with your brand and puts them at ease when dealing with you.
9. Connect Your Blog to Relevant Product/Service Pages
Don’t make your readers meander through your blog pages looking for links to your products/services. Make it easy for them by linking your blog pages to the right products/services with a persuasive call-to-action.
10. Intersperse Text with Visuals
Balance the presence of text on your blog with adequate visuals. This will keep the blog from appearing drab and will also help in capturing people’s attention more easily. Spruce up your blog with good quality relevant images, videos and power point presentations.
11. Measure Performance
Track your blog’s effectiveness by measuring important performance metrics such as the amount of traffic, leads and sales generated. Also measure the extent to which your blog is helping you cut costs in search and customer service.
Tell us in the comments section if you know of any other tips to power business blogs.