Blogs serve many purposes. They can be areas for a person to vent about frustrations, share your interests, or in the case of small business, build your brand. A blog provides a unique opportunity to showcase your expertise and experience in your industry within a relaxed and controlled setting.
In this article, we’re going to highlight the main areas of focus in developing a successful strategy for blogging your brand.
Build a Strong Foundation
One of the secondary purposes of your blog is inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is the focus on drawing visitors to your website based on being found in a content related context; for example by a query on a search engine. To assist your content in standing out amongst the crowd, developing an attractive name for your blog will make it memorable and easy to isolate in a long listing of search engine returns.
Understand and Identify Your Audience
Deciding on your target audience will help you define what you will be writing about and how you will voice the messaging. Your audience will be looking for suggestions, advice and answers to their concerns. Your content needs to address each of these needs.
Create a Plan
Building a content calendar for the year is an excellent way to make sure that you develop content that is both timely and relevant. Some content will be “evergreen”, meaning that it’s information that could apply to any time of the year or throughout the buying/decision-making cycle. But there is also much content that should be published at specific times of year to be most relevant. You will need to develop a plan to ensure that time-based content is delivered when your audience is likely to be looking for it. We commonly use search engine query-trend tools to plan our deployment of content with enough lead time to be found by search engines when our content is most timely.
Review, Revise, Improve
Writing for the web is much different that developing content for offline material. You are competing with many online distractions which requires you grab the attention of your audience rapidly and deliver the message in a quick and concise manner. We have written an article on Writing for an Online Audience with more details on how online readers take in content.
Plan Content Promotions
Developing content is only half the battle. Now you need to focus on placing it in front of your audience, with a focus on placing it where they are. Making sure that the basics of your Search Engine Optimization strategy is applied to your articles is the first step. But you must also leverage your social media properties to help deliver content and make it available for sharing across the web.
Set Aside Time
Content marketing requires time to be successful. You must plan for the long term and focus on being consistent and reliable in your content delivery. Assign a lead person—or a service provider—to make sure all deadlines are met, and give your team the time they need to develop content. Also make sure to set aside resources for creative assets like images, infographics or even videos to go along with your written content.
Before the first word is written, you need to develop a strategy to track your results. There is a wide range of applications that will record information about your audience’s interactions with your content (typically called Marketing Automation systems; see Articles: What Is Marketing Automation? and How Can Marketing Automation Help My Business?. You will need to evaluate what data points are relevant to your internal reporting and which system works best with your processes. Without the ability to track and adjust your strategy based on your program’s resulting data, you can quickly become discouraged and open the door to failing to follow through with your plan.