Business blogs can be the cornerstone of a powerful marketing strategy. The content you publish regularly for your preferred audience can establish your position as an expert or your company as a leader in your industry.
Your business blog can also be a respected source of valuable information and for your audience a trusted resource.
By building a platform to provide quality content for your clients and prospects you will be able to leverage this reach to drive traffic to your company's website. It is not the only component of an effective digital marketing strategy, but it can serve as the core:
“A business blog is important because it is the optimal choice for your content marketing hub. In today’s content-driven world, while you may view yourself as a marketer, you’re really a publisher. You have to provide relevant content for your prospects, customers and the public, who spend over 10 hours a day consuming media.”—Joe Pulizzi founder of Content Marketing Institute
Tips for an Effective Business Blog1. Determine Your Business Blog Objectives
A business blog should be seen as long-term investment of time and resources. Whether you write the posts yourself, or you have them written by various staff members, or you even outsource the writing process, it must be viewed as a commitment.
So what do you hope to accomplish with your business blog? Here are three essential questions you and your marketing team must answer:
- Why are we publishing a business blog?
- What do we want to achieve with it?
- Where does it fit in with our content marketing strategy?
These questions will help you to identify and document the key business goals for your blog. Unfortunately, a common mistake made by many businesses is to put a blog on their website with little or no direction or strategy. These blogs are often set up because the owner or someone in the company decided that "they have to have a blog" to keep up with everyone else.
In fact, without a commitment to consistent, regular publishing of posts with a clearly defined strategy and objective, it is better to forego having a business blog altogether.
2. What Value Will It Provide?
Giving your readers value is the only real purpose for a business blog from their perspective. Unlike a personal blog, your audience expects to find content that will provide actionable information, answers to their questions, or a solution to their problem.
This is what your blog should provide for them. In addition, consider these questions:
- Why should anyone visit our blog?
- What will they be able to take away from our posts?
- Why is our information valuable to our audience?
Your business blog is NOT a place to promote or sell your products or services. This is not to say that you cannot mention your company, or even include a compelling offer or call-to-action (CTA). In fact, you should never publish a blog post without a CTA. But think of this as a "P.S." or an addendum to the main body of the post.
3. Write for the "Right" Audience
Do you know your audience? Really? Your actual blog readers may represent a variety of people, but you must know as well as possible "who" you are writing for. Think of your audience, not in terms of a faceless mass of people "out there", but as one ideal customer. Your posts should be written as if an actual customer were waiting to read it.
Since a large part of the purpose for your business blog is to attract the ideal audience, you must understand who they are and what their needs are. This means consistently creating content that is both relevant to and valuable to your ideal audience.
Knowing, understanding, and writing specifically for your ideal audience is a critical component of your content marketing strategy. If you haven't already, consider creating personas for your typical "ideal" readers.
4. Organize and Schedule Your Blog Posts
Consistency is one of the keys to an effective blog. Again, commitment is foundational to the strategy of business blogging, and setting up the processes and structure to maintain consistent and regular posting is critical.
Frequency of posts can be a bit of a science tempered with intuition. If your blog is new, or being re-launched, then you might consider publishing as often as 3-5 times each week. Unless you are already well-established and are not looking to increase traffic to your site, etc., anything less frequent than one post per week will be less than effective.
You should develop and follow an editorial calendar in order to execute your content strategy effectively. “An editorial calendar is a virtual to-do list,” says Digital Marketing Strategist, Angela Stringfellow. “It helps you be accountable to dates and concepts.”
5. Get It Out Beyond Your Website
Just because you hit Publish on your business blog doesn't mean it's done until the next post. The potential reach for your blog post is far greater than your own website. Social media channels and other tools allow you to distribute and share it with a much wider audience.
A great article by Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, provides a great list of 35 methods for promoting your business blog. As social media and digital marketing tools and technology evolves, opportunities for exponentially increasing your blog's reach grow, as well.
In addition, your posts can be re-purposed into other content items such as white papers, ebooks, webinars, or slide presentations. And even older posts can be recycled, so to speak, and re-posted with new or updated information.
Getting Help For Business Blogs
An additional tip for creating and publishing and effective business blog is to get outside help. Digital marketing agencies, such as BroadVision Marketing, can offer expertise and tools that the typical business owner or marketing manager may not have.
It often helps to have an professional marketer's perspective to assess your content marketing strategy. Acquiring the insights and assessment of a third-party professional can be an investment that will bring a quantifiable return.
BroadVision Marketing offers all this and more. Get your Free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session to help you make an informed decision or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.
Jaco Grobbelaar is the owner and CMO of BroadVision Marketing. BroadVision Marketing works with business owners to put in place inbound and outbound marketing strategies that consistently secure new clients. The BroadVision Marketing Training Center is located in Petaluma, CA and primarily serves companies in the San Francisco Bay area.