Your business blog posts can establish your position as an expert or your company as a leader in your industry. But only if you are actually blogging!
Your company blog can be used to provide valuable information for your audience and become 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 website traffic for your company. It is not the only component of an effective digital marketing strategy, but it can serve as main driver of traffic:
Every time you write a blog post, it's one more indexed page on your website, which means it's one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search... Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post, you're creating content that people can share on social networks -- Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest -- which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.
- Corey Wainwright at HubSpot
The primary purpose of your business blog is to drive traffic to the company website. Yes, it also serves to strengthen the brand, provide valuable content, and provide a forum to speak directly to your audience. But it is first and foremost a major path for more website visitors.
Here are some statistics on business blogging that should make an impression on you:
- Before engaging with a sales rep 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content.
- 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others.
- Blogging is the most important piece of content strategy according to 45% of marketers.
- Blogs have been rated as the fifth most trusted source for accurate online information.
- Companies who blog regularly receive 97% more links to their website.
In addition, there are a few significant trends occurring among business bloggers, including:
- Longer blog content performing better in search engines and average word count numbers increasing
- Visual content is in higher demand and marketers are incorporating even more graphics, charts, and photos in their blog content
- Paid promotion and distribution for blog content is increasing dramatically
Questions to Ask About Your Blogging Strategy
Business blogging, in order to be successful, however, has to be approached strategically. Here are five points to keep in mind when developing and building your business blogging plan:
What Are Your Business Blogging 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.
What Value Do You 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.
Are You Writing 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.
Are You Organizing and Scheduling Your Blog Posts?
Consistency is one of the keys to an effective blog. Again, commitment is the foundation for an effective strategy to 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.”
Get It Out Beyond Your Own Website
Just because you hit "Publish" on your business blog doesn't mean it's all done until your 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.
Click here to see another post that will guide you in finding new channels for your business blog. As social media and digital marketing tools and technology evolve, 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.
Find Your Business Blogging Strategy Partners
An additional tactic for creating and publishing and effective business blog is to get outside help. A digital marketing agency such as BroadVision Marketing can offer expertise and tools that the typical business owner or marketing manager may not have.
In addition, it often helps to have a professional marketer's perspective to assess your content marketing strategy. Acquiring the insights of a third-party professional is an investment that can 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.