As a team of self-proclaimed content marketing experts, we find ourselves singing the praises of blogging all the time. A comprehensive content strategy can have a tremendous impact on your overall marketing efforts, as it has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to increase awareness of your brand, drive traffic to your website and ultimately convert visitors to leads.
We’ve covered all the reasons we love content marketing and outlined how this strategy can transform your lead generation in previous posts. The folks at HubSpot, widely considered the leading authorities on inbound and content marketing, offer a wealth of resources on their Marketing Blog, as well. This is a great one that looks at the benefits of blogging for business and marketing.
For many marketers the issue isn’t whether or not they should develop a content strategy, it’s a matter of getting started. What should we write about? How often should we be blogging? How do we develop the content? These are common questions we get.
With that in mind, here are five simple steps for implementing a blogging strategy that will deliver the results your company is looking for.
(Image via: www.blog.shareaholic.com)
Identify Your Audiences
The first step in any blogging strategy is identifying the people you are trying to reach. Who are your target customers? Better yet, what does your IDEAL customer look like? How old are they? What industry are they in? What are their pain points? By spending time identifying the different groups you want to get in front and the problems they have, you will be better positioned to provide them with the solution. Every word of every post should be written with a specific audience (or two) in mind.
Find Your Voice
Once you have identified your target audiences, it’s time to find your voice. You and your team will want to decide on the topics you plan to cover and how you will do so. Will your blog be fun and light-hearted or cover more serious subject matter? Will it be conversational or more formal? It’s important to establish that voice because that will serve as your guiding light as your strategy evolves and you look to cover different things on your blog.
Stick to What You Know
Just as important to developing your voice and tone, is sticking to your particular area of expertise. Readers of The Bottom Line know that they will find insights on PR and marketing tactics, inbound and content marketing tips and tricks, social media trends and industry best practices on our blog. You won’t find a list of the best hikes in San Diego or a crownie recipe (that’s a football joke) here. It’s important to let your audience know what they can expect from your blog and stick to it!
Establish a Process
Once you have a good idea of where you want to go from a content standpoint, then you’ll want to put a formal process in place to get there. Who will be writing the content? Who will play editor? How often will you post? Consistency is key here, once again. If you decide to blog once a week, make sure you have enough topics and manpower to get it done. The last thing you want to do is to come out firing for the first three or four weeks and then slowly taper off because you have run out of things to say. We recommend developing a content calendar to keep you on a regular schedule. Both your readers and Mr. Google will reward you if you do.
Track Your Results
As is the case with any marketing strategy, it’s important to track your results and make adjustments along the way. When it comes to your blog, you’ll want to take a look at things like subscribers, page views and, if your blog has specific calls-to-action, conversion rates. You’ll also want to pay attention to your use of key words and track your subsequent movement for those key words in search results. Google Analytics is an excellent resource for getting familiar and starting to track these metrics. If this sounds too complicated then just simplify things a bit… For example, if your post on labradoodles got 768 views, then you should consider revisiting another topic on labradoodles… your audience is telling you they are interested in the topic.
When done right, your blog can serve as a key cog in your overall marketing machine. Creating, publishing and distributing content designed for your target audience(s) is a sure-fire way to position your company or brand as a leader in your space and help potential customers find you. Trust us when we say that once the leads start to come in, your boss will be a very happy camper!
Looking to implement a content marketing strategy but don’t have the time to manage it? Want to outsource your blog to the experts? We could be the partner your business is looking for! Download our “Working with Us” guide today to determine if our services are right for you.