As an online business marketer, you’ve probably heard much about the importance of quality content in your online marketing strategy. You may have even added a blog to your website to help you build quality content. If so, you are on the right track. Blogs are becoming increasingly popular in the business world, with more and more business marketers leveraging the power of business blogs to enhance their digital marketing efforts. According to HubSpot research, “53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.”
But is simply having a business blog enough? Unless you have a thought out business blog strategy, the answer to that question is most likely no.
Why is a blog strategy so important? Your blog provides a valuable opportunity for you to connect with your customers and prospects in a meaningful and productive way. Content strategy research reveals that:
- 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders
- 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep
These statistics demonstrate that buyers are looking for informative content like blog posts, and that they’re relying on this type of content to help them make their buying decisions. Your blog posts should be guided by a well-thought business blog strategy so you can make the most of this opportunity for generating leads and fostering business growth.
The following are 7 steps to help you in creating your business blog strategy:
- Determine Your Goals – Consider what you want to accomplish and how your business blog can help to support your over-all digital marketing strategy. Write down a list of things you want to use your blog to promote. Your list might include items such as featured products, unique services and selling points, or valuable knowledge and experience you have to share.
- Do Some Keyword Research – Keyword research will help you discover the most popular search terms being used by your customers and prospects. Use seed terms from your goal list and your website optimization keywords to get started on your keyword research. A keyword tool such as the Google Keyword Planning Tool will help you identify high traffic keyword terms.
- Develop Your Blog Topic List – Using your keyword list, compile a list of blog topics. Choose topics that you will be able to develop into 300 to 500 word blog posts. Keep in mind that a blog post should not sound like a sales pitch. The message should be informative in nature, with a more educational or journalistic tone. Do some research if you are having trouble coming up with ideas or suffering from business blogging block.
- Decide on Frequency and Set a Schedule – One of the most important factors in achieving blog success is consistency. Realistically consider the level of posting frequency you can manage and then establish a documented schedule. Sticking with your schedule is crucial. In addition to offering nothing to your prospects, a neglected blog can in fact reflect poorly on your business.
- Include a Plan for Optimization – As with your other site content, your blog should include search engine optimization elements. Include a meta description and keyword title with every post. Make sure your images include optimized alt and title attributes.
- Determine a Next Step for Every Post – A clearly defined next step, or Call-To-Action is a must for every post. An excellent blog post with lots of views is not very productive if it does not motivate or inspire some type of action that moves the prospect along toward a conversion. At the close of each post, invite the reader to contact you or to do something like “Read More on This Topic”, “Download a FREE Guide”, or “Watch a Video”.
- Create a Promotional Plan – Your business blog will only be effective if people know about it. Use items such as social media teasers and email announcements to promote your blog. A link to the blog should always be included with every promotion. Be sure to include a benefit the reader will gain for taking the time to read your post.