Is it generating the results you are looking for?
However, the same survey revealed that only 35% of B2B businesses have a documented content marketing strategy.
If you want to get ahead in your online marketing efforts, take the time to plan your business blog.
Set out your strategy in a blog plan template for you and your team to follow.
Define your goals
If you want your business blog to be effective, you need to start by defining your goals. Blogging is an extremely versatile tool in your marketing strategy. Possible goals you may wish to define include:
- Generate new leads
- Build customer loyalty
- Increase customer engagement
- Build brand awareness
- Establish authority in your niche
- Provide customer support
- Drive sales
You can pick one, a few, or all of these goals. But you must define them.
Know your audience
Your business is built on serving the needs of your audience. Your business blog should demonstrate that you understand what those needs are and that you are the best choice to fulfill those needs.
You must know your customers inside out.
You can start by considering the profiles of your ideal customer. What personal or professional categories do they fall under? What is their level of education? What are their interests? How do they communicate?
You can get to know your customers better by talking to them and asking questions. Or you can ask them to complete customer surveys.
Your customers will be able to tell you these key pieces of information:
- What problems they are facing.
- How you can provide a solution to their problems.
- How you can connect with them.
Define your unique value proposition
The purpose of your business blog is to communicate your unique value proposition to your audience. Ask yourself how your business can address the needs of your customers in a way that differentiates you from your competitors.
Your unique value proposition can be based on the particular products or services that you offer, or it can be based on something less tangible like quality, reliability, friendliness or customer service.
Plan your blog content
Now you know who your customers are and what their needs are you can plan the content of your blog posts.
For each blog post, pick one topic that relates to a customer need. Don’t be tempted to tackle more that one topic per post. Picking one topic keeps your content focused and is better for search engine optimisation (SEO).
Make sure your topic is one that your customers are searching for. The best way to do this is to use a keyword research tool such as google keyword planner. Find a relevant keyword which is drawing at least 100 searches per month and plan your topic around that.
Writing your blog post
Your business blog is an online representation of your company. It needs to be written to a professional standard and demonstrate your business’s command of your sector. At the same time, it should be engaging and easy to read.
If you have the budget for it, you should consider hiring a professional business writer. A professional writer will be able to use words to skillfully convey your business message to your intended audience. You will also have the benefit of the perspective of a third party which can result in clearer, jargon-free writing.
Your blog content should address a specific customer need in an informative and authoritative way. It should communicate your unique value proposition either directly or indirectly.
Make sure you end with a call to action. This is where you invite the reader to call your sales team, download a brochure, or subscribe to your mailing list.
Promoting your blog post
Now you have written your blog post you want as many people as possible to read it.
Here are some simple strategies you can use:
Share on social media:
- Send an email out to your email list to notify them of your new blog post.
- Tweet your blog post to your twitter followers. You can tweet the post several times during the week for maximum exposure.
- Post on Google+.
- Post on Facebook.
- Share your post on your LinkedIn status update.
Reach out to influential bloggers:
- Find the key bloggers in your industry.
- Build connections to them via social media.
- When you have a blog post they might like, invite them to link to it or tweet it.
Set a blogging schedule
You should draw up a schedule for your blog. You should aim to publish new posts on a regular basis. How often you post is up to you, but one post a week is a good starting point.
Track your results
Blogging is not going to give you overnight success. It’s a long-term strategy which will build your audience over time.
Tracking your results will allow to assess how well your blogging strategy is working decide what adjustments need to be made.
Metrics which might be relevant include:
- The number of visitors to your website.
- The number of shares, likes and comments your blog receives.
- The number of links your website receives.
- The amount of positive feedback you receive from your customers.
- The number of new clients you acquire.
- The volume of sales you generate.
Have a plan
Your business blog is a free platform for you to broadcast your expertise to the word. It’s an opportunity you should take full advantage of.
Entire businesses have been built on the basis of successful blogs.
Don’t wing it.
Have a plan.
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