Blogging is the cornerstone of any content marketing strategy, and it also contributes to search engine optimization. While blogging may seem relatively straightforward, it can be more difficult than it appears. Here's how to get started when you want to create a business blog.
Get executive buy-in
You won't get very far without buy-in from the CMO or other executives. The most effective bloggers involved the CMO with their strategy. About 56 percent of top bloggers, companies that received 10,000 or more monthly visitors, worked with CMOs to obtain more resources for their blogs and integrated the blog into a greater content marketing strategy (1).
Create buyer personas
The purpose of the blog is lead generation, which means you're communicating with customers. To make the content as effective as possible, you first need to define who these customers are. There may be more than one persona. Some companies might be larger or smaller, or in different verticals. It's important to define separate buyers before moving forward.
Now that you have a well-defined idea of who your customers are, determine what kinds of information will be most relevant to them. What will help them do business better? Think about different types of posts, such as how-to guides or case studies. Interviews, predictions for the future, and beginner's guides are also good to include (2). All of these will provide readers with valuable take-aways they can bring back to their organizations.
Top bloggers are most likely to post at least once a week or more. Of those that obtained less than 1,000 views, about 4 percent admitted to only posting quarterly. If you're going to have a blog, you need to post relatively frequently. It may be a good idea to create a calendar for yourself so you don't fall behind.
Reach out for help
In many cases, it takes a village to keep a blog running. Don't be afraid to reach out to other departments to get ideas for the blog or even to pen pieces. Sales teams often have great ideas, since they interact directly with prospects. In addition, top bloggers were more likely to obtain help from outside the organization. Consider hiring some freelancers or guest bloggers to fill up your content pipeline.
Promote it on other channels
The "if you build it they will come" mentality doesn't necessarily hold up for blogging. Some companies are lucky enough to have blogs that are a go-to resource for information, but that doesn't happen overnight. Use email and social media to push traffic to blog posts. It may also be a good idea to harness the power of paid posts on Twitter and Facebook to widen your reach.
Define the metrics you'll use to determine success and pay close attention to them. According to Curata's study, pageviews is the most frequently used metric, but shares, time spent on site, number of subscriptions and number of leads are also used. Paying attention to these key performance indicators will let you know what you're doing well and what you should consider doing differently.
Blogs are a must for content marketing. They provide consistent, useful information for prospects that can drive them down the sales funnel. However, you shouldn't go into this strategy blindly. If you really want your blog to work, you need to put in a lot of planning time.