So you decided as a company you were going to start blogging. You hear it’s the cool thing to do and everyone is telling you that it could really help your business. You call a team meeting and lay it all out for your staff. To keep things organized, you even put together a blog schedule and your team now has a new item on the To-Do-List every week. Sounds great but in reality, things get messy. Your blog is full of boring and blah content that your staff is just throwing together so they can say they got it done.
Now your biggest fear is that your readers and clients will think this is junk but don’t worry, there are steps you can take to transform your blog into an effective marketing machine.
If you are having trouble with your blog, don’t worry, you are not alone as reality is that most businesses haven’t hit it out of the park in terms of making their blogs the marketing machines they set out to do in the first place. A lot of businesses have simply slapped together blogs in response to a corporate call for content marketing without taking the time to really develop an effective publishing platform.
Drilled down to its core, successful content marketing is simply about providing promotion-free information to your target market. In it’s simplest form, a blog is an extremely valuable tool for businesses as its your way of straddling the fence of both social media and content marketing. The end result pays off big time as an effective blog can do wonders for your search optimization and it directly feeds your social media efforts.
Here are a few steps to transform your business blog into a marketing machine that will attract an audience of potential clients interested in what you have to say. At the end of the day, your goal is to build relationships with your target market over a period of time so that they become interested in what you have to say and want to find out more about you and what you offer in terms of your products and/or services.
#1 Understand Your Audience – Focus on the hot buttons and drive your target market. Go as far as to create your ideal client to enable you and your team to craft content that connects emotionally with your readers.
#2 Stand Out From The Crowd – You have to break through the noise as there is a lot traffic out there. Figure out your niche and deliver content based on what people are looking for in your market. Step outside the box.
#3 Picks Your Topics Wisely – Take some time and really plan your blog schedule. Find out what your target market is looking for and hit them between the eyes with it. A super simple task that rarely gets attention is taking the time to build a set of keywords and then utilizing them in your content. You will be amazed at what a simple little exercise like this can do.
#4 Plan Ahead – Create a list of topics you want to cover in your blog and organize it in such a way so that your readers come to anticipate what’s coming next. The goal is to publish content on these topics regularly. Go ahead and create an editorial calendar to ensure that you’ve got an on-going series of valuable information.
#5 Brand Your Blog – You have branded your business but take it one step further and brand your blog. Go full circle and integrate your company identity right in your publishing platform. Make it look and feel like you by incorporating your colours, typeface, images and elements. While you’re at it, be consistent as possible with your delivery in terms of how you communicate your brand to customers.
#6 Call-To-Actions are Key – You don’t want your blog to be a sales pitch for your products and/or service but you can use it as a support tool. Kind of like a crutch. Utilize links and subtly insert who you are and what you do within your posts. Most customers do a lot of research before you even realize that they’re in the buying mode!
#7 Measure & Learn – One of the biggest mistakes marketers and business owners fail to do is measuring the success of their efforts. It’s simple but not a lot of people do it. Track your metrics that lead your readers and potential clients to buy from you. Over time, you will learn a lot!
A great blog builds an engaged community by providing useful information on a topic of interest. Blogs are a critical tool for reaching your potential customers and building a trusted relationship with them. Filling your company blog with promotion hurts your efforts to grow your community.