Want your blog to create the right kind of buzz and increase your company’s bottom line? You’re twice as likely to see positive results from your efforts if you plan your company’s blog carefully from the start. Most company blogs waste space and resources, accomplishing nothing. Don’t let yours be one of them. Plan your strategy with these five vital ingredients to make an impact and win more business.
Start With A Vision
Why start your blog in the first place? If you’re publishing posts because everyone else is doing it, without clarity about what you hope to get out of it, your lack of passion and direction will come across in your content. What’s your blog supposed to do for you?
A well thought out blog brings a personality to your business that people relate to. Your company becomes a “me too” persona that customers want to do business with and tell their friends about. Beyond the “buy my product” push of commercials and pitches, your blog uniquely positions you as someone you audience can get to know, like, and trust.
When you’re accessible, approachable, authentic, and transparent, you create relationships and network on a human level where buying decisions are made. With your company blog, you get to do that on your own terms in a public venue you control. Keep this in mind to breathe life into your blog.
Target The Right Audience
Who buys your stuff? Get to know them well, and plan content around what matters to them. Many startups make the mistake of blogging about starting up a business, or showing off how much they know about the technical details of their industry. Here’s a quick exercise to determine what you should write about. Ask yourself:
- What do people who buy from me complain about?
- What problems do I solve?
- What questions do I get asked most often?
- What fears do people have that make them want what I’m selling?
- What do my customers envision as the ideal solution to the problems they face?
Carefully consider these questions, and you’ll have at least a year’s worth of content ideas that speak your customer’s language. You’ll gain an audience because people will know that you get them and care about solving the problems that plague them most. As a bonus, you’ll give your PR firm more to latch onto when reaching for angles to pitch to earn coverage for your brand.
What good is your blog if nobody notices it? A well-planned SEO strategy for your blog (and each post) makes sure the right audience finds your stuff. Create content Google wants to see. Plan each post around keywords people who want what you offer search for, and keep each page’s content on topic relating to those keywords. Search engines like long, authoritative, detailed content. Don’t pad your word count, but understand that one long, well-researched post does more for you in the search engines than ten brief posts with little substance.
When you’re writing conversationally about your keywords, the appropriate keywords will naturally appear occasionally throughout your blog post. Don’t overdo it, because search engines ignore content that’s stuffed with keywords. Just write like you speak, and you’ll strike the right balance.
Use A Template Or Outline
Ever sat at a blank screen, wondering what you should write? With the list of topics you’ve already created and a predefined template that outlines where you’re headed, you’ll race out of the gates with a head start and save yourself time. With a consistent style, length, and feel to each post, your readers know what to expect when they come back. That familiarity contributes to your audience’s loyalty and trust.
At Spiralgroup, we use two templates that keep our message on track: one for evergreen posts and a second for trending topics that have a short shelf-life. The template provides the framework and makes sure no important element remains on the cutting room floor before a post goes live.
Your outline allows you to fill in the blanks with your expertise instead of stressing out about having nothing to say.
Create A Calendar
Google likes sites with authoritative content that’s updated regularly. So do your readers. Keep on top of it all with an editorial calendar that reminds you what needs to be done and when. That way, your blog consistently receives meaty updates that fuel your success. Your editorial calendar sets up a “set it and forget it” approach that keeps you on track. Your calendar is your blogging strategy – all mapped out – and it keeps you from creating a blog that’s a random mess no one wants to read.
How often do you plan on publishing a blog post? Be careful here. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with content demands when you have a business to run. You don’t need to, either. Consistency is more important than prolific publishing. Many blogs develop consistent readership publishing a new post only once a month. The key is to publish that post every month without fail, so your readers know when they can count on you to deliver something fresh.
Identify 4-5 broad categories that appeal to your audience. Plan in your calendar to spread your posts across these categories for consistent, wide appeal. Also pencil in holidays, special occasions, conferences in your industry, and other events that provide opportunities to feed your audience trending, relevant content. Grab your calendar, mark the important business events for the year first, and slot your evergreen topics for the gaps that remain.
When planning each post, work backwards. Plan the date you want to publish the post, and add enough time for brainstorming, researching the topic, writing the post, polishing and editing, and locating photos. Develop a formula for what gets done when, and take the guesswork out of what comes next. Add time to promote each post in social media after publishing and interact with your readers. Whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring someone, you need this calendar to keep it all straight.
When a compelling vision lights your way and you speak the language of your audience, you connect in a way that sparks brand loyalty. With a prepared list of topics, a template, and a calendar to keep you on track, you’ll fly through your content creation and create a blog your customers crave to read.
Need an extra edge to be brilliant and stand out in a crowded industry? Call Spiralgroup today and find out why over 100 clients worldwide have trusted us to make them shine.