How to implement the right blogging strategy for your brand
Corporate blogs are no longer merely an opportunity; they’re a necessity.
According to HubSpot, companies that blog have 55% more website visitors than those that don’t.
More and more companies are turning to blogs to build their reputations, promote their products and services and form relationships with prospects. As a content marketing tool, a blog can be very powerful, but it needs to be implemented properly in order to reap the most benefits.
Putting together a few tips, slapping it onto your website and waiting for the leads to come rolling in won’t work. Your blogging strategy needs to be strategic and purposeful.
Whether you’re new to corporate blogging or just want to make sure your brand’s strategy is up to snuff, getting these nine elements right will ensure your blog is successful.
1. Strategic Objectives
What do you hope to achieve through your blog? Answering this question will set the tone for your entire blogging strategy. Without a defined objective, you’ll be shooting in the dark with your blogging efforts, hoping for an outcome you’re not even sure you want.
Research from Content Marketing Institute finds that marketers with a documented content marketing strategy are far more effective than those without one.
Before you launch your blog, you’ll need to spend some time nailing down what you want to get out of your blogging efforts. Think about your top 1–2 goals. These could be to:
- Grow awareness of your brand
- Generate new leads and increase sales
- Establish thought leadership
- Educate and engage your audience
- Nurture leads further down the sales funnel
- Or something else!
Work with other members of your team to figure out what your goals should be. Blogging is never a solo effort, so you’ll want to ensure everyone is on board and buys into your strategy.
2. Regular Schedule
When you blog is just as important as what you blog about. Today’s digital world is inundated with content. There are hundreds of millions of blogs on the internet, which means countless blog posts are published each day.
If your business is posting blogs haphazardly or once in a blue moon, your content is almost certainly getting lost and ignored.
To stand out from the endless sea of noise, you not only need to be publishing great content; you also need to be publishing often. You want to stay top of mind with your audience, so you need to ensure you consistently have new content to share with them.
When developing your editorial calendar, you should establish a fairly aggressive publishing frequency. According to HubSpot, companies that publish 16 or more times per month gain 3.5 times more traffic than companies who only publish a few times per month.
This means you need to be blogging on an almost daily schedule. While this may sound like a lot, especially if you’re just starting out, the benefits you’ll see will certainly pay off.
3. Multiple Contributors
To keep up with your editorial calendar, one or two writers cannot be expected to handle all of your blog writing. To maintain your blogging frequency, you’ll need to enlist the help of multiple writers and contributors from across your company as well as externally.
A corporate blog is not about the ideas of one person. Multiple people represent your brand, so multiple people should be writing for your blog.
Start by extending an invitation to the people on your staff. Ask them to volunteer and see who’s interested. Blog contributors could come from several departments in your company, including:
- Customer service
- And any other volunteers
Encourage your staff to contribute by focusing on the benefits of blogging such as career enhancement and professional development. Let them know that they’ll receive help with the editorial aspect if needed.
You can also look externally for blog contributors. Your blog is a great place to feature influencers in your industry and align your brand with their expertise.
4. Consistent Voice
With so many different contributors, you’ll need to ensure everyone is telling the same brand story. You should decide in advance what the theme and voice of your blog will be.
Look back at your objectives. If, for example, your goal is to educate your audience, you’ll want to make your blog informative and enlightening. Your posts should consist of helpful guides, tips and industry news.
Think about your brand’s personality. How can you make each post sound like it’s coming from a real person? You want to your content to be accessible and not sound too corporate.
Set some guidelines around branding as well, and make sure you align with your brand’s guidelines for other types of content. Some things you’ll want to be clear on include:
- Post length
- Grammar and style
Make sure your contributors are all familiar with the blog guidelines. Consider putting together a document that you can share with them, so that they’ll be able to reference it as they write.
5. Relevant Content
While a blog is a useful tool for promoting your brand, it’s not the right place for promoting your brand’s products and services. As a business owner, you need to make your blog about your customers, not about you.
Your blog should do the following for your customers:
- Solve problems
- Answer questions
- Educate & inspire
Before writing any posts, make sure you understand your customers’ pain points and interests. Get inside their heads to ensure your content is speaking directly to their needs. How can your brand solve their problems? Think about what makes your brand’s products and services unique. What solutions can only your brand provide? Then, write content that speaks to solving those specific problems.
By ensuring your content is relevant and informative, your customers will see your business as a trusted resource. And when they trust you, they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
6. Visual Content
Text will certainly be an important part of your blog. But it shouldn’t be the only part. The images and visuals you use alongside your text will greatly impact your results.
According to MDG Advertising, an article with relevant images gets 94% more views than an article without images.
Without images, your audience will most likely bypass your blog. A large, plain block of text isn’t attractive to readers. Images help to engage your reader and entice them to read the full article.
Consider including a variety of media on your blog, such as images, videos, infographics and more. The more eye-catching and visually engaging your blog is, the more attractive it will be to your audience.
For blog images, you can use stock images or if you have the resources, custom photography or illustrations. You can even create your own simple headers using Canva if a designer isn’t available.
Your content could be great, but it would mean nothing without a call-to-action. At the end of the day, your blog is still about your business, and you need to ensure you’re doing what you can to lead your customers down the sales funnel.
Each of your blog posts needs to have a purpose.
Without a call-to-action, your content isn’t contributing to your goals in any way. People may read your posts, but they probably won’t do much more unless you push them to do so.
Think about each post individually. What do you want the reader to do after they’ve read the post? Maybe it’s to call a sales rep. Or it could be to download another piece of content. Or perhaps you want them to sign up for your email list.
The HubSpot marketing blog does a good job of this. Take a look at the example below. For their blog post, titled “How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step Guide,” they’ve included this CTA at the bottom of the post asking readers to download blog post templates.
They’ve provided an additional piece of relevant content to keep readers engaged and encourage them to interact with their content more. Plus, when readers go to download the templates, they’ll need to input their contact information, allowing HubSpot to continue marketing to them.
To determine what your CTA should be for each blog post, look back at your goals and objectives. How do they apply to each specific blog post? For example, if your goal is to increase sales, then you’ll probably want to drive readers towards getting in contact with a sales rep.
8. Promotion Strategy
You could have the best content, the prettiest images and the most well-rounded information — but it’d all be for nothing without a promotion plan.
You can’t expect your audience to find your blog by accident. You need a plan to stand out from all the noise online and bring your content to them directly.
“If you build it, they will come” does NOT apply to your corporate blog.
Your promotion strategy should be multi-pronged, incorporating a number of channels and avenues. The more places you can spread the word about your blog, the more people you’re likely to reach.
Social media is the perfect place to start with your blog promotion. Every time you publish a new blog post, schedule a post to each of your social media channels. Better yet, schedule multiple posts and make sure you include the link. You can also create social media posts around your older blog posts and continue to promote them even though they’re not new. Just make sure the content is still relevant!
If you have the budget, you can even create some social media ads to promote your blog. Facebook ads can be pretty affordable, and putting some money behind your post means you’ll be more likely to reach the right audience.
9. Email Subscription
In addition to social media, email is the other channel you’ll definitely want to use to promote your blog content. And the best way to do it? Set up an email list.
Email is still one of the best ways to reach people, and it may even already be a part of your overall marketing strategy. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute finds that 93% of B2B marketers distribute content through email.
Setting up a blog subscription list ensures your audience will keep coming back to your blog again and again.
Plus, the people who sign up from your email list will be some of your most valuable contacts. Think about it. Not only did they read your content and enjoy it, but by signing up for your list, they’re telling you that they want more of it. Of course, you should give it to them!
Whenever you have a new post, send an email to your blog subscription list. You’ll keep these contacts engaged and in tune with your brand. This way, you can build a relationship with them and turn them from leads to customers.