Reasons Why You Need a Blogging Strategy
Today’s consumers expect to be educated before they buy. Education-based marketing is not new, but today it is almost non-negotiable for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. One of the best ways to educate and build authority in the marketplace is to have a solid blogging strategy in place.
In fact, according to a recent inbound marketing report, nearly 80% of companies using blogging as part of their marketing strategy report acquiring customers through their blogging efforts. An additional 82% of businesses admit that blogging is critical to their business.
But blogging, like any business activity, needs to have both a purpose and a plan to ensure you are getting the best results from the time and resources invested. This means having a blogging strategy focused on achieving your desired business goals.
A blogging strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines the essential steps you need to follow when creating your blog and any blog post. The steps may include: defining your goals; developing your buyer personas; analyzing your competition; developing a keyword strategy; creating a content calendar; and determining the channels you’ll use to promote your blog.
Failure to create a strategy or follow it can lead to a variety of critical issues, all of which will waste your time and resources. For example, if you write a blog post without doing any keyword research, your post will get lost in the sea of Google and Bing search results, getting limited, if any, views by your target audience. Having a blogging strategy and planning out a blog calendar in advance will ensure you blog strategically, never running out of content ideas to write about.
When you invest time and resources into a blog, you also want to ensure your blog posts are being read and shared by your ideal clients. If no one is finding, reading or sharing your blog posts, you might as well not bother writing them.
Understanding the value of blogging and its specific business benefits is essential to helping you stay committed to the process. In this article, I outline five specific benefits a solid blogging strategy will give your business, along with an action tip for each one.
Build Your Brand
Blogging provides your business with two key benefits. It allows you to develop your brand and create more brand awareness.
Many businesses write blog posts without a schedule or plan, posting randomly. Such approach will not be nearly as effective or cohesive as it would be if you took the time to create a blogging strategy. Having a blogging strategy will help you stay organized and consistent, helping you create a powerful and unified brand image.
Blogging done correctly can also help you establish your authority on your topic, increasing a sense of trust your readers feel toward your brand. It’ll help you with your business goals because people buy from people they know, like and trust.
Like so many businesses currently, you can blog on all kinds of topics related to your industry. But if your posts don’t address the key needs or challenges of your ideal clients, using the language they use, they will not resonate with your ideal clients. Nor will your posts prompt them to reach out to you for a solution to their problem/challenge.
Solving the challenges of your ideal clients through high-quality content will increase your authority and perhaps even position you as an influencer in your industry.
While you can increase traffic to your blog in a number of ways, including social shares and paid ads, don’t overlook the value of organic traffic – traffic you get from search engine results.
Showing up organically on the first page of the search engine results, for the topics your ideal clients search for, will create a strong, positive impression in their minds as well as greatly increase the number of people reading your blog.
Without SEO, you could be losing thousands, or even tens of thousands, of eyeballs on your content – a tremendous loss. With all the information out there competing for readers’ attention, it is vital your posts show up high in the search engine results.
Your blog allows you to facilitate important discussions in your industry and build a community of people interested and engaged with your content. These discussions can help you shape the future of your business. By communicating with your target market, listening to what they want and need and providing high-quality content for them, you will encourage them to keep engaging with you.
To achieve that level of engagement, you must employ a strategic and intentional approach to blogging. When creating your blogging strategy, include content that will foster valuable discussions about current or ongoing issues within your industry as well as any new or growing trends.
When discussing these issues or trends, give your perspective. Remember, your ideal clients can find these topics in many places online. What makes your blog post unique is your perspective on the topic. When people align with your point of view, they will not only read everything you create but share it too.
Perhaps one of the most rewarding benefits of having a well thought out blogging strategy is conversion of your web traffic into leads.
These are qualified leads with whom you have built some trust and authority through the content you have shared and who know who you are, whom you help and what you offer.
That’s why all good blogging strategies should include the creation of one or more lead magnets.
A lead magnet provides value through content, solving a very specific problem in exchange for an opt-in (being added to your email list).
When you identify a particularly common issue your ideal clients struggle with, use it to create a more detailed piece of educational content in the form of a lead magnet.
Once you have one or more lead magnets, you can use a number of strategies to convert your blog readers into leads. Keep in mind, your lead magnet must: be interesting enough for someone to give up their email address for; be something that can be consumed quickly or easily; not be self-serving (gone are the days of people opting into a lead magnet called 5 Ways to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Expert – or any other profession, niche or industry).
It is great to have a blogging strategy for your business, but having one is not enough.
The business benefits of blogging are immense for those who do it strategically and consistently. The most important part of any blogging strategy is to put it into action.
Melonie Dodaro is founder of Top Dog Social Media that helps brands and businesses, use social media marketing and social selling to boost visibility, attract new customers and increase revenue. Dodaro is also the author of ‘The LinkedIn Code’ and ‘LinkedIn Unlocked’. To learn more visit www.TopDogSocialMedia.com