Blogging has become a popular element in the marketing mix for many companies. It’s a great way to showcase your expertise in your industry and become an industry thought leader (something we achieved with our BookBottles blog). It’s also a great way to keep your customers apprised of news, changes, and general information of your product or company. What’s more is when your content is well crafted, it can help build search rankings, website traffic, brand awareness and even leads.
What many companies don’t consider is the necessary man-power that’s needed to create and maintain a blog. We at Prodality are a good example of this. With such a small team, it’s hard to keep our blog a main priority…and we definitely fell off the blogging bandwagon for a very long time. But we were great at blogging before, and we’re ready to make it a priority now by following these three tips.
1. Identify objectives. This step must be conducted before you build your blog. What are you looking to achieve from your blog? Do you want to establish credibility, increase website traffic, or garner new leads and sales? You will also need to identify your audience in this step and tie your purpose to their needs. Knowing both your objectives and your audience is the foundation to a great blog and will help you understand your overall blog theme, layout and potential topics.
2. Establish a team. Blogs are a lot of work. It’s not just a matter of slapping posts on your site. Your posts must be drafted (and sometimes research must be conducted beforehand), edited, and optimized for search before it goes live on your site, and the work doesn’t stop there. After it’s posted, you have to promote it and read and respond to comments in a timely manner. One blog post could take weeks of effort from start to finish.
It’s almost impossible for one person to handle the entire blog himself, which is why it’s important to have a team in place. Look for people who are passionate about your company, blogging and connecting with and helping your customers. These people can be employees, advisors, supporters, industry thought leaders, or brand advocates. Once your team is in place, create a calendar of topics and deadlines for each author to fully streamline your blogging process.
3. Remove the brand. This may seem counter-intuitive to you. This is your company’s blog, so it should be all about you, right? Wrong. Your blog posts are not sales pitches, nor are they advertisements. You need to provide your customers with valuable information, and you’re not going to do that by having a one–sided conversation about yourself. Your posts should always be geared toward your audience. How can you solve their problems? How can you provide value to their everyday lives? Remove business jargon and unnecessary brand mentions to establish trust and credibility. The more genuine the story, the more likely your audience will value you as an expert and be willing to become a loyal and influential customers.
Like all marketing activities, blogs should be strategically crafted with the appropriate goals and measuring mechanisms in place. It’s another channel for your company to grow its business. Keep your blog up-to-date by posting regularly – shoot for at least once a week. If you don’t have time for a blog right now, then don’t blog at all until it makes sense for your business. After all, neglecting your blog is neglecting your customers.