As inbound marketers our capacity to expand our “content footprint” directly correlates to our ability to increase our search engine rank, boost our thought leadership position and generate new leads for sales.
In this post I will outline four fundamental pillars that, when implemented, will help you develop a blogging strategy designed to advance your business goals. Whether you’re content newbie a seasoned veteran, this post should serve as a nice resource for your future blogging efforts.
1) Establish Blogging Goals
When creating a business blogging strategy it’s important to first map out your short term and long term goals. Are you looking to increase exposure for your business, trying to build thought leadership in your industry, generate new leads for sales, increase your search engine visibility or a little bit of all of these? Solidifying these goals before you start blogging will make sure you utilize the right tactics to advance your business objectives.
More important than your own goals, you need to understand you readers’ goals. Your typical business blog reader has one of three goals in mind when consuming your blog content. They will be looking to advance their skill set in a particular area, they want to learn about something new, or they want to have their curiosity piqued about a topic of interest.
As a successful business blogger you need to balance the priorities for your reader and your company.
2) Understand Your Buyer(s)
The other foundational item that must be in place prior to writing a single post is a deep knowledge of your target audience. To effectively create engaging and relevant content for your readership you need to understand their concerns, business problems and job priorities. Without this base level of knowledge there will be no way to generate original content for your target reader.
So take time to call and interview some current clients to understand the pressing business problems that they have. Additionally, send out a survey to your prospect database to see where the opportunities for improvement lie. By aggregating a large pool of data points on business related issues from both customers and prospects you will give yourself a great set of topics to start creating original content around.
3) Develop Original Content
When thinking about developing your blog content the most difficult part can be creating original material. However by using some of these best practices around developing topic ideas, you can streamline your content creation efforts:
- Solution Oriented Blog Content: The easiest and most basic form of business blog content is solution oriented content. I touched on this earlier, however solution oriented content revolves around understanding your audience’s business problems and giving them tangible solutions to alleviate them.
- Emerging Technology: The rapid pace of technology change has fueled business bloggers with a constant stream of new content and topic ideas. Write about the effects of technology on the marketplace you’re in, or how the technology will affect your buyers.
- Take A Controversial Stance: Occasionally by taking a controversial stance or opposing the current wisdom you can garner your blog content a lot of visibility. If you utilize this blog tactic, use it sparingly, and have good supporting facts to defend your contrarian stance.
- First Mover Content: Be the first blogger to cover a change in the marketplace that no other blogger has yet covered. This tactic more than any other will help you attract new visitors to your business blog.
- Ask for Ideas: Ask your readership for topics, you will find that your audience is a treasure trove of content ideas. Call and interview them, send them a survey or poll them to garner their thoughts.
4) Be Efficient
As B2B marketers there is only so much time in the day to develop content. So being a successful business blogger means learning how to be efficient in your technique while not diluting the quality of your content. Below are some ideas on how to repurpose content, use a calendar to manage your messaging, and solicit blog material from other industry experts.
- Repurpose Existing Content: One way to do this is by taking research from an ebook and repurposing it into two or three weeks of blog content. This allows you to distribute your ebook message to your blog readers who would not typically take the time to read the full ebook. Additionally, take popular executive presentations, videos and customer case studies and repurpose them into blog content as well.
- Create A Blog Calendar: As any seasoned business blogger will tell you, developing blog content on an ad hoc basis every week can be very difficult. A better way to do this is create a blog calendar and map out the high level topics that you would like to discuss throughout the year. Then get more and more granular and create specific blog material that you would like to write about each week.
- Solicit Guest Bloggers: A great way to develop blog content and simultaneously build your network is to solicit guest bloggers in your industry. Reach out to other bloggers in your market and ask them to guest blog on your website. They have a built in incentive to say yes because each guest blog opportunity gives them increased visibility and reach. So start building relationships with guest bloggers today.
- Involve Employees: Another great way to increase blog content is involve your team members and employees. Reach out to sales reps, customer service personnel and executives to have them develop a blog post for you.
So in conclusion solidify the basics of business blogging on your own website. Start by establishing goals for both your reader and your company, deeply research your target audience and understand their business problems and job priorities. Then develop remarkable content that educates and informs your audience.
As you start creating blog content look for ways to develop as many high quality blog posts as possible. Repurpose existing content, solicit guest bloggers, and involve employees in content creation efforts. Remember your content is your currency on the internet, and the more content that you have the greater your impact.
So finally, there is no magic bullet when it comes to blogging. However, by clearly defining goals, maximizing your resources and becoming an efficient blogger, you will be well on your way to implementing a successful blogging strategy that will help achieve your business goals.