5 compelling reasons why you need a blogging strategy
Consumers today expect to be educated before they buy. Education-based marketing isn’t new, but today it’s almost a non-negotiable for businesses of all sizes and across industries. And one of the best ways to educate and build authority in the market is with a solid blogging strategy.
In fact, according to a recent inbound marketing report, nearly 80% of businesses that use blogging as part of their marketing strategy report acquiring customers through their blogging efforts. In addition, 82% of businesses admit that blogging is now essential to their business.
But blogging, like any business, should have both a purpose and a plan to ensure that you get the best results with the time and resources invested. It means having a blogging strategy focused on achieving desired business goals.
A blog strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines the essential steps you need to take when starting your blog and any blog post. These steps may include:
- Define your goals
- Develop your buyers personas
- Analyze your competition
- Develop a keyword strategy
- Creating a content calendar
- Determine the channels you will use to promote your blog
Not creating a strategy, or not following it, can lead to a variety of critical issues, which will waste your time and resources.
For example, if you write a blog post without doing a keyword research, your post will likely be lost in the sea of Google and Bing search results, gaining limited or no views from your target audience. Having a blogging strategy and planning a blogging schedule in advance will ensure you post strategically – and never run out of content ideas to write about.
When investing time and resources in blogging, you also want to make sure that your blog posts are read and shared by your ideal customers. If no one can find, read, or share your blog posts, you might as well not bother writing them.
Understanding the value of blogging and its specific business benefits is essential in helping you stay engaged in the process.
In this article, I’ll outline five specific benefits that a solid blogging strategy will bring to your business, along with action tips for each.
1. Blogs can help you build your brand
Blogging gives your business two key benefits. It allows you to:
- Develop your brand
- Create more brand awareness.
Many companies write blog posts without a schedule or plan, posting randomly. This approach won’t be as effective or consistent as taking the time to create a blogging strategy. Having a blogging strategy will help you stay organized and cohesive, helping you build a powerful and unified branding image.
By having this unique and powerful brand image, you will clearly indicate to your ideal customers:
- Who are you
- What you stand for
- that you help
In your strategy, you can identify when and how you want to incorporate these key points into your content, making sure that your readers can quickly recognize how you could potentially help them with one of their main challenges.
When planning your blog content into your blogging strategy, include the following types of stories:
- Humanize the stories about your brand, so your ideal customers can emotionally connect with them
- Success stories about your customers, so that your ideal customers can imagine themselves achieving the same success.
2. Blogs will increase your authority and develop thought leadership.
A blog done correctly can also help you establish authority over your discussion topic (s), thereby increasing the sense of trust your readers have in your brand. It will also help you achieve your broader business goals, as people buy from people they know, like, and trust.
You can blog on all kinds of topics related to your industry, but if your posts don’t address the needs or key challenges of your ideal clients – using the language they commonly use – they won’t resonate with your clients. ideals. Your messages will also not prompt them to contact you for a solution to their problem / challenge.
Solving the challenges of your ideal clients with high quality content will increase your authority, and maybe even position you as an influencer in your industry.
Your blogging strategy should include a detailed list of questions that your prospects and customers ask you on a regular basis. Each of these questions is a potential blog post. Also pay attention to questions asked by your target market on social media platforms and forums.
Use each of these topics in your blogging strategy to build your content calendar, and you’ll find that your ideal clients are more eager to read what you write because they derive value from it.
3. Blogging leads to increased search engine traffic
While there are many ways you can increase traffic to your blog, you can’t overlook the value of organic traffic – the traffic you get from search engine results.
Appearing organically on the first page of search engine results, for topics your ideal customers are looking for, will create a strong and positive impression in their minds and can dramatically increase the number of people reading your blog.
Without SEO, you could lose thousands, if not tens of thousands of views on your content. With all of the information available competing for the attention of readers, it is essential that your posts appear prominently in search engine results.
When you create new content, search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, crawl your site to index that new content. The best way to achieve better search engine results is to deliberately incorporate search engine optimization into your blogging strategy.
This means you plan ahead for the key phrase that each post will focus on, adding appropriate headers, sub-headers, tags, internal and external links, and optimizing your site for mobile. .
4. Blogs can help you build an engaged community
Your blog content allows you to facilitate important discussions in your industry and build a community of people interested in and involved in your posts. 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 them with high quality content, you will encourage them to continue to engage with you.
To achieve this level of engagement, you need to take a strategic and intentional approach to blogging. When creating your blogging strategy, include content that will promote interesting 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 point of view. Remember that your ideal clients can find coverage of these topics in many places online – what makes your content unique is your take on the topic.
When people align with your point of view, not only will they read anything you create, but they will share it as well.
While sharing your point of view in a blog post, you also want to encourage discussion on the topic, whether it’s right on your site or when it’s shared on social platforms.
When you share your content on social media, invite your readers to add their own views to start the discussion in the comment sections of your social channels.
5. Strategic blogs will generate organic leads for your business
Perhaps one of the most rewarding benefits of a well thought out blogging strategy is converting your web traffic into leads.
They are qualified prospects, with whom you have built some trust and authority through the content you have shared, and who know who you are, who you are helping and what you are offering.
That’s why all good blogging strategies should include creating one or more main magnets.
A primary magnet brings value through the content, solving a very specific problem in return for an opt-in (added to your mailing list).
When you identify a common problem that your ideal customers are struggling with, use it to create more detailed educational content in the form of a main magnet.
Once you have one or more lead magnets, there are a number of strategies you can use to convert your blog readers into leads. Keep in mind that your main magnet should:
- Be interesting enough that someone gives their email address to
- Be something that can be consumed quickly or easily
- Don’t be selfish (Gone are the days when people went for a main magnet called “5 Ways to Pick the Right Digital Marketing Expert” – or any other profession, niche, or industry)
When you provide meaningful value in a blog post, you can add a related call to action at the end of that post.
It shouldn’t sound like a hard sell, but rather an invitation to continue learning about it.
If you’ve done a good job of introducing the topic and providing some value, many readers will be inclined to learn more about you and consider your offer.
Here are some other ways to offer your main magnets on your blog:
- Display it on a sidebar banner
- display it in a popup
- Display it on a banner below your blog post
- Display it in a bar at the top of the screen
- Include it in a short paragraph at the bottom of your blog post
Your main magnet and the way it is offered should look and feel professional. You ask your ideal customers to trust you with their email addresses – make sure you show them that you are worthy of that trust.
The results of your blogging strategy will come from action and consistency
It’s great to have a blogging strategy for your business, but it’s not enough to just have one in place.
The business benefits of blogging are immense for those who do so strategically and consistently. The most important part of any blogging strategy is to implement it and keep your process on track.
A version of this article first appeared on the Top Dog Social Media blog.