You can finally define what a blog is, and the benefits of content marketing. You’ve decided to use a blog as a content marketing tool. You’ve got it all set up, and connected to your website. You’re excited to share the blog content on your social media sites. You’re ready to reap the rewards of quality, consistent content and solid content marketing strategy. You’re…..stuck.
What do you do now?
The first step of building a blog is to find out who you are writing for. Who are your customers? Who refers your business? What is your target audience? Believe it or not, this is a key step (and the first rule of marketing) that many businesses ignores. They create content that is relevant to them and about them. While an occasional promotional piece about you is fine, your blog is about your audience and not about you. What questions do they have? How can you help them? How can you entertain them?
Once you’ve written quality content, or produced videos that speak to your audience, and have all the essential elements of a good blog post, it’s time to attract attention to your blog. You’re not going to spread the word about your business blog and get results without a plan to push out your content. The method every business uses differs because every industry, promotional channels and event schedule is different, but there are some key ways to start with:
- Targeted emails. Have you asked your customers for their emails? Note the wording here: ask, not steal. Don’t say, “Can I have your email so I can send you a receipt?” and use it for bombarding them with promotions. Be upfront with your customers when you ask for their email, so you are not violating their trust. Once you’ve build a solid email list for customers who want to hear from you, craft a solid email with links to your blog.
- Customer service emails. If a customer or potential customer contacts you asking a question that you’ve already answered on your blog, ask them if you can email the answer to them. Do the same on social media when a customer posts questions.
- Social media. Don’t know what to put on social media? Post a blog post that is relevant to the time of year (even old posts work, as long as they are relevant). Mix those blog posts with entertaining and interesting information, a few promotions and faces from your business. BOOM! You’ve got a social media page that is attractive to your audience.
- Word of mouth. Let your partner businesses, vendors and customers know about your blog at meetings and events. Add your blog URL to promotional pieces that you pass out at events and on mail pieces.
- Advertise. If you advertise online or in trade publications, include your blog URL in the advertisement, or link your online advertisement to your blog or to a very strong blog post.
Consistent, quality content is key. If you find that you don’t have the content marketing expertise, time to keep posting content on your blog or that you’re losing steam, outsource your blog to a company experienced in content marketing. Even though you are putting your blog content in an expert’s hands, don’t walk away. Your input is a valuable part of successful content marketing, so use these do’s and don’ts for working with a marketing company. (And be wary of marketing companies that don’t ask for your input).
Remember, content marketing is not an “overnight success” marketing tactic. A quality business blog is a marathon effort, built on regular posts and relatable content for your audience. If you stay in the marathon, you and your customers can reap the rewards of a good, relevant business blog.