Most business owners are aware that they should be blogging. But through no fault of their own the blog might be lacking insight, direction, purpose and quite frankly is as useful as a snooze button on a smoke alarm. This article explains the importance of the often overlooked and untapped marketing resource that is ‘the company blog’ and how to lay out a solid blog content strategy.
Not all of us have the luxury of expensive content marketing tools which gather vast amounts of data on trending topics across all industries, which of your competitor’s content themes to replicate, and what words you should be targeting (luckily at Passion Digital we do!). If that’s the case, then where’s the best place to start? It’s true that pricey content tools do offer you a better chance of hitting the sweet spot between interesting and relevant, but regardless of your budget or marketing experience there are some key principles that all company blogs can learn from to create a solid blog-content calendar.
THE BENEFITS OF BLOGGING FOR YOUR BUSINESS
If you haven’t guessed it by now, Passion Digital values blogging as a key part of any digital marketing strategy. Broadly speaking, digital marketing provides brands with greater online visibility, increasing the amount of ‘good quality’ traffic to the site, thereby increasing leads and sales. There are a number of ways to achieve this and blogging is one of them. Here’s how:
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Increasing organic traffic to your site through blogs
Creating optimised content to appear in front of users when they search for a specific term. (‘e.g. how to blog for a business’, ‘business blogging’ or ‘how to blog’)
Increasing the number of target keywords on the website
This particular blog targets keywords around ‘blog content calendar’, ‘blog content’, ‘content marketing’ which are all services provided by the Content Team at Passion Digital. We have landing pages dedicated to those services and this blog supports the SEO of those pages. The aim is to increase the site’s overall visibility for those target keywords.
Bulking out the amount of content on the website as a whole
Larger sites are more likely to have a higher domain authority and therefore have their pages rank highly in search engines, increasing traffic.
Frequently posting demonstrates to search engines that the website is active
Active sites are likely to be the most cutting edge and provide up-to-date information for search engine users. Google rewards active sites with higher rankings in results pages.
If the company is wanting to push sales of a specific product or service, then blog content can create supporting content to increase product/service-related keywords and increase internal linking to services pages.
The more compelling your blog is, the more people will link through to your blog posts. The more links you gain from good quality websites the more of an ‘authority’ search engines consider your content to be, ranking you more highly and increasing traffic. The blog is also a great place to host any larger content pieces (videos, original research, infographics) which might be ‘linkable’.
Learn more about SEO with our SEO training courses for both beginners and advanced users.
Brand Awareness & Lead Generation
Accessing new audiences
By producing regular, high-quality content, you’ll encourage more users to visit your site. If your content ranks for a specific keyword then you’ll receive traffic to your site through that content piece. There are a number of free keyword tools out there, but make sure you use a number of them and cross-reference the results to get a more accurate idea of search volume.
Retaining existing customers
Creating compelling blog content helps customers build a relationship with your brand. The more people that affiliate themselves with the brand, the more ambassadors you have to praise your brand to others.
Provides content for social posting
If you have a strong social media following or are looking to increase it, posting blog content is a good way of both sparking interest in your brand and driving traffic to your site. If you have a media budget you can boost your posts on social media to ensure your blogs appear in front of the appropriate audiences to increase the amount and quality of traffic to the site.
Blogging enables you to capture data for future remarketing. You can remarket to people who visited a specific post.
Through your blog content you can usher new or existing audiences to the actionable areas of your website site to increase leads. Include a call to action in your blog (‘sign up here’, ‘get a free quote’ etc.) and encourage users to engage with your content.
Learn more about Social with our Social Media training courses for both beginners and advanced users.
THE 7 PRINCIPLES OF BLOGGING
If the blog is to yield good results for the reasons above then the right foundations must be laid. Here are the basic principles of blogging…
Blogging guidelines recommend the blog is comprised of 20% company news and 80% wider industry news. One of the biggest mistakes we see businesses make is using their blog for internal company news only. This restricts the amount of traffic your blog drives.
Ensure you’re publishing blog content every month. Ideally, no less than twice a month to ensure you website appears active to both users and search engines alike. However, if you have the capacity to create good quality content every week or even every day, then go for it!
It’s important to be responsive to developments in your industry so you might have to re-jig the calendar to ensure the blog remains at the cutting edge. Also, learn from what gets the best feedback/results and adjust your calendar accordingly.
Know what keywords to target in each blog. Are you trying to increase the number of core keywords on the website, to push a specific product or service, or trying to answer a direct search query?
When it comes to blogs, bigger generally is better so aim for 750-1,000 words. However, search engines reward content that directly answers a users query so ensuring it’s 100% relevant should take precedence over the length.
Goals and Amplification
Before creating the blog, have a goal in mind. Whether you’re looking to drive traffic from social, re-engage your existing audience, or reach a new audience, make sure to tailor your content to these goals.
CREATING A CONTENT CALENDAR
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Now you have the key principles locked down, it’s time to start formulating a content calendar. Above is a simple blog content calendar template. We recommend a spreadsheet (either in Excel or Google Sheets) so you and your colleagues can see and edit the table.
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Don’t forget to add in a few notes about the direction you want the blog to take, keywords to target, and any calls to action you want to include so you can hit the ground running when it comes to writing it.
Creating a blog content calendar might sound like a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before. This article demonstrates that blogging can be done by all companies, large and small, and shouldn’t just be the remit of content marketers! It’s a simple and effective way of increasing your businesses visibility and building affinity with your customers. We’ve covered the benefits of blogging, best practice, and how to plan. Remember to be consistent in your tone of voice, flexible in your planning and have the results in mind when creating each blog.
If you’re looking to take your business blogging to the next level, get in touch with us at Passion Digital. We’re experts in crafting content that will increase brand affinity, support SEO and increase leads.
Alternatively, if you’re interested in learning more about Content Marketing and want a crash course that you and your colleagues can attend, check out our Content Marketing training courses. Our in-house experts have tailored courses for advanced and beginners levels, as well as group sessions, check out Digital Kitchen for more!