The corporate blog is on the rebound. Forty-four per cent of companies now use one to communicate with their customers, according to a recent study. If you aren’t already blogging and marketing your content – and that’s more than half of you – it’s okay. The communication industry moves fast, particularly on the autobahns of social media. However, even though technology moves quickly, knowing social media mechanics, identifying your audience, developing killer content and building your business with it takes time.
Here are four questions to consider before starting a blog:
Where do I start?
Research, research, research. You have your ‘big idea’ and now you have to prove it’s big to the right market. Mechanics 101 of a successful marketing blog is to make sure that the bulk of your research focuses on finding a blog topic that answers a question your target market is asking. For more on getting to know your audience, check out these strategies you can pursue on a tight budget.
Does a blog have to be a one-man show?
Develop a plug-and-play style framework, process and strategy for your blog so that anyone can jump on and contribute according to your model. This will help establish an editorial process that’s consistent while removing the shackles of a one-man blog.
Are there more ways I can use the great content I’ve developed?
Reduce, reuse, repurpose. Shrink your blog posts into snippets and share on other social media forums like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or LinkedIn. If you use a video forum for your blog, you can also post on Instagram, which now features a video option. Extending the life cycle of your content will help increase the amount of potential business you encounter and return to your blog. It’s also a great way to get a bigger bang for your buck.
How is my content going to translate into business success?
Knowing specifically what you want to accomplish before writing the blog helps you get there. While doing your research, anticipate what success will look like. One way to measure your blog’s success is to monitor the life span of your content online based on usage, relevance and currency. How many retweets did you get? How many comments appeared on your blog post? How many “likes” or “shares” did it receive? Getting familiar with online analytic tools will help you capture these results.
We’ve all received “Timbits” of wisdom about the importance of careful planning (well, in Canada, at least). Learning about your audience and the issues that matter to them, as well as the language they speak, and building a solid content strategy with clear goals, will help you keep your readers hungry and coming back for more – more business, that is.