You’ve started a business, and now you’re working on increasing customers. It’s a slow process that requires a varied marketing approach. One strategy to include is a company blog, which promises many benefits. If you don’t believe it, look at some of the statistics from key marketers around the world.
According to research compiled by Impact, 53 percent of marketers say that blogging is their top priority in content marketing. More than two thirds also say that blogs are essential for their social media marketing efforts. Besides that, websites on blogs tend to have 434 percent more indexed pages than those without. This means that when customers search for products and services related to your brand, they’ll have an easier time finding you and potentially making a purchase.
When you’re ready to enjoy all the benefits that a company blog can offer you, you’ll need guidance to do it just right. Here’s a guide to starting your company blog.
Choose a blogging platform, domain name, and hosting
No blog can be successful without these features. If you already have a website, this portion of your blog creation is simple. Your domain name will be your homepage with “/blog” at the end of it, and your hosting will be whatever company already hosts your business website.
Your blogging platform must fit in with your website template. Most bloggers prefer WordPress as their blog platform of choice, but some businesses have used Wix, Blogger, Joomla, and Squarespace successfully. It just depends on what your template can handle and how comfortable you are with each option.
You may choose to switch your website template if necessary to use the blogging platform of your choice, since you’ll be updating your blog a lot more often than you’ll be updating your website.
Make branding a first priority
Branding is an essential part of building any business, and it’s something that must translate into your blog as well. Any business owner should have branding in mind before they begin designing or writing content.
Start with the design. Your brand logo should be easily recognizable and appear on every blog page. The colors, fonts, and other elements of design should also cater to your target audience and remain consistent across all online content.
More importantly, your content should stay on-brand. Choose trending topics in your industry, and don’t get off topic.
SocialCaptain’s blog, for example, doesn’t stray from its efforts to capture the attention of its Instagram-using audience. Each post is centered on how Instagram can improve business growth as well as tips and tricks for growing your following. It’s this attention to a specific audience’s needs and content demands that helps their blog maintain a strong online following.
In total, all of your branding efforts will help to make and cement a strong impression on each visitor of your page.
Make quality of content your number-one priority
Posting content regularly is an important factor of any successful blog. You should be posting at least a few times per week if you want a consistent blog following. However, in your rush to provide content for your audience, don’t sacrifice the quality. About 70 percent of consumers prefer to learn about businesses through a blog article than an advertisement, so don’t skimp on the quality of information provided.
“Given our ‘information-overloaded’ society, understand that your blog is just one small piece of the marketing wheel, so use it wisely,” Angela Delmedico of Elev8 Consulting Group told AllBusiness. “Post interesting, relevant, keyword-optimized content geared toward your market, and use that content on other channels to increase awareness and back links to your site. Also use it to build your brand by bringing in future leads, prospects, and clients.”
She also encourages business owners to carefully monitor analytics to show what works and what you can do better in the future. Your high-quality content has the potential to be shared far and wide on the internet, so provide something highly valuable, and you’ll see an increase in sales as a direct result.
Steven Buchwald of Buchwald & Associates also told AllBusiness that providing high value is best if you want to generate more sales using your blog. “If you want to start a company blog and not have it amount to little more than wasted effort, write about things that matter to your audience: both customers and prospects. Provide value and the sales will come,” he says.
Integrate social media buttons on each blogging page
This is an absolute must. Your target audience can help you spread the word about what your products and services can do for them as long as you make it easy to do so. Social buttons make sharing simple with one click, increasing your clientele through word of mouth.
Since you’re focusing on cross-promoting your content on social media, it’s important to have an active social media presence. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are typical must-haves for businesses, but you can choose other platforms that provide high value as well.
Post on these social sites regularly with fresh content from your blog and other industry leaders to stay connected with customers and provide them the value they seek.
Create a content calendar and measure your success
If you want to deliver quality content with each blog post, the content calendar is an absolute necessity.
“Managing a blog is a full-time job,” Ashley Walters of Empower MediaMarketing said to Forbes. “Content must be meaningful for the reader to keep coming back. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not creating an organized content calendar and sticking to it. Post at least three times a week and weave in real-time topics or current events to make content fresh.”
With the many tools available for content creation, organization is easier than ever. Set aside at least an hour weekly to research trending topics and create content ideas that you’ll post throughout the week. It’ll help you stay consistent with quality across the board.
Just as important is ensuring that your content is actually performing well. With the use of your content calendar and blog analytics, you can keep an eye on the success of your blog and make changes accordingly.
“When launching a new blog, it’s critical to define how you will measure success and ROI, or you risk investing a mountain of time without the right business returns,” Tom Shapiro of Stratabeat also explained to Forbes. “What is your new blog intended to achieve? Greater organic search traffic? Social shares? Audience feedback? Inbound links? New opt-ins? New leads? New revenue? Then, look to continually optimize based on these metrics over time.”
As you develop a high-quality blog using the measure metrics, growing a loyal customer and blog following will be a cinch.