BLOG MARKETING: WHAT IS IT, BENEFITS AND STEPS TO CREATE A STRATEGY
Regardless of its size, its audience or economic sector, all companies should have a blog. Several recent studies have shown the content marketing strategy as one of the most recommended digital marketing strategies for organizations
What is a blog
The blog is a website that is periodically updated and stores articles chronologically by one or more authors, the most recent appearing first. Those who blog are called bloggers.
All businesses should have a blog, regardless of its size and audience, as this is the center of the content marketing strategy.
Benefits of the blog marketing strategy for companies
With the growth of social media, many companies are creating corporate blogs in addition to their website. This strategy has the following benefits for the company:
Create community. The blog allows the company to create a virtual community with its target audience in its own channel, unlike social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others that are platforms that do not belong to the company.
Expand knowledge. The blog allows the company to improve the knowledge of the users since the comments of the visitors are a very important source of information, to achieve this the Community Manager must always read and respond to the comments.
Increase closeness with users. The blog allows the company to get closer to users and build trust, since it is a channel with a language that is closer than the website. The website has an institutional tone (similar to the physical world) and the blog has a close but professional language.
Produce up-to-date content. The blog allows the organization to produce up-to-date content to keep users informed of what is happening in the company and the category. This will give a positive image of the company to users.
Improve positioning. Regularly posting articles on the blog allows them to improve search engine rankings, as Google and other search engines highly value up-to-date, good-quality content.
Increase visitors. The blog allows you to increase visitors to the website, since the more quality content, the greater the opportunities to attract your target audience.
Add value. The blog allows the company to share value-added content with the audience, which will pave the way for a business relationship. It is essential to know the audience very well to identify what type of content interests them.
Improve reputation. The blog allows the company to acquire the reputation of an expert in its business niche, segment or activity. The company can even become a benchmark in the market that is consulted by its entire industry (including the competition).
Strengthen the brand. The blog allows the company to become known if it is a new brand or to strengthen itself if it is an existing brand. This is thanks to the propagation that quality content achieves through the main social networks.
Increase the duration of the content. The blog allows you to create content that has a long duration (years) compared to content published on social networks that has a short useful life. For example, a tweet has a useful life of about an hour, after that time it is forgotten.
Steps to create a blog marketing strategy
Run a benchmark: Before designing the blog marketing strategy it is very important to benchmark to identify the best practices in the category of the company.
There are different types of benchmarking: competitive, internal and functional. The common goal of all three types is to help managers look outside their departments, their organizations, their competition, or other sectors where there are best-in-class companies.
To correctly design and carry out a benchmarking process in your company, We recommend following the following steps: planning, data collection, analysis, action and monitoring.
Define the objectives of the blog marketing strategy: Broad (general) objectives, measurable and must be fully articulated with corporate, marketing and digital marketing objectives.
Some examples of blog marketing objectives are:
Improve knowledge of customers.
Improving customer satisfaction.
Build customer loyalty.
Strengthen the brand.
Get potential customers.
Define the blog audience: The audience you want to reach with the content strategy (market and interests) must be clearly specified.
There are several methods to define the audience, the most important are:
Socio-demographic profile. It includes social and demographic aspects, some examples are: gender, age, education, income level, race, geographical place where you live, etc.
Psychographic profile. It includes aspects such as: personality, lifestyle, interests, tastes, concerns, opinions, values, etc.
Buyer person. It is a methodology that allows defining a fictitious person that fits the audience that is being defined. Some aspects that are defined are: name, occupation, tastes, hobbies, how they interact with the product or service.
Define the content categories for the blog: Once the audience is known, the main topic of the content and its respective categories must be defined. For this, an investigation must be carried out to identify what content is valued by the audience. In addition to the benchmark, the review of blogs aimed at the same audience can give ideas of the article topics that generate the most interest.
To define the categories, it is important to answer the following questions about the audience of interest:
What do they need?
What do they like to read, see or hear?
What do they look for on the Internet?
What do they like most about what you have posted?
What is content of value to them?
Generate the content for the blog: The generation of content is a very important stage in the blog. Some useful strategies to create content of value for the audience are:
Ask the audience. When the audience is asked what content they want the company to present on the blog, it is one of the most efficient methods of knowing which content generates value and which does not. For this you can conduct a survey on the blog, website or email where you ask what topics would interest you from a predefined list. You can also see in the articles posted on the blog which article topics are generating the most comments and interaction.
The content of the company. The content generated by the experts of the company must be presented on the blog in an entertaining, attractive and original way to become interesting content.
An important resource for generating content for your blog is conducting interviews. These are interesting, they offer the opinion of other professionals or people of interest and a different voice.
Customer testimonials. When a customer gives you negative feedback about your business, ask for permission to use it as your blog material and strategize for your other buyers to share their stories.
Information sources. You should have a group of Web sites as a source of reliable and valuable information for the audience, to go when we are short of content. It is important to be monitoring the news that happens around the main topic that was selected for the blog to create articles when events of interest happen. Use Google Alerts to find out the popularity of different topics.
Write about trends. When you report how things evolve and develop in your industry, you can show your company as an expert in its category.
Make reviews: make reviews of books or movies of interest to your audience. It is important to inform the authors that you have made them to look for propagation by them.
Collection of articles. When you have been with the blog long enough, you can create an article with a collection of previous articles on a certain topic. This generally creates value for visitors.
Compare products or services. Make comparisons of products or services of interest to your audience and express your opinion about which is the best.
Make existing infographic articles. If you find an infographic that is of interest to your audience, write an article based on it. You should always cite the source.
Monitor your competition. Periodically review the articles that competitors publish on their blogs and make your own version of the successful articles of these.
Corporate social responsibility. Inform your audience how your company contributes to the community by uploading videos or articles about this activity.
Create an award: Give an award to the one who best does something in your category: “the best of”, this strategy attracts the attention of your blog readers and participants.
Tell stories about your company. Everyone likes stories, write about how you started your business, about your successes and even about your failures.
Use keywords. Research the keywords with which people search for your products or services and create articles using them..
Design a content dissemination strategy: A dissemination strategy for the content published on the blog must be designed. Some dissemination channels are:
It is important to note that the content should not be copied and pasted in any channel as they would have negative effects on search engine positioning.
Continuously measure and adjust strategy
Measure. Goals for the indicators should be defined and assigned and these indicators should be permanently monitored on the blog.
Adjustment. Action must be taken when there are deviations in compliance with the indicators or when changes in tastes and needs of the audience are detected. This stage allows the strategy to provide feedback for continuous improvement.
Guidelines for writing a blog article
We will go over some guidelines for writing a successful blog article.
It should be attractive to encourage the reader to read the article.
You must explain the content of the article.
It must contain keywords of interest to achieve good search engine positioning (SEO).
The first paragraph: the first paragraph is very important since it is the one that will attract the attention of the rest of the article.
A summary of the article in an attractive way.
The reason why the topic of the article is important.
Keywords as they are important for search engine optimization (SEO).
The body of the article
The body of the article should be separated by subtitles that allow the reader to quickly identify what topics the article covers without reading everything. This can be accomplished by entering bulleted and numbered lists.
It can be important to highlight important words or phrases in bold or italics.
It is desirable that the article has at least 500 words so that it positions better in search engines.
The closing of the article
A conclusion. A paragraph that summarizes the content of the article and makes clear the position of the writer of the article on the subject.
A question: It is important to ask readers a question to motivate comment writing.
Other important elements
Links to other sites. It is desirable that the articles have links to other sites since it allows: expand information, define terms and give credits for concepts used.
Images. The article must have at least one image related to the article of good resolution (I suggest minimum 800 × 600). For it to contribute to search engine positioning (SEO), it must be given a name and ALT and TITLE tags with keywords.
Videos. It is desirable that the article has a video associated with the topic, which makes it more enjoyable.