By Carly Ries
If you're in marketing, you know two of the largest buzzwords in recent years are "content marketing" and "blogging." But how do you develop a content marketing strategy and where does blogging fit into that plan? Read on to find out.
Before you begin, it's important to get the basics down first. Companies may define aspects of their content marketing strategy differently, but the concept is generally the same:
Set content marketing S.M.A.R.T. goals. Don't dream about your goals, put a plan in place to achieve them. To ensure you stay on track, make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Define your buyer personas. As defined by HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based off research and data from your company's current customers. The better you know your persona, the more successful you'll be in your content marketing efforts.
Decide which type of content works best for your business. Based of your buyer persona(s), decide which content will resonate best with them like blogging, ebooks, white papers, podcasts, etc.
Create an editorial calendar. Once you have the type of content you want to create, it's imperative you put a plan of attack in place to develop and promote this content. Scheduling plans out at least 90 days in advance will help to ensure you're on track.
Market your marketing. What good is your amazing content if nobody knows about it? Get it into the hands of your buyer personas through social media, email, blog (SEO efforts), and so on.
- Measure your results. The beauty of digital marketing is that it's so easy to monitor your results. Keep an eye on your analytics and base your efforts moving forward on those results. See what works and what doesn't and optimize from there.
So where does blogging fit into this content marketing strategy? You'll find that no matter what your business is, blogging will work well for your company! Blogging should be used as an awareness-stage piece of content that educates your audience and answers questions and pain points they may have. Blogging contributes significantly to your content marketing strategy by providing the following benefits:
- It helps to drive traffic to your website. Every time you write a new blog post you're adding another indexed page to your site, which Google and other search engines love! It proves your website is active. Each page you add gives you another chance to be found in search results (which is how most people look for content these days).
- Blogging can get you discovered on social media. If you create great content on your blog, people will want to share it via social media (you should share it on social as well to your personas). The more people share, the more visits you'll get, and the more it will help your SEO results.
- Blogging increases conversion. How you may ask? You can add lead-generating CTAs to your blog posts that direct to landing pages with relevant content and offers your visitors can convert on. The more blogs you have, the more people will see you CTAs, which increases the odds of conversion. More site visits and more leads? Blogging is a win-win.
- Blogging establishes authority. If your answering common questions and solving your persona's pain points in your blogs, people will start to look at you as a leader in the industry and will begin to trust your company. The more a person trusts your company, the more likely they'll be to turn into a customer someday.
Blogging is a no-brainer when it comes to your content marketing strategy and fit's into your plan from the beginning. No company is too small to not blog and no company is too large. How has blogging helped with your content marketing strategy?