Companies large and small know the value of good content marketing. Not only does it position your company and brand as subject matter experts, it helps your site stay fresh and relevant by consistently adding new content for search engines to crawl. Targeted and well-written content will attract new visitors to your site, which also helps with lead generation. For many small businesses, the best way to get started with content marketing is through a company blog. Here’s how to create the best company blog to ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts.

Start your company blog by having a plan in place

content calendarWhen you finally commit to blog, you may be tempted to jump right in and start writing. While having enthusiasm for writing is great, chances are it’ll fizzle out quickly if your blogging efforts are unorganized and worse, you don’t see results. The best way to get a company blog started is to have a plan, and one of the easiest plans to have is to create an editorial calendar. There are a lot of great articles on how to use an editorial calendar.  Many include formats and templates to follow. Find a template that you can follow and take the time to plan out your blogging efforts. This should include:

  • Topic
  • Keyword phrase
  • Author(s)
  • Title
  • Due date
  • Post date

Having even a basic plan in place will help keep the momentum going and allow your blogging efforts to stay consistent and organized.

Establish how often you’ll be blogging

Many content marketing efforts have opinions regarding how often you should blog. Most likely, blogging daily is unrealistic for your small company. Blogging a few times of year will do little for your reputation, traffic, or branding. The key is to be consistent and focus on quality over quantity. Can you truly create an outstanding, relevant, quality blog weekly and be able to keep up that cadence?  Great!  Do you feel that to guarantee quality and consistency, once a month is all you can do?  That’s OK too. Keep in mind that it’s about being relevant, useful and informative to your reading audience. It’s also about being consistent to build your readership and your authority and credibility.

Decide what you’re trying to accomplish

Google AnalyticsIf you blog for the sake of blogging, you’ll likely fail at your endeavor in the long run. Decide what exactly you’re trying to accomplish by creating a company blog and decide how you’ll measure that success. Looking for more traffic?  Be sure you know how to track how well your blog posts are performing in Google Analytics. Trying to increase leads? Determine how you’ll track your blogs posts as a source of leads. Looking to make sales?  Again, be sure you know how to correlate a sale to the blog that generated the sale. If you’re not sure how to do this, engage the services of a small business marketing professional to help.

Determine your marketing voice

How do you want your blog posts to come across?  Funny?  Engaging?  Informative?  Educational?  All of this is impacted by your marketing voice. Content Marketing Institute states that a brand voice isn’t about the creation of a non-human voice. It’s about being consistent with the voice you are creating – positioning yourself as an easily identified and authoritative source for your area of expertise. Similarly, a consistent brand voice and vocabulary is essential to implementing localized content and intelligent content strategies effectively. Could prospects recognize your content simply by the overall tone? This can be challenging if you have more than one person contributing to your blog, so be sure to establish this early.

Don’t use your company blog just to talk about your company

Your readers expect you to spotlight your company occasionally in your blog posts, but don’t use your blog to always talk about your company. That’s a turnoff and a guarantee that your blog will fail long-term. You want to spend about 85% of your content marketing efforts providing useful, informative, educational content. Then take that other 15% and thread in information about your company. Basically, if you want to succeed at content marketing, stop talking about yourself. Find out what your readers want to hear about through keyword research and reviewing who your target audience is.

Be sure to promote your company blog and blog posts

promoteCompany blogs are a great way to draw readers to your website, but how do you find those visitors?  How do readers find your blog posts?  You need to promote it!  You need to let people know that your company blog is a resource of awesome information, and you need to showcase your blog posts individually. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Promote your company blog on social channels
  • Share individual blog posts on social channels
  • Cross link between different posts on your company blog
  • Promote your blog in your newsletter or email blasts
  • Add a link to your company blog in your email signature
  • Add a subscription functionality so your blog posts are sent to subscribers (MailPoet is a great plugin for that)

Be sure to repurpose your content

Continually update and fluff up the content for your top-performing blogs. Someone may visit your oldest blog post and see that it’s completely outdated which is never good. If it’s a good blog, whether its old or new, you want to ensure that it’s generating traffic and not going to waste.

Committing to a company blog is a smart choice for small business owners. Knowing how to create the best company blog will help your efforts pay off.

Patty Hughes
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