For many businesses, blogging can seem trivial and unnecessary. There are, of course, businesses for which blogging isn’t a worthwhile part of the comms mix, but there are also many that simply lack an understanding of the benefits, how it can help to achieve communications goals and what can make it effective.
In short, blogging provides a way for businesses to reach their target audiences with relevant content. By producing content that target audience members will find interesting or valuable, it’s possible to attract their attention and interest online, drive traffic to your website and increase sales. Of course, all that is easier said than done, but there are some things you can do to increase your chances of success.
Know you audiences
Understanding who you’re writing for means understanding what to write. It may be that you’ve already developed marketing personas and so you know what type of person you need to aim your marketing activity at and how do it. If not, then developing personas is a good place to start.
In short, marketing personas (or buyer personas) are representations of the people businesses want to target to buy their products or services. They are created by gathering information about people via desk research, questionnaires and interviews. Ultimately, the key is to paint a picture of who they are, what sort of content they’re interested in and where and when they get their content.
Set a social strategy
Knowing what you’re writing is one thing but knowing how to use it is another. In the same way that your personas should inform what you write, they should also inform how you share it. What social media platforms are your personas using, when are they using them and what makes them click on the link? Formalising all this in a strategy will not only give you an approach to work to, but one upon which to iteratively improve as well.
How you go about creating your strategy might be determined by how many leads you want to generate via your blogging activity, with the volume of posts and social shares for each set accordingly. Alternatively, if you’re just testing the water, you might want to start small and see what sort of results you get, before gradually honing and ramping up your activity. Once you have a clear idea of what approach you want to take, you can use a social content calendar like HubSpot’s to plan and schedule posts.
When you’ve got yourself up-and-running, it’s important to keep tabs on how well your blog posts are being received and how much traffic your social shares are generating for them. A cursory look at your blog or website analytics can give you a good idea of what type of posts are landing best with your audiences based on the titles and figures alone. You can do a similar thing with social posts, seeing whether links posted with just headlines, with longer article descriptions or with post extracts perform best.
You’ll also want more in depth insights though, like what social platforms perform best for you, what times you get the best response on different platforms and how often you should be posting for the best response. For this sort of analysis, you can draw upon reporting from the platform themselves, like Twitter Analytics, from marketing platforms you might use like HubSpot, or from dedicated social analytics platforms like Sprout Social.