Once you get past the “should my company be blogging” hurdle and into the “okay, so now what?” part of the race, the next question you might find yourself facing is, “What should I be doing to marry my blogging to my business goals?” If you’re in charge of making blogs deliver a business value to your organization, here’s some thoughts to consider. (Note: this is a business-minded post. You can use blogs however you like.)
A Strategy is the Path You Choose to Take
Before we dive in, just realize this: strategy is a word that’s rarely used properly. Check out Erika Andersen’s Being Strategic if you need more on the right way to think about strategy. If not, just accept that strategy just means “the best way I can think of to get to the goal.”
Strategies are flexible. People don’t realize this. If your goal is to land more sales, then making one decision and sticking to it is not likely going to be the best way to plan your blogging methods. For instance, if you decide to write about product features every post, and that doesn’t convert to sales, would you still do it? No. You’d adjust your strategy and try new content approaches.
With that all said, let’s go in a bit more.
Sample Goals to Start our Strategies
Here’s a quick list of some ways one could use a blog in alignment with business strategy:
- Customer Loyalty
- Product/Service education
- Lead Generation
- Organic Keyword Marketing Assistance (SEO/SEM)
- Thought leadership
There are, obviously, many more ways to use blogs, but you get the picture. From these goals, we can devise strategies.
- Customer Loyalty – make a “customer of the week” post. Write about and promote others.
- Product/Service education – write several how-to posts
- Lead Generation – write posts that attempt to move people to a conversion point.
- Organic Keyword Marketing Assistance (SEO/SEM) – write blog posts that help you rate better for the search terms that matter to you.
- Entertainment – create interesting posts that keep up people’s good will
- Awareness – write frequent posts that maybe dip into many of these categories, to try and keep people interested
- Thought Leadership – write posts that establish you or your leaders as credible industry voices with great value.
- Announcements – use the blog as a glorified press release engine.
Again. I could write another 12 strategies each for the above-mentioned, but that’s not the point. I’m illustrating ways you can think about strategies for your blogging. Let’s go another layer down.
Tactics to Consider
- Customer Loyalty – include pictures in every post. Link to the customer often.
- Product/Service education – build good category support. Use sharethis.com or similar.
- Lead Generation – make simple calls to action. Don’t confuse with too many links, pictures, or other distractions.
- Organic Keyword Marketing Assistance (SEO/SEM) – learn which keywords you want to rank for and blog accordingly. (I’m not very into this method).
- Entertainment – build cross-promotional efforts, like tying posts to facebook and friendfeed for more exposure. The name of the game is eyeballs.
- Awareness – find ways to share and distribute. Look for external sharing mechanisms. The more you can cross-pollenate the message without seeming spammy, the better.
- Thought leadership – empower your leader (whoever you choose) to share as much as possible with the community. Comments help this cause lots.
- Announcements – be concise, and be able to share as much as possible.
What Works For You?
One thing to never forget is that you should always discount anything I say by tempering it with the understanding of what works best for you. You might be having tons of success by writing huge posts with no visual breaks. Who knows? Go with what works for you.
If you want more about the mechanics blogging, here is my best advice about blogging. Some of that might help, too.
Was this useful to you? What else did you want to share with everyone about your own successes? What’s worked or not worked for you?
Photo credit Floyd Nelio