Ring in the new year with a blog plan that sticks

January is a time for all kinds of resolutions. Will moving your blog program plans off the backburner be one of them?

Blogging is one of the most effective ways to build an audience, promote your brand or get found through Google. No wonder, then, that blogs were the top business-to-business (B2B) content marketing tactic in 2020, pulling ahead of social media which held that position in 2019. Sites with blogs generate 97 percent more backlinks than ones without, and blogs can boost search rankings by 400 percent or more.

For most organizations, the key to establishing a successful blog program is knowing where to start and how to lay the foundation for longevity. These strategies can help:

Build around key themes
You know your business objectives for the coming period. Treat those as themes to write about, and identify related topics that will interest your audiences and support your key messages. It’s worth the effort: 71 percent of B2B buyers read blogs as part of their customer journey. Having a defined set of themes will give you a backbone of stories for your program.

Set deadlines you can hit
It’s more important to publish regularly than often. Set realistic deadlines with work-back schedules that budget time to interview, write, review, proof and post.

Pick formats your readers will respond to
“How tos” help customers and prospects solve problems and are the most popular format by far. List blogs provide handy references. Question-and-answer formats are a quick way to outline your position on a complex topic. Choosing a few consistent approaches will help harden your workflow into a repeatable process.

Choose the right “spokespeople”
Blogs show your organization’s thought leadership — which means you need a stable of thought leaders to provide perspective and who are comfortable posting under their own names. Pick people whose knowledge is authentically connected to your themes and topics.

Measure to see what works
You don’t need sophisticated metrics to start. Even basic stats on total views per post will help reveal which topics and formats work best with your target readers. Track where they go after reading a blog entry: do they stay on your site or leave? Embed compelling calls to action in your blogs that drive to your site content.

Blogs continue to yield results for companies that commit to them, whether the goal is brand promotion, audience growth or building search equity. If you need assistance or want to discuss further, don’t hesitate to contact us.