As a full service marketing firm, CIM Marketing Partners has built our fair share of corporate websites. A question that always comes up in the planning process is, “Should we add a blog?” The answer? That depends on a few factors. Blogs die every day because of lack of commitment or passion, two integral factors in the success of content marketing. A content marketing strategy is essential to ensure the longevity and success of a blog.
First, as with any business and marketing initiative, the first move is to identify your target audience. This affects every part of your blog, from the design, to the content, even the frequency of new posting. Once you know whom you want to speak to, it will be easy to determine what you want to tell them. Be specific in your target, as well. Creating a personal experience for your readers starts when you identify them and speak directly to what they would be interested in. For example, a beauty brand that is targeting women aged 18-35 will probably alienate a large portion of their audience with a review of the best denture creams on the market. However, an employment law attorney who targets content towards human resource professionals whose companies employ more than 50 employees can tweak their content to speak directly to those individuals, thus creating a more personal experience for a reader, who is bound to return.
Next, figure out your “why.” Is this blog meant to be educational by enlightening your readers about news and information in your industry? Are you teaching and giving tips and best practices to help your readers? While the point of any marketing tool is to drive business, is this blog going to function as an extended sales arm, showing and explaining new products for purchase? Whatever the reason behind the blog, stick with it and make sure that you’re actually fulfilling the purpose. If you promote your blog as a teaching tool, but people leave with more questions than they came in with, you haven’t met your purpose and are doing a disservice to your readers and your brand.
Finally, establish how you’re going to generate the content and when you’re going to share it. Even though blogging and social media seem to be a little more casual than other traditional marketing means, it is still marketing, which means you must be consistent. Content marketing doesn’t have to be time consuming, but you do have to put some time into it. A content calendar can help keep you on track and make sure that your messages are consistent. Building a master calendar a month in advance shows exactly what you are planning on producing, when, and if necessary, who is responsible for the content. Whether you sit down and write the content yourself or purchase content to repurpose, make sure that you are following your schedule and putting the time in to find or produce good content.
Remember, content marketing doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. Laying down the groundwork and sticking to it will help in the end to create and maintain a successful blog. You’ll thank us when you are considered the master in your field.