Seemingly every expert agrees: to succeed in inbound marketing, your website needs to have a blog. The benefits of a business blog range from increased exposure and search engine optimisation to more conversions, credibility, and ultimately more customers.
At the same time, it's not enough to simply create a blog, write a few posts, and hope for the best. As is the case with all digital marketing initiatives, you have to be strategic. In other words, every piece of your blog should be written, designed, and promoted specifically with your marketing and business goals in mind. To accomplish that feat, follow these 6 steps to build a blog that actually enhances your inbound marketing efforts.
1) Truly Understand Your Audience
First, every marketing initiative should begin with your target audience. Know exactly who will read your blog, both in terms of their demographics and their pain points.
Each post you publish should be relevant to the various interests, needs, and questions that your audience might have. You can only make sure that is the case if you know your audience well, and write your posts with them in mind.
2) Focus Each Post on a Keyword
Next, it's time to consider the SEO aspects of a successful business blog. A major benefit of blogging is the fact that it can help you elevate your website in search results. To make that happen, focus each post on a keyword that your audience is likely to search for.
These keywords can differ widely, depending on your audience and your industry. Effective keyword research is absolutely vital, helping you better understand your audience preferences. Make sure each of your post is only focus on a single keyword, in order to avoid confusion and narrow your topic.
3) Publish Regularly
As with many other aspects of inbound marketing, business blogging relies on regularity for at least part of its success. A blog that only sees a new post every other month will have little chance for success. If, on the other hand, you are able to publish new content multiple times a week, your chances of success increase drastically.
What timing is best for you depends at least in part on your capabilities. Generally speaking, more frequent is better; try to aim for at least once per week for maximum engagement. A content calendar can help you stay on track and keep your individual posts organised.
4) Follow Blogging Best Practices
The content of your blog post itself should be easy to read, without losing its informative aspects. Break up your text with subheadings, short paragraph, and lists. Add visuals where possible. Longer posts might also make sense, as they tend to result in more engagement. This guide on blogging best practices can help you better understand what your audience expects from your content.
5) Offer Conversion Opportunities
Of course, even the greatest blogs might not be successful in actually helping your inbound marketing succeed if they don't offer next steps for any reader whose interest you have sparked. At the very least, your audience should be able to subscribe to your blog and get emails each time you publish a new post.
But you can also go further. For instance, you can use your blog as a conversion opportunity for your lead generation efforts. At the end of the blog, offer a call to action button and link to a landing or contact page where your audience can learn more about the topic they just read. The more natural that 'next step' is, the better.
6) Promote New Posts Everywhere
Finally, never let your blog live in isolation. Instead, take advantage of your entire inbound marketing framework to promote your new posts. That includes sending emails to your existing leads, as well as using social media to promote the new content extensively. You can even add links to new posts to your home page, to entice any web visitors to learn more about the topic at hand.
Blogging is and should be a major part of your inbound marketing strategy. But you can only succeed if you are strategic about it, which the above steps can help you accomplish. To learn more about the intricacies of blogging, and how your business can take advantage of this marketing tactic, contact us.