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When it comes to content strategy ,we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: a corporate blog is not the place to blow your own trumpet. Tempting though it may be to post about client wins, product launches, or the hot new industry talent you just hired, until you’re totally audience focused: step away from the keyboard.
As a communications tool, a business blog has the potential to leverage your thought leadership status and generate leads, service your customers and impact on sales, amongst a multitude of other benefits. But it will only achieve these business goals when it puts the audience, or reader, if you will, first. So, what content strategy tactics should be in place when blogging for business with your audience in mind?

1. Know your audience

You’ll need a very clearly defined description of both who you want your blog to reach in an ideal world and also who your current readers are realistically. Bear in mind that most demographics now regularly use the internet, so your readership may extend further than you think. A business blog is not just limited to people who regularly buy or use your product/service. Think beyond your typical customer to online influencers like journalists, industry analysts, other bloggers and potential employees. How can your content serve them whilst also advancing your business?

2. Become a problem solver

Following on from the previous point, all blog content should service the needs of its readers. A good business blog skilfully blends information about what its readers need while relating back to the relevant industry/company/product/service. A little market research is a good starting point, in order to garner exactly what your target audience is thinking, wanting and needing. The trick is to make sure you are offering that in bucketloads more than any of your competitors.

3. Define your topics…tell a story

The crux of a strong blog strategy is identifying the topics each post will cover. Again, keep your audience’s needs in mind and research SEO keywords for inspiration and guidance. All content promoted through a business blog should leverage SEO best practice to ensure visibility on the search engines. However don’t become too SEO-centric, as posts run the risk of becoming somewhat mechanical and dry. Maintain an underlying story that connects what the business represents with your audience’s information needs. Remember that a corporate blog’s story isn’t limited to text. Use videos, images, infographics and audio to deliver a richer experience.

4. Tap the blogosphere to grow your reach

Blogging can feel like a lonely business, but rest assured that there are countless others out there who can help you grow your blog community. To achieve success in the long-term, all business bloggers should devote a certain amount of time to being active on other blogs and social networks. Tap into other industry blogs and link back to relevant articles from your own – the combination of links and expert off-site engagement can really extend your reach and readership.

5. Monitor audience feedback

Just as with any content marketing, maintaining a business blog is an ongoing effort requiring constant learning and adapting. Monitor its progress through a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) like blog comments, mentions, links, shares, and the behaviour of longstanding and new visitors to your blog. Analysis of these KPIs should reveal which topics, messaging, SEO tactics and interactions are best-received. Only by continually serving its audience will a business blog achieve the desired business goals.

Photo: Carissa Rogers/flickr cc


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