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When planning a business blog strategy, we at BlogStar are often asked why do some business blogs create a buzz, while others fail to get their community engaged and talking? Top quality content is obviously key, but a well thought-out social optimisation strategy should be just as high a priority.

Everybody gets the importance of SEO to drive traffic to your blog; adding keywords is standard practice, however it is possible to become blinkered in the pursuit of top keywords.

Social media optimisation (SMO) – essentially optimising social content to drive direct traffic to blog content – can also push up search engine rankings for blog web pages.

But before you embark on making your blog (and website) social media friendly – here are six questions you should consider for an optimised business blog strategy.

1. Who is the blog intended to influence? Are you trying to reach prospects, customers, employees, industry analysts, reporters or fellow bloggers within your sector?

2. What blog content will you offer to meet the needs of your target audience?

3. How will you develop a structured blog content plan while addressing those customer needs and telling your brand’s story?

4. What search keywords and social topics are relevant to your target audience?

5. Where does your blog content fit in the customer lifecycle of communication with the brand?

6. If the blog content is properly optimised and socialised, how will it influence (directly or indirectly) measurable business outcomes?

Remember, it’s one thing to attract people to read your blog, but getting them to engage and share your content is quite another challenge. Ask questions, invite your target audience to share content ideas, and always offer recognition to those who participate.

Once you stop focusing on your own brand story, and turn the spotlight onto your community – they will start to tell your story for you. And with the mechanics of social media working for you, so will their friends, and their friends’ friends – and the rest of their online networks and communities.

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