Content Marketing Strategy: How to Create a Winning Company Blog

Content marketing, in general, can provide many valuable benefits. It can help create and maintain a brand presence; assist in search engine optimization; and position executives as thought leaders. It can also serve as a valuable source of information for both customers and potential customers.

 

There are many types of content marketing. Technically speaking, everything your business creates and publishes is content marketing. This can include such items as marketing pieces, videos, blog articles, articles published in trade magazines, social media posts -- you name it. If your audience sees it, chances are that it’s content marketing.

 

While most businesses understand the importance of content marketing, many get stuck when trying to make it an ongoing reality. Think of it as an extreme case of writer’s block. Someone is tasked to create this “content” but they don’t know what to create on a regular and ongoing basis. Some companies create comprehensive content marketing strategies, but then lack the creative time and resources, so they never get implemented. Others simply stare at a blank document without a clue as to where to start.

 

As a starting point, the focus of this blog is on one type of content marketing: a company blog.  Blogs are one of the easiest ways to produce and disseminate good content, but for some can be tricky to execute. Typically, the lack of execution is simply due to not having any ideas to write about.

 

Here are 4 basic tips to help establish a winning blog:

  1. Provide Useful Content – Companies and individuals that focus on providing an audience with useful information will see more engaged and loyal followers. Customers generally appreciate the time and effort it takes to produce quality material. Providing useful information helps to gain the trust of your audience and further positions you as an industry expert.
  2. Provide Timely Information – A good company blog should also share relevant industry news accompanied by commentary and analysis on how this news affects your specific industry. It’s wonderful that you’re sharing Google’s latest algorithm change, but how will that affect your customers? Remember that YOU are the experts. That’s why your customers are interested in what you have to say.
  3. Blogs as a Human Resources Tool – Blogs can help drive in prospective new hires. Just as you do research on applicants, applicants will also do some research on you. Your blog can provide valuable insight into your beliefs and company culture. A good mix of content will show potential employees that you care about your staff, customers and the industry as a whole.  I have heard of cases where blogs have been an important part of the decision process for prospective employees.
  4. Educational Value – While your blog should not solely serve as a marketing platform to promote your products and services, it CAN from time to time be used as a tool to provide customers with educational material about your company. For example, when something changes – a new feature is introduced, a new model is unveiled, or a new service is offered. In this way, your blog can be a great venue to help keep your customers informed.  Just be sure to strike a good balance -- don’t use your blog as purely a promotional platform. If you do, you will quickly loose readers.

 

If you choose to integrate a blog into your website (which is where it should be, by the way) be consistent in publishing. Consistency breeds expectation. There’s nothing worse than having a company blog in which the last post is months or years old. It shows apathy as well as a lack of commitment. And those are not favorable attributes for any business to be projecting. This type of blog just helps to drive customers away. Decide how much you want to publish and then determine how often. Choose a day of the week and ensure that you are always publishing on that day. Your customers will start looking forward to the articles, as will the potential new customers.

 

One last key piece of advice: Please do watch spelling and grammar, as you would with any communication you wish your customers and potential new customers to view. 

 

Blogs don’t have to be long, nor do they have to be masterpieces of literature.   Show your personality and start a conversation: that’s how great relationships are built!

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Comment by steven chessin on November 30, 2014 at 2:40pm

Sara - One of the reasons dealers fail to sell a car is that the customer can buy an identical car  - for less - closer - service loaner - extended warranty - lifetime tires - etc. The marketing content challenge is to differentiate and individualize with a unique "Why Buy Here". To differentiate with substantive content that goes beyond empty promises and advertising fluff. It is a challenge because if you 'talk-the-talk' which is free -- you must 'walk-the-walk' which is not free. Most dealers do not have a substantive "Why Buy Here". Here's an example of substantive - powerful message - that resonates with buyers.

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on November 29, 2014 at 4:34pm

Great piece Sara - one of your best! Happy holidays

Comment by steven chessin on November 25, 2014 at 6:09pm

100% correct but I would add. Strategic advertising and marketing content - and 1-on-1 tactical sales content are completely different.

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