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Create a Successful Business blog marketing plan
Starting a blog for your business is easy, in fact, you can set it up in minutes. However, marketing your blog is not an easy task.
In order to get the best out of your blogging effort, you need to create a business blog marketing plan.
Planning is boring!
Not many people like to do it. But if you must be successful, you will have to plan.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe“.
Planning involves long hours of rigorous research that must be put together to make a meaningful document.
Creating a business blog marketing plan helps you to set goals and assists you to achieve it.
A recent study shows that 88% of B2B organizations are creating content. However, 60% of them admitted that they have challenges, such as creating engaging content.
This shows that these percentages do not really know what to do.
This is where a blog marketing plan comes in.
Developing a business blog marketing plan helps you to increase your traffic, generate leads for your business and convert them into paying customers.
All successful businesses that are getting leads and customers through blogging today have blog marketing plans.
Below is a step by step guide to creating a business blog marketing plan for your business.
1. Set marketing/ business goals
Goal setting is very important for every business, whether online or offline. You need a direction for your business and strategies to get there. If you have marketing goals in place, you can easily merge it with your blogging goals. Infact, your blogging goals can achieve much more than your marketing goals. With blogging, you can:
- Inform or educate the public and your current customers/constituents
- Provide customer service or help using a product or service
- Convey a sense of company personality and culture
- Entertain readers and customers
- Drive users to take action
- Encourage dialogue with current and potential customers
You can also generate leads for your business, convert the leads to sales and nurture your existing customers or potential customers.
Determine the marketing goals that are important for your business and see how you can use blogging to achieve them.
You can add these goals to your business blog marketing plan.
2. Know your competitor
Every business has a competitor or competitors. You need to know your business competitors and find out what they are doing. They can be blogs, website or even social media profiles, such as Facebook. They can also be offline businesses.
To identify your top competitors, type in your keyword into the search engine. Look at the top websites in the search engine, those are your competitors. Click on about 5 – 10 of them and check out their website/blog. Write down what you like about them and what you do not like.
Find out how they price their product or service, their value proposition, call to actions, email list, social media presence, etc.
You can dig deeper to gather competitive intelligence using research tools like:
Alexa – Type in your competitor’s URL into the search box. Alexa will display the global traffic rank of the site, search analytics, the number of sites linking in, audience insight, average site load time, etc.
Spyfu. This tool shows you your competitor’s AdWords campaigns. You can be able to follow their steps and avoid their mistakes.
Open site explorer: This is one of the best competitor analysis tools out there. It has a free and paid plan. It allows you to compare your website/blog with four of your competitors, showing you their page authority, domain authority, link root domains, total links and social stats. This will tell you your competitors authority.
Once, you have knowledge of your competitors, you can subscribe to their email lists, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. This will ensure you keep a tab on the kind of content that is working for them on their blogs and social media account.
You can take a closer look at their top ranking content to know who they are targeting, the writing format and who is creating their content for them.
3. Know your Audience
In order to be successful in your business blog marketing, you need to know your audience. This is where creating a buyer persona comes in. A buyer persona according to HubSpot is
“A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. ”
When you have a buyer persona in place, it will help you to know who you are marketing to, their problems, where they spend their time online and other important information.
So how do you research your buyer persona?
Now, there are three distinctive things you need to know about your audience. They are:
- The demographic (i.e. age, location, gender, income, educational level, religion, ethnicity, etc).
- The psychographics (values, attitudes, preferences and thoughts of a group)
- Where they hang out online
To know the demographic of your audience, you can use two of Google’s free tools- Google Adwords keyword tool and Google analytics.
Reddit and industry forums will give you more details about your audience preferences and attitudes.
Knowing where your audience hangs out is very important. It will help you to know where to distribute your content to make it easy for them to consume. You can use the social media, forums and comment sections on blogs to know where your audience congregates.
Once you have this information ready, you can now create an avatar for your audience. Check out one below:
The essence of defining your audience persona is to enable you to target the audience that is appropriate for your business. This shows that you are not trying to catch all the fish in the ocean, but the appropriate ones for your business.
4. Map your audience buyer’s journey with appropriate content
One of the reasons why most people fail in business blogging is that they fail to map their buyer’s journey with relevant content that will enable their audience to take the desired action. For you to be successful in blogging, you need to know your buyer’s journey. The stages and the recommended content format are specified below:
They are awareness stage, consideration or evaluation stage and decision or purchase stage. At each of these stages, you need a particular content that will enable you to better inform and target your audience. According to Forrester, a consumer engages with 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase. This is why you need to know the appropriate content for each buying stage.
Now that you know the content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, it is time to start creating quality content for your audience. It is interesting to note that as you create these content, you will also be positioning your business blog for high ranking in search engine.
5. Know your distribution channels
Creating high-quality content is half the battle. The remaining 50% of your success in business blogging lies with distribution/promotion of your content. Your content creation efforts go to waste without effective distribution. The distribution channel you use depends on where your audience is spending their time.
Below are different channels you can use to distribute your blog content effectively.
a. Social media networks
Social media network is a popular place where businesses and individuals publish and distributes their content. The more followers you have, the greater the chance you have to distribute your content to as many fans as possible.
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are examples of where you can build an audience and distribute your content to your fans.
However, each social media network is different. For example, the way you market on Twitter will be different from what obtains on Facebook and LinkedIn. However, a general strategy that cuts across them all is the use of visuals. Posts with pictures get higher clicks and engagements than those that do not.
Secondly, timing is very important to the success of your social media marketing. The key to reaching more people with your post is to publish at the right time.
Check out the infographic below to know the right time to post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
The best time to post on Facebook
Best Time to post on Twitter
The best time to post on LinkedIn
Another great factor for your success on the social media networks is engagement. You don’t just post your content, you also need to share other people’s content and interact with your followers.
You can now integrate your social media plan in your business blog marketing plan.
Email marketing is an effective tool to use for lead nurturing. Once, your visitors or readers sign up to your subscriber’s list, it is time to start engaging and interacting with them through your content. You have the permission to send them updates on your business, events, product marketing, and other related content.
Email marketing has a high ROI compared to other marketing methods. For instance, for each dollar you spend, email has an average ROI of $38. Also, It is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than facebook or Twitter.
Look at how it surpasses other marketing methods in the pic below.
Email marketing success entails sending the right type of content at the right time, in the right frequency. When you send your subscriber too many updates, it can backfire. They can decide to unsubscribe from your list and you lose potential customers. This is because your subscribers also subscribe to other email lists. They may not have time enough to read all your updates. So, it is better to keep it to once or twice a day.
Also, no one has time to read epistles, make your emails short and punchy. I especially love the way Neil Patel writes his email. Find a sample below:
c. Search Engine optimization
Search engine optimization is necessary to ensure that your blog content comes up whenever your potential customers search for a business or product related to your own. Search engines (Google, Bing etc) uses search engine optimization to index the pages of your blog and allow it to be visible to prospective customers. It is a very important aspect of blog marketing. Most business blogs generate their traffic (that helps them to make money) from search engines.
Search engines (Google, Bing etc) uses search engine optimization to index the pages of your blog and allow it to be visible to prospective customers. It is a very important aspect of blog marketing. Most business blogs generate their traffic (that helps them to make money) from search engines.
Most business blogs generate their traffic (that helps them to make money) from search engines. A good example is Tresnic Media. They increased their website traffic by almost 1000% in eight weeks through SEO by targeting long tail keywords.
In order to benefit from search engine traffic, you must optimize your blog content and website with keywords your target audience are typing in on search engines. This is where appropriate keyword research comes in. Before you create a blog post, ensure you research extensively to generate quality keywords that will help your content to rank in search engines.
A great plugin that has helped me with this aspect of blogging over the years is Yoast SEO tool for WordPress. You can get it and install it. Read this tutorial on how to use it on your blog. It will help you to further optimize your blog post for search engines.
It is time to incorporate search engine marketing into your business blog marketing plan.
6. Measure your results
After all said and done, you need to measure how well your strategies are working. As soon as you start implementing your business blog marketing plan, the next thing is to start tracking and measuring your results.
This is the most important aspect of blogging. It will enable you to test and know what is working and how to improve it and vice versa.
It will also help you to demonstrate to your team that blogging works.
Implement measurement into your business blog marketing plan on a monthly basis to be able to learn more about your customers. You will know what they are searching for and how to create content that will help them more.
You can see that creating a business blog marketing plan is not a rocket science. It is simple! Follow the six steps above and you will be on your way to creating an unbeatable blogging plan for your business.