Businesses are committing to content marketing more heavily than ever as its payoff becomes more and more apparent.
One essential pillar of a company’s comprehensive content marketing strategy is the corporate blog. For most organizations, the company blog “should” be a relatively easy win; digital territory they can easily control and build up to be the voice of their brand and support the rest of their marketing.
However, many of them fail to make their blog immediately successful. They either give up and dismiss it as a waste of resources or they continue committing the same mistakes without a getting a real return on their efforts. I see this in companies in all kinds, from modest startups to Fortune 500s.
This is a huge lost opportunity for all of them. Among companies that do use their business blog to full effect:
- More than 80% use blogs as a B2B content marketing tactic.
- More than 60% state that blogs are among the most effective tactics.
- ‘Brand awareness’ is the most important content marketing goal.
- Creating high quality content is their top priority for 2015.
(stats drawn from the CMI Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report)
Knowing that, it might be worth revisiting your blog strategy if you’ve written it off or aren’t seeing much growth from it. Avoid these common corporate blog mistakes to make sure you’re giving it the best chance to succeed:
Blogging to Sell
One of the biggest ways to turn off a reader is to sell them something when they came to you to be informed or entertained. This is content marketing 101.
The corporate blog is not the place to directly promote your products or services. Save that for your website pages. The blog is the medium to get the attention of your potential or existing customers so that they engage with your brand and keep you top-of-mind.
To be able to do that you need to constantly publish content, preferably “evergreen,” that provides a value to the reader. If you lack that capability now, it’s probably time to add more content marketing capacity, perhaps through a specialized agency or content marketing staffing.
Publishing Posts with No Marketing Benefit
While you should not make your posts too promotional, anything you publish on your corporate blog has to be part of your content marketing strategy. A well designed content marketing plan clearly identifies the profile of your potential readers and your posts should target that audience. Even very casual posts that have little to do directly with your business should be optimized for your audience and provide maximum secondary value for things like SEO.
Operating on the Wrong Platform
Not all publishing platforms are ideal for blogging. Your corporate website may use an expensive content management system, but when it comes to running a corporate blog you need flexibility, usability and SEO friendliness. It’s a mistake to try and run a blog on a platform that does not have baseline blog features for SEO purposes like well formatted URLs, proper page structure with H1 tags, canonical URLs, title and descriptions fields and many more.
A common way to overcome this problem is by installing a blog-friendly CMS like WordPress as part of your main domain (yourcompany.com/blog) and use it to run your corporate blog.
No Social Support
Even excellent blogs will get ignored if they’re not promoted on the right channels. Publishing content on your blog is not enough on its own; you need to promote your content through all available media, including your social media accounts. Consider doing so both organically (i.e. by publishing the post link on your social media pages) and through advertising i.e. promoting your posts using Facebook and LinkedIn ads or promoted tweets.
Poor Keyword Optimization
One of the reasons you are blogging for business is to boost your SEO and get more attention from search engines. In order to do that successfully you need to do your keyword research and find those keywords that are related to your industry, are aligned with your marketing objectives and are relatively easy to target.
A mistake many companies make is concentrating only on the high traffic keywords believing that this will get them more traffic but in reality this is not the case. High traffic keywords are also highly competitive and it will take a lot of time and effort for the average corporate blog to achieve any decent rankings.
The solution is often to go deeper and find low competition keywords that are easier to target and in many cases they are also more relevant. If you’re unsure, bring in an SEO expert full time or through SEO staffing to develop your strategy and leverage your blog to bring your brand to the top of the search results page.
Putting it in the Wrong Hands
For too many companies, blogging is an afterthought and not given the attention it needs by the right people. In order for your blog to pay off, you need a lot of input from many different kinds of talent:
- Content marketers
- SEO experts
- Web developers
- Subject matter experts within your company
- Digital marketers and advertisers
Without all the right pieces contributing to the blog, it will founder. And without a strong blog, many of your other digital marketing efforts will struggle to take off. Luckily it’s not as hard as you think to cobble together the right expertise and knowledge to make it happen. If you’re missing any pieces, you can fill the gaps temporarily with content marketing staffing.
Poorly Aimed KPIs
Many corporate blogs concentrate only on how to get more traffic and forget about conversion goals and traffic utilization. Getting people to your blog is the first step but you also need to have clear goals on what you want the readers to do next. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter, do you want them to visit your main website pages or download a brochure? There should always be another opportunity for readers to engage further that benefits them and you.
If you want them to register to the newsletter, do you have the signup box in a prominent position? What do your metrics say, what percentage of readers sign up? How do you plan to do A/B tests and get more conversions? Answering these questions will help you evaluate the blog’s value not only as a traffic-driver and branding tool, but a platform that works towards achieving your marketing objectives.
Learn more on measuring and maximizing blog ROI
Abandoning it Prematurely
Blogging as a channel to drive profits is proven to work but it takes some time. Don’t expect to see any immediate explosions in growth. Building an audience and establishing a presence in social media and good rankings in search need patience and persistence, especially for corporate presences.
A common mistake is setting up a blog, publishing a few posts and then abandoning it because you don’t see an immediate ROI. You’ve undoubtedly seen this on other business’ websites, where a blog section sits forgotten with a handful of posts and no updates for several months or even years.
Instead, make sure that you have a good analytics and tracking system in place which lets you measure your traffic over time, follow the position of your content in the search engines, and gauge engagement it receives from social media.
There is no magic way to get your blog posts on the first page of Google as soon as you publish them. But by tracking your ranking positions you can identify progress. Gradual improvement is an encouraging signal that what you are doing is in the right direction and will eventually generate some good results.
Article source: Social Media Today
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