Blogging is a critical component of any content and communications strategy — and with so much hype around investing in video, digital and social media, it is something that easily gets overlooked. When executed properly, a blog can help build brand awareness and authority, increase website traffic, engage potential customers or leads, and amplify content and media coverage to new audiences.
The idea of launching a blog may seem daunting, but is something that should be considered for your 2020 strategy, particularly if you have a strong bench of subject matter experts, a library of content that could be repurposed or consistently find yourself answering the same questions from clients, partners or prospects. Here’s what should be top-of-mind to get started:
Before you open a blank Google Doc to start your first blog post, convene the appropriate stakeholders to form alignment. What are the goals? Is it to elevate an executive as a thought leader in their industry? Build awareness among a new audience? Inform existing customers about your product or services? And how do these goals map back to the overarching organizational goals?
Confirming the objectives at the outset helps to keep priorities in check as you launch and build your blog. This is also a good time to determine what themes the blog will cover and who will be authoring the content, as well as what the output will be on your social channels.
What holds many marketers back from starting a blog is the fear of not having enough to say. In our experience, most brands have more than enough content already at their disposal. Start off with an audit to determine what content exists and can be used for the blog, then create an editorial calendar to keep a running schedule of topics and themes that will be covered moving forward.
As with any web project, you’ll need a variety of design elements to create visual interest and engage potential blog readers and subscribers. In addition to establishing a library of approved photos or graphics that can be used with each blog post, designing social graphics to promote content should be part of your amplification strategy.
Partner with your web programmer to set up your blogging platform. You’ll want to ensure that navigating between your brand’s blog and the main website is seamless for visitors, and uploading new content is simple enough for your marketing team to handle.
Once you’re ready to make your blog public, you’ll need a promotion strategy to drive visitors. An integrated approach that leverages your social channels, email communication and other syndication platforms will help to make your launch a success. Beyond the initial launch of the blog, your promotion strategy should also incorporate guidelines for how new content should be amplified on an ongoing basis.
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Stephanie is a vice president at Inkhouse, providing strategic counsel and developing integrated PR programs for clients across the healthcare, B2B and consumer tech, education and fintech industries.