It’s 2016 and believe it or not your business needs a blog and when I say that your business needs a blog I don’t mean yourbusiness.com/blog – that you only used from November of 2011 to March of 2012. Your website needs a BLOG and you need to post on it consistently at least twice per month. Now inevitably when I tell people that they ask me what do I put on this thing?
This is what is called a Content Marketing Strategy. Basically a Content Marketing Strategy is simply a plan to create or organize the content you produced and manage online; it sounds intimidating but it really isn’t. And when I say content in this instance I’m really talking about anything you could create videos, slides on Slideshare, ebooks, podcasts, email etc.
I used to work at this business consulting firm with about 50 or so consultants and a few of us were working on our online content strategy. When it came to website content we wanted to create a way to organize our content according to the depth in which it discusses its topics so we used a system that resembles college course numbers. This way we could easily see where we needed to add additional content. Any landing page or the homepage we considered 101 level content; it was the most basic information available on the website. This would have been information that anyone should have known or read about if they were going to interact with us as a business. For instance on the homepage at the time we listed our service offerings, a visitor might not have known what they were but at the very least they were introduced.
201 level content would have been just a little bit deeper into a concept or idea. Using the previous, 201 level content, would have been an entire page explaining one of those service offerings listed on the homepage. And 301 content could have been a case study where a client might have discussed how that particular service offering helped their business. Or it could have been an intense look into a particular portion or portions of that specific service offering. Every page on the website, with a few exceptions, had information pertaining to each of our service offerings. It really helped to define what content we needed for the website. We had to change some content we had to add additional content – going through this process helped us to see what content we needed. It was our goal that any piece of content that was 101 level would drive people deeper into the site. We offered numerous ways for visitors to connect with the company through live chat and through contact forms, but as far as the content itself was supposed to drive visitors deeper into the site. We knew that the website wasn’t a static entity and we knew that someone from the business had to interact with it on a regular basis. So we developed a blogging strategy.
Our blogging strategy was simply what, at the time, we considered to be our 401 level content. We also made the decision that the blog would only contain posts pertaining to our 15 service offerings. We weren’t going to put new product announcements, or post event details on the blog, for us, it was purposefully a place to discuss solutions, problems or ideas related to very specific portions of our service offerings. So, we would write 2-4 blog posts per month and each post had to correspond with one of our services. We had a brain trust of consultants that we would pull in to write posts or interview for posts. We had a couple people who would research the best topics to write about in any given month.
Our clients had problems that they needed solutions for, they may not have known they had those problems, but they had them and we the solutions to help them. The purpose of our blog was to dive deeper into those problems and really show ourselves as a thought leader capable of handling our clients problems. This strategy isn’t for everyone or for every business, but the idea is to develop a Content Creation Strategy that will work for you.
At this point most people realize that the web is run on search traffic; you can’t be known, found or build your tribe without sharing knowledge. You can’t build regular, reoccurring website traffic without first establishing some sort of foothold in the search engines. You can’t just put your website out there and expect people to find it. 95% of websites with a blog report higher search engine ranking than those who don’t have a blog. Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than companies who don’t blog. Inbound links are links to your website from social media or other blogs and websites that are simply not purchased.
Most likely you know more about your products or services than your customer and clients. The businesses that are constantly giving away knowledge and educating customers and clients are the ones who are succeeding the most. B2B businesses with active blogs report 67% more leads. Adding between 21-51 blog posts to your website can increase your site traffic up to 30% and when you reach 52 posts traffic increases to 77%. Your business needs to start blogging and needs to start blogging consistently. You never know whose problem you could be solving.