Incorporating a Company Blog Into Your Business Strategy
One way to prove your industry chops is to relate your insight and expertise to trends and timely news events on the company blog.
Publishing content on a regular basis is crucial, but blogging every week doesn’t guarantee success—especially if you haven’t defined what that success looks like. Establish a clear purpose and ensure all your contributors are mindful of it. Share your ideas with the rest of your teams (e.g. the social, new business and PR teams) to fully integrate them into the plan.
How do you know what the blog’s purpose should be? Think about your business goals and decide how the blog can enhance your strategy. For example, is there a particular service offering that you want to promote? Are you trying to reach a new market? Make it part of your content campaign and write about relevant topics.
You can use the company blog as a convenient platform for getting in front of your current and potential customers. Here are some tips to get you going:
Write with a campaign and buyer persona in mind.
It’s easy to write about topics that you’re passionate about, but it’s also easy to lose sight of the task at hand. Avoid going rogue and follow a pre-planned content calendar that focuses on a campaign theme. The specific blog topics can take various angles, but they should all be tailored to the buyer personas you’re targeting. A buyer persona is, in simple terms, an idealized version of one of your customer segments (e.g. marketing directors and CEOs).
Include supplemental content offerings in blog posts.
The blog is a valuable resource to use as fodder for social posts, as story ideas for pitching media and in content marketing endeavors like social advertising and email campaigns. If the mission of the blog is to attract new business leads, go deep into a topic by linking to e-books, videos, infographics and more. Continue to pique your readers’ interest by sharing information that is meaningful to them and their businesses.
Track metrics based your blog’s purpose.
Your blog’s metrics will give you important insight into how well it’s doing. Google Analytics and your CRM platform are good places to start. Weigh certain data more heavily depending on what you’re trying to achieve, but be careful not to take it all at face value. A post may have 60 views, but it doesn’t mean all are noteworthy. Dig deeper to uncover what your most read blogs are, who is reading them, how often they return and how they found the blog. For instance, you might discover that most people find your blog via links in social media posts rather than going to the website. Knowing these facts will help guide how you promote the blog and what topics you focus on.
I Have A Brand And It Haunts Me
I was talking to my pal “Jonas” who recently decided to freelance (vs building a multi-consultant business) when he left a bigger firm to do his own thing.
Jonas is a global talent guy who works across the planet for some of the world’s most well known companies. He decided his best play—the one that would allow him to focus on what he loves most and live the life he’s planned—is to freelance for other firms.
His plan got off to a bit of a rocky start because—get this—none of the firms he approached believed he’d actually want to “just” freelance. He’d earned his rep by steadily building deep, brand name client relationships, practices and business, not by going off by himself as a solo.
Or as he put it “I have a brand and it haunts me.”
We both had a good belly laugh because he was already rolling in new projects, thrilled with his choice to freelance.
And yet, isn’t that the truth?
Good, bad, indifferent—our brands DO haunt us.
They whisper messages to those in our circle “trust him, he’s the bomb”, “hire her for anything creative as long as your deadline isn’t critical”, “steer clear—he talks a good game but doesn’t deliver”.
And thanks to social media, those messages—good and bad—can accelerate faster than you can imagine. One client, one reader, one buyer can be the pivot point that takes your consulting business to new territory.
So how do you deal with it?
Yep—you go for more of what comes naturally. In Jonas’ case, he stuck with what he’s known for—his work, his relationships, his track record for integrity—and won over any lingering skepticism about his move.
We weather the bumps in the road by staying true to who we are at our core.
So when a potential client says “Sorry, you’re just too expensive for me”, you don’t run out and change your prices. Instead, you listen carefully and realize they aren’t the right fit for your particular brand of expertise and service.
When a social media troll chooses you to lash out at, you ignore them and stay with your true audience—your sweet-spot clients and buyers.
And when your most challenging client tells you it’s time to change your business model to serve them better, you listen closely (there may be some learning here) and—if it doesn’t suit your strengths—you kiss them good-bye.
If your brand isn’t haunting you, is it really much of a brand?
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