Even though social media platforms are getting more popular, having a blog is still important for an effective blog content strategy.
Blogs are still relevant for successful digital marketing. A blog post can bring more traffic to your website, build brand awareness, build authority and create more audience engagement.
But if you approach blogging without a content strategy, your content marketing efforts can turn out to be worthless. So let’s look at what it takes to create a successful blogging strategy for content marketing.
Why is a blog content strategy important?
You can be overwhelmed hearing “marketing strategy” to begin with. It seems vague and unimportant. However, in today’s world of Google Analytics and other metrics, a comprehensive strategy is key.
Because everything is measurable these days, you need to tailor your blog content strategy to the parameters that will ensure your blogging success.
Measuring and planning are also important to create new blog post ideas for your website. A content plan is important across all domains of content marketing but especially when it comes to blog content.
Here are several more pros of creating a foolproof blog content strategy:
- documenting your marketing efforts
- easier market research
- tracking where the leads come from
- creating unique content that your audience cares about
- being ahead of the competition
There are more advantages of developing a blog content strategy that we will discuss further.
What to consider before developing a blog content strategy
There are several things you need to consider before you even start establishing your blogging strategy. First, this is a preparation stage that mainly consists of research and discovering your goals and needs.
Start with looking at the market. Next, you should conduct competitor research and know who your competition is.
Looking at the competition is important for two reasons. First, you can replicate what works for them. Second, you can learn from their mistakes.
Take note of the topics your competition is writing about and how people respond; learn how they communicate with their customers.
This will help you with future audience research to see what people in your niche are interested in.
Even more importantly, you should look out for any competitors’ content strategy gaps. There could be topics your competition has neglected, giving you a perfect opportunity to gain a competitive edge.
To stand out from the crowd, try focusing on the topics no one has covered yet or where is room for improvements.
Many content marketing tools can help you conduct market and competitor research, identify potential keywords and suggest specific topic ideas.
Check out How To Create Engaging Content!
If you want to have a blog that will drive traffic, you need to know who would want to read it.
You have to know the target audience for your content and who you are creating content for.
Your content strategy can and should be addressed to more than one type of user.
If you use a variety of content types will help you deliver content that’s tailored to your target audience.
How to determine who your target readers are?
Your target audience is the ideal customer you want to attract to your product or service with your blog.
To define your target audience, focus on the goals they want to achieve. Think about how your content can identify pain points, and your product can help overcome them.
If you want to cater to the needs of your customers and attract new prospects ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are your current best customers? What qualities do they share?
- How did they come across a solution like your product?
- What do these customers gain by choosing your product?
Based on this, solidify your target audience—your buyer persona.
You should also make sure the product directly correlates with your target audience’s pain point in audience research.
You need to convince your prospects that your product is a perfect solution to their problem, whether a software subscription, a physical product, a service you deliver, or a digital product.
When you understand your target audience and how your product can suit their needs, you can:
- Launch and update products and features they need and will use
- Describe and position your product through marketing and sales in a way your audience can understand and relate to
Keyword research and topical research determine what your blog content will be about.
This step is important not only for organizing content and planning blog posts but also for SEO.
The results SEO delivers are why blogging didn’t step down after the growing popularity of social media.
Search Engine Optimization is a set of practices that make the content on websites eligible for ranking high in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
When people look for something, they go to Google. If they aren’t doing thorough research, they want the first available answer, one of the first sites on the Google results page.
These sites drive the most traffic and the most visibility. So in terms of marketing, this is a huge opportunity for acquiring new customers.
However, SEO requires targeted actions – keyword research and SEO writing.
Keyword research is choosing the words and phrases you want to target. These are words connected to the core of your content.
Using content marketing tools, begin sketching out keywords you want to target in your blog content strategy. Whether or not generating organic traffic is the main goal, you still need your pages to rank high on search engine results pages SERPs so people can find your content.
How to design your blog content strategy?
You can proceed to concrete steps to build your blog content strategy. We present you with a step-by-step guide to creating a successful content strategy for your blog.
Define your goals
Considering the research you’ve already done, set objectives for your blog. For example, how would you know your blog post is successful? By how much traffic it drives or how many people sign up for a newsletter?
We’ll get to the metrics and analysis later on, but on a basic level – what impact do you want your blog to have? What marketing goals do you want to achieve?
Without knowing the purpose of your marketing efforts, it will be harder to keep up the good work or be satisfied with your results.
As the result of your actions, your content strategy should help you drive the kind of content you create and measure whether what you’re doing is successful or not.
When you know what you want the final results to be, you can craft your content to fit that goal.
For instance, if your goal is to become known as a thought leader in your industry, you might publish one or two comprehensive and informative pieces in a longer period instead of a couple of shorter pieces that will boost your SEO.
You can just write what’s on your heart, but it won’t be effective in terms of content marketing strategy.
The keyword research you conducted will help you shape your content plan. Based on the keywords you chose, you need to develop specific blog post ideas.
The cluster technique is really helpful in creating blog content. A cluster is a category of topic ideas you want to cover. Within a cluster, you should have specific article titles and keywords they are supposed to target.
A cluster consists of a pillar page, the core of the topic, and the longest blog post out of the cluster. The rest of the blog posts in the cluster are supportive pages.
To further illustrate that, if your cluster is “content marketing,” the pillar page could be “what is content marketing and why is it important?”. It should be a long and comprehensive piece touching on every aspect of content marketing but without too much detail.
The supportive pages for your “content marketing” cluster should detail every aspect of the topic. For example, the supportive page can be titled “social media in content marketing – a comprehensive guide.”
You can find the topic ideas for your supportive pages through Google search. For example, if you put in “content marketing,” there will be several suggestions of what you could ask. Unfortunately, the suggestions usually have the most search volume and may not be a great idea for a start.
However, you can think of creative ways to make the old seem new. This type of content is called evergreen content and has its place in a content marketing strategy.
Evergreen content covers topics that are always relevant. It includes the information that someone is always looking for. It is easily updated if needed, but the core is something people will always need.
Evergreen content may not give you spikes in search engines traffic but can give you a steady influx of readers over a long time.
Create editorial calendar
After planning your content and listing your content ideas, you need to store them in one place, especially if you are managing or working as a team.
Your editorial calendar should include information like:
- when is a blog post next scheduled
- what’s the format of the blog post
- who’s in charge of writing, editing, approving, and publishing it
Your editorial calendar can come in a printed calendar or an Excel spreadsheet. You can also use specialized apps. Make sure your choice matches your needs for collaboration, content strategy framework, automation, and flexibility.
A content calendar is essential for coordinating marketing efforts across the content marketing team. Blog articles must be scheduled sufficiently far in advance so that writers may research, write, and edit pieces with adequate time to meet your email marketing deadlines. In addition, you can use a content calendar to see all of your campaigns and pieces of content in one spot.
When establishing a blogging strategy, it’s important to remember your long-term goals. If your prime objective is to boost organic traffic, for example, make sure you have some eye-catching headlines on the way.
Don’t just think about the following few weeks. Instead, create your editorial calendar at least three months in advance, allowing writers enough time to create outstanding content and link your content planning with other creative teams.
At the same time, make sure to leave some wiggle room so you can react to current events, comment on industry developments, and adjust things as needed.
Pick a content management system.
A content management system (CMS) is a type of tool that enables you to manage content creation, distribution, and content analytics.
You should invest in a CMS to create, manage, and track your content easily and sustainably.
Some of the most popular CMS are WordPress and HubSpot.
After a long preparation time, it’s finally time to start putting pen to paper and writing blog posts. Every step you’ve taken will help in the content creation process, determining what subjects to cover and how to write about them.
After planning and researching your niche, there are still a few practical matters to keep in mind to ensure content creation will run smoothly:
Formatting – format your blog to help readers move through the page as easily as possible. For example, highlight the important information, write shorter paragraphs and use bold.
Layout – make sure your post doesn’t look like a giant block of text, use a bigger and more readable font, use subheadings or lists.
Visual media– include custom graphics or royalty-free images to break up longer content. In addition, you can add videos relevant to the post’s topic.
Length – Your blog posts shouldn’t be shorter than 1,000 – 1,500 words for SEO. However, the length of blog posts depends on the depth of the topic.
Call to action – Blogs should be a starting point for the buyer journey. A call to action (CTA) gives readers a nudge to keep exploring your brand, exploring content signing up for a newsletter, or purchasing your product.
After creating your blog posts, you should be able to see results from your content strategy. You need to observe your blog performance for the first 3-6 months to know what’s working. After that, you should be tweaking your strategy based on the previous month’s results.
See if certain types of content perform better than others or what blog topics get the most reactions.
You should schedule regular content audits to gauge the performance of each article and your overarching blogging strategy and content marketing plan.
A content audit can help you find out what resonates best with your audience. You can easily identify gaps in your topic clusters and brainstorm new blog content ideas.
Conduct a content audit at least once a year. However, if you care about SEO, you should constantly check out the competition’s performance. Check if different pieces fulfilled their intended purpose and hit the benchmarks and the goals you set at the beginning.
Try to align your blogging strategy with commercial goals whenever it can be done. In this regard, it’s essential to know how many readers visited other pages, entered the sales funnel, and ultimately converted into qualified leads.
Analyzing blog content performance will allow you to update high-performing articles, so they continue to deliver results. Check old content for possible optimization to ensure your SEO is on point.
A content audit will expose where certain blog articles fall short and how you may expand their scope to appeal to your target audience while improving your rankings in search.
A content audit is an essential part of any blog’s success. It allows you to evaluate your blog posts and see what works well and needs improvement. You can also use the data from a content audit to make better decisions about future blog post topics, formatting, layout, visual media, length, and calls to action. Regular audits will help ensure that your blog’s content delivers the results you want.