25 Aug Creating a blog strategy – the 4 categories
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, we started our blog.
I found strategy documents on our server dating back to 2006. The problem is, I haven’t seen an updated document since.
Whether you’re creating a new blog or looking to revamp or update an existing blog, creating a clear strategy and overview is essential. And continuing to review that strategy over time is probably even more important.
As I’m working to realign our blog with the SpeakerBox strategy, here are some of the important categories I’m evaluating:
1. Blog goals
Defining short and long-term goals is a very important first step that a lot of companies overlook. This is much more than looking to build followers or subscribers. These goals should go deeper into why a corporate blog makes sense for your company. They should align with the business objectives you’re seeking to advance. That will help determine the blog’s content and style. Typical goals include:
– building thought leaders within your company or industry
– adding a new revenue stream
– generating sales leads
– increasing SEO
– gaining visibility for new products or services
2. Blog audience
Another main priority of a blog strategy document is to outline your target audience. In order to provide relevant, engaging content that spurs the outcome you’re looking for, you have to know exactly who you’re writing to. Taking time to think through your audience’s job function, time availability, concerns, business problems, and priorities will make sure that original content is useful (or at least interesting) to your target reader.
3. Topic areas (i.e., keywords)
Some blogs (ours included) are like the wild wild west – they have a lot of contributors and cover a broad range of topics. Others are more precise in their coverage areas. Neither of these approaches are wrong or right – it’s just that the type of approach that’s taken should be dictated by the needs of the company.
Clearly defining the topic areas (or boundaries) will help to make sure your blog is working towards company goals. The best way to define these areas is to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and think about what would interest them the most. Or, ask! Send out a quick email survey or call up some friendly folks and talk about their goals and business problems.
Once you’re writing about defined topics (or within boundaries) you’ll be more likely to bring in the readers you want.
4. Content development plan
Outlining the basic content specs may take only a few minutes, but it is the heart of what you (and the other bloggers) will be doing on a daily basis. Is there going to be a word count limit? Style guidelines? How many posts per month? When will content publish? Who will manage the process? Do posts and topics need to be approved? Defining the process and determining who will manage it can help ensure consistency and a style that works for your company.
Taking time to properly plan and organize the corporate blog strategy before going live (and making sure that plan is updated over time) can pay dividends. A corporate blog can act as the face of an organization and positively effect marketing efforts, business development, media placements, and much more, if done correctly.
Next up: blog measurement and promotion.