Your company blog is a central component of your content marketing strategy, with which you pursue different goals. For example, you want to increase reach and awareness, build up proximity to your customers and demonstrate your know-how. Your blog is the perfect basis for this because it is a regular and intensive way to get in touch with your customers and can therefore contribute significantly to achieving your goals. But for your content marketing strategy as well as for your blog, you need to clearly define your goals to be successful. 72% of marketers who became more successful say that the strategy was an important part of it.
First, you should carry out an analysis of the current situation. That means you look at where you are now and where you want to go with your blog. This first step is important to see progress and check if your efforts are moving in the right direction. To achieve this, you should, first of all, realize what your strengths are and, most importantly, what makes you stand out from your competitors. Based on this differentiation, a good positioning can be determined. When you know where you stand, you can start!
Of course a content marketing strategy is a complex topic. That's why I'm going to start by introducing you to the three basic questions that you should have answered for your blog. Here are the three most important strategy basics for your corporate blog:
1. define your topics and content
Before you even get started, you should know what topics and content your blog should be about. In which area do you specialize, where are you an expert and on which topic do you provide valuable content?
2. know your target groups
For whom do you create your content? Define your target group/s as precisely as possible. Ideally even as your persona, then you can imagine them alive - and create content specifically for the needs and problems of a specific target group.
It's no use publishing content that everyone should like and use. Know your target group and adapt your content to their needs. Try to be successful in a niche and grow from there.
3. find a unique positioning
Find an independent positioning for your blog. Whether you're blogging as a sole proprietorship, marketing team or as a company - define the language, tonality and style for your content. Are you relaxed or serious? Do you address your readers as "Duzt" or "Siezt"? By working out this positioning, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and pay attention to your brand.
Once you've cracked these three nuts for your strategy, planning and setting goals for your blog is much more comfortable. And your content will benefit from it for a long time! So now we can get started and define the goals for your blog.
As an essential part of your content marketing, your company blog contributes to the achievement of higher-level corporate goals, such as building customer relationships and trust. Based on this, there are different types of goals for your blog. You can divide these goals into different categories, such as long-term and short-term goals. There are many categories and individual goals that you can pursue. As a start, I have defined 13 goals for your company blog and divided them into three categories that help you to better assess their importance and connections:
The first view is that of the company. What does the company want to achieve with the blog? Here are 3 goals that every company can achieve:
Surely you have already heard about the connection between reach, findability and search engine optimization with your blog. In short, you have to imagine the whole thing like this: Your customers search online for solutions to problems, tips or inspiration. Your blog is successful when readers find relevant content on your blog and consume it. If it happens more often that a customer discovers good content on your site, they will come back - and take an interest in you as a sender. In this way you will be perceived as competent and increase your profile.
A long-term goal for your blog is to gain new customers. You can achieve this by addressing specific problems and offering solutions or advice. By providing freebies (e.g. white papers, ebooks, etc.) or making appointments, you can generate leads and new customers.
If you meet the top two points with regular, high-quality content, your blog as the heart of your content marketing strategy will even promote your business growth. This is a long-term goal to which your blog can only contribute if your other marketing activities are aligned and successful.
In the marketing view I have listed five goals that can be achieved with the company blog:
One of the fundamental goals for your blog is to build traffic - that is, to get more visitors and a higher reach for your posts. Use different channels for publishing (like social networks) and make it easy for visitors to share your content (e.g. through social media buttons). Especially in the beginning it's helpful to cooperate with other bloggers via guest articles - and thus grow through their network.
The key to returning visitors is to provide them with relevant content - on a regular basis. The basis for this is the knowledge of your target group. If you know what topics and problems they are concerned with, you can provide them with the appropriate content. If they know that they will always find suitable content on your site, they will come back or subscribe to your content.
Used targeted SEO measures for more visibility in search engines. Besides the appropriate structure for your articles, there are numerous optimization measures to improve your search engine ranking. You can find some of them below, where I give you tips on how to achieve your goals.
Your blog is a great way to strengthen and expand the perception of your brand. Unlike in advertising or classic corporate communications, your blog allows you to express the character of your brand better and give it personality through authors. These new levels of branding can create more trust and proximity to your customers.
Have an open ear for questions and comments on your blog. Give your readers good answers and tips for their problems or for better use of your products. This service keeps customers loyal to you and your content.
Here is your readers' point of view important. You should know what they want and what they want to read about on your blog. The most wanted topics in blog articles are:
Always be up to date! Publish news from your company or your industry. This way you take your readers on a journey and give them more links to your brand.
Finding inspiration on a topic is a common reason why people read blogs. To inspire your readers, you need to know their needs and desires. From these topics you build relevant content!
Challenge your readers to act. Many users read blogs in search of a motivation boost to become active themselves. Write a "Call to Action" at the end of your article to motivate to take action.
What do you do when you want to solve a problem? Right, you Google it! If your articles offer a good solution for your customers' problems, you will reach many readers.
If you can convince readers with your content and services on your company blog, they will come back. Competence is the kit for your customer relations and regular readers.
With so many different goals, you should try to identify the ones that are most important to you and concentrate on them first. Make sure you have a good mix of your goals in terms of duration and scope for achieving them. With the following steps this will be easy for you …
You should define SMART goals. This helps you to formulate your goals as precisely as possible. This makes it easier for you to determine whether you have achieved your goals.
„SMART” is an acronym for the criteria that clearly define your goal.
Examples of SMART objectives: Bad: "Increase turnover" – SMART: "We are increasing gross sales in Q1 with our software product A by at least 20% compared to Q1 last year.
Another goal of your blog should be to improve and keep track of your KPIs.
KPI - Key Performance Indicator
KPIs are performance indicators against which the progress of the set goals can be measured. For example, a KPI is the number of visitors to a blog in a given period or the time spent there.
KPIs are only useful if you can measure them. Therefore, link your goals with suitable KPIs to reliably measure and monitor your success. This way you can make sure that you are publishing the right content.
Typical KPIs for your blog are the number of visitors, number of posts published, the average number of posts read, comments and shares. Measure and check these KPIs regularly.
It's all in the doing: to keep an overview and control in the implementation, you must draw up an editorial plan. This will help you to blog consistently and develop a routine. Just start by building your editorial plan step by step: take a calendar and enter when you write and publish about which topic. Gradually you can add other levels such as distribution via social media, analytics and other team members.
If you take all the above points into account, you can already build a solid editorial plan. You will see that a plan with a defined goal will increase the motivation to achieve your goals.
Also note that your goals may vary depending on the content and target audience. For example, you write differently about the topic "Tablet PC" for the target group "young mothers" than for the target group "marketing controllers." The issue is relevant to both, but the context, quality and depth of information varies greatly.
If you manage to address customer needs and implement your strategy at the same time, you will publish real high-quality content.
Especially at the beginning of your blog it is helpful to focus on one topic. This way you can work on the relevant issues more intensively, create a basis for your search engine optimization and gain readers in a niche.
It helps you to "think in series": You don't just plan a blog article on one topic, but divide a large topic into individual articles that belong together. For example, you want to write about "the perfect kitchen"? Plan your content by sub-categories (built-in appliances in comparison, the right materials, tips for assembly and installation, etc.), by time aspects (planning, purchasing, construction, maintenance and care) or divided by reader groups (kitchens for built-in apartments, singles, families, etc.)
This way you can quickly create a whole topic timetable for your blog. And you will keep readers longer on the page if they recognize a red thread in your content and can click through several articles on a topic.
The search engine optimization of your content is a central component for the success of your blog. SEO is a complex topic, but as a basis for your company blog you can start with the following simple steps.
Choose a suitable keyword for each article and optimize your article accordingly. Tools such as the Google Keyword Planner will help you to choose the right keyword for your topic. Then use this keyword in the headline, sub-headlines, URL, page title and meta descriptions. Pay attention to the length of your articles - they should be at least 1,500 words long to be considered relevant by search engines. If possible, place your content in categories and tag them with keywords. Last but not least, make it easy to share your content - either by using a click-to-tweet box like we use in our articles or by using simple social media buttons.
That was a big all-round success in terms of strategy and goals for your company blog. Of course you can deepen and expand on each of the points mentioned, but from experience I know that it is important to start first. So go ahead: First of all, carry out an analysis of the current situation. Answer the three most important questions for your content marketing strategy. Get to know your target group and their needs. On this basis, set yourself realistic goals that you formulate SMART. Link your goals to appropriate KPIs and check them regularly. Draw up an editorial plan based on this knowledge. Then you can get started and start writing excellent articles! Keep in mind the serial thinking, your red thread and carry out search engine optimization for your pieces.
This will help you set the goals for your corporate blog and measure the success of your efforts. It will be exciting, sometimes a little disappointing and often a great pleasure to see how your blog develops.
In any case, it's worth it because there is great potential in a corporate blog. And everything starts with the right goals ...
What goals are you pursuing with your blog? Can you add a few more tips? Write us on Twitter at @storylinerlabs