So you’ve started a business blog. Great! You’ve jumped on the bandwagon and started creating blog content for your website because, well, that’s what businesses are doing these days, right? But, why are you blogging? It’s the simplest question that no one really asks and that many business bloggers don’t know how to answer.
Often, businesses begin blogging because it’s become an expected part of modern marketing strategies, but they fail to think through the reasons behind why they are blogging in the first place. Or, they may go into it with a vague idea of what they want to accomplish, but no clear plan for how to achieve it.
Understanding the most basic goals of your blogging strategy (and how to realize them) is imperative to its ultimate success. Because without a plan, you are steering blind, and that’s no way to get where you want to go.
Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons businesses blog and some tips to help you achieve those goals.
Search Engine Optimization
One of the most common reasons businesses start blogging is to improve their search engine rankings. By focusing on SEO-driven content, fueled by strategically chosen keywords, businesses can make themselves more visible on search engines by improving page rankings. The idea is that when people search online for information about products, services, trends, or ideas, they’ll find what they’re looking for in a blog post—your blog post.
Blog posts appear on various online channels, depending on the online publishing approach of a business. The designs, formats, schedules, and overall structures of blogs vary from business to business. Blog publishing format options include:
- Business websites
- Standalone blogs
- Social media pages
- E-mail campaigns
- Blog posts by specific team members
- Guest blog posts featured on other websites or blogs
The benefits of SEO include giving businesses more opportunities for visibility and increasing web traffic. However, SEO can also lead a business to get stuck in a rut if they focus too narrowly on certain keywords or approaches. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate the value of niche keywords for your business, in addition to more generic keywords.
The angle of a blog article is just as important as the keywords used. Businesses use different approaches to SEO depending on their goals, such as focusing on location, context, relevance, or unique approaches to a topic. Businesses analyze (and re-analyze) their keyword choices over time so that the planted seeds have time to grow.
While blogs are helpful for boosting a business’s search engine rankings, they are also useful for attracting specific audiences. If your goal is to engage a target demographic, it often helps to first consider the personas of those you hope will read your business blog. Examples of types of online blog audiences are:
- B2B Leads
- Industry Professionals
- Business Partners
- Current or Prospective Clients
- The General Public
To target your audience, focus on creating content that is relevant to them. What are their interests? What information are they seeking online? What types of posts are they likely to read, engage with, and share?
With blogging, there isn’t a secret recipe; however, certain ingredients do taste great together. Blogs gradually adapt or change over time as cultures, ideas, and trends change over time. Each blog post is an opportunity to generate traffic for your business. It’s also an opportunity to further accomplish your main blogging goal.
In addition to SEO and traffic goals, business blogs often serve to provide interesting and engaging content to audiences, as a means of turning readers into customers. Business blogs can contribute industry-specific or timely ideas, for example. The blogs might also refer to the latest innovations or trends. Some blogs focus on specific uses or tips for their products or services. No matter the approach, if your goal is to create compelling blog content, focus your efforts on finding topics that are, themselves, compelling. Stay up to date on current industry news and trends, and work to understand what your customers want and need to know.
Business blogs can utilize various sources and techniques to create compelling content, such as:
- Case studies
- News stories
- Product-focused content
- Posts on trends, seasonal topics, or industry specific topics
- Citing new research
- Educational, entertaining, or informative content
- Posts that offer fresh ideas or increase people’s awareness of your brand
Through blogging, businesses can appear on people’s radar in interesting ways. If a blog connects with specific audiences, it just might make them want to keep coming back to your website. Start-ups and established businesses alike can benefit from blogging as a way to build or grow their brand. Blogging makes a brand more dynamic and relevant online so that it stays at the front of people’s minds.
Influencing Ideas or Trends
It’s possible to develop influential, industry-leading blogs. The Internet is a powerful force for people to decide what’s cool, necessary, or important to them. Blogs boost awareness and offer new ideas about business products or services. Posts about trending topics or ideas may increase interest and confidence in a business. Sometimes, business blogs inspire audiences to adopt perspectives that benefit business growth.
Driving Marketing Goals
Blogs also provide subtle or not-so-subtle marketing opportunities, such as reminding audiences about the distinctive aspects of a business. While businesses often choose to focus on promotional or topical approaches, business blog posts inherently remind people about the business behind it.
Here are some ways business blogs accomplish their marketing goals with blogs:
- Offering insight into your company’s values, mission, or culture through content that reflects these aspects
- Crafting a specific tone or type of content that works well with your company’s brand
- Providing information that boosts audience interest in a business or industry
- Conveying perspectives or broadening audience awareness
- Creating shareable content relevant to your business, in specific or broad ways
- Posting content that makes a business distinctive
Blogs help people learn about a business directly or indirectly. It’s simple to see how businesses become more relatable or intriguing to audiences by offering creative, insightful, thought-provoking, or conversational blog content.
Logical content for a business often strengthens SEO efforts. A business blog might also have a mix of content, such as fun content, niche content, or content that focuses on specific trends or ideas. Developing a cohesive marketing strategy helps a business decide if certain themes or tones are appropriate for a business blog.
So, why are you blogging? Before you publish that next blog post, take some time to reflect on this simple question and create your own strategy for accomplishing your blogging goals.
Want some additional help keeping your business blog on track in the new year? Check out our helpful editorial calendar template.