5 Steps to Create a Company Blog that Supports Direct Marketing, Part 2

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, we started you thinking about how your corporate blog can be used as a strategic tool. Indeed, it doesn’t have to just “sit there” on your website! By posting articles and content that keep your customers engaged and your sales funnel filled with leads, your corporate blog can help you achieve measurable business goals.

Picking up where we left off, once you’ve determined what you want your blog to “do” for your company—and you’ve defined some goals—it’s time to get to work! Get to work blogging, that is. Here, we’ll explain how to get your corporate blog from the idea phase to published, promoted, and income-generating!

3. Determine How You’ll Manage Your Blog.

  • It’s critical you find a way that works for your marketing team. From strategizing to writing to measuring success, make the process effective and enjoyable so your blog is a win-win for all stakeholders. Think through these key tasks:
  • This includes setting up an editorial or posting schedule, managing contributors, staying on-task, making sure your blog contains content that supports goals and meets the needs of your customers and more.
  • Content Development. Decide how you’ll come up with topics, who will do the keyword research, and who will write the blog articles. Will your blog have various blog contributors, perhaps employees from different areas of the company? Will one or two people write posts in a consistent, single voice?
    • Who will do the back-end, more technical work such as posting content and running analytics? You can use an internal team (this could be one individual) or a marketing agency—or some combination of the two.

4. Leverage Your Content.
Here’s where the rubber hits the road. You’ve published something…now what? There are various ways to promote the blog content. The most popular:

  • Encourage website visitors to sign up for your blog’s RSS feed or subscribe for an e-mail notification each time a new blog goes up. A weekly or monthly “blog post round up” e-mail is a great way to keep people engaged. Check out these 9 Reliable Ways to Grow Your E-mail Marketing Database.
  • Your company’s e-newsletter can contain blog content exclusively or simply link to the most popular or promotional content. If you’re looking for sales leads, be sure to direct newsletter recipients to blog content that includes a specific call to action, such as a special offer or content download. Learn more in Wildly Effective Newsletters for The Digital Age: Your 5-Point Checklist.
  • Personal E-mails. Your sales team can send e-mails containing blog post URLs out to prospects and customers to highlight relevant information that furthers the conversion conversation (e.g. “this post details what we just talked about over the phone” or “I know you’re interested in XYZ, and look what we just posted today!”).
  • Social media. When a new blog post hits cyberspace, alert the presses! The social media channels, anyway. Your blog’s content management system (CMS) probably has the capability to push new content notifications out to your company’s Facebook company page, LinkedIn page, Twitter feed, etc. Your team can also share links manually or use social media publishing software. You might enjoy reading The Secret to Direct Response Success Using Social Media.

5. Perfom a Blog Evaluation
Any direct marketer will advise you to analyze your progress, early and often. Are you seeing the results you need to see? How are customers reacting to the content? Is your sales team using your blog posts to push out product and service information and/or receiving leads from prospects? If you’re happy with your blog’s performance, great—keep doing what you’re doing.

If you’re underwhelmed, assess your strategy and think about what you can do differently in the future:

  • Your goals may not be aligned with your plan of action.
  • Your calendar and posting schedule may not be aggressive enough.
  • Your chosen keywords may be too broad.
  • Your content copy may be too short, too wordy, too dry…and could use some pizzazz.
  • Your call-to-actions behind gated content lead forms may not be compelling enough to drive response.

Then, take the necessary course of action. You may want some company-customized, professional insight. So wherever your company is along the blogging journey, let us know if we can answer any of your questions or help you make the most of your efforts.

Blogging but want more leads? Uncover an additional 3 Types of Marketing Content that Drives B2B Sales Leads.