The joys and perils of launching a blog
So you are thinking about launching a new blog for your business – but where to start?
Blogs are multifarious tools – they can market your product, build your brand and drive customer engagement. Ultimately, they can be a source of revenue.
Budgets are changing. The content marketing institute reports that 86% of B2C companies are planning to keep or increase their content marketing spend in 2013. 54% of B2B companies are planning to increase their content marketing. These figures demonstrate the increasing importance of content marketing, of supplying, through various channels, relevant, informative content to your customers. Done right, loyalty and increased business are the reward. There are, however, many, many ways to go wrong with the launch of a blog. There are questions to ask before you even start messing around with themes in wordpress.
Are we really committed to funding a content marketing strategy?
Is management really onboard?
Blogging can cost more than you think. Designing an attractive blog with a good interface requires, well, good designers. And you’ll likely have needs which aren’t met by the current suite of plugins – which, again, may lead to consultancy costs. Hosting your blog, hiring writers to produce regular content or for a specific project, email marketing services, A/B testing your call to actions – the costs quickly add up.
You can become a prisoner to your own success, as your blog starts to generate a deluge of customer feedback, whether through email or comments. The time you had for posting, you know actually producing content, begins to shrink. You start asking yourself whether sleep is really that important, or whether it might be prudent to hire additional staff.
Budgeting for known and potential expenses is vital.
Ask yourself why: Why start a blog? Why get into content marketing and social media?
Is it because everyone else is doing it? Is it because it might increase sales? Don’t let your answers to these questions be this vague. Establish what content marketing means for your brand – is it videos, is it blog posts, is it email marketing? And what exactly do you want to communicate about your brand, in addition to information about your product and services? Likely it’s passion, authority and expertise. How have the best done it – analyse the offerings of leaders in your field to see just how they achieved their results (intimation is both flattery and necessity).
Brainstorm! You want plenty of content ready to go on launch day - at least 10-15 brilliantly written blog posts and plenty of ideas in reserve. Thinking up new content is a challenge but one that is made easier when your writers have the results of brainstorming sessions to call upon.
Get your social media channels in order and make sure your team knows what to share and where. Writing great content is vital, but without similarly great promotion it will never reach its target audience. SEO is a vital part of getting your content out there. If you are targeting particular keywords, and you should be, then make sure your content writers are aware of this.
Launching a blog is an exciting moment for a business. Blogging can be a fun activity – millions do it – but it’s also a great business tool. Knowing your goals, your brand and best blogging practice, and taking the time get everyone on the same page will make the launch of your blog as headache free as possible
Have you launched a blog? Are you long on ideas but short on content? Find out more about our services here.