Blogging with Purpose: Building Relationships and Boosting Visibility
Last week, a client asked me if their company should have a blog. That’s the wrong question. The better question is “What are my communications goals, and can a blog help advance them?”
Me in 99% of content strategy discussions – via GIPHY
Though it might not always seem like it, Caster doesn’t produce this blog for fun. Like the many client blogs we support, it’s an intentional and valuable piece of our communications strategy. So: what can a blog help your business do?
Improve your SEO
A blog can be a powerful tool to improve your website’s search ranking. How?
- Fresh, delicious content – search engines are hungry for new content to index. A blog lets you add new, unique content to your site on a regular basis, improving your search visibility and ranking.
- Boosting keyword performance – presupposing you have a keyword strategy, you can design a blog strategy and optimize posts to improve your ranking on specific search terms relating to your industry and services.
- Backlinks – you can use your blog to link to other areas of your website, like your service offerings or awards you’ve won. Doing so helps search engines map your site. SEE WHAT I’M DOING HERE?
- Luring in newcomers – posting about your blog on social media can attract new visitors your site, improving your overall ranking.
Strengthen Your Relationships
A blog is owned media – meaning it’s a communication platform that is 100% under your control. Owned media – including webinars, newsletters, your website, etc. – allows you to spread your message, your way, on your schedule. You can use these channels to interact directly with your audience and cultivate a distinctive voice for your brand.
Owned media is key to building a relationship with your target audience, and your company blog can be where the relationship gets serious. Your blog is a space where you can go into deep technical detail; expand on your product philosophy; or take a firm thought leadership position on important issues. A relevant, compelling blog builds strong brand affinity.
Your blog’s comment section, ideally – via GIPHY
Fill Your Content Pipeline
Posting your blog on your website should never be the end of the story. You can also use your blog to help drive the other quadrants of the PESO model:
- Shared media: use your blog to spark conversations on social
- Paid media: leverage your blog as boosted content with a media partner
- Earned media: pitch spin-off articles or media briefings based on particularly meaty blogs
An active blog ensures that your content pipeline never runs dry.
The content flowing forth from your awesome blog – via GIPHY
Building Your Blog to Purpose
Let’s assume you’ve determined that a blog will help you achieve a particular goal: Every other characteristic of the blog flows from that goal. That includes:
- The topics you address.
- The tone of your writing.
- How frequently you post.
- The length of your posts.
For example: The Khronos Group engaged Caster to help revamp their dormant blog. Their primary audience was the developer community using Khronos standards for 3D graphics, parallel computing, neural networks, and more. The goal of the Khronos Developer Blog is to increase community outreach, improve developer relations, and serve as an outlet for quick responses to relevant trends and issues.
The content and cadence of the blog reflects these goals. Khronos blog posts are substantive, informative, and technically detailed. Rather than adhering to a strict editorial calendar, the blog is published on a loose schedule, supporting key announcements or drilling into emerging issues.
This approach has served Khronos extremely well: over half of blog readers are new to the Khronos site, and 64 percent of them explore other areas of the site while there. The most popular posts garner tens of thousands of views, and Caster has been able to leverage the blog to secure briefings and article placements with outlets like CMS Wire and VentureBeat.
Eyes on The Prize
Once you’ve established the purpose and strategy for your blog, keep those principles top of mind every time you draft a post. It’s easy to fall into the trap of going through the motions, but having a blog for the sake of having a blog can be detrimental to your brand.
An aimless, uninspiring blog is worse than having no blog at all. So, make sure to keep your eyes on the prize, aligning every post with your overall objectives. If done correctly, a blog can be a significant asset in your communication toolkit, driving your message home and shaping your brand’s narrative in the digital landscape.