If you ask any seasoned blog copywriter, most, if not all of them will agree that the secret of any good blog lies in a comprehensive content plan, fueled by a strategy.
According to Content Marketing Institute, 60% of firms with a well-documented content strategies consider their workflow to be effective, compared to only 32% of those without a strategy. A blog content strategy creates structure and organisation to make sure that your efforts are directed towards making your content achieve your desired effect.
Good blog content allows you to attract your intended target audience and increase engagement at every stage of the marketing funnel. More importantly, it allows for search engines to qualify your brand as a relevant search result that satisfies a user’s search intent.
Running a blog without prior planning is like driving to a destination without any road signs: possible, but disastrous. This article on how to develop a blog strategy will be your compass in navigating the unfamiliar.
1. Define your objectives
A content strategy without an objective is just content and will not translate into results. A good blog strategy stems from a specific set of objectives. While objectives can change over time, it wouldn’t hurt to have some direction when you’re first starting out.
Some common objectives that businesses usually have are:
- Promoting new products
- Increasing awareness
- Creating a brand voice
- Drive site traffic
- Develop brand loyalty
Defining your objectives also allows you to know which KPIs to track and prioritise.
For example, if your goal was to promote a new product, the priority would likely be on conversion rates. This is vastly different compared to if your goal was to increase web traffic, then the priority would be on organic traffic and page impressions.
2. Deciding who your target audience is
Writing blog posts and planning campaigns becomes a whole lot easier when you know who it’s intended for.
You can set out by gathering data about your current audience using Google analytics, CRM and other sources. For example, if you are a pet food store and people are clicking into your website because it ranks highly for the search term ‘dog food’, there’s a high chance that these people own dogs.
Solidifying your marketing personas lets you analyse shared characteristics, what their priorities are and what information they are seeking.
3. Creating content for each stage of the funnel
A sales funnel is a term used to represent the customer’s journey that they go through on their way to purchasing an item. At each stage, customers have different levels of awareness of their problems, knowledge of your solution as well as willingness to purchase.
Identifying their pain points across these broad categories can offer inspiration for what your blog content could cover.
Depending on what stage customers are along in the funnel, your content is going to differ greatly. Their needs will affect your blog’s content, the solutions you recommend, and your tone of voice.
We can examine how this can be done by looking at a few store’s blogs.
In awareness, readers have likely identified a problem that they’re facing and are seeking a solution. Blog posts here should aim to be thumb-stopping, attention grabbing and attractive to newcomers— anything to make them start thinking about it.
ILY Pet Co. successfully makes use of how-to blogposts to address common queries by pet owners.
These articles cater to people who are researching litter box training for their pet. The posts give new cat/dog owners a consolidated and detailed overview of a process that is unfamiliar to them.
These types of content are frequently seen in the Awareness stage:
- Gift guides
- Q&A posts addressing readers’ questions
In consideration, your audience has defined their problem and are researching heavily across different solutions.
They have likely already heard of your brand. The objective of blog posts targeting customers at the consideration stage is to make your target audience trust you. These range from more personal insights to unique research to demonstrate your understanding of your customer’s perspective.
In Solly Baby’s case, their blog posts connect deeply to the emotional side of their target audience.
These articles allow Solly Baby to establish a strong brand voice, express their opinions about a niche topic as well as connect with their reader emotionally. All of which allows for a relationship of trust to be created between the reader and the brand.
These types of content are frequently seen in the Consideration stage:
- Relevant news
- Inspirational success stories
- Opinion pieces
In conversion, your audience trust you as a credible brand to purchase from and are willing to be convinced. The goal here is for your reader to purchase.
Solly Baby does a great job at this by incorporating strong visuals accompanied by a description of their new collection.
It’s clear that the blog article here targets people who now trust the brand, and are looking to make a purchase. Promoting their new collection solves their customer’s problems of not being able to find fashionable, comfortable newborn carriers. The end of their blog post also has a clear call to action of subscribing to their text chain to get notified about the launch time.
Other types of content that could lead to conversions
- Giveaways and competitions
- Informative posts about how your product’s key features solve their problem
This sales funnel is just a framework in which you can analyse your customer journey, and should by no means be exhaustive. Once you figure out the exact persona of your customer, it becomes a lot easier to target specific traits for more compelling content.
4. Researching keywords for SEO
After determining your target audience, it’s important that they’ll be able to find it on the web.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is especially important for businesses who are using blogs to drive traffic to their site from search engines. In 2019, it was discovered top 3 search results account for 75% of all clicks on Google search engine results pages (SERPs).
Rankings matter greatly in getting people to click on your blog post— moving up just one position increases click-through rate by an average of 30.8%. The goal is to rank highly for users who have high-intent search queries with high relevance to your site and services.
The process of keyword research is extensive, but here’s a quick overview:
- Understand your customers, why and when they are searching.
The goal here is to ensure that your target audience can find your brand with the search queries they use.
- Research high-intent keywords, not just high-volume keywords.
One of the challenges of selecting keywords lies in striking a balance between a high search volume and low ranking difficulty.
Long-tail keywords offer this balance because they have a higher level of specificity, and are easier to rank for. While search volume may be lower, they tend to have higher conversions because people that are searching for these specific keywords have higher intent to purchase.
- Determine niche keywords and build your authority around these
You want to start incorporating these keywords into your e-commerce site– but now you need to think of where it’s best to add each keyword.
Avoid keyword stuffing. Compromising brand voice and personality for SEO is counterproductive to the intention of attracting customers to your brand.
Using the right keywords is one of the most important components to boost your site’s SEO. We’ve created a guide on the best practices and common pitfalls to keyword research.
5. Creating content
After extensive research about who your content is trying to reach and how you’ll get there, the final step is to create this content! Most, if not all blog writers would have come face-to-face with writer’s block.
They struggle to create something they deem ‘good enough’, and their once everflowing tap of ideas has been closed shut. Worse still, they’re on a tight deadline and are struggling to incorporate SEO keywords.
There is a solution: Hypotenuse AI’s AI copywriter.
What is AI copywriting about? With an AI writer, you can
- Save loads of time (and go for longer lunch breaks!)
- Reduces your workload
- Brainstorm for ideas
- Optimise your posts for SEO
Giving instructions to a machine is much simpler than spending hours writing compelling copy— ensuring that you don’t need to experience writer’s block. Simply guide the AI with a topic and the background of your post, and the AI writes a fully fledged article for you.
Hypotenuse AI aims to provide a shortcut to a normally tedious and long process by generating the entire blog article for you.
From the title
And paragraphs (From introduction, body paragraphs to conclusion!)
AI copywriters simplify your workflow greatly and allow you to divert your efforts to something more worthwhile!
6. Managing workflows
Using a content calendar helps to organise upcoming social media posts to ensure that your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
A content calendar includes but is not limited to:
-The content that is going to be published
-Time and date that the post will be scheduled
-Any other social media platforms that the content will be uploaded on
A content calendar helps you to save time by being organised, and ensures timely execution of your blog content strategy.
7. Tracking metrics and conducting A/B testing
After a blog post is uploaded, it’s important to track your KPIs so that you know what works, and what doesn’t. Prior analyses of data can only create the basis of any hypotheses, but KPIs are the outcome of your experiments.
The KPIs that you track should be based on the objectives identified earlier to ensure that they are being fulfilled.
Common blogging metrics include but are not limited to:
- Overall blog visits
- Traffic source breakdown
- Shares per post
- New blog leads and customers
- Conversion rate
As your posting volume increases, A/B testing is helpful in determining the best way to post content.
A/B Testing, also known as split testing, is a method of testing different variants against each other. It allows for comparison across the variations to determine which one performs better.
A/B Testing can be used to optimise the results of blog posts and content marketing campaigns. By consistently experimenting with different versions, this provides insight to discover how people consume your content.
A/B testing can be conducted on any part of your blog content, but here are some key areas to look into.
1. Posting schedule and frequency
Contrary to popular belief, there is an optimal day and time for posting blogs to get more views.
2. Content type and length
Some consumers like short-form content, while others enjoy longer and more informative posts. The number of pictures you use in your blogs can also receive different engagement levels.
3. Headline style and length
Headlines can be likened to making the first impression.
Headlines can affect how search engines perceive how your offerings match up to search queries.
These help to identify how you can optimise your content delivery to suit your target audience.
It should be noted that your sample size must be sufficiently large to conduct A/B testing for an accurate reflection of your readers’ preferences.
With a rapidly-evolving and dynamic customer base with shifting preferences, it only makes sense that content marketing strategies remain fluid. Having a plan ensures that you stay on course, and constant monitoring of blog performance will provide insight on how to tweak and optimise your strategy to maximise results.
More often than not, it’ll take time to see the results of your labour so it’s important to remain patient yet diligent in refining your content strategy!