Over the past few years, more and more businesses are investing time and resources into providing content on a consistent basis. That trend is unlikely to change. In fact, blogging is expected to gain a 50 percent increase in users from both individuals and businesses within the next 12 months.
However, advocating for B2B of B2C blogging isn’t enough. It’s equally important to be able to prove its effectiveness. If your organization blogs regularly, but you’re not seeing it ultimately impact the bottom-line, it’s important to take a step back, evaluate your strategy, and adjust as necessary.
A few days ago, I ran across this post from Tom Treanor that highlighted the seven dysfunctional types of business blogs. Unfortunately, there were a few businesses that came to mind as I was reading through the post. (I’m sure you could probably identify one or two as well.)
But, how do we take this information and use it to determine the effectiveness of your organization’s blog? If you’re wondering whether your not you’re blogging efforts are paying off, here are three quick questions you can ask:
1. Am I writing with a specific target audience in mind?
Tom refers to “The Scrapbook” blog as one that’s thrown together with random posts. A lot of times this is because there isn’t a defined target audience. If your organization doesn’t have a specific audience in mind, then you’re likely unfocused in your content planning. Inconsistencies in content and lack of editorial planning can result in not capturing the attention of your potential customers or supporters. We go back to the same restaurants because we know and like what to expect—not because they change the menu every week. The same is true for your blog.
2. Am I using my blog to sell products or help customers?
Answering this question truthfully will reveal your true intentions. If you’re writing to simply push your products, no one’s buying that—both literally and figuratively. Instead, look for ways to help your customers and enrich their lives, linking to your products or services when it makes sense. You have to earn the right to sell your products in digital marketing and the only way to do that is by helping your customers solve real problems or answer pressing questions.
3. Are you being strategic about the content you’re publishing?
One of the things we strive to do with every blog post we write (both personally and for clients) is to define the key ideas that tie back into the organization’s overall marketing goals. Many brands write blog posts without any strategy for their posts. By taking the time to evaluate keywords, craft headlines, and strategically tie in any products or services, you’re able to ensure your posts are moving people through the buying cycle whether they’re regular readers or happen to stumble upon it.
After answering these three questions, you should be able to get a good sense of the overall effectiveness of your blog. If you’re not seeing the ROI you’d hoped for, use these questions to rethink your approach to content strategy. Blogging is an excellent way to cultivate the business you want and continue to engage the clients you already have.
Bloggers: What other questions do you use to evaluate your blog’s effectiveness?