Your blog can be a cash cow...or a money pit. We recommend going the cash cow route.

GET OUR BEST LEAD GENERATION IDEAS

Many companies are out there blogging, but only very few are actually doing it effectively. Hi, I'm John Durso, President of Crosshatch Creative and this is "Be Bold. Be Smart." all about inbound marketing for consulting firms.

Today, we're going to talk about the five things that you must do, if you actually want to see a return on your investment in blogging and content marketing in general. Unfortunately, we see a lot of companies giving up on blogging, when it really could be a great tactic for them and also, unfortunately, we see a lot of companies continuing to invest in blogging, when they're not seeing any results, because they don't really know how to do it effectively, so we're going to go over five things that you must do to see a positive return on your investment in content and blogging.

Know Your Audience, and Know Your Purpose

Number one, each post must has a specific audience and a specific purpose, so you must know who you're talking to and you must know what you want to accomplish by putting out this blog post. For example, for us, we have a couple different subsets of our target audience, so that could be owners, or there could be marketing managers and depending on who we're talking to, we know that they have different needs and different challenges and so we'll tailor the content to speak to one or the other, rather than trying to do both and diluting the message and the content, so once we've decided on that, then we'll also say, okay, what do we want to accomplish with this post. Do we want to just spread awareness, so is this more of a fun, or surface level interesting post that we can get a lot of eyeballs on, or do we want to take people who are already reading and convert them further down the funnel, the down motor, something like that. If we go the second route, then we might do something, like a more technical piece that's meant to get people who are already interested and know what we're about, to dig further. So as you can imagine, having both a specific audience and a purpose, helps you write the post easier, because you know who you're writing and why you're writing and it also helps with number two, which is promotion.

Promote Like Crazy

You want to spend at least as much time promoting each post, as you do actually creating it, and if you know the audience and the purpose, that's going to also lend you guidance in promoting the post and the reason you want to promote every post, and when I say promote, I don't just mean put it out on your social media, and publish it on your website. That is, that is basic. Of course, you want to do that, but you must move beyond your current circle of followers, if you really want to be effective in blogging. Half the purpose of blogging is to reach new people and bring them into your marketing funnel, and so if you're only promoting to people who already know you exist and already know what you do, then you're really just getting half of what you could be getting out of the content that you're creating, so you're already doing all this content, you need to promote it effectively, to get the proper return on that investment.

Call Your Readers to Act

Number three, now that you're doing all this creation and all this promotion, you want to make sure that each post has a call to action. So that is something that you're calling the user to do, to take action on your site, specifically on the blog post, so that could be to download an ebook, to contact you, to reach our for free consultation, sign up for webinar. Whatever the case, it must be move that visitor down your marketing funnel, closer to conversion, to becoming a client. There are a variety of ways you can present the call to action, either in the middle of the post, at the bottom of the post, at some popup, that appears in the middle of reading. Hopefully you're not interrupting them with an overlay, right over the blog post. It's somewhere off to the side or to the bottom, but however you do that, make sure that it is present and that you are driving people further down your marketing funnel.

Be Consistent

Number four, consistency. You want to make sure that you're doing this on a consistent basis, so whatever frequency you choose, whether it's once a week or once a month, don't go less than once a month, but in that range, or even multiple times a week, you want to make sure that you have the resources to do that consistently, so plan ahead. If you're doing four posts a week, that's great, just make sure you actually can sustain that and that you're not just gonna drop off, and everything's gonna fall apart, because that just means you spent a lot of money, and you're not getting anything for it.

Give it Time

Number five, make sure you're giving this time. Blogging is a long term effort that has great returns, so you don't want to cut if off before it has a chance to really gain momentum. And that's it, if you do all of these five things consistently for each post and you give it time, then you're going to see some great returns on the effort that you're putting into content marketing. You can also get more tips by clicking the link below to subscribe to this video series, come out every week. It's "Be Bold. Be Smart." all about inbound marketing for consulting firms. Have a great week.