Corporate blogs aren't easy and, to be honest, most marketers I know are vastly underprepared to publish on a regular basis. It can be a challenge to keep enough blog concepts in the bank to maintain a regular publishing schedule. In keeping the Whole Brain Marketing Blog full of recent content, I've faced this problem numerous times. It seems like as soon as I feel like I can relax because I have enough articles scheduled, I'm suddenly in need of more. Whether you're publishing daily, weekly, or even monthly, blog articles go by quick.
To help people think through how to solve blog depletion problems, we have a pretty effective eBook called, How to Keep Your Blog Stocked with Content, which has been very helpful to both clients and visitors looking to keep a blog that drives traffic to their site. But today I want to revisit this topic with a more strategic, planning-focused solution to blog ideation needs. In this post, I'll outline a three-step process that we use to help our clients (and ourselves) publish regularly, effectively, and with increasing accuracy.
1. Define 10 Buyer's Journey Questions
The absolute best to prevent poor blog consistency is to clearly understand your buyer's journey. You know why? Because, when you really understood what causes your buyers to make a purchase, you'll see that there are so many topics to write about—only by ignoring the buyer's journey could you run out of ideas.
I recommend companies start their blog rejuvenation project by carefully writing 10 questions that your buyers ask during the beginning of their buyer's journey. If you follow other literature on the buyer's journey, the beginning is usually termed the "awareness" phase. The prospect isn't yet looking at products or services, they're trying to understand their own pain points. They're looking for ways they can solve problems in their company and potential solutions that will make their professional life easier.
By writing down ten awareness-level buyer journey questions, you can essentially outline the specific issues you need to address in your blog.
2. Let Your Best Experts Provide High-Level Answers
Once you have your buyer journey questions defined, your next step must be to find the people in your organization who can provide strong, high-level answers to each question. I'm not talking about details; by "high-level" I mean thematic, philsophical answers that can be broken down into sizeable articles. For example, if the buyer journey question for a distribution company is:
"How can I speed up our manufacturing process without changing the assembly process?"
Then, the answer should be broad enough that each blog can be a a part of the larger thematic answer. So, rather than an answer like this:
"Start the assembly process with a more streamlined de-packaging process."
Instead, create a broader, more complex answer that contains many smaller ways of answering the question:
"If you want to avoid an assembly overhaul, look for possible changes in your material delivery and preparation processes."
The latter answer can be broken down by subject-area experts who will provide more qualified expertise in blog topics. By keeping thematic answers broad and fuzzy, you'll avoid narrowing the scope of your blog-writing. This step also ensures that your blog articles will be tied to a relevant stage of the buyer's journey, without limiting the reach across niches or industries.
3. Fill Your Campaigns with Blog Topics That Break Down Each "Answer"
The final step in this buyer-journey-based planning approach is to fill the "thematic answers" to the questions with more specific answers that become assigned blog topics. Much of the time, these blog topics can be developed by area-specific experts who will use differing perpsectives to provide new insight into the overarching theme.
If you take a true campaign approach to your blog writing, then the next step will be to organize and order your various blog topics into highly relevant sequences that match your buyer's needs. For example, planning-focused blog topics should come later in the year, while preparation topics or growth campaigns might work better earlier. Sequencing and campaigning are highly industry-dependent tatics, but they're important for taking blogging to the next level.