Agencies can’t afford to wait 6 months for social media to help generate new business, they need the business now.
An agency blog serves as the central component for your agency’s social media strategy. I’ve compiled my suggested best practices to help you to get your agency’s blog up, focused and running quickly as well as rapidly building your agency’s credibility within this space.
An agency blog is like fishing. You want to fish for a particular fish, with a particular bait and you want to get the bait away from the boat so you don’t scare off the fish.
To get an agency blog up and running quickly you’ll need to do the following:
- Have a clear objective: Create content to generate inbound leads for my agency’s new business.
- Identify your target audience.
- Compose a descriptor statement, subtitle that states emphatically what your blog is about (i.e. A Guys Guide to Marketing to Women, Fueling Ad Agency New Business Through Social Media, Data-Driven Marketing That Pays for Itself)
- Create a unique title for the blog. It’s helpful if you can also tie in the title with a URL for the blog that you own.
- URL, just be sure that you own it instead of having a wordpress.com, typepad.com or blogspot.com. That way you can change blogging platforms without losing your online traffic.
- Know the key words that you want to dominate in Google Search. Be consistent to include your key words into your post titles.
- Come up with 10 to 12 categories that you will write to. These will help guide your writing and will facilitate navigation of your blog’s content for your readers.
- Start with a simple blogging platform that you can easily switch from in the future. My suggestion would be WordPress.com.
- Keep your IT and Creative department out of the picture in the beginning stages. Keep the process as simple as possible and focus on the blog’s content.
- Set a goal for writing 50 post within 30 days. This will help you to develop your research, resourcing, writing and publishing processes. You will quickly know what obstacles will inhibit you and allow you to figure out workarounds to keep the process moving.
- Navigation is critical. Make your blog easy to navigate with Top Posts, Categories, etc. Install a search widget that is included in your blog’s sidebar and located above the fold.
- Create a “welcome to your blog” and include your photo to make it more personable. The “welcome” copy should be an expansion of your blog’s descriptor statement.
- Add these pages: About, Services, Speaking, Contact.
- Add social media buttons for your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
- Be sure to add an RSS subscription button and create a Feedburner account through Google to get your link.
- Add a subscription button for an email newsletter that is directly linked to your email provider account such as Vertical Response, Emma, Constant Contact, etc.
- Jump start traffic by sending out an email newsletter at least monthly, preferably every other week. Content from the blog is used in the email newsletter. Don’t assume that just because you’ve written it, everyone has read it.
- Generate initial traffic as well through Twitter using tools like Social Oomph and Manageflitter.
Create a format that you can use for every post:
- Incorporate your key words into every blog post title.
- A benefit/takeaway statement that begins each post that answers the question, “what is my benefit if I commit to read this post?” This is the inverted pyramid style of writing, like a newspaper report would use, lead with the conclusion.
- Easy to read copy, breaking up long paragraphs and editing to make the post concise, a Readers Digest version, on average 350 to 450 words.
- For the best return on your time investment, write post that are “evergreen.” Try not to “date” your content.
- Consistently create valued content that is “reader-centric.”
- Hyperlink to resources and attribution to primary sources.
- Select one or more categories that are reflective of the blog’s content.
- Add tags for people, places, entities that are referenced in your post.
- Include “additional articles that may be of interest” at the bottom of the post with titles and links to 4 to 5 other post that you’ve written.
- Include a photo or graphic in every post to make it visually pleasing.
Here is a collection of additional blogging resources:
- Top 5 Benefits for Having an Agency Blog
- Top Ten Reasons Your Ad Agency Should Blog
- 10 Reasons Advertising Agencies Shouldn’t Blog
- 50 Blog Post Ideas to Fuel Your Ad Agency’s Blog
- How to Write Your Ad Agency’s Blog
- 25 Blog Post Ideas for Your Agency’s Blog
- 10 Ways to Create An Ad Agency Blog That is Reader-Centric
- The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers
- 10 Secrets to More Magnetic Copy
- Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips For Writing Well