Seven Steps to a Successful Blog

Launching a blog and content plan requires a long-term commitment.

October 31, 2013
KEYWORDS blog , content , media , social
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CU Mag: How has your CU benefited from having this blog?

Buettner: We have seen an increase in both returning and unique visitors to our website, and an increase in the amount of time visitors spend on our site.

We’ve seen new leads being generated through content offers, an enhanced brand presence and engagement, and more thought leadership opportunities through media interest and content production.

We also have a more strategic approach to social media outreach, and we’ve seen growth in social media followers and increased engagement on our social media channels.

CU Mag: What are the biggest challenges in starting and maintaining a blog?

Buettner: We knew going into the process that one of our biggest challenges would be generating and publishing engaging content on a regular basis. Therefore, we took the time needed to set goals, define our strategy, and create a solid execution plan.

In fact, we have our editorial calendars planned for the next six months. However, we are also flexible, so if something newsworthy happens we can shift our content accordingly.

A key challenge to maintaining the blog is monitoring what types of content are most relevant to our audience. It’s important for us to be a valuable resource for current and prospective members, so we regularly review analytics to determine what is working and what isn’t.

We then strategize on how we can shift our editorial plan based on those insights.

CU Mag: What advice do you offer CUs that want to do something similar?

Buettner: Start by creating a solid content plan. We initially developed a six-month editorial calendar that serves as our content marketing roadmap. We use it every day to track content topics and deliverables, schedules, keywords, and team responsibilities.

We also mapped out a six-month content distribution plan, which included social media strategies and traditional media outreach.

Here are seven steps to consider when launching a blog:

For example, we published a series of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts on International Credit Union Day to reshare previously written blog content. This was not a part of our original plan, but we saw an opportunity and changed course to take advantage of it.

CU Mag: What are some ‘don’ts’ when launching a blog?

Buettner: Here are a few:

  • Don’t jump in without leadership or organizational buy-in. Make sure key stakeholders are all on the same page. Set goals and a budget up front and secure the proper internal teams and resources.
  • Don’t assume you know what your audience wants. Do some research to know what topics would be most interesting and helpful.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things. This is the time to determine what is and isn’t working—and how you can adjust your program for greater success. For example, we tested a social media blitz and published a series of four posts in one day that greatly increased Facebook engagement.
  • Don’t be afraid of compliance. Launching a blog is a great way to increase your credit union’s digital presence, provide great value, and tap into the online market.

Work with your compliance department to give them enough time to review specific blog posts and to answer any questions.

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