As a retailer – or any kind of brand with an ecommerce or online presence – there’s much to be said for having a blog. Consumers expect brands they interact with to create content but, there’s also an expectation that that content is of a good quality and adds value to their interactions. If your business isn’t a natural publisher but is keen to create a blog and tap into the consumer appetite for content, read on to find out which blog mistakes every brand makes – so you can avoid falling prey.

#1 Lack of forward planning

Running a successful brand blog requires a lot of creativity and discipline, but it also demands a heck of a lot of planning. Before you think of hitting publish on your first post, you should already know what the next months’ worth of posts will look like, who is responsible for creating them, when they will be written, who will review them and when they will be published. You should also know exactly what other campaigns or activities that post will intersect with.

If you fail to plan, you’ll end up with a disjointed, sporadically updated blog which doesn’t mesh with other marketing activities and misses out on key topic opportunities.

#2 There’s no understanding of how topics fit together

When you’re running a brand blog, it’s not enough to simply have an overarching content topic and then write posts that fall roughly within that field. Many brands fail to break down their core subject area into smaller areas and this means that there’s lots of gaps in content produced. If you segment your topics into a main topic and then cluster topics, you’ll find that you avoid duplicating content, cover all bases and have collections of posts that fit together into useful collections for readers.

#3 Lack of Promotional Strategy

Just because you post a blog, doesn’t mean your readers will come. You should have a clear, documented post promotional strategy in place before you begin your brand blog so that every piece of content you pour time and effort into gets its moment in the spot light. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you have shared a post link on social media that traffic will flow. It won’t. Have a timeline of when and how that post will be shared again and look at other methods of pushing that content – such as via your regular email newsletter to customers.

#4 Measurement is sporadic

Creating a blog post takes time, effort and budget – so just as with other marketing activity, regular performance management and analysis should be in place from day one. This is an area that is often overlooked but taking the time to dig into data such as traffic sources, most visited blog posts and likes and shares on social media can help you to pinpoint what is resonating with your audience and what your readers want to see more or less of.