I have a client who offers marketing services to companies. Let’s call her Jane, for the sake of this post. Jane works specifically with B2B clients in the event planning industry, the technology support services industry and the healthcare industry. Variety much, you ask? Exactly, but it’s a problem lots of small businesses experience. When you’re selling to two or three specific niche markets and they’re all quite different, how do you accommodate them all in your blog strategy?
Well, you have several options. You can go all-out generic with your blog strategy, or you can go all out niche market. Personally, I think developing your niches separately is much more successful, but it depends partly on how different your various offerings are.
One Blog, Multiple Topics
A generic blog strategy is the one that’s the easiest for small businesses, because it takes the least amount of work. You set up a website, add a blog to it and post anything from once a week to daily. In a case like Jane’s, you would probably focus the blog posts on different topics and target markets in rotation, or perhaps weight the frequency a bit more on the side of the industry you get the most business from.
Related: Create a Company Blog Series
The main disadvantages of this model are:
- There’s always a segment (or two) of your market that doesn’t get fresh content on a regular basis, and
- You need to use a strong, generic domain to support a range of topics. That’s fine if you’re Acme and Sons, but not so good if you want your domain name to reflect one of your products, a la Jones Event Management.
Sure, your SEO will be fine, because Google doesn’t care who you’re publishing for as long as your blog gets updated frequently. An example of a generic blog is Johnson and Johnson.
One Company, Multiple Websites
This model is an ambitious one for a small company. If Jane decides to adopt this approach, she needs three websites, one for each of her niche markets. Each site needs to have a blog, which she has to maintain. This is completely doable if Jane has a team of people taking care of her blog strategy, not so much if she has to do it all herself.
To make it work, Jane would need to blog at least twice a month for each niche, which is a total of six blog posts per month. For each site, however, it’s just two posts a month. That isn’t really enough to improve the site’s ranking, get found in search or generate decent traffic and leads. If she published 6 posts a month on a single blog instead it would have far more impact. And no, before you ask: she can’t publish the same (or similar) blog posts across more than one site, because that will result in the sites being penalized for duplicate content.
One Website, Multiple Blogs
This, to my mind, is the most sensible model—especially for small business owners. It’s not unusual to find yourself on a website that has several different blogs. HubSpot’s website is a perfect example, with its various blogs for sales, web design, marketing etc. This isn’t hard to set up, either; your biggest challenge is, once again, producing enough content to fulfill your blog strategy across each of the different blogs. In Jane’s case this could work, but only if her home page and other website pages support all three niche markets comfortably. And let’s face it, there’s a big difference between the three.
In the days before inbound marketing, all you had to do was produce different-looking brochures for each of your niches. Now, it’s a bit more complex. But of course, the ROI on a solid blog strategy beats the heck out of whatever your returns were on the old ways of selling. How does this apply to your business, and which option would you choose?
Written by Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media.