Content Marketing February 1st, 2016
For those of you with an interest in digital marketing, blogging or in developing your company’s online presence, I’ve compiled a few myths about blogging that you should keep in mind as you develop your content strategy. Blogging has evolved over the years as a mainstream online marketing tool that’s useful for developing a brand, acquiring leads and retaining clients. Experts use it as a marketing technique by offering valuable content assets to their prospective audience. If you are serious about blogging and want to see a good ROI for your efforts, then this blog post is for you. After reading this, you will have a better understanding of how to blog effectively.
According to a HubSpot Study, companies that blog 15 or more times each month get fives times more traffic than companies that don’t blog at all. Companies that increase blogging from five times per month to between six and eight times per month almost double their leads. B2B companies that blog only once or twice a month generate 70% more leads than those that don’t blog at all.
The takeaway from this study is clear—if your business’s website does not include blogging, you are losing big money. Think about what your target audience is looking for when landing on your blog. Most of the time, readers will be looking for expert advice, suggestions and a service provider who offers friendly assistance. The aim of blogging should focus on more than just keywords and increased organic visits. Instead, focus on educating your prospective audience by providing useful and valuable information. This will, in turn, result in increased brand awareness and more business.
There’s no getting around it—blogging is time-consuming. And I’m not a great fan of scheduled blogging because I don’t think you should blog simply for the sake of it. Writing consistently on a regular basis can be tricky, and requires you to research the content of the blog as well as the analytics of audience behaviour and reader expectations. The content needs to be high quality because it is a reflection of your brand, so the better the content, the higher the likelihood of converting your audience into new customers.
When choosing blogging topics, it’s important to choose wisely based on the interests of your audience. Always remember, you’re writing for your target audience, not for yourself. If you are interested in writing about topics that don’t pertain to your business, start a personal blog. Your company’s blog needs to be centered around your core business—it is the place where your target audience can find solutions to their problems.
You cannot blog every day unless you are a super blogger like Anns Smarty. Even super bloggers don’t blog everyday. You need extraordinary skills to write valuable content everyday that involves thorough research, competitor analysis, and brainstorming. Do not just focus on increasing the blog posts count, instead, try producing IQE (In-depth, Quality, Evergreen) content. That type of content has a long shelf life and increases organic traffic.
Remember, your audience is looking for quality content. So be sure to provide the content in an easily readable font. You might be trying to improve the appearance of the website by using different styles of fonts. Put usability first, appearance is secondary. Avoid using too many colors and font styles in content. Content should be easy to scan through. People are busy and don’t want to spend extra time-consuming content that is difficult to read when there are many other alternative blog posts there.
Strong writing is important, but there needs to be more strategy if you’re looking to go viral. Likewise, just because your competitor’s blog is really popular doesn’t mean yours will automatically get the same response. With millions of blog posts published each day, you’ll need to get creative if you want to stand out. Successful blogging strategies are those that establish the company as industry experts, that provide useful and helpful information, that are well written, and that find creative ways to engage the readers.
Though I am a great fan of long-form content, it is not always possible to write lengthy content, especially when the topic is very simple. In-depth content performs well in organic traffic because there’s a lot of room to include popular keywords, plus the analytics score for ‘time on site’ will be good. But if the topic is very simple, like a minor industry update, go with writing a short blog post. If you are trying to write a long blog post for a small topic, you may end up with boring content.
Sometimes high blog traffic translates into more business, but not always. You cannot expect a hike in business every time there’s an increase in organic visits. There might be people who are just looking for information, researchers who are looking for insightful data, competitors who are looking for topic ideas etc. These visits may not contribute to conversions, but can greatly impact the brand visibility. So if you are not seeing a proportional hike in business inquiries compared to the increase in organic traffic, don’t get frustrated. You’re doing a good job, keep it up.
In the current social media landscape, there are a lot of platforms to connect you with your audience, but not all platforms are created equal. Choosing to build your company’s online presence needs planning and forethought because some platforms will be more useful than others. Start by identifying the platforms on which your audience is most active, and then commit your social media resources in a direct and pointed way. Managing a ton of social media profiles is not easy without a dedicated social media team. Instead of spreading yourself too thin across multiple channels, put your efforts into the most relevant sites. This will lead to a more loyal readership and client base.
This is a falsehood. There is no harm in including relevant external links in your website. Quality external links are a great way to tap into Google’s algorithm, but you should avoid linking to low quality websites. Include relevant links which provide the users with additional information about your topic. Remember, too many links can harm the reader experience as it will distract them from reading your blog post and redirect that person to other websites.
The purpose of blogging is about a lot more than organic ranking—it’s evolved into a useful tool in inbound marketing strategy. When done correctly, blogging can be a great resource for boosting long term organic traffic, leads and even conversions. Disregard the popular myths out there about blogging strategy, and instead, invest time and effort in nurturing IQE content, and you will see results.