Your Blog Content Makes or Breaks the success of your blog
The movie Field of Dreams made famous a saying used by many – “build it and they will come.” When it comes to your blog content, most organizations executing inbound marketing strategies have two objectives: attract readers, and engage readers. Follow these six guidelines to write blog content people will read and share.
expand your Target Readers
Most businesses think they know who their target blog readers should be. When asked, they answer with a description of their target customer. But, your target customer doesn’t live in a bubble. He/she is influenced by other people in other roles. For example in a B2B marketing scenario your target customer may be an IT manager, yet he/she is influenced by business people in finance, operations, senior management, sales, marketing, customer service. Writing relevant blog content that builds trust and credibility with influencers of your target audience can help when that IT manager recommends your company as a potential solution to a problem.
Expand Your Keyword Strategy
The same principle applies to the keyword research you conduct to drive your business blog strategy. Expanding your keyword strategy so it appeals to your target reader as well as influencers is a wise strategy. Think of your keyword strategy as the first five circles of a dart board. You have your most desirable “money” keywords in the “bullseye” circle. The next 3, 4 or 5 circles (or more) include related keywords. Don’t hesitate to go long tail in these circles. You’ll attract people with very specific interests, and you’ll build SEO credibility with Google as Google scores your blog and connects your keywords together. For example, if a CPA firm writes blog content about very niche topics such as SOC, SSAE 16, ISO 27001, etc., they can attract relevant readers who care about those topics.
Creating an editorial calendar for your business blog is a must. If you’re not sure where to start, identify the subject matter experts who will contribute blog content. Ask each of them to write blog posts that appeal to their domain expertise in your organization. Give them two guidelines:
- Write about the “why” not the “what.” The “what” is your products and services. The “why” is a problem or issue people care about. For example, if you sell an exercise drink that gives people more endurance during exercise, write about the importance of endurance during exercise (the “why”), not about the exercise drink (the “what”).
- Write about the most common questions people have about your products or services, but again, not in the context of your products. Rather answer common questions people have about the problems your product solves. For example, if you sell cloud computing solutions answer common questions about the benefits of cloud computing.
Create a Pleasant Experience
No matter how niche your industry, don’t assume your reader will read your blog post from start to finish. Create a pleasant reading experience for your readers. A well written but verbose blog post with no formatting is not a pleasant reading experience. Break up each blog post with section headers using bolded header tags. Allow the reader of your blog post to easily skim your post. Use images to support your blog post. Images communicate that the author cares enough about the reader’s experience to provide a visual connection.
Spread The Load
I’ve said it many times, “marketing is not a department.” Your company blog should not be the sole responsibility of the marketing department. Recruit subject matter experts from different functions in your organization to contribute blog content. Following the keyword strategy outlined above, your subject matter experts can deliver a steady stream of blog content. Depending on many variables, you should strive to publish a bare minimum of one blog post each week, preferably more. As documented in The State of Inbound Marketing Report, the more blog content you produce, the more traffic you can drive to your blog and website. This leads me to the sixth and final guideline for successful blog content marketing.
write for all stages of the sales funnel
Your blog can be a magnet for inbound marketing traffic. You should consciously write blog content that appeals to people in different stages of the sales funnel. For example, a blog post about the benefits of big data analysis may offer a webinar invitation as a call-to-action. But, those attendees may not necessarily represent buyers in the short term. Blog content that more specifically addresses issues that call for immediate action may produce more sales ready leads. Content that appeals to the top of the sales funnel, the middle of the sales funnel and the bottom of the funnel provides best long term inbound marketing success.
The strategy you use to write blog content determines the success of your blog strategy in inbound marketing. I hope these guidelines offer useful tips. Your comments are welcome below.