If your company isn’t blogging, you could be missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. Data from HubSpot shows that businesses who use blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.
But just starting a blog isn’t a recipe for success all by itself. You need to make sure your content is extremely relevant to the audiences you are targeting.
For example, brands spend up to 43 percent of their marketing budget on content, yet only 23 percent of CMOs feel they are producing the right information for the right audience and delivering it at the right time and correct format, according to Marketing Profs and eMarketer.
To avoid that trap, here are some tips to write more engaging, value-add blog posts:
1. PICK TOPICS YOUR AUDIENCE WILL CARE ABOUT.
According to LinkedIn, 71 percent of B2B buyers engage with blogs during the purchasing process, and most will engage with a post for five minutes or more. Your prospects and customers are already looking for you to provide them with the insights they need to make an informed decision, and you can likely stand out from your competitors by offering them exactly what they need.
Before you settle on topics, ask yourself:
- Who are my target audiences for this blog?
- What are their needs or their challenges?
- Most importantly, what knowledge, expertise or insights can I offer against those challenges?
If you’re struggling to come up with fresh content ideas, do some keyword research to find out which questions your customers are asking. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush can help you find relevant and high-ranking keywords that align with your topics and can inform future content ideas down the road.
2. ADD VALUE OUTSIDE OF THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES YOU OFFER.
Far too often, companies approach a blog as an additional way to sell in their products and services, and that can be a big turn-off. While a company blog can help you build your brand, you don’t want your content to come across as purely self-promotional.
Your blog posts should really be about your audience’s needs, not yours. Offer your perspective on an emerging trend or ideas for how your customers can move their business forward. Even a “how to” post, like this one, adds value by outlining tips for success.
By focusing on your audience, rather than your selling points, you can build trust, establish yourself as a valued resource and increase the likelihood of turning your readers into qualified leads and inquiries.
3. ADD AUTHENTICITY THROUGH REAL TESTIMONIALS AND REAL EXAMPLES.
The average consumer is exposed to thousands of branded messages each day. So how does a brand break through this clutter?
The key is authenticity. People want to engage with people — not brands. The articles and blog posts that resonate most are those that incorporate real stories and experiences.
We’ve seen this approach pay off with our client Herzing University. To increase engagement and readership for the University’s blog, we sought to incorporate more student-focused content that featured the voices of current students and alumni.
Together with the Herzing marketing team, we tapped students and alumni to share their stories in several blog posts per month. They talked about their struggles, fears and hopes; offered advice; and shared their success.
Within one year, blog readership increased tremendously, as did social media referrals to the blog.
The lesson? Tell a story and bring it to life through the voices of the people that matter most to your customers.
4. CONTINUE TO MEASURE THE IMPACT.
A blog is a great way to start — and continue — a conversation with your customers. Keep the conversation going by repurposing blog posts for social media, newsletters and email campaigns that allow you to reach new audiences and measure engagement over an extended period of time.
To track blog performance, pay attention to behavior metrics like page views, click-through rate, bounce rate and time on page. Monitor which posts are performing well and which continue to perform well long after they’ve published. Then, use these insights to inform your keyword strategy and create blog posts on related topics.
A handful of well-written, on-point blog posts per month can help you get a leg up on the competition, increase your SEO rankings, drive social media engagement and reach your content marketing goals.
NEED HELP GETTING STARTED?
It’s not always easy to come up with fresh ideas or a new approach to an old topic. If you’re looking ways to build your writing expertise or strengthen your team’s content writing skills, check out our Fast Track sessions on beating writer’s block and writing compelling content, featuring our very own creative writing guru Mary Olivieri.