Blogs are a little like humans: they start small, but if properly cared for, they grow quickly. Then they reach digital “adulthood” and are strong and vigorous. But, alas, over time they tend to weaken a bit and are susceptible to all manner of illnesses. But, the good news is, unlike people, who must inevitably succumb, your blog doesn’t have to. By identifying and treating what ails this very important appendage of your inbound marketing strategy, you can keep it cruising along in the “prime of life.”
Consistent blogging has proven to help companies grow their audience and achieve better ranking on the SERPs (search engine results pages). If you want your content marketing efforts to be effective (and who doesn’t?), it just makes sense to blog on a regular basis. That said, you may at times be at a loss for what to write about next. Don’t let that stress you out! As one of the top boutique inbound marketing agencies in Missouri, Colorado, and Washington, we know that there are a number of data-driven ways to determine what interests your audience.
Hopefully you’re taking a comprehensive approach to content marketing and inbound marketing: creating and promoting great marketing content, connecting with your target audience through a variety of social media channels, continually fine-tuning your website copy and landing pages, and coordinating all your efforts through a marketing automation tool like HubSpot. If you are, your blog posts are just one element of your strategy. Consequently, you may simply be “cranking them out” to keep the content flowing. However, failing to give these important communiques the attention they deserve means you may be missing out on the tremendous awareness and engagement benefits they can produce.
For some marketers, deciding whether or not to start a blog is a difficult decision. Let's face it... it's a lot of work if you're going to do it right. You need to have something compelling to say that will capture and keep the interest of your audience. And you need to be consistent, continuing to create compelling content even when you don't feel like it and even when you aren't sure what to write about. Plus, you need to promote the blog in order to build an audience. For some marketers, it's simply a matter of not being sure that the return on investment is worth it for all the time and effort they will have to put into it. Right? So for all of the marketers that have been fending off the pressure to start blogging, I'll offer up five solid reasons you can use to defend your decision to never blog.
Content marketing is not a short-term, campaign-based tactic, but rather a long-term commitment to producing amazing content that is unique, powerful, and effective... and most importantly, meets the needs of your target audience. But precisely because it is a long-term strategy, measuring your success is very different than measuring the success of, say, a typical advertising campaign. So, how do you measure the success of your content marketing efforts?
Many companies see blogging as a one-and-done type of exercise. You come up with a topic. You explain that topic. You move on to the next. The resurgence of an entertainment format called the “serial” has smart marketers rethinking that approach.
While “editor” may not be a part of your job title, everyone is asked to review another person’s work at some point. It might be your employee, your peer, or (eeck!) your boss, but somebody is going to request that you, “give this a quick read.”
It’s not uncommon for the headline of a blog post to be almost an afterthought. You get an idea, outline the post, write the body of it and then quickly skim the draft for some key points to put into the headline. We’re all guilty of this at times. (Oh, if I could only have a second shot at some of my old headlines!) But as long as we’re all striving to improve, we’re doing the right thing.
I've done a lot of crazy things in my life. Most of them are not appropriate to blog about, but rather are things I should be repenting for! Some though, are the fodder of stories I've told countless times, tales that always seem to catch people's interest. For example, there's the time I drove a street sweeper across the country. Yep! A street sweeper.
Blogging can produce a whole host of benefits for a company. It’s a tremendous way to score points with Google, from the keywords in your posts to the simple fact that your website is frequently updated. A blog is also one of the best forums for sharing your cutting-edge ideas and establishing yourself as a thought leader. What’s more, if you allow your audience to comment on your posts, that’s a great opportunity to engage with them.
While we’re proud of the work we do for all of our clients, a few years ago we had an opportunity to do some “marketing” that had an especially important impact. I write about it now not to focus any attention on our efforts, but rather to point out the power (and the satisfaction) of bringing skills previously used exclusively for business purposes to bear on crisis communication.
Well-executed marketing content can attract, engage, and inform prospects like nothing else.
However, if you have ever created this type of material, you know it takes a significant amount of time and effort. And producing enough of it to support a content marketing strategy also takes a great deal of commitment.
Jane paced back and forth in front of her desk, eyeing her computer like it was a cobra ready to strike. Sitting down in her chair, she touched her fingers lightly to the keyboard and immediately recoiled. Once. Twice. Three times. Then she returned to her pacing, no less agitated than before.
It’s taking a lot of time and energy, we’re running out of things to say, and what’s the point anyway? We’ve been doing it for months, and nobody is signing up. I’m not even sure anyone is reading it. So, we might as well face it, the blog is dead.
Your mom probably cares about you, but the sad truth is, your prospects don’t really care about you or your products and services. They care about themselves. They care about their wants, their needs, their problems, their pains, and their pleasures. They certainly don’t care about what you have to say about yourself and how great your products and services are. And THAT is the real challenge in marketing today. If prospects don’t care to hear what you have to say, then why spend a bunch of money on advertising trying to interrupt them and get their attention?