Blogging today is not about cranking out content—it’s about thoughtful, relevant, helpful, and inspiring content that will matter to a target audience and prospects. You don’t need more content; you need better content. You need content with a purpose.
Get To Know Your Audience
It’s impossible to truly meet the needs and interests of your audience if you don’t know who they are. You can’t have a purpose for your blog if you don’t know who you are looking to attract.
In order to fill a blog with valuable content and promote your blog to your audience, you have to have a pretty good feel for who makes up the majority of that audience. Some important points to consider will be:
- Problems your target audience face and the type of content they need
- Where they find and read their information
- Where they spend most of their time
- What marketing channels they leverage most for sharing and search
- What sources they would consider authoritative
- What competitors they might be drawn to (and why)
- What influencers in a different industry they have in common
Create a profile for each major type of target visitor outlining answers to the above questions. This will help you get a feel for the various kinds of top audience members you have. You will see many fall into the same categories. You might be interested in attracting mainly 25-year-old men who are just seriously considering their careers, spend a lot of browsing time on YouTube and LinkedIn, and feel full of potential. Or, you might be speaking to 35-year-old women who work while managing a household, browse Instagram and Pinterest the most, drink coffee, drift toward Target by habit and listen to Johanna Gains. Seeing what you followers have in common for the most part is going to help you create content that appeals to them and reach out in ways that will be effective.
Segment new contacts to create more targeted groups for your marketing. As you send out your newsletters and emails, you will want to send relevant content to each person. Knowing the difference in the personality—as well as their stage in their journey with your brand—will help you send the right content to impact. Make sure all content has a goal and a clear next step (or CTAs - calls to action) for your audiences (also - make sure you're always testing these calls to action with an ongoing Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) strategy)! Every email and blog post should send them somewhere else so they aren’t backing out of content like a dead end. You can accomplish this with internal links, a call to “contact us,” a newsletter subscription box, a video to watch, social share buttons and more.
Leverage Current Marketing Channels
You want to build up your profiles and push out your content, starting with the channels your audience is likely to spend the most time on.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Make sure that you have a rigorously researched and road mapped Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy focused on creating content that your target audiences are actively searching for. Beyond that, make sure you are optimizing your content with title tags, internal linking, Schema markup, and a fast loading, mobile-friendly website - especially with the rise of voice search. All of these tactics (and more) will help build organic visibility for key searches. Not sure where to start? We can help!
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Twitter are currently the top social media platforms. You will find on most of these platforms it is difficult to get a following or much engagement without regular posting and engagement from your own profile. You can use certain apps (like Buffer) to help schedule your content to post during the best times for reaching your audience. Each platform has a different protocol for posting, so don’t just post the exact same text and image everywhere. Take time to get to know the taboos and norms for each platform.
Getting a solid contacts list is huge for your blog. Social media platforms are forever changing algorithms and making it difficult to get attention when and where you want it. Your email list provides you with personal inboxes to interested visitors (remember, they signed up!). Use it correctly and you will be getting high open and click-through rates.
Landing your site in the top choices during a search query is important for getting organic traffic. However, it can take a lot of work and time to optimize your site for better SEO and higher rankings. Paid search allows you to get in the top three results for your top keywords. Whenever someone searches with your selected keyword or phrase, your designated page will be right there. While bigger (vaguer) keywords can be pricey, locally relevant keywords or longer keyword phrases can be more affordable and better nab your niche audience.
Encourage employees to be brand advocates and post about the things they love in your company. A great way to do this is through an employee newsletter where stories they care about are included with calls to share on their own pages. Each employee can dramatically increase the reach of your company when they share a blog post to their own audience.
If you are quoting experts or connecting with popular influencers, create content they would have an interest in sharing. You can get guest bloggers or use quotes and then invite those contributors to share.
Take Advantage of PR
From big company announcements to community events and press releases, you can get your content in front of your audience through relationships you’ve already been building. In the hustle to get new traffic, don’t forget your loyal audience. Use your public relations skills to build those bridges even stronger.
Test New Distribution Channels
Always be on the lookout for new places to successfully promote your content. Some places to start considering would include:
- Twitter chats
- Facebook groups
- Network groups
- Text messaging
- Outbound links in other (relevant) articles
Before you try a new distribution channel, take time getting to know it. You don’t want to join a handful of Facebook groups and start spamming them with your content. You would likely just get thrown out. Join groups largely filled with your target audience and look for ways to interact genuinely. Don’t abuse private channels, like text messaging.
Measure Your Overall Performance
There is no way to grow without constant analyzing and reworking the strategy. It isn’t bad to fail—it’s bad to fail and not know it (or not know why). Know what your key metrics are (the ones that really impact your results and matter to your brand). You can find metrics on:
Realize that some metrics are “vanity metrics.” Those are the things that look good, but don’t matter a lot. You can have a thousand likes on Facebook, but if no one is even clicking the link to read your article or stopping to follow your page, then you aren’t getting much for all of the engagement.
Repurpose Old Blog Posts
Why work harder than you need to? If you are creating great “evergreen” content, then it should be helpful for quite some time (it doesn’t go out of season). Find ways to repurpose old posts to create sparkly new content that supplements your old posts and doesn’t simply replace them.
- Rework as a Contributor to Industry Publications
You will want to provide different titles and slightly different keywords in order to increase your reach for organic search.
We're here to help! Feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have and get your blogging strategy on track! At Marcel Digital, we are all about giving your blog and marketing efforts a purpose. Don’t miss out on the impact you could be making.