August 26th, 2015
Once upon a time, letting your customers know about your company involved print, television and radio. Then, in the space of five to 10 years, marketing shifted radically to PPC, social media marketing, SEO, content marketing and retargeting. Once a company had its website up and running, it then learned it needed to adopt social media. With channels built, suddenly a blog became critical to attract attention. Today, we’re here to tell you that, while it makes a powerful first step in content marketing, the blog alone is not enough.
Rest assured, if you have a robust blog up, you’re already ahead of many of your competitors. But, because we want you to stay ahead, we’re letting you in on how much more the blog can do than simply bring in interested customers to your site through the keywords they type into the search bar. Search engine optimization is the blog’s first and best purpose. In 2013, 81% of U.S. consumers went online FIRST to research products they were interested in. Despite this, creating a post and leaving it there will only bring in those who are already interested in what you offer.
What about those who don’t even know about “PTSD marriage counseling” or “mail-order Christmas trees” and how these services could make their lives so much better? Simply posting a blog to your website leaves consumers unsatisfied and money on the table. Consider the following tactics to reach more audiences all over the Internet.
The audience on your blog has already indicated their interest. While they may win you a new subscriber when they share your blog posts with friends, why leave it up to them?
Audiences on Facebook, Google+ and dozens more may be waiting for answers only you can provide. Regularly updating social media channels with a great outtake from every new post—just a sentence or two—and then enticing readers to learn more by clicking on the link brings people back to your blog (where your offers and other conversion opportunities live). Of course, this process requires building your audiences on those social media channels first, which can take time and money.
Still, you can boost posts on Facebook for as little as $1 per day and even create ads enticing complete strangers to like your Facebook page where they’ll see blog posts. Other social channels like Twitter still send all of your posts to the newsfeeds of audiences you earn for free. (Instagram recently opened up paid advertising to everyone.
Owned by Facebook, it will have a similar self-serve advertising platform later this year. Currently, only big brands can advertise on Instagram through select Instagram advertising partners.) While yes, it’s yet another step in gaining customers, posting blog post updates to social media channels is now considered a “best practice” in the era of Internet marketing.
Social media doesn’t have to link back only to written blog posts. Not everyone is a reader. Many enjoy learning new things by connecting to the voice and image of the expert sharing the information.
Image based content is incredibly shareable and a highly valuable piece of the puzzle when it comes to your content marketing. If a particular blog post has been very successful, capitalize on that success by creating an infographic or slideshow expanding on the topic. If you have recently completed a report or survey on your product or consumers, one of the best ways to illustrate your findings is in a well-designed infographic.
Many of us are visual learners, and using images to communicate information is one of the most effective ways to have what you say stick in the mind of your consumer. Infographics also provide a boost to SEO performance, and are more likely to be shared on social media.
Also, believe it or not, people are still reading long-form texts. A significant portion of readers prefer to get their information on the kindle where they can easily go back to a section or skip forward if they want. Many bloggers monetize their businesses by writing valuable content and making it even more valuable by publishing it in an ebook format. Advertising ebooks boosts credibility and brings in new leads. The best news? If you’ve been blogging for a year or so you probably have a lot of ideas to pull from!
Even though in 2014 Google big-wig Matt Cutts pronounced “Guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy,” we’d like to reassure you that guest blogging is certainly alive and well . . . when it’s done right.
Cutts was referring to the terribly-written, off-shore-sourced 300-500 word pieces that were simply keyword phrases and chunks of other’s content stitched together and re-spun like a Jamba Juice smoothie. Bloggers with high rankings and respect at least review the quality content submitted to them by authorities in their fields. Generally, best practices include sending your best blog posts to a blog with more authority, higher rankings and a larger audience than you currently have. With more eyeballs on it, more will be exposed to your site.
Sending an inquiry about distribution is not much different from querying the big New York publishers twenty years ago. First an interested author researched publishers to see what they like to publish, their niche. The writers who dig find specific writer’s guidelines. If the writer considers it a good match, he or she sends a “query letter.” You will get the blog writer’s name and email address as well as guidelines and then send your email, a short query with links to your website, some article topics, your credentials and previous publications.
Be smart with your article topics, these topics will show the editor that you did your research and have good topic ideas for the content that you want to contribute. If your topics and credentials check out, the blog editor may ask for a summary of three pieces that you think will fit. After passing this hurdle, they’ll ask you to write the piece up for them.
Keep in mind: guest posting isn’t simply for rankings, it can also establish and improve your credibility as a thought leader. By being a contributor on several sites, your expert content will help to inform potential clients that you have knowledge and expertise, and that your thoughts are valuable to your industry.
If you found this post slightly advanced for you, make sure to go back and read our “Creating a Successful Content Marketing Campaign” or get in touch. We can help you learn how the blog fits into content marketing and all the amazing benefits content marketing, and interconnected marketing can bring to a business.
Our content team always starts with a discovery process to ferret out valuable white papers, videos, podcasts and blog posts you’ve already created. We then help you re-craft and/or curate the content you need to bring in new leads and clients based on your goals, challenges and the unique opportunities.
Ready to increase your audience reach across the internet? Get in touch with us today.
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