There are currently over 600 million blogs in the world today.
Isn’t that crazy?
To put that insane statistic into perspective, that means there are nearly 2 blogs for every single person in the United States.
It also means that there’s a hell of a lot of competition out there.
Time and time again, companies decide to buy into an organic inbound marketing approach. They’ve been observing the transition from pushy, invasive outbound marketing methods to customer-centric inbound ones.
It’s not like this is a bad plan, either. The benefits of using inbound marketing channels are numerous and well-documented. Even industrial companies, which have been known for using outdated marketing channels, have been incorporating more inbound marketing strategies.
Traditional Outbound Marketing
Appeals to customers who are already interested
Seeks out customers regardless of whether they’re already interested or not
Disruptive and business-centric
Strategies are used to solve customer needs
The sole purpose is to sell products or services
So they start a blog. No plan, no research, nothing. They simply publish pointless posts expecting a sea of engagement to come crashing in.
And then: Crickets.
This is because publishing valueless content and expecting to see positive results is a recipe for disaster. Blogging for business requires extensive planning, research, and even patience.
When blogging is actually done correctly, the results can be massive. In fact, businesses with blogs produce up to 67% more leads per month than businesses without. That should be enough to convince just about anyone that a well-thought-out blog marketing strategy is necessary moving forward.
The question is, what blog marketing strategies should you be using, moving forward?
Thankfully, instead of throwing you out to the wolves, we’re here with some of our favourite blog marketing strategies and tips to help you reap the rewards of blog marketing.
1. Get to Know Your Audience and Their Problems
At the end of the day, blog marketing is all about understanding your buyer personas and the problems they have.
The question is, how do you figure out exactly what types of pain points your audience has?
Well, there are a few different ways to gather this information effectively:
Ask Them Directly
What better way to take all the guesswork out than by asking your audience exactly what problems they’re looking to have solved?
By doing this, you completely remove the chance of creating useless content that won’t speak to anyone.
Here are a few ways to directly ask your audience about their pain points:
- One-on-one conversations
- Through email
- Live chats
- Over the phone
Not only are you creating a more personal connection with your potential customers, but you’re also getting the information you need in order to create content that ends up being valuable to your buyer personas. Two for one deal.
Research Competitor Blogs
What are your competitors blogging about?
Chances are they’re answering a lot of the questions that your potential customers have. If you do a little research, you should be able to come up with topics that also help to address pain points, since you’ve likely got similar buyer personas.
Competitor research is a viable strategy in many different aspects of marketing, and blogging is no different. Use it to your advantage to help you create valuable content for your customers.
Forums and Comments
Checking public forums in your industry can be a great way to gather ideas for content that addresses customer pain points.
Simply search for forums in your industry on Google and sift through them for forum posts regarding potential problems.
For example, if you’re in the SaaS industry, you can Google “SaaS forums” and several entries will pop up for you to look into:
Also, if you can’t seem to find any posts regarding potential pain points, you can start your own thread to get the conversation started.
Again using the SaaS example, you could start a thread titled “What are the biggest challenges you’re facing in the SaaS industry?” This should help you gain insight into exactly what your customers are going through.
2. Pay Close Attention to the Buyer’s Journey
Blog marketing is no different, being that it’s a significant part of content marketing itself.
So what are the stages of the buyer’s journey?
The buyer is aware that they have a problem that needs to be solved
The buyer is actively seeking solutions to their problem
The buyer is ready to choose a solution to their problem
Blog posts are often thought of as only useful for the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. However, they’re actually effective for all three stages. It’s simply a matter of the content within the blog posts.
The awareness stage is all about being informative without pushing your company onto customers who simply aren’t ready to make a decision just yet.
An effective awareness stage blog post should:
- Be informative and present your company as an authority and expert in your industry
- Help solve potential problems your target audience is facing
- Never be overly salesy or pushy
Coming up with awareness stage topics means going back to the first blog marketing strategy and understanding the problems your audience is facing. Once you do that, you can start creating some effective awareness stage content to help move your customers along the buyer’s journey.
Blogs in the consideration stage can start to include your company a little more. You still don’t want to be too pushy about it, but you definitely want to get yourself into the conversation.
An effective way to use blogs for the consideration stage is to publish different solutions to a problem your audience commonly faces. In this type of post, you’ll want to include your own solution and how it stacks up to the competition. That way, you’re providing valuable information and content while also tossing your name into the pile and ensuring your customers understand the value your solution provides.
Blogs during the purchase stage are all about you and how great your solution is.
In these posts, you’ll want to highlight exactly how your company provides the solution to specific problems your audience faces. Since purchase stage customers are ready to buy into a solution, these posts are meant to show them that you’re the best one for the job.
3. Proper Keyword Research For Your Topics
One of the most important aspects of an effective blog marketing strategy is keyword research. This is how you figure out the different ways your customers search for your product or service.
It also ensures that you’re using keywords that are actually being searched.
Writing posts without keywords that are being searched for consistently means that you aren’t likely to have your posts read by anyone. And if that’s the case, then why are you blogging in the first place?
However, on the other hand, you’ll also want to pay attention to how competitive a keyword is. Relatively new companies are going to have a tough time ranking a keyword that already has a ton of competition. These companies could instead target slightly less competitive keywords in order to rank effectively. It’s all about striking a balance between the two.
If you’re looking to perform in-depth keyword research, Moz has a great tool for you to use.
Here, you can search for different keywords and get info on important data, such as:
- Monthly search volume
- Ranking difficulty
- Organic CTR
What you do with these keywords in your post matters as well.
Once you’re ready to write a post using your researched keyword, you’ll want to use it optimally throughout your post and even on the back-end of your post, including:
- In your headings
- Throughout the body of your content
- In image file names
- In the title tag
- In the meta description
Keyword optimization ensures that your content ranks effectively on Google and is seen by as many people as possible. To make sure your content is properly optimized, you can use an SEO checker, such as this one from SEMrush:
Using their tool, you can ensure that your posts are following all of the best SEO practices to effectively rank on Google.
4. Stay Consistent With Your Blog
Blog marketing is more of a long-term strategy. This means that you shouldn’t expect monumental results after just a few posts.
Stay consistent and don’t give up. Generating blog traffic can take time.
So what’s the best way to help stay consistent with blogging?
Well, creating a content schedule would certainly help.
Not only does this work for blog marketing, but it’ll help keep the rest of your content marketing strategy organized and consistent as well.
A tool like monday.com would work well for this. Their content calendar templates are perfect for teams who are looking to better organize their blog content schedules. You can check on posts that are finished, posts that are in progress, and any upcoming content that needs to be finished or published.
The main point here is that trying to organize your blog content on the fly will often lead to inconsistency. By creating a schedule, you can take your blog marketing strategy to the next level and ensure that you’re delivering consistent, valuable content.
However, the key word there is still valuable. You want to be consistent, but don’t forget that quality always trumps quantity. The trick is to produce quality content on a consistent basis.
5. Long-Form Blogging is King
When it comes to blogging, bigger is better.
In fact, up to 55% of bloggers claim that the best results from your blog marketing strategy come from posts that are over 2000 words long.
Why is this exactly?
Well, for starters, Google tends to rank in-depth long form content higher than shorter content for the same keyword. Their assumption is that the longer post would better answer a searcher’s inquiry than a 500 word fluff piece with little to no valuable content.
Google also looks at the average length of time that viewers stay on the page.
As long as your long-form content is well-organized and captivated, you can bet that people are going to spend far longer on your page than on a shorter, less in-depth blog post. Google tracks this and is more likely to rank the page that gets a longer average viewing time higher, and has less bounces back to the search engine.
Lastly, long-form content helps to further promote the notion that you’re an authority in your industry. The more valuable information you provide to readers, the more likely that they’re going to view your company in a positive light.
6. Leverage Different Channels to Promote Your Blog
Your blog marketing strategy shouldn’t only rely on Google rankings. You’re going to want to leverage your already existing audience and promote your blog posts to them as well.
There are several different channels you can use to promote your blog, but we’ll cover the big ones that you need to leverage in order to have the greatest success.
In order to effectively use social media as part of your blog marketing strategy, you’ll need to figure out which platforms your buyer personas are active on. Focusing on these alone will help maximize engagement instead of spreading yourself too thin on platforms that receive little engagement.
If you’ve already got a sizable amount of email subscribers, why not leverage email to promote your blogs?
Email tends to work great because you’re promoting to people who have already subscribed to your emails. Chances are, your email subscribers are going to be interested in what you have to say, so long as you’re producing valuable content.
Guest posting is an often underutilized channel when trying to build up a loyal following to your blog.
For newer blogs, guest posting gives you two key advantages:
- Allows you to begin nurturing relationships with larger blogs and companies
- Grants you access to an already established audience
Of course, guest posting means reaching out to these companies, which can be time consuming. However, the rewards are definitely worth the work.
Guest posts should always have a blurb about you or your company and a link back to your website.
Paid advertising can be a great avenue to explore for your blog marketing strategy.
However, it needs to be done correctly, otherwise you’re going to be pushing content onto an audience that has no interest in it. When you don’t use paid ads effectively, you end up with money down the drain.
In order to get the most out of your paid ads, take note of a few tips:
- Don’t go overboard, people don’t want to be bombarded with ads over and over again
- Similar to zeroing in on a few social media platforms, make sure your targeted ads are on the platforms that your audience uses the most. Here you can consider using an ad tracking tool, for e.g Voluum can help you analyze your audience's behavior and determine the best places to run your ads.
- Try and promote your best content with paid ads
7. Track the Proper Metrics
If you aren’t monitoring the right metrics for your blog marketing strategy, how are you going to know if what you’re doing is working?
Tracking specific metrics for your blogs will help you keep going with what’s working, and modify what isn’t.
The question is, which metrics should you be tracking?
This one is obvious. If you aren’t getting many visitors, than what is your blog really good for?
Visitors are something you’ll want to track over time. Chances are, when you’re first starting out, you won’t have very many visitors. However, if you’re consistent with your content and still aren’t getting many, then you know there’s a problem.
It’s important to track visitors on specific posts, too. This will allow you to figure out which posts are getting the most visits and give you more content ideas based on those posts.
The goal of your blog marketing strategy is to generate more leads. If you aren’t doing that, then your blog posts are simply words on a page.
Measure the amount of leads come specifically from your blog posts and compare them to your other marketing channels. If you aren’t generating many leads with your blog, it might be time to overhaul your content.
Backlinks are basically when any other website links to your content. They can be hard to get when you’re just starting out, but they’re critical to achieving great successes with your blog marketing strategy.
A high number of backlinks is a good sign that your content is seen as valuable. Especially if the backlinks are from a quality source.
That’s sort of the key here. Although you want as many backlinks as possible, quality is still better than quantity.
Sales and ROI
Every marketing activity needs to be quantifiable in the sales it produces. Sure leads from blogging will mostly be top of funnel, but most CRM’s will allow you to track sales all the way through the funnel, and blogging is no exception.
Make sure you are tracking the actual $ made from your blogging efforts and measure it against your costs to find the ROI. This should be done on a quarterly basis after the first 3 quarters, as it generally takes 6-9 months to start seeing sales results from blogging.
Blog Marketing Strategy Summary
There’s no question about it. An effective blog marketing strategy should be a cornerstone of your content strategy as a whole.
Just remember that it’s a long-term strategy. There aren’t many quick wins when it comes to blog marketing.
However, if you’re consistently producing valuable content and following our favourite strategies, you should be well on your way to achieving success with your blog.
Looking For More Information?
Blog marketing can be a difficult part of your content strategy to master. There’s no shame in asking for a little help. Feel free to reach out to us at any time. We can help set the record straight.