Content marketing’s increase in prominence over the past few years have been meteoric, and research has shown that as many as 88% of companies now embrace one form of content marketing or the other.
When we hear stats portraying content marketing growth, like the one recently published by eMarketer estimating a $ 4.3 billion spend on native advertising (which is just one form of content marketing) in 2015, or when we read case studies like this one from Katherine Kotaw, in which she was able to help a friend generate $ 5 million in 72 hours through content marketing, we see real potential in content marketing.
However, what’s interesting is that most businesses today ignore blogging, which is one of the most powerful engines of content marketing success.
Why You Should Embrace Blogging as a Core Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy
According to data from Hubspot’s 2014 State of Inbound Report, businesses that prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
Also, similar data from Hubspot’s 2013 State of Inbound Report revealed that while only 41% of people reported a positive ROI from their inbound marketing efforts, a massive 80% of CEOs reported that their blogs boosted profits for their company.
Content marketing is massive, and there’s a lot of moving parts, but your content marketing isn’t complete without blogging.
Some very successful startups that rose to prominence due to the power of their blog are Buffer, KISSMetrics, Groove and Crazy Egg. There are many more examples, but the meteoric rise of these companies mainly due to the power of their blogs is worth noting.
If blogging isn’t a part of your marketing strategy today, you should embrace it. Setting up a blog for your business won’t cost you extra, and if you’re not technical savvy, free blogging guides like this one from Start Blogging Online can guide you through the whole process of getting your blog ready.
5 Ways to Guarantee Your Blogging ROI
According to a piece by Douglas Quenqua in the New York Times, titled Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest, it was revealed that as many as 95% of blogs fail.
This high failure rate blogs experience is often as a result of wrong strategy, and here are 5 ways to guarantee that you get blogging ROI:
1. Target Your Blog Content to Your Industry
According to data released by Marketo, 82% of prospects rate content targeted to their industry as more valuable.
The very first step you need to take to guarantee blogging success is to ensure your content is targeted; personal blogging rarely works for businesses, and while pictures of your cat and articles about your dog might generate lots of eyeballs, they rarely translate into positive ROI for your business.
The key to blogging success lies in understanding your industry, in understanding your prospects and their needs, and writing content that address these needs.
2. Define a Regular Blogging Schedule
The subject of blogging schedules have probably been debated to death, and while there are a few superstar bloggers that have managed to achieve blogging success without a schedule, this approach isn’t realistic for the average blogger.
When popular blogger Darren Rowse published his 5,000th post on his blog, one of the things he attributed his success to was consistency and having a regular blogging schedule; at a point, he published a post virtually every day for 5 years!
It’s important to develop a blogging schedule and stick to it, and it helps if you can publish a new article every day; according to data from Hubspot’s 2013 State of Inbound, 82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly.
It’s easy to succumb to the temptation of only blogging when you feel like it, but that doesn’t count as a blogging strategy. Instead, develop a blogging schedule, preferably publishing a new article every day, and stick to that schedule.
3. Engineer Your Content to Lead to an Action
Many businesses fail to get results from blogging because their blog is isolated from their business; the content might be relevant to their business, but that’s it.
If a reader lands on your blog, can they detect a connection between your blog and your business? If they can’t, you very well might be on your way to failure.
Learn from super successful businesses that effectively leverage blogging to accelerate their growth – businesses like Hubspot, KISSMetrics and Buffer – and you’ll notice that each article encourages users to take action that will help their business grow; this could be encouraging readers to sign up to their newsletter, join a webinar or check out their products/services.
Your articles could encourage readers to sign up to your newsletter, to register for your services, or to purchase one of your products; it’s important to always ensure readers are directed to take action that benefits your business growth.
4. Publish Key Content
The success you’ll experience from your blog, to a large extent, hinges on the kind of content you publish.
If you publish weak and boring content, you’ll have a dying blog; by focusing on publishing content that addresses your readers’ needs, though, you’ll experience success in no time.
Here are some content types that your blog shouldn’t do without. I call them “key content”:
- Case studies; publish regular case studies that showcase how your solution is solving people’s problems. This kind of content further boosts your credibility and convinces readers to consider your offerings.
- Success stories; success stories should be from people using your services, and the aim should be to let others see that ordinary people are getting results by taking advantage of your offerings.
- Ultimate guides; if you want to be seen as a leader in your industry, you should have a kind of definitive guide to a few key topics in your industry.
- Resource articles; these type of articles offer readers direct solution to their problems instead of just tips. It can be very powerful for boosting traffic and conversions.
5. Leverage Blogging Partnerships to Grow Your Blog
Successful business blogging never thrives in isolation.
Hubspot, Buffer, Kissmetrics, Groove, and other notable businesses effectively utilizing blogging credit their success to effective partnerships, and it’s something they never stop doing.
At its early stages, Bufferapp credited getting its first 100,000 users to guest blogging on the biggest blogs in its industry and, with more than 2.5 million users and $ 6.6 million in annual recurring revenue today, they keep ensuring that their content is regularly syndicated to some of the web’s biggest blogs.
KISSMetrics uses a similar strategy, and you’ll hardly see a successful blog today that does not use have a form of partnership with other, often bigger, blogs in its industry.
To accelerate your blogging success, look for the biggest blogs in your industry; often, these blogs have tens of thousands, or even millions, of people reading them. Partner with these blogs by submitting regular guest posts to them, or try to get them to interview you or feature your blog in one way or the other.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community