It’s impossible to overstate the importance of content marketing, and now more than ever, most business websites concentrate significant, sustained effort to turn out high-quality, shareable content across multiple platforms. Blogging boosts your business, especially when combined with social media and other digital marketing strategies, like advertising.
How blogging boosts your business
Your website is the seat of your digital marketing empire because you own that real estate just as you own a physical store on Main Street. And, just as you want your physical store to attract buyers and present your business in its best light possible, you want your website to look amazing, featuring easy navigation, engaging content, attractive images, and great tools for e-commerce, such as shopping carts and checkout stands.
Your website, and related marketing strategies both online and offline, have 1 goal — ROI (return on investment). After all, you’re not in business for any other reason. Even if your business has a strong social component like Toms Shoes (which donates shoes to needy children for every pair purchased) or even a non-profit like the Red Cross, your goal is to make money (or gain donations, which is really the same thing). If Toms doesn’t make money, they can’t make donations, and the more money they make, the higher their donation. Hence, doing good relies on doing good for the business. The same holds true for non-profits.
Below, you’ll see my handy-dandy infographic designed to show how you make money online and should hint at the interactions between these elements. Thus, achieving your singular goal of turning a profit doesn’t rely on a single marketing strategy, the elusive “best” marketing strategy, but a stew combining various marketing strategies in the correct proportions, while the flavors blend together into this irresistible mixture that drives consumers wild for your product.
How content marketing boosts your business
Content marketing on a company website (often called a blog, which is short for weblog) drives content to your website — remember, the seat of your digital prowess. First, content marketing drives visitors by helping your links show up first (or other desirable location) when users search with the intention of finding items like those featured in your e-commerce store or other landing pages on your website. We call this SEO for search engine optimization, and, while the factors making up the search algorithm isn’t public, we know from experimentation and hints left by search engines like Google on their own blogs, that content is KING. Producing high quality, valuable content on a consistent basis does more to promote the rank of your links in SERPs (search engine results pages) than almost any other marketing tactic you might use.
Next, content drives visitors from social networks when you share interesting, informative, and entertaining content
If you need a little help crafting your content marketing strategy, here’s a great post from Inc. Here’s a handy list to help you create more engaging content:
- Know your audience and write with their interests in mind
- Research your content, don’t just throw up something to fill the blank pages
- Blogs should have information, not teasers or abstracts. Give readers some meat and not just fluff (see the graphic below)
- Sticking with the same topic, mix things up a bit, with video, graphics, images, text, quotes, links, and tone. Maybe sometimes you’re very serious and playful at other times.
- Be authentic
- Stay current
- Monitor performance to guide the creation of similar content
Next, maintain a content calendar to ease the burden of creating content on a consistent basis. For each day (or at least once a week) list the title of the content, the content area or category, links to resources such as images and links to high authority sites, and due dates, especially if content requires approval before publication. If you want to ensure blogging boosts your business, creating multiple pieces of content per week does the trick. After publication, add the link to your calendar and tick off platforms and when to share on each so you can monitor performance. Sharing content multiple times across platforms improves performance.
It is not difficult to start a blog, and you will find an entire network of professional blog writers and content writers out there who can produce something on almost any subject. If desired, these writers ensure that content they write is evergreen (not seasonal, and is useful all year round, year in, year out), shareable, useful, and perfectly optimized for search engines and maximum visibility. Alternatively, you or your content writers might produce content designed to attract attention because it focuses on an issue in the news. For instance, I’ve written content designed to help marketers facing a pandemic for the first time. There are even people out there who can help you learn how to promote your blog for more traffic or do it for you. Content marketing really is a huge industry now, and if you don’t take advantage by understanding how blogging boosts your business, you’re really missing the boat.
Types of blogs
If you have decided now is the time to dip your toes into the world of blogging, but you are not quite sure where to start, here are some ideas:
- How To: How to guides are always popular. They can rank really high on search engines because everyone at some point uses the internet to find out how to use something or access something. This is commonly evergreen content.
- Frequently asked questions: Look back at your emails and social media messages from customers. Are there any questions that come up time and time again? You could use your blog to answer these questions, and direct your customers to it to find the answers to any issues they may have.
- Behind the scenes: People are intrinsically curious and love to know what’s going on behind the scenes of a business. Maybe you could tell them a little more about your processes, or do a ‘meet the team’ interview series. Tell your customers how you got started and what drives you. This also gives your brand personality, and that is always a good thing.
- Industry news roundups: Hopefully you keep yourself up-to-date on all of the latest news within your industry, so, if appropriate, share a round-up. Of course, you need to write it in your own words and use your own tone of voice, and depending on who your customer is, you may need to simplify it or translate the news into layman terms, but it helps to establish you as someone who knows what they are talking about.
- Interactive content: One of the best ways to improve your search engine rankings and visibility is by creating content that visitors engage with. Interactive quizzes and puzzles are a great way of doing this, as are surveys and questionnaires which have the added bonus of giving you useful feedback.
- Listicles are lists of related items and they’re great for drawing in readers. In fact, Google recently boosted the rank of content providing a list and often reproduces the list on the results page.
- Stories. Everyone loves a story. Tell your brand story, share stories from customers, share stories that make you look good, or craft a story to make fun of a mistake you made. There’s no better mia culpa than sharing your mistakes and owning them in a good story.
There is no right or wrong way to blog. Make sure the content you create is engaging, relevant, and consistent, and you’re well on your way to improving your online presence and reputation.