— October 22, 2017
The humble blog is now centuries old (or it perhaps seems that way anyway). It has not changed much apart from the time Google killed off thousands of blogs because they were basically spamming the internet.
You can still build up a following and collect leads from the intelligent use of a blog. If your client has a blog running on their site and they are becoming concerned about it (either for reasons of low lead counts or just because it doesn’t seem to be doing anything), then take a look at the following points before you respond.
Content marketing is still a thing
And the blog is the beating heart of any content marketing strategy. A blog allows your client to have a voice. It presents the expertise your client has to the world, and it is still a legitimate voice.
People still go to a company blog first, after hitting the landing page, because a blog shows the reader what the brand is all about. While it may seem, sometimes, that content marketing is a bit odd and irrelevant, it certainly isn’t the case.
The top bloggers out there are generally people you can’t compete with. They have spent years building up a following. But for your client regular blogging that shows intelligence and a will to serve will bring results.
Comment and build
Commenting on blogs as a marketing tactic died a death a little while ago as website owners suddenly realised that comments could be automated and were generally being used to drive traffic. But this doesn’t mean that commenting is not relevant anymore. In fact, if commenting is done with the right approach, it will become a key part of relationship building and of course traffic generation.
The way to approach blog commenting is to be intelligent and polite. If other sites in the area you sell have blogs, spend some time getting to know what they are all about. This is the research part, and it generally involves you learning about the brand behind the blog.
Once you have focused on a few blogs and you know about the brands and how they function, you can then start adding some real, constructive comments. Make sure that you do this consistently and fairly. Even if you can write intelligent comments, you don’t want to write too many too quickly, for example. That feels like spam.
Perhaps the best piece of advice we can give here is to be polite. It goes a long way in the blogosphere. This counts both in blogging and in video blogging. Courtesy makes a big difference to people.
The end result of commenting intelligently and sensibly is an extension of your voice. Your brand will become known as one that thinks carefully about the industry, and makes a genuine contribution. And you are also able to include your site’s URL in comments on many blogs and websites. If your strategy has been polite and intelligent, you will see traffic.
No one knows you’re there if you’re not telling them you are. You need to promote your blog content consistently, and as fully as possible. Your blog content should be on your social media channels, and constantly being promoted to a schedule. You can automate a lot of this, and also find out which of the posts you send to social media (such as Facebook) get the best response. Knowing your metrics here is obviously important.
There is no point having a blog if no one is reading it. Every time you post, fit the promotion of that post into your marketing plan. The easiest way to get started here is to use social media to showcase your posts and then link back to your website.
You can also take a post and position it at the top of a social media channel (such as Twitter) or have it on a carousel on channels that are more image-based. Just get it out there as much as you can.
Your audience won’t mind seeing the posts flag up a lot on social, they expect to see it happen. And as your blog grows and gains engagement, you will have a steady stream of posts for social media.
You can also use social media advertising to promote sharing of your blog posts. This is a great way to show that you value your blog, and the readers. Making your blog seem important and relevant is useful in the long run, because the more people engage, the bigger the ROI. Advertising needs to be part of this.
Be prouder than the rest
The days of being a little half-hearted on your blog are well and truly over. People read blogs, and you need to make the blog of your client more attractive, and more accessible. This simply involves looking at the visual setup of the site, and making sure that there is a way to access blog content from the landing page or home page. Many sites now have a ‘showcase’ on their site’s home page, where the best blogs (and takeaways from the content) are shown in their full glory. It is absolutely the best thing to do.
The fact is, you may even be in an industry that has largely forgotten to blog regularly. If you spruce up the content and the promotion of the blog, you’re going to be in a better position than the competition. So work on making sure that everyone who visits the site can get to the blog quickly, see posts as soon as they arrive, and also see more of your posts being shared online.
Your client is an expert in their field, and the blog is still one of the best ways to get that expertise out there. The biggest thing here to get your head around is the constant promotion. The more you share the best posts, the more they will be seen. Obvious, but still highly important.