You’re playing a one-note samba that’s unlikely to get anybody to dance to your groove if your marketing strategy consists only of blogging.
“Where are all the customers? Isn’t this why we went with the blogging thing?”
Content lures eyeballs, and it converts prospects into customers. HubSpot reports that 53 percent of marketers say blog content creation is a top inbound marketing priority. Here’s the thing about blogging: what it is today is definitely not what it used to be. It’s not a section of your website where you throw some text-based articles about your product or service. Here’s what’s necessary for blogging to succeed as part of your marketing strategy.
If you build it
There are thousands of amazing blogs online. They are extremely informative and delightfully written. Sadly, no one ever reads them. Their creators went through the effort to make content, but they didn’t put any effort into getting the word out about it.
If you’re going to blog, you can’t let it exist in a vacuum. Otherwise, you’re not going to earn any traffic or links for SEO. Just crafting content isn’t enough. You must make an effort to get the word out that you’ve got words happening on your website. Or videos. Or podcasts. Or infographics. Or interactive quizzes.
Actually, strike the “Or” – replace it with “AND.” Engage your visitors by giving them variety.
Who has time for that?
Successful blogging creates a constant stream of prospects. It also facilitates deeper customer satisfaction. Your existing customers are looking for validations. Your content is helping them decide to buy from you again. You need a plan to make this happen, and it will hinge on three things:
- A comprehensive strategy, where you create specific content that helps strangers decide that you understand their problem, other specific content that helps prospects decide that you can help with their problem, and then more specific content that demonstrates how your solution will solve the problem better than anyone else’s. The overriding theme for all this multithreaded content is that your “why” constantly floats to the top. People don’t buy what you make. They buy why you make it.
- The right people, who are ready, willing, and able to create all this specific content.
- The correct tools to plan, deliver and measure the content.
If your business relies on lead generation or online sales, you absolutely must blog. You absolutely must create content because it’s the fuel that powers your sales funnel engine. It creates your SEO ranking. It positions you as a thought leader. It facilitates customer loyalty.
Be careful, though, not to equate quantity of content with a return on investment. If you’ve tied a quota to your content, you’re likely wasting time and effort. People want content on your blog—which we’ve already noted should NOT be just text-based articles—that is entertaining and engaging. This is far more effective than dozens of general and fuzzy posts.
It’s for this reason that the companies who successfully use blog content to increase sales outsource their content creation. And, it’s especially true if those companies are small and strapped for resources. You need at least one person dedicated to regular research, writing, podcasting, infographic-creating, vlogging—yeah, keep going. Content creation isn’t the end goal, though. Now you’ve got to promote this content. Right, that whole social media thing. You’ve also got to return the volley when people engage with your content. Questions have to be answered. Discussions have to be facilitated.
Content is NOT king
So, have you succeeded if your content is actually found online by the people who have the problem your product or service solves? Hardly.
It’s said that the sum of all human knowledge is available on the internet. If that’s the case, why haven’t all of us become perfect versions of ourselves? Well, it turns out that people really aren’t looking for your content, per se. Information is easy to find. Many would say it’s too easy. The challenge has become trying to figure out the correct question to ask to discover the right answer.
And, right answer is relative. Because it turns out that what people want—and the reason your blogging content is so important—is insight. Remember just a bit earlier reading about the importance of making sure your “why” constantly floats to the top? Content really isn’t the king. Insight is your crowning achievement.
If you have to focus on just one thing as it relates to your blog, make it your “why.” Let your competitors jump all over the “what” and the “how.” People aren’t really interested in that until they understand “why,” anyway. This will also help you float above the noise that everybody else’s content is making.
Your time and resources are limited. Prospects’ and customers’ attention and patience is, too. Everybody loses if you look at blogging as a marketing strategy. It’s a tactic.