What did you remember about the last blog you read? Have you tried maintaining corporate blogging for your company – but simply haven’t made the time? Blogging can be an effective online marketing tool, and is one of the top “must do’s” in addition to other forms of social media marketing, according to some reports. Like everything else, it’s not about what you have, it’s about how you use it: how do you turn corporate blogging into effective blog marketing?
1. Keep it catchy, snappy and SEO-friendly.
If you remember the last blog you read, chances are a few words from its title are among the first things you recall. Headers/titles and subheads are what people first look for when they scan the page, and what may make them decide to keep reading, or to click elsewhere; they’re also where Google still likes to look for keywords when ranking your site.
A couple of prompts that people often respond to are: a) personalization, i.e. speaking directly to the reader’s needs or wants, and b) asking them a question that makes them think. For SEO, keep your relevant keywords as close to the beginning of the header as possible, and keep all your headers/subheads to under ten words (or 70 characters) or less, so that search results display as much of the header as possible. If your business is selling mobile phones and your blog post is about the latest phones out on the market, a header like “ Samsung vs. iPhone: Do You Need Another Smartphone?” will catch more reader attention and give your post a higher ranking than simply writing “New Products for Spring.”
2. Keep it relevant and targeted.
Content marketing is king – as we touched on in a previous Smart Marketing post (and which we’ll be talking about specifically again soon). Great content marketing emphasizes content relevance over simply loading your page with keywords and a few marketing pitches. To ensure your content is relevant and targeted, reaches its intended audience, and isn’t such a long post that your reader gets tired of scrolling, borrow a technique from journalism: ask yourself “Who, What, Where, When, Why, How” before clicking “publish.”
Who is the post for? Obviously, your customers – but are they B2B or B2C? Young, or old? Rich, or middle income? When you know exactly who you intend a particular post for, tailor the content to their tastes. What is the main focus – to demonstrate “how to,” list products or features, discuss an industry issue? When you know what the focus is, stick to it – if you don’t, readers will decide you’re not getting to the point quickly enough and click away. Where is the post going to be shared – on a social media platform? Will it be syndicated? Sharing is critical to getting your marketing message out there. When is the post going live? During lunch hour? In the evening? Use analytics to help you figure out the best times for you to post, to achieve more views. Why are you writing the post – as an industry discussion starter? To increase conversion? Remembering why, will help you stay on topic. How does this post provide value to your reader? If you were reading your own post, would you find it interesting and helpful? Don’t publish your post until your answer is honestly, “yes.”
3. Be consistent, inclusive, and share.
Blogging is part of a wider online marketing strategy that should include other social media, and other digital marketing and advertising platforms. Build a following for your blog – and indirectly, your business – by posting consistently; if you post twice a week, then try to always do that. People will only check back so often, before they get tired of seeing the same old post without a new update – and will soon move on. Include social media sharing buttons on your blog, and allow comments and trackbacks so other people can talk about you and interact with you – if anyone leaves a question in your comments, reply, and if there are compliments, thank the reader for leaving a comment – online consumer engagement is a great way to organically spread the word about your business. Ensure you repost your own blog on your social media platforms, and tailor your message for each repost/tweet, to the specific target audience (e.g. LinkedIn for your B2B, Facebook for B2C).
How much, or how obviously, should you mention your product, service, and brand offers/coupon deals? Do it, but only in the context of what your post is about – and make sure you have links, such as to your website, online store, or to your page or offer on a digital marketing/advertising platform, so readers can easily check out your products and services. Link to previous posts from your current post, if relevant – this encourages readers to click around your blog site and can invite deeper engagement.
Is blogging a short term or long term marketing strategy? It is both – but for effective blog marketing in the long run, ensure your content is relevant, searchable, and shareable – not only easy to read and to share, but so that people want to read and share it.