Marketing your company and its products and services takes so much more than great imagery and messaging. There is a whole framework involved, comprised of many moving parts — solid branding, an adept team and a strategy.
Nothing is done without purpose, which is what makes having a strategy the key to success. Without a strategy in place, many companies pursue goals without a vision and fail.
One part of a digital marketing strategy that is often questioned for its effectiveness is blogging. In a world inundated with information, a blog may not seem to be the first choice when building an effective digital marketing strategy.
You may be asking, "Is blogging still relevant to our digital marketing strategy?"
The short answer is yes — but there's a lot more context to consider.
According to OptinMonster, 409 million people view more than 20 billion blog pages each month and people in the U.S. read blogs three times more than emails.
People may not be reading blogs the way they used to, but the fact is, your buyers still look online for information when they're trying to solve a problem or evaluate their options. They might not read a 10-minute post about software for fun, but they'll skim it to answer their questions. And if the topic matters to them, they'll keep reading. If your blog appears at the top of the search engine results page for a topic they're seeking to understand, you have a unique opportunity to educate them.
Google is more powerful than ever, and thanks to its ever-changing algorithms, your content has a chance at ranking at the top of the search engine’s results. Incorporating SEO into your blog content will drive potential customers to your website organically. While it does take time for content to rank after it’s been produced, once you begin ranking for one keyword, it’s likely that you’ll begin ranking for related keywords as well.
Kuno currently ranks No. 1 for the keyword “value proposition statement” as well as “value prop,” and No. 5 for the search term “value proposition.”
With so many other voices out there, you want your company’s voice to be heard. When a user — and potential customer — lands on your site, you want them to have their questions answered. While your website should describe your company and what you do, the perfect place to discuss topics related to your industry and products is your blog.
Part of the customer journey is searching for information, and a blog post that addresses that information is one way to get them to your site. This will help to increase brand awareness and improve your organic results. Customers finding you through organic search results will improve website traffic and ideally bring in the right kind of traffic with SEO (more on that later).
There are so many digital marketing channels out there already, but you want your buyers and potential customers to know that you are keeping your finger on the pulse of your industry. Your blog topics should address current events as they relate to your industry, along with your own thoughts, research and opinions on these matters. When users read your blog, you want their takeaway to be that your company isn’t only a producer within the industry but also an educated innovator.
Your blog can demonstrate to readers that you don’t just talk the talk, you walk the walk. Your blog is a place to share ideas and thoughts on industry happenings. This will help your customers and future customers build the trust needed to establish a strong working relationship. Keep in mind that writing these posts gets you into the mindset of your target audience, so be sure to think about these topics from their perspective.
The ideas you discuss on your blog should also support the marketing campaigns and other efforts your company puts forth. If you are marketing a specific product or service, your blog can be a place where you go more in-depth on related topics and describe how your company offers real solutions to industry issues. With only so many characters available in ads, emails and CTAs, your blog will house the details with no limitations. And it will even invite the opportunity for others to interact by commenting or reposting your blog posts to social media accounts.
With HubSpot, you can auto-publish blog posts to your social media platforms, or manually schedule them when you see fit. Incorporating your blog posts into your social media strategy increases visibility for your company so users who may not find you through other means reach your posts. In 2020, however, social media became largely about creating personalized experiences and interactions between users and brands and fostering a sense of community. Authenticity is the most valued principle, and self-serving ads, posts and messaging are trumped by genuine, thoughtful efforts.
Keep in mind that social media also has an interactive component, allowing your followers to comment, react and share your blog articles. You also have the chance to respond and encourage conversation. This is a great way to learn how users feel about the current events in your industry or your company and its products.
It's important to note that while blogging can have a tremendous impact on your digital marketing strategy, it can just as easily become a massive waste of time and effort if you're not doing it right.
Here are a few common pitfalls to avoid.
When blogging first became popular, a short 300-word article could easily rank at the top of search engine results because there was little-to-no competition. Now, marketers everywhere have caught on, creating engaging, high-quality content optimized for search.
And they've moved from casual, conversational blogs to 20-minute, definitive guides.
How long should your blogs be to rank well? According to HubSpot, the ideal blog post length in 2021 is 2,100 to 2,400 words. That doesn't mean every blog you write needs to be this long. But if you have the choice between publishing three mediocre, 800-word blogs per week or one more comprehensive, 2,400-word piece, focus on writing the longer piece.
Consider your industry and your readers, too. It's much more difficult to have a blog rank in competitive industries like marketing or sales because everyone is already writing that content. On the other hand, if you're the only welding equipment company writing about underwater welding, you have a much better chance of ranking with a shorter blog.
When in doubt, assess the competition. SEMrush offers a content template tool that automatically analyzes the top 10 sites ranking for a certain keyword to determine the average length of those posts.
Speaking of SEMrush, start every post with keyword research. If you haven't determined what keyword to focus on, your blog will be a lot less likely to rank and be found.
Look for keywords with relatively high monthly search volume (over 1,000 searches for broad topics, or at least 100 for very specific ones). Aim for keywords with a relatively low difficulty score, too. The difficulty score is a measure of how likely you are to rank for that keyword, depending on how much competition already exists. According to SEMrush:
If you're having a hard time finding keywords with a realistic difficulty score, try expanding your shorter phrases to long-tail keywords. This SEMrush report shows the keyword volume and difficulty for underwater welding, along with related keywords that are less difficult and common questions related to this topic.
If you want to "own" this keyword in Google's search results, a good digital marketing strategy would include creating a longer resource all about underwater welding that answers these questions. You could also address those questions in more detail in blogs that link back to that page.
You've chosen your target keyword and you used it in the title of your blog and in a few other places, but you failed to incorporate best practices for blogging for SEO.
Before you publish, read through your blog and ensure you've implemented these blogging best practices.
While choosing the right keyword and using it strategically throughout your blog is important if you want anyone to find it these days, writing for your readers is critical if you want anyone to read it.
If your readers don't find what they're looking for or it reads like it was written by a bot, they'll move on and you'll have high bounce rates. Your blogging strategy has to be driven by your buyer personas. If you're trying to attract chief information security officers, your blog has to sound like CISOs talk and focus on what they care about most. It should position you as a leader and an expert in your field. And it should give them a way to take the next step after reading.
Blogging and your digital marketing strategy go hand in hand; you can’t have one without the other. The strategy is the big picture of your goal, and blogging is one way to achieve your goal. Your blog supports your strategy and invites users to learn and engage with your brand while showcasing your company’s knowledge and expertise on your products and industry. Consistency is the key, and developing a solid schedule for your blogs takes time and a devoted team.
That's where Kuno can help. We combine the expertise of SEO strategists and in-house journalists to develop a blogging strategy that drives more qualified traffic to your website and boosts business results. Our team starts by interviewing your key stakeholders and customers to understand what matters most to them. From there, we develop personas, perform keyword research and put together a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that includes blogging, downloadable resources, email, video, social media and paid advertising.
If you've realized it's time to elevate your blogging and digital marketing strategy in the coming year, schedule a consultation with us today.