It’s no secret that blogs populate every corner of the web. Everyone from stay-at-home moms and coffee enthusiasts to Fortune 500 marketers and small business owners are part of the “blogosphere.” However, despite the fact bloggers are increasing in number, only a small percentage of those blogs really stand out.
Often, corporate and brand blogs are created without a clear purpose; content is simply published in hopes that it will reach the right audience. It’s easy enough to create and populate a blog, but without the proper strategy, there is no guarantee that your posts will be seen and resonate with the right people. I’ve authored blog content for clients in varying industries and on many different topics—including dog washing, personal skincare, and cyber security, to name a few. As a result, I’ve coined my own “best practices” for publishing a successful blog on any topic, for practically any business.
- Know your audience.
It’s a simple strategy: know the audience that you want to reach and cater your content accordingly. Once you have identified your target audience—by age, gender, title, industry, or other factors—you have the basis for your content. Instead of focusing on the type of information you think is interesting, pay attention to the type of content your readers are responding to on your blog and across the web. Also, pay close attention to the news and pinpoint current events that affect your readers. By incorporating this information into your blog content, your brand can join a larger conversation and create a stronger connection with your audience.
- Go beyond words.
The data speaks for itself—blog posts with images and videos are more widely viewed. In fact, according to Internet Marketing expert Jeff Bullas, articles with images get 94% more total views than articles without images. Be sure, however, that your photos (and videos) support and amplify your written content. If a photo or video doesn’t fit in your blog post, perhaps a visual display of information may resonate better with readers. Most people are “visual learners” and would rather see information and data in charts, graphs and infographics rather than explained in words. This type of original and useful content will also positively impact your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Get a grasp on SEO.
You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again: Content is king. To ensure SEO success, you need to address a number of content “elements”—namely, developing fresh, high quality content. Throwing in “buzz words” is not a strategy—instead create content that delivers real value and the right key words will find their way in. Go beyond simply talking about your products or services; instead, publish content about industry best practices, current trends, and hot topics. Think about the language your customers are using when they search and produce content that effectively “answers” those queries. This type of content will ensure that the right people are finding their way to your blog and, ultimately, your business.
- Don’t skip the details.
Opinions on the ideal length of a blog post vary widely and change year to year. However, we know that people are increasingly drawn to in-depth content, and the trend-line for ideal word count is on the rise. This isn’t to say you should automatically increase the length of your blog posts, but rather that readers value the thoughtfulness, well-researched information, and storytelling that is often displayed in long-form posts.
- Stay on the radar.
One of the most important attributes of a successful blog is post frequency. There is no one-size-fits-all number for how often you should post—it largely depends on your industry and the quality of your content. For example, those in the technology field know that new products and research pop up daily, so your post frequency should keep up with that news cadence. While there’s no magic number per se, pay attention to industry norms and respond to readers’ needs to know how often to post content. Once your blog is established, you can also test the effects of increasing or decreasing post frequency by paying attention to traffic, engagement, and subscriptions to see what formula is working.
If you’re ready to launch a successful business blog that will resonate with your audience and drive traffic to your business, contact the Martino Flynn content marketing team today. Email Megan Brandow at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 585.421.0100.
Social media isn’t what it used to be. Public Relations professionals used to manage a brand’s social media presence by taking an organic approach—a natural, casual engagement strategy that prompted authentic interactions with the audience. Those days are long gone; we now live in a post-organic social media world where paid promotions rule over all.
PR pros are no stranger to major industry changes, which is why we need to remain on our toes in order to keep up with the changing social media landscape. The downside of this shift toward pay-to-play social media is obvious, as our organic efforts are disappearing and social media is morphing into an advertising outlet. Despite these big changes, there is still plenty for PR pros to celebrate in this “new world”:
- We still create the stories. Despite the shift away from organic social media, PR professionals still have the power of developing and crafting a brand’s message. According to a blog post from Vision Critical, approximately 91 percent of customers want brands to be authentic with their social media content. With this in mind, it’s important to construct and convey a genuine identity that the target audience can engage with and relate to.
- Paid social guarantees a larger audience. Organic content may have helped maintain an authentic image, but only certain Facebook followers would actually see your content (with even less seeing it following the algorithm changes the platform made this past June). With paid social media, you’re giving your brand’s content the opportunity to be seen on a much larger scale. On top of that, specific demographic and psychographic information is used to narrow down your audience to those most likely to embrace your message. There are no guarantees that this highly targeted audience will go out and buy your brand’s product or service, but with the insights provided from social media and the expertise of marketers, we’re able to get key brand messages in front of the right people.
- The customer service element expands. Regardless of what industry you’re in, the phrase “keep the customer satisfied” remains a great piece of advice. With your content being seen on a much larger scale, user engagement increases, meaning a greater emphasis must be placed on monitoring. By being able to quickly respond to comments and questions from social users, a brand is likely to be seen as being attentive and customer-focused. And by resolving any issues, customer attitudes toward the brand are more likely to remain positive.
Marketers may be living in a post-organic social media world, but this is far from the end of social media—it’s simply one change in a long line of innovations. All platforms, especially Facebook, have made updates that impact the way marketers engage with their audiences, and they will continue to do so. Adapting to these updates by shifting your social strategy makes it easier to continue engaging with fans and potential customers. Social media isn’t what it used to be, but there are plenty of ways for brands to thrive in this new world.