The Learning Center
AKA... The Blog
AKA... The Blog
Digital marketing budgets will rise 10 percent this year, with content marketing techniques such as blogging consuming the second-largest percentage of expenditures, behind digital advertising. Blogging is the highest-priority content marketing task for one in four marketing agencies, according to a HubSpot report, and marketers who emphasize blogging are 13 times more likely to see a return on investment, giving blogging a more substantial impact on performance than any other content-oriented strategy.
Moreover, nearly six out of ten sales professionals also reported blogging becoming more important to their results in 2014. Whether you’re trying to generate more leads or make more sales, blogging is an increasingly important tool in your marketing arsenal, and using it efficiently can have a major impact on your results.
To optimize your blog’s impact, the first step is to define your audience.
One way to research your audience is to use social media, as analytics provider Socialbakers explains. For instance, monitoring your competitors’ social media performance can help you see what kind of audiences they’re attracting and what kind of content is generating audience engagement. Additionally, many visitors will find your blog through search engines, making keyword tools another important market research resource. Content marketing manager Caroline Gilbert provides a list of keyword research tools that can help identify which words your audience will be using to find you as well as other important information about your visitors.
Blog marketing expert Kristi Hines says one way use can use blogging to build your brand is by creating unique content that establishes your expertise and sets you apart from the competition. Practical tutorials, eye-catching infographics, engaging videos, and insider interviews are a few types of original content you can create to make your brand stand out. This type of content shows your audience that you’re speaking to their interests and not just promoting your product. Engaging content also builds your brand by building a community, as illustrated by the BikeBandit Community blog, where content of interest to motorcycle enthusiasts generates discussion.
Google Webspam Team head Matt Cutts says WordPress is the best-optimized blogging platform for getting your blog ranked high in search engine results. In addition to providing great content on your blog, which is fundamental, there are a few other keys to getting good search engine results.
To help search engines identify what your blog pages are about, place keywords in vital locations such as URLs, title tags, heading tags, alt tags, as well as within your content, advises SEO expert Jayson DeMers. Internal linking is another important SEO element, emphasizes senior marketing analyst Joe Hall. Hall advocates using a well-organized navigational structure that highlights key links and related content but minimizes site-wide links in areas such as sidebars and footers.
Generating traffic to your blog is ultimately a step towards generating sales. One of the most fundamental sales functions of a blog is capturing visitor contact information, which enables follow-up sales activity such as emails and phone calls. Once you’ve established an initial relationship with your blog visitors, you have multiple opportunities to promote products and services. David Risley suggests ten strategies for selling from your blog, including offering membership programs, information products, and consulting services.