I was recently able to attend a presentation at the Twin Cities Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services. It was a great presentation about the power of blogging for businesses. Blogging is a great way to increase organic search traffic, educate potential customers, and inform readers about relevant offers. It seems to be a common thread, however, that marketers have a hard time understanding the hows and whys related to blogging, but many marketers have the same pain points, questions, and barriers. So here are answers to several good marketing questions that can help you better understand how to leverage your blog.
How often should I blog for SEO?
The short answer: the more the better. Every blog you publish is another piece of content that helps you connect with more potential customers. Blogging helps increase organic traffic, create shareable content, engage your audience, and keep your website fresh.
We think the baseline for blogging should be between 1-3 posts every week. However, every business is different, it's important to test and measure what works the best with your audience. B2C companies that rely on smaller, more frequent customer transactions will often see better results when blogging more frequently. Whereas B2B companies with longer sales cycles may find increased unsubscribe rates if they post too often.
Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
It's very important to give your email subscribers as much control as you can. On our blog, subscribers are able to choose how often they want to receive notifications about our new blog posts. Some readers hate to miss a single post, whereas others will be much happier to see your emails if they don't come every single day.
How many times should I share my own content on social media?
Probably more than you think. Our baseline standard is to post each blog once to Facebook and LinkedIn and 5 times (over the course of several different days) to Twitter. This is a good starting formula, however, you need to test and measure with your own audience to see what frequency works the best. Make sure to pay attention to what social posts are receiving the most interactions, views and comments — if your audience finds it interesting, then keep posting it! Here is a great post from Simply Measured that shows how to find out what the ideal number of posts are for your business.
It's essential to share your blogs on a platform that tracks clicks and interactions. If you don't use one already, check out Hubspot, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, or any of the other great social media management software out there.
PRO TIP: If one of your blog posts is performing really well, consider boosting your post on Facebook. Just a small spend can increase likes to your page and clicks to the post.
How do I find the time, resources, and topics to blog?
Let's be real, the time to blog is never just going to magically appear in your schedule. If you are truly going to commit to blogging, you just have to prioritize it! It's important to specifically carve out time to write your blog posts.
You don't have to do this alone. Recruit other members of your company to help you; the best bloggers will be people with a natural conversational tone who have lots of expertise about your company. Sales managers, customer service representatives, and project managers are a great place to start. Try to get them to blog once a month, but never turn them down if they want to blog more!
When trying to come up with blog topics, start with your frequently asked questions. FAQs are a wealth of knowledge and information that you can share with your potential clients that will help them move further down the path to purchasing, and, hopefully, save your sales team from answering the same questions over and over again. These posts can also be used as great follow-up pieces in emails from your sales force and lead nurturing emails too!
Doesn’t increasing blog subscribers hurt open rates?
You're asking the wrong question. If you find that you are growing your subscriber list, but your email open rates are going down, then it might be time to take a long, hard look at your content. Remember, your marketing data and analytics are trying to tell you something. Pay attention to what blog posts get the most views, shares, and clicks.
How long will it take for me to see results from blogging?
There are a lot of variables that are at play. How often do you blog? How competitive is your industry? Did you choose unique keywords? Do you have a large social media following?
Blogging is not a silver bullet solution, it's a long-term plan that will help you climb the ladder in organic, social, and direct traffic over time. The more time, effort, and strategy you are able to dedicate to your blog, the faster you will see results.
What platform should I use to blog?
Each blogging platform has it's individual merits, make sure to weigh the pros and cons of each as an organization. If you already have your website on a platform that supports blogging (like WordPress or Hubspot), then that is probably going to be your best option.
No matter what blogging platform you use, make sure that you have access to analytics that allow you to dig in to better understand your most popular posts and traffic sources.
Should I add video to my website/blogs?
As often as you can, YES! Videos are a great supporting piece that can help drive engagement on your blogs. With that in mind, not every blog post is going to be a good fit for video. At StoryTeller, we have seen great success incorporating video blogs into the regular blogging schedule for our clients.
The chart below illustrates real numbers from one of our clients' blog. These 1-minute video blogs drove a huge amount of traffic to their website, increasing engagement with their blog content, and bringing more leads and subscribers to their blog!
How do I know what keywords I should use for my blog?
Keyword planning is an essential part of the blogging process. Make sure that you are using tools like Google Keywords, SERPS, Moz, or Hubspot to determine what keywords will have to greatest impact for you company.
Once you have identified keywords that will make great blogs, create a content calendar around those keywords. And then don't forget to optimize your blog posts for those keywords!
Why a content calendar is important?
Content calendars are important because we are busy people and it's easy to let the daily grind get in the way of our best laid plans. If blogging is truly important to your company, then you need to make sure that it is a priority for everyone involved. Create a content calendar that includes publish dates, keywords, blog titles, and the action that you want users to take.
When you take the time to map out all of these pieces, it becomes easier to execute your plan, follow-up with writers, and make sure that your content leads readers to an action at the end of your blog post!
How long should my blog posts be?
Blog post length is a bit subjective. Start with 500 words as a baseline. If you have reached that point and you've covered all the necessary topics for that blog, awesome! Go grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a well-deserved break! If you still feel like there is more that needs to be said, then grab that cup of coffee and power through!
Make sure that you are providing a complete answer for your readers, delighting them with great information that helps them move on to the next stage in the buying journey!
I hope this blog helps answer some of the some of the many good questions that marketers have about blogging. If you are still unsure about how to get started with blogging or are looking for a company to help you write and develop content and strategy for your company, contact us, we'd love to chat!
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