The 5 Blog Post Types We Never Use and Why
As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. She's an avid traveler, with trips to Iceland, Ukraine, and Portugal under her belt. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her dog, Morrie.
There are many different types of blog posts out there. Like any marketing trend, they come and go in and out of vogue. However, despite what the current fads are, there are some blog style posts we never use, and it's not just because they're not popular anymore.
It's because, over the long-term, they haven't driven results.
Often, these styles of posts cost more in time and budget than they're worth. And there are better blog post styles out there that we prefer to put in our content marketing and blogging strategies. When we determine that a particular style or format isn't going to be effective, we retire it. And, these five we retired a long time ago.
Why You Shouldn't Use These 5 Blog Post Types
42% of B2B marketers already believe their content marketing efforts are not effective. That’s a large portion of the B2B marketing space. This tells me, a huge swathe of marketers are creating junk content - and junk content doesn’t perform anymore.
Newsletter Style Posts
Customers want new, relevant content. Newsletter style blog posts can be a source of that content, with links to trending articles, brand updates, and industry news. It’s basically a hodgepodge of topics, with no unified focus or purpose other than linking out to a bunch of content.
Here are the top reasons newsletter style posts don't do it for us anymore:
- Social Media: Brands have communities of social followers now. Rather than writing it all in a blog post, brands can just tweet or share updates in real-time. This is also better for engaging with customers first-hand. When sharing an update,
- Email Newsletters: If brands want to create a newsletter, they can do it through email. RSS Feeds aren't as useful as they were before, so to send customers updates, email is a more reliable way to get updates to your most engaged readers.
- Over-Saturation: There's too much content out there. Customers can't possibly keep up with everything..
- Planning: A lot of brands map out content in advance. For companies with a long-term content strategy, posts can be crafted weeks in advance. From a planning and budgeting perspective, newsletter style posts are much more difficult to do well.
If you want to announce updates or news, try a news post or product update instead. Both posts can provide a lot of value when they're positioned the right way:
- News-Style: You can use a news-style post to announce or discuss anything important and relevant to your industry. A news post is better than a newsletter because you can give additional insight into what that news means for your customers, and why it's good or bad for the industry.
- Product Updates: These are great to announce updates and provide more information on the value and impact those updates will have.
Feel free to argue with me, but infographics aren't effective anymore. Think about it: when's the last time you actually read through an infographic?
Often, they're way too long to skim through, and depending on how well they're styled, difficult to follow. Sure, they can be visually stimulating, but they often get dated quickly.
At the end of the day, it's a lot of time and budget spent on content with a short shelf-life. There are better and less expensive ways to present data. Conversely, an interview or listicle blog post can both get a lot of points across without overwhelming the reader visually.
Here's the breakdown of those style of posts, and why they're potentially a better idea:
- Interview: Interviews are great content. You can either use direct quotes from the piece and break up walls of text, or paste the entire conversation like a transcript. Wistia did an excellent interview with Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz, using a transcription style post with integrated images, quotes, and enticing headlines.
- Listicle: Listicles are another tactic for organizing content and ideas in a more visual format. Listicles are easy to read and skim, while still providing customers with the information they need. Forbes does a lot of listicles, with posts such as "10 Reasons Why Content Matters" giving expertise but getting to the point quickly.
Companies utilize meme posts to make content more relatable to their customer. However, in an effort to be funny or trendy, a lot of them miss the mark. The posts tend to be image-heavy, and end up distracting their reader from the actual point of the post. Brands can create posts that still connect with an audience without overwhelming them with distracting pop-culture imagery.
Clickbait “Slideshow” Posts
Long decks and presentations can be overwhelming for a reader if they're not valuable. We've all seen the articles with enticing, but spammy titles that linger in the sidebars and footers of popular websites. They hook you with intriguing content, then force you to go through 40 slides to get it. These posts slowly feed you information that isn't actually very worthwhile, and the constant loading of new pages to see the new content is cumbersome, to say the least.
This tactic is only going to annoy your reader.
The Critical Comparison Post
When it comes to comparison posts, don't go negative against competitors. Comparison posts can be productive when they're impartial, but many brands still find a way to show bias. For instance, the side-by-side feature lists are notorious for finding creative ways to make the brand look better than all other competitors.
But, you're thinking, isn't that what I want? To be better?
While it's good to show the differences in your product, customers are savvy. They can tell when you're trying to make another brand look bad, even if you think you're subtle. That can result in an instant loss of trust between you and your would-be customer. Negativity can work, when used to point out your own shortcomings, along with a resolution to change (similar to what Domino's did a few years ago).
Why Blog Post Types Matter
If you're going to spend a considerable amount of time and energy on content marketing, you should do it right. From the beginning of developing this strategy, you need to prioritize the content that's going to help engage your audience. A strong content marketing strategy focuses on the needs and preferences of the customer, and follows a regular publishing calendar with top-performing blog post types planned in advance.
So when you integrate blog post types that don't align with an overall strategy, you're wasting your time. If you're still working to put together a strategy, we can potentially help. With our Game Plan offer, we work with teams to develop a go-to-market strategy to fill your gaps, achieve your goals, and serve as a roadmap to growth.