In an increasingly competitive global market, industry-leading businesses, enterprises, and corporations continue to make high-value and growth-oriented content marketing investments. In fact, recent estimates indicate that 91% of B2B organizations utilize content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, drive profitable customer action.
"The average percentage of total marketing budget spent on content marketing is 26% (among all respondents); the most successful, however, spend 40%, while the least successful spend 14%," reports the Content Marketing Institute in B2B Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets, Trends — North America.
More than just monetary costs, however, blog marketing requires a considerable investment of time, energy, and resources. However, with the right blog marketing strategy in place and a keen eye for all the latest best practices, tips, and tricks, brand managers and marketers can easily crush the competition!
5 Blog Marketing Components
Are you ready to take your blog marketing to the next level? Many of the world's leading brands continue to leverage the power of a well-crafted, authoritative, and compelling blogs to reach new audiences, claim larger market segments, and drive greater revenues.
Check out these five blog marketing essentials and carve your path towards blog marketing greatness:
Know Your Audience
The first step towards becoming a blog marketing champion is to understand your audience. What does this audience appreciate? What are they looking for? What do they need to become lifelong customers? With a greater understanding of your target market, you will be well-equipped to craft content that better aligns with audience preferences, pains, and wants.
The best brand managers and marketers utilize the following tactics to learn more about their audiences:
- Monitor the Competition: Your competitors are likely targeting the same audiences. How does your competition craft headlines? Are there any particular messages that really resonate with audiences?
- Analyze Market Research: There are plenty of case studies, psychological analyses, and general market research reports out there to help get a surface-level understanding of your customers.
- Conduct Quantitative Surveys: There is no substitute for primary research. Issue large-scale surveys, covering the widest cross-section of your audience.
Once you've collected enough data, you can build a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a fictional, generalized representation of your ideal customer. The buyer persona typically outlines "hard" factors — age, gender, education, income — as well as "soft" factors including temperament and curiosity.
Optimize for Search Engines
Did you know that well-optimized blogs are guaranteed to help increase traffic, drive more leads, and increase sales? There are a few best practices when it comes to content optimization including:
The best blog posts focus on one or two long-tail keywords. Visitors searching these long-tail keywords are more likely to find your content. Include these keywords in your title, body, meta description, and URL.
Image Alt Text
Crafting a high-impact blog post requires vibrant, colorful, and compelling imagery. Be sure to include the article's focus keyword in the image alt text. Optimizing image alt text helps to "tell" search engines what the images and articles are all about.
Including inbound links to your content boosts the relevancy of your blog post. Additionally, good internal links help to keep readers on your website.
In recent years, high-impact content marketers have begun to build a blog architecture based on specific "clusters" or focuses. This model allows readers and search engines to find content on your site more easily.
For many leading enterprises, content optimization is an ongoing practice. As your site grows and you reach a larger audience, optimizing frequently will keep your content fresh, organized, and searchable!
Craft Compelling Content
Building informative, thought-provoking, and leadership-style content is another blog marketing essential. What does a wildly compelling blog post actually look like? For one, the content should fill a basic knowledge gap. The best blog posts provide just enough value to readers and through that new-found knowledge, encourage them to take the next step in the buyer's journey.
Secondly, the content should introduce alternative thoughts or opinions. It should try to present a counterargument and help readers to think differently about a popular topic or theory. When building your blog marketing program, think about crafting content that will change reader's point of view.
Recent studies indicate that nearly 50% of content marketers struggle with blogging consistency. Routine posting is a key to blog marketing success. In fact, content marketers that stick to a rigorous editorial calendar outperform those who do not.
The first step to creating an editorial calendar is to find a platform that works for you. There are a number of tools to choose from including Google Docs, Trello, and HubSpot. Once you have the right tool in place, start building a backlog of content. From there, create a weekly plan. How frequently will you be posting? What kind of content will you be posting week-to-week? Who is responsible for content delivery? What are your distribution channels?
When it comes to blog marketing, the editorial calendar should serve as your organization's North Star, granting your team members with the speed and direction needed to master blogging consistency.
Invest in Content Amplification
Finally, content amplification — paid search, social media, influencer marketing — is another blog marketing essential. A multichannel approach, content amplification is designed to distribute content and increase your brand's reach through paid promotions. Before allocating funds toward content amplification, consider these preliminary steps:
Outline Goals and Objectives
What do you want your content amplification initiatives to accomplish? Do you want to increase brand following or drive sales?
Outline Buyer's Journey
How will your content amplification initiatives complement each stage of the buyer's journey? How can you optimize content amplification initiatives during each step?
What channels is your target audience using? How much are you planning on investing in each one of these channels?
For many industry-leading organizations, content marketing is an easy way to take blog marketing to the next level, increase brand awareness, and encourage more conversions.
Become a Blog Marketing Master
The world's most successful corporations, businesses, and startups have already made some serious content investments — don't get left behind! Follow these simple and actionable essentials to launch and sustain a successful blog marketing program.
However, before you get started, consider reading Conquering the Inbound Marketing Mountain. With all the preparatory information you need to become a blog marketing master, this free resource provides some insight around: inbound marketing goal setting; defining and detailing personas; tips for building a team of inbound marketers; key components of building an inbound marketing team, and more!