Is content marketing really a dinosaur?
Well, if you accept the sentiments of some marketing experts, then the answer is most definitely yes. They’ll tell you that the present and the future will be dominated by social media marketing. That’s where it’s at now: that’s where all the action is. In a way you can understand the thinking, because the social media panders to the accepted climate of credit cards and instant gratification. If a business wants to get its message out instantly, then Facebook and Twitter are the way to go: plant a seed amongst your following, and let the community germinate the seed. Unfortunately, one rather important fact is overlooked in all this. As it stands only 40% of businesses have bought into the idea of social media marketing.
The rest rely on the tried and trusted strategies of leafleting, email marketing and the good old blog.
And why are these businesses sticking with these old strategies? Well, simply because they work. Email marketing can be hit and miss admittedly, but generally you’ll get some sort of return on the time and energy invested. Leafleting follows pretty much the same pattern. Blogging, however, is another matter entirely. Yes it takes time, effort and commitment, but pound for pound blogging is still the bee’s-knees of marketing. A good blog can help to build and engage a community, it will build to organic growth that social networking will never match, and it can improve page rankings on search engines if the content is optimised for specific keywords. Blogging can deliver on many fronts. All it takes is effort and a little thought. If you want to improve your business blogs and make them more focused and relevant to your target market, then simply follow these basic steps, and you’ll soon be conversing, converting and capitalising like never before.
Priority, priority, priority.
Business blogs need to be targeted and written regularly. Because the content is used to enhance your overall marketing strategy, it’s important that businesses prioritise these blogs and ensure that they are shared with the target audience on a regular basis. Audiences and communities like routine: they expect your content to be provided regularly, whether that’s daily, weekly or every fortnight. The job of the business blogger is to meet the audience’s expectations.
Bloggers need to remember that they are writing for their audience, therefore they need to keep the writing focused and relevant. There’s nothing wrong with going off on a tangent occasionally particularly if you’re struggling for inspiration. There’s nothing wrong with varying the content either from time to time. However, it’s important to remember that the blogs are written for your community, not for you. Consequently, they need to be relevant to your niche sector. Forget the amusing holiday tale or homespun anecdote; write about what you do better than anyone else in your sector. Stick to the topic in hand, and remember that business blogs are keyword specific. Sticking with these will deliver what your audience expects and will be readily indexed by the search engines.
A little self-promotion never hurts.
If you’ve spent a long time crafting good content, then make sure you go on to promote it. You won’t be showing off, you’ll simply be getting your message across to the widest possible audience. Promote your blogs through social networks, and submit them as guest posts to your industry sector. Hopefully these posts will then link back to you in return, which will only enhance your search engine credibility.
Blogging benefits from teamwork.
The hardest part about blogging is writing the content. Unfortunately, on occasions you’ll get writer’s block and struggle for inspiration. Make no mistake about it, content is difficult to produce, particularly if you’re writing about a niche market or product. Well don’t over-think the matter. Ask for help from other members of the team. More minds make lighter work. Don’t put unnecessary restrictions on yourself either: let your mind wonder from time to time, and see what ideas you can come up. Blogging doesn’t need to be prescriptive. If a member of the team comes up with a left- field idea, don’t dismiss it out of hand. Anything goes, in a sense, as long as it remains relevant. So let the creative juices flow and follow that stream of consciousness. Just make sure you write the ideas down. You can always ignore the ones that are too oblique and tangential later.