When you consider that more than half of the purchase decision has already been made before a potential customer even speaks with a sales rep, it’s easy to see the need for quality information about your product online. Blogging, as part of a multichannel content strategy, is an ideal platform to inform consumers and guide purchase decisions.
Whether you want to drive discovery of owned channels, increase traffic or boost downloads, taking your blog to the next level can help you reach your marketing goals. Here’s how:
Research like a pro
Take your time and ensure your research is right as opposed to just right on time. Depending on the topic, the research process may be as short as one hour or it may take a number of days.
If blog content is misleading or misinformed, you put your brand’s reputation at risk. Having done the research, show it off: Overcome potential challengers by citing your sources and quote expert and industry thought leaders to back up any claims you make.
James Rubec, Cision’s Global Content Strategist explains, “Blog writers are rarely the be-all and end-all authority on the topic they are writing about. This means we rely on experts and research to build authority into our work.” In fact, using multiple sources will only further confirm your points. In his post, Blogging Done Right, Rubec illustrates how to up the ante even further, to research like a pro and position your brand as a thought-leader.
Listening for and monitoring brand mentions is, of course, important but to create truly engaging content, you need to listen to your audience too. What interests them beyond your brand? What music or food do they enjoy? What content have they recently engaged with or shared?
While tracking a conversation that doesn’t directly involve your brand may seem redundant at first, listening to the needs and interests of your target audience and industry as whole is extremely beneficial when building a strong content strategy. Without building a social persona for your target audience, you could be missing key insights that can drive your content’s success.
A recent Cision report, Major League Insights Into Baseball’s Social Media Fans, demonstrates that the ways in which using Cision Social Intelligence Software allows you to find the topics that interest your target audience the most. Using these insights to guide your content strategy will ensure you produce the types of blogs that your target audience actually wants to read.
Create an editorial calendar
Taking your blog to the next level requires a strong content plan. In fact, Simply Measured suggests that 60% of a PR Manager’s time should be spent planning and reports from CoSchedule indicate that a content editorial calendar can be responsible for an increase in clicks of 3,150%. Planning your content also gives you sufficient time to book interviews and undertake the required research to be a credible, valuable source for your audience.
Not sure where to start on building an editorial calendar? Here’s a post we wrote earlier that can help you kick start your plan.
Upgrade your multimedia
Creating posts that stand out is imperative, so take note: Articles with visual content get 94% more readership than plain-text posts and a one-minute video has been proven to be more effective than a 500-word article.
Free online tools such as Powtoon and Animoto can be a big help for the budget-conscious. Use the insights from your social listening to uncover the multimedia formats that appeal the most to your target audience and use this to guide your approach.
If you can afford to go all out, consider hiring a professional video production team to shoot a series of videos, which can provide enough interesting material for months. Not sure where to start? CNW Creative offers full-service video production from concept to delivery, producing digital storytelling content that inspires action.
Marketers need to quantify the financial impact of communications efforts so be sure to measure the success of your blog against your goals and objectives, using the analytics tool of your choice. Free tools are available, but are not always sophisticated enough to capture the big picture. An integrated analytics approach can look beyond the immediacy of individual blog campaigns to create a more complete picture of how all your content is performing as part of your multichannel campaign.
For more do’s and don’ts of blogging, download our whitepaper, Finding Your Blog’s Voice and Keeping the Conversation Fresh.