Blogging is an important part of the content marketing strategy of brands nowadays because customers want to learn about products and services through content rather than ads. Blogging is a great way to build a scalable content marketing strategy.
Blogs can attract new customers and provide information and updates to existing customers. You can position yourself as an industry expert and provide in-depth information about your products or services.
We’ll talk about how to start a blog and use it as a marketing tool to drive organic traffic to your website.
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Table of Contents
What is blog marketing?
Blog marketing involves reaching your target audience through a blog. It enables businesses to improve brand awareness, boost conversions, and increase revenue.
It is not enough to just start a blog. Your blog should have a purpose and you must provide valuable content through your blog.
Here are some statistics to demonstrate the power of blog marketing:
Blogs are among the top three forms of marketing media used in content strategies in 2021?
Blog posts are among the highest performing content types to build brand awareness and nurture leads.
Blogs are among the top three organic content distribution channels used by marketers.
Blogging is 13X more likely to drive ROI than an absence of a blog.
A word of caution: it is certainly easier to create blog posts than launch complex multichannel marketing campaigns, but you should be aware of the preferences and behaviors of your target audience to get the most out of blogging.
For instance, people tend to prefer posts with additional media such as short-form videos, GIFs, and images. Blog posts should be written with headings and subheadings to support skimming.
Let’s take a look at how blog marketing helps brands achieve their goals.
Benefits of blog marketing
There are several ways in which blogs can help businesses:
1. Increases traffic to your website
Publishing informative and engaging content regularly drives organic traffic to your website. Websites that publish more than 15 posts per month receive 5X more traffic than those that don’t publish posts.
Good blog posts should answer the most common questions of your target audience and speak to their pain points. Clear headlines should indicate what the blog post is about — no clickbait titles!
Each time you publish a blog post, you add another indexed page on your website. More indexed pages generate more leads. Thus, you increase the chances of your website showing up in search results.
2. Helps boost conversion rates
Each blog post you publish helps generate new leads through calls-to-action (CTA) that you include in the post.
CTAs ask visitors to provide their contact information in exchange for content assets like free templates, ebooks, guides, fact sheets, webinars, or trials.
Companies with more than 200 blog posts generate 5X more leads than companies with 10 or fewer posts.
Thus, some of the traffic generated by the posts is converted into leads.
When you publish blog posts regularly, leads return to read your recent posts. Over time, you build a relationship with them and nurture them along the customer journey.
When these leads make a purchasing decision, your brand is top of mind for them. And that is how blog posts help convert leads into customers.
3. Helps with link building
Link building refers to the strategy of getting other websites to link to valuable pages on your website. If authoritative and credible websites link to your website, it signals to Google that your content is of good quality. Thus, your pages rank higher in search results.
Google considers backlinks as one of the three main ranking signals in its search algorithm.
When you create high-quality, informative blog posts, it is easier to gain backlinks from other websites.
More backlinks help boost your domain authority (DA), which helps you be discovered more easily in search.
4. Drives long-term results
The best thing about blog posts is that they continue to attract leads and customers long after they have been published. HubSpot revealed that over 90% of their blog leads came from older posts and over 75% of post views also came from older posts.
This happens because older posts rise in search rankings through views and social shares and, thus, drive more organic traffic.
Older posts can also be updated to meet the goals of current campaigns. That’s why marketers recommend that older posts be updated with recent links and fresh content to continue attracting qualified leads.
5. Can be repurposed for social media
Valuable content is more likely to be shared on social media. In addition, you can repurpose blog content into formats suitable for social media such as infographics, videos, tweet threads, carousel posts, and so on.
Instead of creating content from scratch each time, you can increase the longevity of your content by repackaging it and distributing it through multiple channels.
You also increase your social media reach with repurposed content and attract new visitors to your website.
Now that we have understood the benefits of blogging as a marketing tool, let us see how we can create a strong blog marketing strategy.
How to create a blog marketing strategy
Creating blog content randomly will not get you the results you want. Content planning will.
A documented blog marketing strategy connects your blog with your goals. Thus, your blog content will have purpose and direction instead of being just another task to check off the list.
A comprehensive blog strategy is based on three elements:
audience/customers and their problems
products/services and how it solves these problems
content and how it connects these problems to their solutions
Your blog content should answer the questions that your customers search for when looking for a solution.
Thus, you should aim to cover all three stages of the sales funnel:
Awareness (TOFU – top of the funnel): Your target audience is learning about its pain points.
Evaluation (MOFU – middle of the funnel): Your target audience is evaluating solutions to its problems.
Decision (BOFU – bottom of the funnel): Your target audience is ready to make a purchase decision to solve their problems.
There are a few simple steps you can take to create a customer-centric strategy for your blog content:
1. Set clear goals for your blog.
A blog without a purpose will not yield positive results and you will have wasted your time and effort. First, decide the target(s) of your blog:
Do you want to drive more traffic to your website?
Do you want to convert more traffic into leads?
Do you want to generate more sales from qualified leads?
Mostly, marketers are looking to drive organic traffic to their sites and nurture their leads through blogs.
2. Define your target audience.
By identifying who your target audience is, you will find it easier to determine who to angle your blog posts to and which tone of voice to use.
3. Analyze your competition.
Conduct a study of what your competitors are doing and identify gaps in their content that you can fill. Find out how you can do better than them.
4. Define blog categories.
Blog categories are high-level topics that your target audience is interested in learning about. You can use these categories to organize your blog into sub-topics and individual posts. This makes it easier for visitors to navigate your blog and find what they’re looking for.
Aim to have no more than 10 blog categories to avoid cluttering your blog and confusing visitors.
5. Perform topical and keyword research.
Create a keyword strategy to ensure that your blog drives more organic traffic from search results.
Perform keyword research to find words and phrases that your target audience uses to describe their challenges and pain points.
Start with seed keywords that are broad, general topics that your audience searches for.
Use keyword tools like Google Ads Keywords Planner to expand your seed keywords into more in-depth, specific keywords.
Check Quora, Reddit, and industry forums to find questions that your target audience is asking. Also, check Google’s People Also Ask box.
6. Build blog post ideas.
Use the results from your keyword research to create blog post ideas that will resonate with your audience.
You can create a variety of blog post types such as how-to posts, listicles, thought leadership posts, customer success stories, or statistics roundup posts.
7. Create a blog schedule.
Determine how often you will publish blog posts—weekly or several times a week.
Companies that increase their blogging cadence from 3-5 times per month to 6-8 times per month almost double their leads.
However, your marketing team should be able to sustain the frequency of posting and publishing valuable content.
8. Establish a social media presence.
A social media presence is necessary to attract new leads and widen your blog’s reach. As mentioned previously, you can repurpose blog content to suit the preferred post format for each social channel.
Use social media management tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to manage multichannel marketing campaigns and track their performance.
9. Build an email list.
Leverage email marketing to keep your visitors engaged and improve conversions.
You could send your best content in a newsletter to boost traffic and remind your customers to return to your blog.
10. Set up PPC campaigns.
Once you have plenty of valuable content on your blog, you can set up PPC campaigns to promote some of your best posts.
11. Focus on inbound marketing.
Backlinks are important to establish the authority of your blog as an industry expert and rank higher in search results. Thus, you should have a long-term promotional strategy for your blog.
Well-written, insightful blog posts have immense potential to boost conversions–from organic traffic to leads and from leads to customers. Blogging can also help you build a valuable network and establish industry expertise.
A well-defined blog marketing strategy that includes a content creation plan and a content promotion plan will help you get maximum ROI from your blog.