Even for the biggest websites, content is still king.
One of the most effective ways to reach readers with quality content is by creating a blog section on your site. Of course, creating the blog is the easy part. It’s what you put into it that’s important.
Providing customers – and potential customers – the type of content that is helpful or informative is key. People have now searched for information online long enough to know when something was thrown together by people who didn’t know what they are talking about.
That type of blog can prove more hurtful than helpful to your site.
Good content will not only attract customers, it also will improve the site’s rankings on Google searches. It’s a free way to drive more traffic to your site, but it takes effort and commitment.
Here are some tips to make your blog an effective content marketing tool.
Nothing is as frustrating for readers than to click on an article that promises information on a topic, only to deliver scant information that is not very helpful. Customers do much of their own research these days, and they want information that can help them make a decision. Focus on content that creates value for the customer on a topic that relates to your business. Give them something useful to read, such as tips and helpful advice. Also, provide them links to further information.
If you have a website about, for example, software for the healthcare industry, then that’s a topic you truly need to care about. Readers can sense immediately if you are taking a “paint by numbers” approach to your chosen area. Part of this is creating a personality behind the blog. Give your blog a specific voice. That will help it stand out from the thousands of other blogs on the web and will also help you retain readers.
Consistency and Time
One of the major roadblocks for many blogs is simply publishing content on a consistent basis. After a few weeks, much less months, blogs can run out of steam. The web is littered with blogs that haven’t been updated since 2011. Don’t be that blog! Pick a schedule that works for you and stick with it. If you can only publish once a week, then do that week in and week out. Building blog traffic takes time. Google will need to crawl and index your blog pages, and eventually will reward you for being consistent and original.
Speaking of Original…
While it’s perfectly fine to get ideas from other blogs and to use information from reliable sources, it’s important for the blog itself to be original. No copying and pasting! Google frowns upon this and will lower your rankings. Take the time to craft original copy with your own voice.
Make It Part Of The Funnel
Most marketers are familiar with the marketing funnel. The top is used to discuss general issues related to the product or service you offer. The farther you go down the funnel, the more specific you get about issues related to making a buying decision. Most blogs live at the top of the funnel, seeking to attract readers who are interested in topics related to your product. In the example of the software company, that might include blogs on the latest innovations in software, the history of software in your industry, tips on finding the right software for your business or news about the industry.
Hire A Professional
Some companies identify one person in-house with the writing skills and the time to produce blog entries. Others spread it around to different people. Another option is to spend the money on hiring a writing professional who can produce blog posts at your direction. It’s also important to edit those posts before publishing to determine if it has the right voice and content. While you might be hesitant to spend the money in the short term, it will eventually pay off in the long term.
Keep it straightforward, use your expert-level knowledge of your industry and give readers information they can use. That’s the path to making a blog an effective content marketing tool.