As a proofreader at a marketing agency, I review all kinds of marketing materials. A typical workday involves making sure that direct mail letters, emails, newsletters and ebooks reach recipients error-free. But lately, another type of marketing communication has been piling up on my desk: the blog post.
Two years ago, Jacobs & Clevenger embarked on a content marketing journey. Our decision to start the Ideas and Insights blog as part of this journey was initiated by a desire shared by many industries. We wanted more traffic to our website, we wanted to spread the word about the services we offer and we wanted to measure our marketing performance.
As part of a content marketing strategy, blogging can boost your online presence and ground your position as an industry thought leader in a field of competitors. Here are a few insights we arrived at along the way. We hope they’ll help you on your own blog journey.
A blog requires dedication.
Any company that starts a blog should be prepared to go all in if it expects to be successful. The success of any blog depends on dedication, especially if your goal is to reach more than those in your family and online social network. This might require you to research topics, conduct interviews, stay ahead of industry trends, write multiple articles a week (alongside an overall content marketing strategy) to gain visibility in a search results list, repeatedly edit and rework an article until it meets marketing performance standards and much more.
Helpful tip: Fill a calendar or Excel document with working blog titles or ideas to keep you on schedule and help you avoid an overlap of topics for the month.
A successful blog is always active.
To date, Jacobs & Clevenger has written nearly 250 articles. Posting regularly provides an opportunity to show that you’re current on industry trends and developments. You might have gained some insights at a recent conference or learned something new about SEO optimization, and you’re here to keep everyone else up to speed. Aim to post at least once a week if you can. And don’t worry yourself over coming up with new ideas. There’s always something new happening in your industry. It might not have reached your company yet, but it’s still relevant to you, your customers and prospects.
Helpful tip: Post articles frequently. When you do, visitors of the blog will learn to expect articles from you and will be much more likely to visit your site.
A blog is comprehensive.
One of the things I love most about our blog is that it features articles by employees from different departments. We have articles written by proofreaders, programmers, copywriters, account directors, art directors and the owner of the company, to name a few. We all have our own voice, and we all bring different experiences to a project. Featuring multiple authors is a great way to prevent your blog from becoming stale.
Helpful tip: Get everyone’s creative juices flowing by hashing out topics at company- or department-wide meetings. Bounce ideas off each other and discuss how the same topic might be approached from different angles.
A blog should incorporate supporting elements.
When used as a marketing device, a blog should include elements that redirect visitors to important pages within your site. As you provide readers of the blog with relevant industry news or helpful tips, make it easy for them to go where you ultimately want them to: the checkout, a customer information form, an assessment, a download, a webinar or anywhere else that hosts customer-centric information.
Helpful tip: Links come in many forms, not just blue, clickable text. Consider using infographics or other interactive art to drive visitors to more action-oriented sections of your site.
A blog should be SEO-conscious.
In addition to coming up with relevant and insightful topics, it’s important to know what keywords people are searching for. So if you decide to write a blog about, say, content marketing, you’ll want to incorporate this and other related words into the article to give you a bump in a search results list. Just be careful how you go about it. Google and other search engines are hip to schemes, and if they detect that you’re simply writing gibberish around overly used keywords, they will address it by flagging your site or taking action to prevent further manipulation.
Helpful tip: Keywords are important, but you should never sacrifice quality to meet a quota. If you can incorporate five to six of them in an 800-word article, you’re good to go. That’s a keyword about every other paragraph, which isn’t so daunting.
Our own success with J&C’s Ideas and Insights blog is evidenced by the conversations generated on Twitter and LinkedIn. We also saw an increase in landing page views, and were able to generate leads and acquire meetings with prospects through links to assessment forms and webinars within each article.
For more information on how you can maximize your content marketing strategy, register for our free assessment and action plan. We’ll work with you to quantify objectives for lead generation and conversions.