Why Are You Blogging?
The answers to this question are numerous, but it seems like some prevailing commonalities are: “someone told me I should be,” “it’s good for SEO,” or the all-too-common “ummmm.”
Let’s first all agree that blogging and content strategy are important parts of your marketing plan. But there’s a catch. Like every other part of your marketing mix, blogging only works well if executed properly. You need to create goals and hold your blog accountable for results if you really want it to be successful.
As we see it, marketers who have a strategy in mind for their blog usually follow one of three strategic paths:
Blogging Solely for Search Engines
Probably even more important than your blog itself is your website’s ability to be found online. Most marketers now understand how valuable SEO is as a piece of their marketing strategy, but understanding its importance and actually leveraging its power are very different things.
It’s fairly easy to write a lot of simple blog posts and fill them with keywords and phrases that are relevant to your products and services. While this might seem like a great plan, it’s actually not ideal.
If all you’re doing is building relentless articles and stuffing them full of keywords, you’re doing it wrong. Your content probably won’t be of a high enough quality for it to catch on with your audience, and if it doesn’t interest your audience, you won’t get any inbound links. Links and social signals are just as important as (if not more important than) optimizing the content of your posts, so if you ignore your audience, you’ll actually hurt your SEO, too.
Creating High Quality, Irrelevant Content
The opposite approach is to create content that your audience loves, but is irrelevant to your products. If you’re Microsoft and you write a really great article about the San Diego Zoo, your audience might love your post, but now you’re getting a bunch of organic search traffic from people looking for the San Diego Zoo. These people then come to your site, read your article and bounce, which in turn hurts the health of your site.
It’s great that your audience is loving your content, but look beyond their brief entertainment and keep your marketing goals in mind. Your blog should be a tool for garnering more traffic to your site that could potentially convert into leads and sales prospects. It’s ok to occasionally stray from this path, but ultimately, your site is a business tool, and you should use it to it’s max potential.
High Quality, Relevant Content
The third and most powerful way to leverage your content marketing is to create high quality, relevant content that supports your value proposition or somehow relates to your products. If you’re a social media agency, write content about social media that is also educational and helpful for your target audience. If you’re a property management company that handles apartment rentals, blog about interior design and local neighborhoods. Get in your audience’s heads and really understand how your content can add value for them, and then worry about optimizing your content for search.
Blogging and content marketing need to strike a careful balance with your SEO strategy to get you the best results. So before you start writing, sit down and brainstorm your goals. Decide who you’re writing for and what they’re interested in before you blog, and remember that it should all tie back to bringing in more business.
If that all sounds complicated and you think you need some help getting your content marketing up and running, check out some of the content marketing services we offer. We can help you build a better content marketing strategy in no time.
See what we did there?
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