Written by: Cheryl Salazar, The Partner Marketing Group
The blogging stats are simply astounding! With a new blog being posted every 30 seconds, it’s enough to make any marketer anxious. How do you make sure your blog content is found, read and remembered? Here are some of our best blogging tips and must-haves.
1. Answer Questions
The simplest way to create blogs that matter is to look at the queries coming into your support desk and questions asked by your prospects. Start by answering those. If one client has a problem, then there are likely many more people out there with the same problem. Don’t try to write for everyone. You only need to write for the customers and prospects you’re trying to target, so keep your content focused on them and solving their problems.
Another place to look for questions is Quora. This site is a goldmine of blog ideas you can use to supplement in a pinch. Or an old-fashioned search should do the trick. Google provides this information free of charge; you just need to know where to look. Remember, not all the results may be relevant to you and many will be B2C focused.
Here are some examples.
2. Customize your content
We have found that custom content is what clients and prospects value the most, and the production of that content is what makes our partner clients successful. Time is precious so don’t make your visitors waste time trying to find or interpret what you have to say.
Show that you are a leader in your field, provide ideas and tips in your content and back them up with data and statistics. This helps quantify the value and ROI that your solution delivers. Running simple web polls and surveys (tip: interactive content is very valuable) on your site will give your prospects and customers the opportunity to tell you what’s important to them.
3. Narrow your focus
The more specific you can be with your content, the more likely you are to reach your target audience. Make it too high-level and your content efforts are wasted. If you work with Port Authorities only, then use the vernacular of your prospect, and blog with them in mind. This means that you need in-depth knowledge of your target personas and what drives them so, if you haven’t done that homework yet, make that a priority. Once you can show expertise in their business, you will likely be the company they trust over anyone else.
4. Use humor and simple sentences
If someone is going to give you 5 minutes of their time, make it worth their while. Give them a reason to smile and use conversational language unless you’re only talking to engineers or nuclear physicists or a highly technical audience. Even then, readers need to be able to quickly consume your content vs. dissecting long and complicated sentences. Most newspapers in the US are written at an 8th-grade level. That doesn’t mean you should talk down to people! Technology can be complex enough so try to bring some clarity to your subject and save your readers from the unnecessary tech jargon.
5. Know your audience
I heard in passing at a recent event that Millennials are voracious readers (and creators) of blog content. How did they know? When this organization looked at the demographics of their web traffic, they noticed that the 30-39 year age group was the most active. When researching this anecdote, I found it’s also backed up by Blog Tyrant. When you’re looking at the audience you’re trying to reach, consider where and how they like to consume their content.
6. Increase blog length
Well, here’s a new challenge for you as if you didn’t have enough on your plate. The optimal blog length is 2,250 – 2,500 words! That’s a high bar to reach for any company, let alone small marketing teams. It takes me back to all those papers we dreaded writing in high school and college. Now, as you can see, this blog you’re reading right now is nowhere near that long and that’s okay. Lengthy blogs aren’t always the best approach. Just remember these blog tips:
- Your prospects and customers are busy people. They don’t have time to read long and fluffy content. Make your blog to the point, worth 5 minutes of their time.
- Write for your prospects and clients, not the search engine.
- If you’re doing a ‘how-to’ type blog, include screen shots and images.
If only one in four blogs reaches 2,250 words, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!