With any shift in the business world, there are those who succeed and those who struggle with the change. The growing value of content for B2B marketing is no different.
While some companies' blogs consistently attract new visitors and convert them into leads, others' blogging efforts struggle to capture more than a few leads per month. What separates the successful content creators from all of the other mediocre blogs is not the quality of the writing, the charm of the subject matter, or even the allure of enticing headlines. Instead, I'd argue the difference is rather simple: successful blogs are created by companies that understand their prospects and produce content their prospects are searching for.
While many blogs start on the right track, far too often they lose direction. They use up their initial blog ideas then quickly begin producing useless content in a useless attempt to retain their visitors.
We've all been there – I know I've had my fair share of crazy blog ideas...
Nicki Minaj’s new video ‘Anaconda’ sure is getting lots of hype, can I relate it to Inbound Marketing in way – ‘Baby Got Back… all of her prospects before they became customers of her competition...
I should build an interactive puzzle that leads the user to form their own opinions of Inbound Marketing!
Within my new post about marketing analytics I should really include a video of myself performing an interpretive dance to The Beatle's 'Paperback Writer' – that’s sure to go viral...
Of course, these ideas are ridiculous but I was making the same mistakes so many other business bloggers make: they attempt to make their posts bigger, weirder, and more attention-grabbing to attract views. These bloggers forget that it’s not the number of views that matter – it's getting the right people to view it that matters.
As with any marketing channel, we need a set strategy to maximize our work's impact. When writing blogs, our end goal is not to make a "viral" post; our goal is to introduce ourselves to potential prospects. We're looking to build relationships, not statistics.
If your blog is struggling to attract visitors or convert your visitors into leads, it's time to rethink your strategy. Resist the urge to make your blog "stand out" before you're certain your blog is on the right track.
At Weidert Group, every few months we take the time to rethink our blogging strategy. With our blog being one of our most successful channels to attract prospects, we need to ensure our current strategy is suited to the needs of the business as a whole.
To help all the other bloggers out there, we've put together a relatively simple guide to help you redefine and revitalize your business's blog.
Review Your Past Strategy
It's time to review whatever strategy, plan, and expectations you had going into your blog. What were your goals for your blog? Did you blog as often as you planned to? Did you get as many leads as you had hoped? Where did you succeed and where did you falter? Where is there room for improvement?
Before you can redefine your strategy, be confident you have an accurate understanding of your past strategy. Consider what you planned vs. what you did. If you consistently varied from the strategy, brainstorm ways to better maintain your strategy.
Redefine Your Persona
It's critical that you ensure that both you and everyone else on your blogging team has a good understanding of your target persona(s). You're producing a blog specifically for these people, so everything in your blog should speak directly to them. Define, as specifically as possible, these aspects of your audience:
Their pain points
Most company's personas change and develop overtime. Ensuring you have an up-to-date persona will make your marketing efforts more effective by attracting the right visitors for your company.
Typically, after redefining your persona, ideas for new posts start flowing. Take some time to think of blog topics they'd be interested in and write these down. After defining a strategy, you can tweak these blogs ideas to have the greatest impact for your business.
After redefining your personas, review how your blog has performed. Review posts both in terms of views and conversions. Find blogs that received a large number of views but a low views-to-conversion rate. How did these blogs attract a large number of views and what stopped them from generating leads? Look for blogs that get relatively few views but have a higher views-to-conversion rate. How could you increase the appeal of these posts and attract more visitors to them?
Focus on which topics engaged your target personas. What topics were they attracted to and which topics were they less excited about? Allow your analytics to feed into your persona definition. Creating an accurate understanding of your persona is essential to the success of your blog.
Of course, this analytics process is difficult without marketing automation software. Whether or not you have some big name software behind your website, finding some way to measure the analytics of your blog is essential to responding to the behavior of your audience. Without it, you only have guesswork.
Consider Your Overall Marketing Strategy
The last thing you need to consider before redefining your blogging strategy is your overall marketing strategy. Blogging is just one tool in your inbound toolbox. Usually, a company's blog is used to attract new prospects to your website where they will be exposed to a variety of other content to learn more about the business and the services they offer. Consider the other content available on your website. A great blog post will only bring in new business if your prospects have ways to learn more about your company.
Take stock of the other content on your website. Your blog topics (and strategy) will likely be focused on getting your visitors to take the next step. Careful consideration of your other marketing resources will allow you to align your strategies and amplify your efforts.
Redefining Your Blog's Strategy
Now, after a bit of preparation, you're ready. You have all the resources you need to redefine your blog's strategy. This strategy should be highly unique to your company, your market, and the services you provide.
Use these last 5 questions to build a comprehensive blogging strategy that's sure to engage your target audience.
What role does your blog play in your overall marketing strategy?
What action should your target prospect take after reading your blog?
What topics or style of post would lead your target prospect to take this next action?
How can you share and promote this content in a way that engages your prospect?
How can you ensure you and your team follow the strategy you all create?
And that's it. After some contemplation and a brief meeting with your team, you can redefine and revitialize your blog into the powerful marketing asset it should be.