By Kathy Wilson, ETMG Senior Writer, Editor, and Marketing Blogger
With the advent of the Internet, the webpage, and the smartphone came the blog. Whether a company’s business is B2C or B2B, marketers have increasingly come to rely on a marketing blog to reach their target audience.
Everyone is a potential blogger, but can everyone do it well?
Marketing blogs come in many shapes and sizes. Some may be in the form of an industry journal from your chief evangelist or the most popular residents of your C Suite. Others are online articles and point-of-view commentaries from other individuals within your organization using blogs to market products, services, partner programs, and thought leadership in particular areas.
As more and more companies ramp up the speed on their content creation treadmills, more and more marketers are jumping on and attempting an “always on” approach to blogging. And with this increase in competition for readers’ attention, some best practices have begun to emerge.
Marketing blogs that stand out from the crowd
The best blogs are mini essays with a personality. They start with a catchy title and then ideally offer a fresh perspective, valuable information, a unique voice, and/or special insights. Here’s what the most valuable marketing blogs have in common:
- They’re compelling enough to make you want to read on rather than click away or swipe to a new page.
- Good blogs are designed to be short and effective communications, rather than wordy or rambling deep dives. Think catchy subheads, scan-able bullets, and lists of key takeaways.
- A targeted approach: they’re typically aimed at a target audience, providing information of interest to those readers.
- And at their best, they are entertaining, thought-provoking, and educational – all at the same time.
Writing a marketing blog that people want to read
Like any other form of communication, blogs can reflect well or poorly on you and your company. At a basic level, blogs need to be well-written and well-constructed. Good research can make the difference between a quickly dismissed “junk food” blog and one that your readers bring up in conversation and forward to their colleagues. It also might be worth considering “a second set of eyes” – another writer or editor who can help you avoid embarrassing mistakes and may even raise your blog posts to a whole new level.
Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing blog
Like anything else, the effectiveness of your blog content needs to be measured against your objectives. Are you trying to win friends, grow awareness, generate leads, influence people, drive traffic to your site, or promote your products and services? Use success metrics to hone in on your overall goals:
Page views and comments: How many people have looked at your page and how many have commented on it.
Social media buttons: With each click on a social media button, you are receiving confirmation that a reader enjoyed your content and was engaged enough to share it.
CTA clicks: When a visitor clicks on a Call to Action in your blog, you’ve put something there that they want to see, helping to turn strangers into leads.
Inbound links: When you provide great content, others will want to cite that information and link to your blog post page.
Subscribers: The sheer number of subscribers to your marketing blog help you measure blog success.
The bottom line
Blogs have brought a myriad of different ideas and voices to the connected world. As you send your marketing blogs out into the stratosphere, ask yourself if they pass this simple test:
- Is the content concise, well-written, credible, and informative?
- Are people interested in reading and sharing the content?
- Does the blog do what it was intended to do?
If you’re able to answer yes to all three questions, you’re doing great. Keep it up!