Eleven marketing experts answer the question: What role does blogging play in your digital marketing campaign(s) and how do you foresee its role changing over the next 1-2 years?
There’s no doubt that blogging has exploded since ‘web blogs’ first started appearing on the internet. Blogging has changed the way that many companies do business. But how exactly is blogging being used by the professionals and what does the future hold? Eight blogging and marketing experts share their answers.
1. Create Mega Content
Maintaining a steady schedule of one solid blog per week (our bare minimum goal) has been working super well for us. But here's what helps: once or twice a quarter, I like to write a mega blog post that's much lengthier and addresses the more evergreen, hot-topic issues among our tribe. Not only will we talk about this mega post in newsletters, but we've also found that it is perfect for driving super strong traffic through Facebook ads and social media posts.
I'd like to see the mega blog post tactic heightened over the next 1-2 years, utilizing Google ads as well as Facebook ads. There's an increased need for super solid information at the very top of the SERPs, which will only be possible with Adwords.
Maria Myre is the word person for AmbitionAlly, where she spends her days sipping espresso and exploring new, intuitive ways to connect entrepreneurs with the tech tools and training that will best fit their business needs. Follow Maria on Twitter.
2. Promote Your Brand
Since the world is drowning in content, getting your blog noticed is difficult, requiring a lot of promotion. For many, blogs are more for search engine consumption than for human consumption.
The change I see is that authors need to achieve almost celebrity status to have their blogs noticed. I think the days of just sitting down and cranking out great content are over.
Take your blog beyond text with interactive content (assessments, quizzes, personalized white papers, ROI calculators, etc.) the days of static content have passed. With interactive content, the user receives content personalized to their individual needs. In the past creating this content was very expensive because you would need the help of a software/web developer.
Jeff Mason is Co-Founder of Decisionaire. Our product makes it possible for a non-technical marketing pro to create interactive content marketing pieces inexpensively.
3. Educate Customers
Blogging, and content marketing in general is at the center of everything we do. Not only here at Rebrandly, but on all digital properties I've worked on in the past.
The goal of a great website is to answer your customers’ questions. Writing detailed articles that walk people through how to become a better marketer is how we do that.
With the blogosphere becoming crowded and with increasing competition for top keyword rankings, bloggers will need to look elsewhere for their traffic.
I think we will see a lot better marketing out of everyone over the next couple of years. The really terrible sites paying for cheap blog posts are going to get lost in the noise, while the articulate and captivating marketers thrive.
Derric Haynie is Head of Growth for Rebrandly, a URL shortener making it easy to create and share branded links. He’s regularly seen speaking and blogging about startups and growth marketing in San Diego, San Francisco, and across the universe. Follow Derric on Twitter.
4. Attract Valuable Links
Blogging is an integral part of any successful digital marketing campaign. Its benefits cannot be denied. You can create valuable resources about your product or service. As per a recent survey from Ahrefs, blogging offers many ways to acquire backlinks. Here are some of the roles that blogging plays in a digital marketing campaign:
It increases traffic/subscriber to your website.
It helps you to increase keyword rankings.
Useful content helps you position yourself as an industry leader.
Convert audience into customers.
Understand the value and persona.
Blogging continues to grow in value and it will continue to be a big part of a digital marketing campaign. If content is king then blogging should be queen.
Laduram Vishnoi is a self-motivated entrepreneur and innovator whose passion and expertise lie in enterprise software and artificial intelligence. He has founded a number of successful enterprise software businesses, including Tagove, where he is Chief Executive Officer.
5. Achieve Business Goals
One of the cornerstones of my digital marketing strategy is blogging. I try to create posts that get traffic to my website, attract an audience and achieve business objectives (either email signups or sales).
Over the next two years, I can't see that changing. However, with content creation growing exponentially, it will be even more important to be crystal clear about who your audience is and to create highly compelling content.
Nick Julia is a content marketer who helps companies drive business with content, and the co-founder of Content Sleuth, an app that provides Social Media Automation, Analytics, and Outreach for Content Marketers.
6. Become an Authority in Your Niche
Blogging plays a huge role in our digital marketing efforts for numerous reasons, including:
It helps us to use more keywords to generate organic traffic.
It fuels our social media efforts.
It generates backlinks with social media syndication and content curation techniques.
It helps us acquire natural backlinks.
It helps us become an authority.
The main thing I see changing is that it's going to take more effort to get your content seen. It will have to directly align with user intent and appeal to consumers on more forms of media.
Chris Dreyer is the CEO and Founder of Rankings.io, an SEO agency for lawyers. Chris has been featured in numerous publications such as Legal Ink Magazine, Law Marketing, Attorney At Work, Moz, and more. With over 12 years of experience in SEO, Chris has helped hundreds of law firms get first page positions in search engines using innovative campaigns that are difficult for competitors to recreate. He is dedicated to helping lawyers get more leads and win more clients.
7. Give Potential Clients Insight into Your Solution
Blogging is a crucial part of our content marketing strategy, which aims to educate and engage users. It not only adds value to our website content, it also gives potential clients an insight into what we can do for them, and how good we are at it. More importantly, regularly updating our blog with quality, keyword-rich content helps improve our website ranking.
I believe that only valuable, quality content will make a true difference in search ranking over the next two years. Blogging will be even more vital going forward.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.
8. Share Your Story
My personal blog is mostly for brand awareness, with posts designed to be shared on social media. For our clients at Circa Interactive, however, we're using blogs for SEO purposes and to make them resources for industry information.
I think we're going to see a lot more high-quality writers--journalists who are looking for career changes--and the quality of blogs are going to skyrocket. I think that the search engines - and blog readers - will continue to demand higher quality content.
Joseph Lapin M.F.A. is an author, creative director at Circa Interactive, and journalist, and his writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Narratively, Salon, Slate, and more. He is a former adjunct professor at Florida International University, and he has worked on PR campaigns for Ernst & Young, Brentwood Associates, and more. Learn more about Joseph at josephalapin.com.
9. Make Use of Varied Content Formats
There is no denying the fact that Content is the cornerstone of all digital marketing campaigns and will only continue to rise in the coming years. For you to make an impact in the sphere of Content marketing, you need to develop EPIC content that won’t easily get lost in the sea of other similar content and as such, one technique, that works for me when it comes to content creation is making use of a varied type of content formats.
Investing in multimedia content such as eBook, infographic, and videos. Writing in-depth How-to guides and Case studies. Or publishing expert round-ups and podcasts will help you to not only establish yourself as an authority in your niche industry but it will also help improve brand visibility. A compelling piece of content helps persuade readers to check out your product and services as well as it keeps you a step ahead of your competitors.
Nirav Dave CTO & Co-Founder at Capsicum Mediaworks LLP. He started Capsicum Mediaworks when he moved back from London with his brother Shailendra so they could create amazing things for the Web & WordPress - 8 years later, they've done it! They aim to break new ground in the field of Web Design & WordPress and in making it a blissful experience for all the users.
10. Compete with Bigger Brands
Many businesses have a blog. The difference is the amount of resources each brand has to use on their blogs. It’s important to make every dollar go as far as it can. To do this, create content that doesn’t focus on passing trends because it costs more to market content everyone else is writing about. Instead, focus on content that stays relevant for an extended period of time. This allows you to market it over time and gradually improve your ranking through organic links.
Vladimir Gendelman is the Founder and CEO of Company Folders, Inc., winner of multiple awards, including ranking in Inc.'s list of 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America three years and counting. He is a thought leader in print design and has published a variety of articles in major publications, including Forbes and Time.
11. Provide Lasting Value Beyond Your Products or Services
This goes hand-in-hand with educating customers and becoming an authority in your niche. Creating content that your customers find helpful is a natural way to generate buzz, engagement and (of course) conversions. You can leverage your content for social follows, email and push notification opt-ins, fostering a relationship with your customers that lasts much longer than just how long it takes to complete a sale.
As content marketing becomes more commonplace for brands and businesses, it's essential to keep creating content that drives more than just sales.
Dan Wesley is a columnist at Forbes and Entrepreneur.com, as well as the founder of CreditLoan.com - a content-rich, free resource that educates consumers on making smarter decisions about their finances.
12. Become an Industry Source
For us, blogging is a way to position ourselves as the industry resource for e-commerce related topics. We aim to be the thought leader as well as a guide for entrepreneurs and startups in the eCommerce space. While we do get the benefit of brand awareness and lead generation through these efforts, we mainly want to be a guide for industry veterans and rookies alike. This method tends to power position your brand over competitors and allows you to get in front of more potential customers.
The future of blogging becomes more competitive. More and more brands realize the power that it has to propel their brand and revenue to the next level. The good news is, the end consumer of content will be the one to benefit as the quality of content increase due to steeper competition. Companies will be forced to drive deeper and have to make more engaging content in order to win eyeballs.
Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO & Co-founder of 3dcart, a leading ecommerce solution. As an e-commerce authority, he’s focused on helping internet retailers succeed online by developing strategies, actionable plans and customer experiences that grow and improve performance.
13. Consider Hiring a Ghostwriter
Be honest with yourself? Do you feel confident writing your own blog content? Can you realistically write at least 4 500-word blog posts per month considering that most marketers spend 1-2 hours writing a 500-word blog post? If you’ve answered no to either of these questions then you should consider hiring a blog ghostwriter.
Chris Hornak has been developing digital marketing campaigns for over a decade. He is the CEO and Owner of Blog Hands a service that helps businesses and agencies develop content to tell their story. In his spare time, he loves to play video games and spend time with his friends and family
How are you going to make your blog stand out from the rest? Has reading these expert comments changed your opinion of blogging or your marketing strategy?
If you haven’t started blogging for your business yet, it’s not too late. The key things to focus on are your customers’ needs and the quality of what you say. Whatever you do, don’t sacrifice these two components of your approach. Despite numerous shifts in the way people do business online, the importance of high-quality, relevant content remains unchanged.