From search engines to marketing channels, there are many ways to get your business blog in front of your audience. You don’t need to do everything on this list, but it may be helpful to prioritise your methods and test what is most effective for your own business. Let’s start with organic traffic.
In the time since this article was originally published, we have split this content between several articles, so if you’d like to read our original comprehensive guide altogether, download it using this form:
Featured snippets are a copywriter’s haiku. Format your writing to answer a specific question in short form, then use the rest of your blog to expand your answer. You can do this with a short paragraph, or by using your titles as a ‘how to’ list. For example, in a blog about copywriting tips for B2B:
If you land a featured snippet for a keyword, you can guarantee more traffic to your site. People love quick, digestible answers.
Articles with an image receive 94 percent more views. Nice! Part of the reason for this is that images also appear in Google image search. If you search ‘tech company logo’, for instance, several images from this article about logos appear close to the top of the search results, which drives traffic to the blog.
However, it’s essential to understand that an irrelevant image, or one that is low-quality, turns the reader off to your message. Here are some tips for finding the right image:
If you want to level-up your image game (to match your levelled-up content), try using blog featured images as part of your branding. Use illustrations to tie in every blog with your whole site, giving a consistent, quality feel to the visitor.
If you’re dealing with quite a mature blog already, it might be time to look back on those reams of clever words to pick out the ones that work, and get rid of the ones that don’t. Recycle and refresh your blog database in order to remove any anchors that are weighing you down and highlight your best content for your audience.
Take two or more shorter blogs that cover a similar topic and combine them into one. This will make the new content longer, more valuable and more likely to rank on search engines.
Kill your darlings. Yes, that one too. Trust us, it won’t do any harm. In fact, we do it all the time, and by getting rid of content that is no longer fresh or isn’t relevant anymore, we see increases in traffic and leads.
Sometimes a blog just needs a little touch-up. Refresh the imagery, update the statistics, add in some content or take something away that isn’t adding much to the flow of the piece. This will give it a whole new lease of life.
Pillar pages are part of a content strategy that goes beyond blogging and white papers.
The aim of a pillar page is to rank highly for short-tail keywords, by creating a hub of information. Within this hub are links to blogs that are relevant to the key subject, but are focused on more long-tail keywords. This creates a content cluster, with interconnected blogs supporting one another, rather than competing, for that top spot.
Image source: Hubspot
This way, readers can hop from article to article through hyperlinks. They see more of your content as they dive deeper into the subject.
Many businesses with an online presence will know that social media is currently one of their biggest marketing opportunities. And it's only going to get bigger.
Everything you post on the web is marketing collateral, waiting to be found by your ideal customers via search engines and social media. So, how do you engage prospects online and get them to the end of the buyer's journey?
Consumers have more of a choice online, so your content marketing needs to work harder to cut through the noise and shout their name. Here are some ways to spark engagement with your prospects from the very first click:
Don't obsess over Facebook when your ideal customers are on LinkedIn. Understand your niche and post where they are. What’s more, make sure you optimise your posts so that your customers can find them. This means using the sort of keywords that your leads might use in their search terms and promoting your content on social media and through email newsletters.
People are more likely to engage if there's a relevant thumbnail image accompanying your social media posts. That being said, not just any image will do, so don't use dodgy stock photos - these put people off. Images only work if they add meaning and value to your content.
Optimising for initial interactions is crucial because they’re the bolt of lightning between you and your customers.
If you've got something meaningful to add to current events: say it. It might just be a short tweet, but if that tweet gets retweeted, and retweeted, and retweeted (you get the picture), it will draw people to the rest of your content.
Try to find recent interesting studies that are relevant to your industry, pick a few of the most interesting bits of data and tell your audience why they matter.
Different platforms require different approaches.
Tailor your content for social media in the same way you would tailor a blog for a business.
In our experience, there are two sharing peaks during the day: between 10am and noon, and between 8 and 10pm. But the best time for sharing varies depending on the platform: 7am for email, but 11pm for Pinterest, for example.
Don’t just share your own posts and expect people to engage. You have to take the time to:
Marketers are forever chasing the elusive 'social share', but they rarely stop to ask: why do people share?
'The likelihood of your content being shared has more to do with your readers' relationship to others than their relationship to you,' says Garrett Moon at CoSchedule.
A study of 2,500 online sharers by the New York Times found five of the most common motivations for sharing content:
While there's no way to predict something going viral, producing content that tries to tap into these motivations – content that's useful, relevant and emotionally engaging – will undoubtedly bump up those share button clicks.
Not only do you need to reach your audience, but you need them to do the legwork for you. And that means getting them to share your copywriting efforts.
So, to get your prospects past the first click, it’s important to use a format they can digest on their lunch break.. Here are some ways to make content easier to read and absorb:
Don’t be blindly seduced by the elusive share. Hypnotising as it may be to see the number of share-button clicks skyrocket, ask yourself why that particular piece of content is being shared. Who is it being shared with? Are they acting on it? Maybe it's gone viral because you unwittingly made an amusing typo.
The ultimate question with any piece of content is: would you hit the share button? And who would you share it with? If you don't like the answers, it’s back to the drawing board.
Understanding how people are engaging with content (and not just how you think they are) is the key to maximising growth and customer acquisition. If your website is generating leads and conversions - hurrah! If it’s not? Figure out why and fix it.
The most important - dare we say exciting? - part of a content marketing strategy is measuring and analysing performance. The trick is to look at the right metrics from the start and use the best tools to help.
At Articulate, we use HubSpot’s marketing software to collect data on website engagement and clicks from marketing channels like email and social media. Let us know if this technology is something you’d be interested in exploring.