Blogging has been a part of brand content marketing strategies for a long time, and rightfully so. From boosting brand awareness and customer loyalty to improving your ROI – there are many ways that blogging can benefit your business.
But having a blog does not automatically attract thousands of new customers. To ensure that your blog succeeds and makes you stand out from your competitors, you have to stay ahead of the curve and be relevant. Follow these blogging trends to ensure that both the audience and the brand are well-served by your content.
Is Blogging Still Relevant?
Ten years ago blogging emerged as a mainstream corporate digital marketing tactic. Strategic and forward-thinking marketers quickly jumped on the bandwagon realizing the benefits blogging could provide for businesses. Not only did it allow companies to position themselves as experts in the field, but it also proved to be a powerful way to appear in search engines and in front of their audience.
Digital marketing is indeed a constantly evolving field. But despite the changing trends and predictions, one thing continues to remain true – content is king when it comes to creating a strong brand, building loyalty, and driving engagement.
Also, the data seems to be clear about that: Companies that blog have far better marketing results.
- 77% of Internet users regularly read blogs.
- At least 54% of Fortune 500 companies have public-facing blogs.
- 48% of companies that have a content marketing strategy leverage blogging.
- 56% of marketers who use blogging say it’s effective and 10% say it’s the content type that generates the biggest ROI.
- Companies that have a blog report 67% more leads than those that do not.
- Adding a blog to your existing website can increase traffic by as much as 434%.
- 1 in 5 bloggers report “strong results”.
Why Does Your Business Need a Blog?
While blogs are relatively easy to set up, they don’t directly generate revenue and can take a while to provide results. This is why for many business owners, blogging can seem like a lot of headaches. You have to plan the content, establish a style and tone of voice, produce the content and then ensure it’s consistently distributed. All of this takes time and energy.
However, there are many advantages of having a business blog that cannot be overlooked and that will convince you of the importance of corporate blogging:
1. Drive Traffic To Your Website
First of all, blogging is an excellent way for your business to gain website traffic. Businesses that post blogs on average receive 55% more website traffic than those that don’t. Some of the traffic will come from existing customers, but blogging is a great way to attract new people as well.
Every time you publish a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website. That means one more chance for your company to show up on the SERP (search engine results page) and drive traffic to your website in organic search. Powerful website traffic is good for any kind of business – especially if visitors discover your content while they are searching for a solution to their problems.
2. Significantly Boost Your SEO
Businesses that blog rank higher on search engines which might be the most important reason to implement blogging in your marketing strategy. There are a few ways that blogs can help with your brand’s SEO. Firstly, they keep your website active with constant updates. When you constantly update your website with new content, Google’s algorithm recognizes that and sends searchers your way.
Moreover, if you’re strategic with using certain phrases, you will improve your Google ranking of keyword searches. Anticipating what keywords your audience will search for and incorporating those into your blogs will help gain visibility for your brand.
As a bonus, if your content is educational and insightful, you will also benefit from backlinks as other websites start to link to the articles on your website. This immensely improves your SEO as search engines consider backlinks as an endorsement of the authority of your website.
3. Increase Brand Awareness
Improving brand recognition can help you attract customers, gain credibility and expand your business. By using images, a certain look and feel, and a distinguishable tone of voice, blogging can become a great way to develop a memorable brand.
A blog allows you to expand on specific benefits of your products and bring your company’s mission statement to life. By using a blog to express what your brand believes in, what makes you different, and what your business is about, you will give personality to your company and connect people to your brand.
4. Strengthen Your Authority
Writing thoughtful articles on relevant topics is a great way to position your business as an expert in your field. When consumers feel that your business is knowledgeable and trustworthy, they’re more likely to invest in your products or services.
If you have the expertise to answer people’s questions and provide solutions for problems specific to your industry, a blog is a great way to communicate that. It will encourage people to see your company as knowledgeable and you could even become the go-to resource for whatever it is you specialize in.
5. Create Sharable Content
Most likely your business is on other platforms beyond its own site and they are constantly in need of fresh content for your followers to engage with. The content you publish on your blog can easily be repurposed into social media posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, presentations, and many other types of sharable content.
Blogging Trends to Implement Right Now
It’s clear that content marketing in the form of blog posts will remain one of the most important tools to grow the reach of your company and products and ultimately improve sales. However, you have to keep in mind that almost all companies are currently using content marketing so the battle for customers’ attention is getting tougher and tougher.
Here are 6 blogging trends that will help you stay up to date and stand out from your competitors:
1. Highly Visual Content
Nowadays, successful blogs can’t just rely on texts. Indeed, blogs with at least one blog post image get 94% more views as compared to those with no visual content. This is not surprising, considering that humans find visual content easier to process and engage with.
Adding compelling visual content is an easy way to increase your user engagement and bring down bounce rates. Moreover, it also helps improve the time that readers spend on your website which translates into a higher ranking on search engines.
Remember, highly-visual content does not stop at pictures. You can add videos, interactive media like polls, memes, or even app-like widgets. For example, TED Blog uses videos to make its content as easily digestible as possible.
2. Consistency and Frequency
You could be writing great blog articles once a month but not getting any traction on your blog. This is because blogs that post daily get 5 times more traffic compared to those that don’t. Engaging with your audience regularly is a great way to ensure high traffic volumes and make sure your audience doesn’t swift away.
But, exactly how often should you blog? Research suggests that publishing 2 – 4 times per week provides the highest results in terms of both traffic and conversions. For example, the Shopify blog publishes content almost daily to keep the audience engaged and the articles relevant.
3. Originality and Relevance
When your audience searches for information on a certain topic, they want to find and read original and useful content. Also, search engines appreciate originality and rank websites with original content higher than those with auto-generated or plagiarized content.
If you want to provide your audience with unique knowledge and relevant perspective, try answering these questions before publishing your blog articles:
- Is my content timely?
- What current events can I include in my content?
- Am I addressing problems that my target audiences have?
- When is the most relevant time to publish my content?
- How can I gather feedback to know if it was useful?
For example, the peer-to-peer e-commerce site Etsy offers 8 unique blogs aimed to attract a global audience and provide them with practical and timely DIY tips.
4. Blogs Get Longer
While in 2019 a length of 1000 words was preferred for blog posts, the landscape of blogging has changed. Long-form posts and listicles of more than 2000 words tend to perform better when it comes to engaging the readers.
This is especially important if you are focusing on Google ranking and SEO. Search engines give you a better ranking for more words that increase traffic and social media shares. However, before you start increasing the length of your blog articles, remember that Google ranks those posts higher that have quality content with well-researched, in-depth information.
For example, GE Digital publishes long-form blog articles on digital transformation, industrial IoT trends, technical innovations, and the state of industry combining expertise from GE, analysts, customers, and partners.
5. Guest Posting Is Not Dead
While guest posting used to have a stigma attached to it, it is actually one of the most common content marketing trends among successful brands. Guest posts can allow you to expand your reach, attract new audiences and score better in search engines.
So how can you leverage the authority and following of other blogs to drive traffic, links, and build your brand? Offer to write a great article for one of the most popular blogs in your industry. For example, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff used to guest post at TechCrunch on the future of cloud computing to extend the company’s reach and improve its authority and reputation in certain niches.
6. Smart Content Promotion
Writing quality content is only part of the job. An effective promotion strategy is what will make your blog reach the target audience and attract potential new customers. How you will do that will depend on the niche of your business and vary from sharing your content on social media and email newsletters to answering questions on Quora and collaborating with online influencers.
However, before you start the promotion campaign for your blog post, make sure you do it smartly and have prepared everything you need to not only distribute the content but also analyze its performance.
Have a look at this checklist of things you should put together in advance to make your promotional efforts more effective.
- Write out 3-5 headline variations for your post. Make sure you use headline analyzers like Headline Studio from CoSchedule that provide data-driven feedback on your headlines to ensure they drive maximum traffic.
- Create several short social messages for use on Twitter. These can be quotes, statistics, questions, or texts based on headline variations.
- Prepare several slightly longer social messages for use on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Try using tools like Hemingway app to improve the readability and make your copy bold and clear.
- Find your hashtags. For example, Hashtagify.me is a free tool that allows you to search for hashtags, determine their popularity, and how they’re used.
- Create a tracking link for each platform you promote your article on. This will help you track traffic more accurately.
- Create customized shortlinks – tracking links can look messy. Using a URL shortener that allows you to brand and customize your links will make them look better across the promotion channels.
Summing it Up
Blogging is an extremely powerful content marketing method that generates traffic, quality leads, and conversions. If you use it right, it can help you not only to promote your website but also to get people excited about your brand, and even generate sales.
While the digital marketing world is ever-changing, the most important trend that remains is the quality of the content. No matter if you are writing for a newsletter, social media, or a company blog, you have to combine thorough analysis with an understanding of the target audience and target market, to provide value for your readers. However, keep in mind: While the effort you need to invest in blogging is rising, so are the results.