The majority of B2B companies are blogging. In fact, 81 percent are participating in this well-proven marketing activity, according to the Content Marketing Institute. But not all are experiencing excellent results. In fact, some are really struggling.
Mark Twain said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” We know our brands need blogs, but to capture greater results, we need something more than just a wordy post. We need strategies that deliver engagement and ROI. But where should you start?
Brands That Do Blogging Well … and Why
Achieving maximum blog ROI starts with engaging content. You must understand your target audience, focus on their pain points and, above all, leverage creative methods for capturing attention and solidifying relationships. Here are some examples to inspire your blogging efforts.
Four tactics for better blogging
1. Uncover Your Readers’ Needs
Kinaxis is a supply management company. The company was blogging, but needed to improve its results. It hired a research firm to gain a better understanding of the target market that it served through its blogging efforts.
The company discovered that its current approach, which included publishing company news, promotional information, and other self-focused details, wasn’t helping its blogging ROI.
Instead, the company needed to create content that would inform, engage and bring value to its target audience.
After refocusing on its audience’s needs and pain points, the company reported a 2.7x increase in website traffic and a 5.3x increase in blog traffic.
Lesson Learned: Always focus on your target audience. It’s not about you.
2. Effectively Reach a Diverse Target Market
Deloitte is a company that understands its customers, but the company has a variety of target audiences from diverse industries – ranging from government to life sciences. Blogging for everyone in the same place simply doesn’t work. Specialized hubs solved this blogging challenge.
The separate hubs help the company avoid generating broad content that fails to resonate with any of the target markets. Instead, the company is engaging with each segment on its own terms to more effectively to build relationships. This is good for SEO as well, as the company can provide more specialized information on its blog pages.
Lesson Learned: Use multiple blog hubs in order to connect specialized content with different target audiences.
3. Use the Power of Images to Drive ROI
Sixty-five percent of people are visual learners. In fact, content with relevant images captures 94 percent more views than content without them. So what does this mean for B2B marketers trying to maximize their blogging ROI?
You must maximize your use of images.
For example, Airbnb is using the power of images through its blog to boost results and engage more deeply with readers.
It is also creating engaging content that resonates with and inspires its readers, such as highlighting a story about a couple who spent over 887 days traveling the world using Airbnb.
Lesson Learned: Use images to drive results.
4. Communicate in New Ways
Intercom publishes the blog “Inside Intercom,” where the company uses detailed visuals and infographics to solidify and drive home information points. For example, it published “Killer User Onboarding Starts with a Story,” in which humor was used to reinforce the content.
Boosting Blog ROI: 4 Tips for Success
If you want to increase blogging ROI and results, but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few tips for success.
- Start with decision-makers. The Content Marketing Institute says that 80 percent of business decision-makers prefer to receive information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. Create a persona for each relevant type of decision-maker so you can tailor your content to their needs more effectively.
- Transform your blog into an industry resource. What publications does your target market read? Identify these outlets and aim to create a higher level of content. Interview industry experts, share new statistics about pain points and create thought leadership pieces to capture attention. Differentiate yourself from the others if you can, so you’re not a me-too publication.
- Dig deeper. Select words that your target market uses to describe topics, and don’t avoid jargon if your audience uses it. People outside the industry might not understand, but that’s all right, because you’ll more effectively reach the people whom your blog is designed to serve. But don’t overdo it. The jargon should be specific and meaningful, not big-picture and fuzzy.
- Predict the future. Regardless of industry, target audiences always want to find out what’s next. Publish predictions at least once a year to better connect with your target audience and expand your reach. For example, QuickSprout published a blog with 10 marketing predictions that would help marketers prepare for the New Year.
Measuring the Results
After making changes, it’s important to determine whether what you’re doing works. But many marketers struggle with measuring and proving their blogging ROI. Here are a few strategies to consider.
- Lead generation. Lead generation is a strong metric that can be tied to revenue. Track the number of new leads generated from the blog and the average value of each lead.
- Blog registrations. Blog readers may not become customers instantly, because blogging is a nurturing tool. But as you continue to deliver great content, you will experience results. Set a blog registration goal and measure your results over time.
- Social shares. Publishing regular blog posts expands your reach and visibility. Increase your activity on social media, and measure the number of social shares that your content receives in order to quantify your success.
- New unique site visitors. When new readers land on your blog, you are introducing your products and services to them for the first time. This is valuable time with them. Measure the number of new unique site visitors to your blog.
Generating Better ROI … One Post at a Time
Readers don’t need another blog post. There is plenty of content on the web. But what they do need is useful information. Their time is valuable, and it’s our responsibility as marketers not only to get in front of them, but to ensure their time is well-spent. If you keep your readers in mind with every decision, over time, your ROI will improve.
How do you measure blogging ROI? Please share your approach and strategies.
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