Being the small kid on the block is never easy. Especially when you have a much smaller marketing budget than larger companies. The good news is that content marketing offers smaller companies a great opportunity to market against their large competitors at a fraction of the investment.
One of the most powerful ways to harness the power of content marketing is through a business blog. According to a LinkedIn study, blogging is one of the top three tactics used by content marketers. It’s great that so many folks are bought into the idea of blogging; however, after a quick look at the business blogs out there, it quickly becomes evident that marketers are struggling to tap into the real power of a blog to engage their audience and drive leads. (e.g., infrequent updates, a lack of promotion, and too much reliance on content that’s company-focused rather than reader-focused).
Curata conducted a study of 428 marketers to understand what the “best of the best” bloggers are doing to impact their companies’ revenue. These leading bloggers are identified in the study as the “10K Business Blogging Club”, a group of bloggers who attract more than ten thousand visitors to their blogs every month. What’s most impressive, is that two-thirds of this 10K Club consist of companies with less than $100M revenue.
So how does a small or medium business make it into the 10K Business Blogging Club?
Curata’s study used interviews and survey data to analyze the attributes of these 10K Club members that skyrocketed them towards success, and established six crucial business blogging tips for small and medium business content marketing success:
1. Understand the Value of Business Blogging & Investment
A small business owner is often thinly spread across multiple activities, which require his or her attention. Often, there is no time left for blogging. To help avoid this trap and ensure a plan for success, it is important to understand the importance and value of:
- owning your own blog
- investing in content creation and curation
- marketing your marketing
The 10K Club marketers get the potential value of blogging as indicated by the fact that 56% of them are hiring additional resources in this year dedicated to their blogging efforts.
2. Implement a Blogging Strategy
No real big surprise, 10K Club members have a blogging strategy. More specifically, they target their efforts towards owned and earned media, with some paid media, as well as being very specific about the types of content they develop and the resources they use. Small to medium business bloggers should emulate the success of the 10K Club by creating a blogging strategy that includes:
- Specific objectives, metrics and targets (e.g., demand generation, with a targeted number of leads generated and nurtured per quarter)
- Target personas and related buying stages for your audience (blogging and content marketing are intended for every stage of the buying process, so be deliberate about content creation for these varying segments of your audience)
- Keywords: What keywords are you going after? Why?
- Content pyramids: What are the handful of content campaigns/pyramids that you need to execute in order to achieve the above objectives?
- Content creation and curation strategy, including outsourcing
- Promotional plans
3. Offer Relevant and High Quality Content
Buyers demand high-quality content that is relevant to their needs, without the egocentric element. Provide your readers with valuable content on topics that focus on them and their goals, rather than blowing your horn and ramming your own products or services down their throats.
Examples of ways to create high-quality, relevant content include:
- Tap into the value that subject matter experts (internal and external) have to offer. (e.g., your product management team, executives, external influencers)
- Use infographics, charts, images and other visual elements to engage your users.
- Complement your created content with curated content to better leverage resources and support your own thought leadership with external perspectives.
4. Practice Consistency
Post frequency is a major trend among the 10K Club members, the majority (91%) of whom post new blog posts at least weekly.
5. Use a Multi-Channel Marketing Distribution Approach
Successful marketers don’t just create awesome content and blast it out to their social media profiles. Instead, they use a multi-channel distribution approach, including:
- Aligning strategies with their social media teams to ensure a smooth hand-off of content for promotion to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Promoting their content across their own networks.
- Nurturing their buyers via newsletters. (39% of 10K Club business bloggers use newsletters to promote their content at least once a week).
- Using paid media tools and promotional services, such as Taboola, Disqus and Outbrain.
6. Track Your Results
Page views remain the most commonly measured element by bloggers, as well as:
- Duration on site
- Likes, shares and comments
- Newsletter or site subscriptions
However, for 10K Club members, analytics don’t stop at the metrics above. They go a step further to track their influence on the sales and marketing pipeline, and the impact of individual writers. (The Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics & Metrics offers more insight, metrics and frameworks.)
Using these tips should help you join the 10K Club if you have not done so already. If you’ve already made it, benchmark your performance by heading over to our latest eBook, Business Blogging Secrets Revealed.