For blogs to be worth the effort, they need to be supported by an integrated marketing plan of action. In this blog, Sarah looks at ways to make your blogging efforts pay off and actively stimulate engagement with your target audience.

Author: Sarah Maynard

Blogs and authored articles can be an important part of your communications strategy but they require time and effort to make sure they perform. There are lots of reasons why companies should blog; research shows that companies that make the effort to post blogs generate an average of 67% more leads on a monthly basis than companies that don’t[1]. And blogs are rated the fifth most trusted source for accurate information[2].

It should go without saying that a blog needs to be well written, bylined to someone with relevant knowledge and authority, and offer content that holds potential value for your target audience. Respect their time and offer them inspiring or insightful content that will enhance their day or help them do their job better.

Unfortunately, simply writing a good blog isn’t enough to get you any serious marketing benefits and won’t get you much exposure. When you want your content to be read, shared, liked, linked to and mentioned, there’s a bit more effort involved. To make your content work harder, you need to actively market your blog, just the way you’d market any product or service.

For a blog to thrive, every post should be supported by its own mini campaign and be part of an integrated marketing plan of action. Blogs that don’t achieve their objectives are those that exist in silos, sitting dormant and buried on a website. You need to actively drive your audience to your content using every tool in the box.

The way to create an integrated push for a blog post is to get the whole company involved. Writing a simple outbound email for the sales team to forward when contacting existing and prospective customers can be an effective way to stimulate engagement with your blog.

For added impact, lean on your social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, hook these up with your blog’s feed and update your followers and fans with your latest posts. In the B2B space, with over 433 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is a powerful platform for marketing your blog. By encouraging colleagues to post your blog content from their individual accounts, you’ll help to boost interaction and web traffic.

Think about also actively marketing your blog by interacting with relevant influencers in your sector, leaving insightful comments on their posts and drawing them back to your own site. Make use of search engines and write about topics that are popular or topical and even offer to contribute to influential online publications or third-party blogs to help raise your profile.

Make sure that posts have a clear call to action and lead the reader back to your site. You might consider having some high-value gated content, such as a white paper, to offer the reader something in exchange for handing over their contact details.

Keep track of how people are landing on your blog. You’ll start to see that some posts perform better than others and then you can start to tailor content to your readers’ needs, as well as making the best use of your external sources and prioritising the marketing channels that are really drawing people in.

Consider investing in paid promotion too. Your analytics will determine whether it’s working and help you evaluate your return on time and costs invested.

When your content marketing activities are working harmoniously and pushing towards the same goal, you’ll create a seamless journey from one communication to the next and between channels. When aligned, the contribution made by each channel will collectively increase the overall levels of audience engagement.

The point of integration is consistency of narrative wherever your customer interacts with you. It’s an approach that will build trust with your intended audience, and when your customer trusts you, they’re more likely to engage with and ultimately buy from you.

For your blogging efforts to reap rewards and show you a return on your investment in terms of time and effort, they should be part of a tight, integrated campaign. Unless your blog is supported by other channels, it risks not being seen or even read by your target audience. By taking the time for some joined up thinking, making your blog part of your overall marketing strategy and getting other staff members involved to support, you will ensure your blog builds momentum, interaction, trust, sales enquiries and traffic to your website.

For advice how to optimise your B2B content marketing to support your business goals, get in touch.

[1] https://www.demandmetric.com/content/content-marketing-infographic

[2] https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-a-blog

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