If you keep up with the latest business and marketing news, you’ve probably seen a lot about blogging lately.
“Blogging is dead.”
“Blogging is so old-school.”
“People don’t read blogs anymore. They’re visual by nature.”
Yep, we’ve read it all, and we only have to say one thing about that: They’re wrong.
Blogging is still one of the fastest, easiest ways to get content to your targeted audience. One survey recently found that blogs continue to be among the primary three forms of media used in content marketing strategies today. And as many as 73 percent of people admit to skimming blog posts regularly, while 27 percent consume content in blog posts thoroughly.
If you post content, will viewers read your blog? You bet. But there are a few things you need to do to ensure you’re reaching the right audience with the right information.
Why do people read blog posts?
Think back to your school days. What motivated you the most? Chances are it involved stories.
Humans are storytellers. Throughout history, before people had paper or books or cameras, they had the ability to weave together storylines that taught and entertained.
If you read a dry textbook, you might fall asleep. But if you pick up your favorite storybook, you might be enthralled all night. “I just can’t put it down!”
It’s no different, especially with the best blogs online.
People have one common goal: they want to be heard. The more they feel that in the content you provide, the more likely they are to remain on your site, request more information, and eventually, do business with you.
As you move forward and add blog posts to your website, ask yourself a few questions:
- Why am I writing this post?
- Does my content tell a story, or am I writing it only to attract attention in the search engines?
- Is my blog post readable? Is it written in a way that people want to read it?
- What does it have to say? Does it speak to my target audience?
Do these questions make you rethink what you’ve been posting?
What you write isn’t meant for everyone. Not everyone is your target audience.
But when you hit the right combination, when you create an informative or entertaining post, people will love it, share it, and take action on it.
What do people want?
That is one of the most difficult questions to answer. It’s one that, as a marketer, you will be asking for as long as you market your product or service.
Even when you find the answer today, it may change tomorrow. New technology means new ways to capture attention. People may morph and change their habits and needs based on what’s available.
To give your readers what they want, it’s essential to stay attuned to their desires. One way to do that is with statistics. With your Google Analytics account, you can find out exactly how your audience is accessing information, and track where they go.
Readers today are more likely to read your information using a phone or a tablet than they are a desktop application. But wouldn’t you like to know that percentage? Business sites may still be utilized primarily through desktop and laptop access. But if you are consumer-based, all bets are off. Do people search for what you provide in their spare time, viewing it on a tiny screen?
Are you producing content in a manner that is conducive to how they view it?
Targeting the right audience has never been more important
All the traffic in the world won’t help you if you aren’t targeting the right audience. One million vegans deposited on a site that sells t-bone steaks may get your statistics moving, but it won’t do much for sales.
While it’s important to create the right story, and find the right audience that wants to view it, it’s equally important to increase engagement. What does your audience have to say?
When they read your blog, is it meaningful? Do they want to read more? Do they want to come back to your site? Do they want to share it with the world?
There are a lot of generalities out there about how you should create a blog post.
- Create a post that’s over 1,000 words in length for balance between what readers will read and what search engines will rank.
- Add graphics to make a post more readable.
- Add lots of white space, so the post isn’t intimidating when a reader first arrives on your site.
- Chunk the post. Build a post with key pieces of content, add in bullet points, throw in charts and infographics. Build summaries and key takeaways. People love to scan, if you reel them in with a worthy section, they’re more likely to stick around.
Of course, all of these are good ideas. And all can work … for some websites and companies.
But if you’ve learned anything about marketing, you know that just when you figure out the rules, they change.
Your job is to find what your readers want. What entices them? What can you continue to provide to gain attention?
This doesn’t have to be exciting topics. You don’t have to turn what you offer into pure entertainment. Everything in life is important at some point in time.
Even fixing a toilet is essential once in a while.
Content is king
In 1996, Bill Gates wrote an article that made the “content is king” phrase king of marketing strategies.
It’s still true today, and will be for the foreseeable future.
Why? Because content is what connects you to your customers. Without it, you don’t have a business model.
The businesses that learn that and play the game well succeed.
If you choose this path, there are three steps you’ll have to take:
- Create content
- Test and perfect it
- Rinse and repeat
This isn’t rocket science. But it is something you have to work at as a part of your marketing strategy for the life of your business.
Need help creating high-quality content? We can help.