How to Create a Blog Strategy That Will Help You Love Your Content

How to Create a Blog Strategy That Will Help You Love Your Content

In 2018, 53% of marketers say that blogging is a top priority when it comes to marketing.

Whenever I see a piece of data, or a statistic that seems particularly important, I ask, “why?” And for that statistic in particular, it got me thinking about how important blogging is in a digital marketing strategy—and how we can use data to better improve our strategy.

Blogging, for a long time, has been placed on the backburner when it comes to content marketing. Businesses are more likely to focus on social media and paid advertising than blogging—and while those two pieces are important in any digital marketing strategy, they are missing out on a major opportunity.

I agree with those 53% of marketers who say that blogging is a top priority for all businesses and I have the data to back it up.

As a data driven company, we often look for ways to prove our marketing efforts. This doesn’t mean manipulating data to say what we want: we believe in the power of data as it is and using that data to make better decisions.

So what does data around blogging say about blog strategy?

47% of buyers viewed approximately 4-5 pieces of content before making a purchase. That means, before someone buys from a website online, they are most likely reading blog posts, reading through your website, and trying to learn more about your product. So what if that content isn’t there?

In a recent survey, blogs are rated in the top 5 of most trusted sources for information. That means, if a potential customer or lead is looking for information about your product or service, they will trust more of that information from a blog post.

When you feature blogs as a key part of your website, you are 434% more likely to rank highly on search engines; this is because blogging is an excellent way to improve the SEO of your website with less cost and labor than other, traditional forms. As well, digital marketing strategies are 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI when they prioritize blogging.

Essentially, the importance of blogging can be broken down into a few statements:
  • A blog increases the SEO of your website.
  • A blog increases trust among your customers and potential customers.
  • Prioritizing a blog increases the ROI of your marketing efforts.

The data shows that blogging is an effective and important aspect of any digital marketing strategy. But what can data show us about creating that blog strategy?

In other words, how can we use data about blogging to better inform our strategy? (Don’t forget to read our blog post about using data in your digital marketing plan for a refresher on the basic idea.)

Let’s answer the two questions we hear most often when it comes to blogging strategy.

What Should My Blog Content Look Like?

Thankfully, for this question, we have a fair amount of data to help us determine what kind of content consumers generally want to see. (And remember, your specific data may differ. If, after 8-12 weeks of a content marketing strategy, it appears that it doesn’t work; it is an important part of any strategy to adjust and figure out what does work best.)
  • 36% of consumers prefer list-based headlines.
  • Blogs that use images are 94% receive more traffic than blogs that don’t.
  • The average blog post is 1,142 words.
  • 43% of people admit to just skimming blog posts if they don’t use visual elements.

What does this teach us about producing content?

  1. Headlines should include numbers and list-based premises (because these are quicker to read for consumers), like “10 Ways to Use Dried Apples” or “10 Quick Breakfast Ideas for Running Out the Door.”
  2. Blogs should be visual: that means using images or infographics throughout the blog post, including graphic headings. Again, this helps keep readers interested through the entire blog post, instead of skimming large sections of text.
  3. Blog posts should be longer than 800 words, but not over 2,000 words (unless it is broken up into multiple parts). Again, this just improves readability.

How Many Times a Month Should You Post?

When it comes to this data, unfortunately, things to start to get a little more slippery. Many companies with blogs notice a sharp increase in traffic when they post every day, but for most businesses, daily blogging is not a realistic goal. However, B2B companies that published 16 or more blog posts got about 4 times more leads than those that only blog weekly. That is a pretty significant different—however, producing 16 blog posts a month is pretty substantial in terms of labor.

As well, B2C companies that blogged more than 11 times in a month got about 4 times more leads than those that only publish around 4 a month. Again, those numbers are significant.

It is safe to say that a business should be posting blogs at least 1-2 times a week. Again, this is a significant number—but if you consider that you can write one long blog post and split it into two parts, it becomes much more manageable and you can use this strategy to increase traffic and page views.

What Do We Do Now?

When it comes to blogging strategically, you can now realistically determine what kind of blogging strategy you want to implement as part of your digital marketing plan. We recommend that you read our blog post from last week about using data in digital marketing.

Here are a few steps to tackle first:

  1. Determine how many blog posts you can realistically create per month. For many, this will only be 4 (one per week) to start. That’s ok; something is better than nothing!
  2. Do research into keywords to determine what topics to write about. You may need to dive into Google Analytics to see what is bringing people to your website, so you can better optimize those searches and help them connect to your brand.
  3. Once those two steps are out of the way, write a list of 12-16 blog post topics and organize them onto a calendar. Google Calendar works well, but a paper calendar is fine too.

From there, it’s all about producing content. To learn more about writing content, click here.

Developing a strategy for your brand’s blog can feel like a monumental process. But it’s one that’s worth taking on. As I’ve discussed in this blog post, blogging can help your ROI and your marketing efforts—all for less cost than other forms of marketing. Blog posts don’t have to be huge, behemoth tasks; they can be short, simple, and to-the-point for your potential customers. If you want to learn more about blog strategy, and writing blogs that get results, click here.
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