Content creation is critical to any organization looking to thrive online.
Our consultants find that mistakes are often made when content producers are in a rush or lack experience in marketing. We are fortunate to have a team of writers trained in SEO and marketing best practices, as well as journalism, so we have the best of all worlds! Part of the work we do is to help healthcare, tech and B2B industries tackle the finer points of content marketing to give their writing a larger reach. Not only will they attract greater search engine visibility that way, but they will gain more profitable leads and forge better relationships with existing customers as well. Here are eight steps to take once you have written a new blog post that will help you “make the magic happen” and drive results for your business…
8 Ways To Reach More People With Your Next Blog
1. Get a second set of eyes on it.
Amateurs crank out a post, hit “publish”, and walk away from it forever. Experts have an editor they like working with — perhaps a shrewd, detail-oriented person from corporate or a consultant with real-world marketing experience and industry expertise. This other brain should look out for any glaring grammatical errors (although you should also be using a tool like Grammarly to edit all posts). A real, live person should be able to further identify any unclear passages or areas that could use more detail. It can be easy to lose yourself in the post and assume that your readers are on the same page. Lastly, your editor must think about the target audience and ask: Is this blog truly relevant? Does it help identify a need or solve a problem?
2. Try different headlines.
Research tells us only 1 in 5 people will see the body of your blog post — while 4 in 5 will scan the headline. So clearly, if you want shares, clicks, likes and reads, you need a compelling title!
Google Analytics is a great (and free!) place to start. Look for common threads in your most popular blog headlines and topics. Go to: Google Analytics > Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages
We also use more advanced tools like BuzzSumo to assess headlines of the most shared content by topic and A/B testing tools like Convert, Visual Website Optimizer, and the Title Experiments Free WordPress plugin. These simple tests will alternate the title that appears for every other visitor to provide you with data on which headline variation received the most clicks and shares. There are many other tools to choose from — some with rather costly monthly fees — so before making an investment, be sure to check with our consultants to see if the tool is truly necessary for your business!
After performing a series of tests, HubSpotdetermined the best blog titles featured:
– Broader topics
– Less common adjectives
– “You” language
– “Surprises” or “secrets”
– Clear offers
– “Fool-proof formulas,” rather than “guides” or “checklists”
– Light-hearted tone
– Simple value propositions
– Clear topics
3. Add optimized images to your post.
It’s widely accepted that visual content attracts more eyes on social media. You also pick up additional notices when people are searching Google Images or scouring sites like Pinterest. As HubSpot noted this year:
Blogs containing relevant images receive 94% more views.
Sure, you can have a one line sentence at the end, inviting people to contact you for more information. We do it. Heck, everyone does it. But if you have REALLY delivered the goods in your blog post and you are hoping for a bigger return, you can include a newsletter signup form instead, which will build your email list and number of credible leads. Another type of call-to-action that works is to invite readers to download a more in-depth ebook version of what they’ve just read. It’s just another way of delivering more value to your prospects in exchange for their contact details. You may also consider adding an interactive quiz , a contest or a Slideshare presentation at the end of your article. SumoMe has an in-depth rundown of call-to-action hacks worth reading if you have another minute.
5. Publish at a better time… and then… do it again!
We tend to think of our audience as loyal, dedicated fans who visit our websites daily for updates and who read our social media posts in a linear fashion as they are published. However, the average media consumer is bombarded by tons of stimulus all day long. Their minds are crowded with their own agendas — not just yours. It is exceedingly rare that a person is viewing your business through the same lens as your internal employees. Consider this: we publish the same blog link an average of SEVEN TIMES across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. If we were truly tiring everyone of our posts, then we would notice a big response with the first posting and diminished responses thereafter, but this is far from the case. In fact, some of our subsequent posts tend to be more popular, depending on who we happen to catch at a particular time. Some readers habitually check social media at set times — on their lunch break or when they have a lazy Saturday afternoon free — but most people log in at all different times. It will take some research to find common timing themes among your constituents. A tool like the Buffer App can help you determine the optimal days and times to share.
Again, the old fallacy of “rabid fans plugged into every aspect of your media publishing schedule” comes into play. You cannot assume every reader has already gobbled up every blog post you’ve written. We find it extremely helpful to include links to old blog posts that are relevant to what you’re currently discussing. If you are astute, dear reader, we’ve already “assaulted” you with old blog links. We try to make our writing as evergreen as possible, so these older tidbits of information are still relevant as the months or years wear on. Interlinking is also an SEO best practice that improves site structure and builds authority to help you rank better in Google and other search engines.
7. Remember your influencers.
We’ve talked at length about how to run a successful influencer marketing campaign. If you are already doing that, then “good on you,” as the Aussies would say. Don’t forget to contact your influencers to let them know if you have mentioned them in your post, published their interview, or if you know they are particularly interested in your topic. Seek out similar posts and add your comment, tweet to the publishers, or shoot out a quick email. You may be surprised by how much this small gesture can expand your reach.
8. Drop it in your newsletter.
What good is an email subscriber list if you never use it? From our experience, newsletter subscribers tend to be repeat customers and our clients’ most loyal fans. Including links to your best blog entries in your email newsletter is a guaranteed way to pick up more shares — particularly if you embed “click to share” social media buttons to make the task even easier.
Want to learn more about writing effective content?