According to the B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report produced by CMI and Marketing Profs, the use of blogs has increased to 65% from 51% in 2010. From an effectiveness perspective, the use of blogs as a marketing tactic increased by a whopping 45% during the last year. This is terrific news!
For those of you who haven't yet jumped on the Blogging bandwagon, it's one of the easiest formats for content marketing. Here are a few reasons why:
- Ease of execution - the tools offer simplicity that even the most technically challenged marketer can use to publish content.
- No waiting in the IT queue line. This means your content can be live when you need it to be, without worry, teeth grinding or trauma.
- Short blog posts can be effective at engaging readers, lessening your effort to create the content, as well as your busy audience's effort to read them.
Blogs also provide a versatility that other content formats don't make as easy.
10 Ways to Use Blog Posts:
- Launchpads: It's easy to use a blog post to announce or share summaries and ideas and link to additional content located on your other web properties to direct traffic where you want it to go.
- Newsletters: Pick 3 - 5 blog posts from the month and use them to create a newsletter for customer nurturing.
- Lead Nurturing: Use a blog post as a "touch" in a nurturing program. Actually, if you think about it, you're already nurturing your RSS feed subscribers. Are you attracting the right people?
- Embed stuff: From SlideShare to videos to graphics, embedding content is easy and served to make your blog more interactive and varied.
- Float Ideas: Want to know if a topic resonates with your audience? Write a blog post about it and measure the response. This way you'll have an idea about whether it's worth it to invest time and energy into writing that white paper, hosting a webinar or producing a video.
- Add Depth with Related Content: Link blog posts together to create topical pathways or insert hyperlinks to blog posts on product or website pages where the topics aligns.
- Fuel Social Media: This one goes without saying, but blog posts are fuel for social media posts. In fact, without a blog, I'm not quite sure how marketers are going to use social media to pull traffic that has the potential to become leads.
- Expose Thought Leadership: Interview your company thought leaders and post the results on the blog to demonstrate the value your company brings. Reach out to industry experts and invite them to guest post.
- Search result improvement: Are you using the right keywords and phrases in your titles and first paragraph?
- Start conversations: Comments are a huge benefit of blogging. Invite people to participate. Make sure to provide a bit of direction as I do below by asking for additions to this list. I see a lot of blog posts that end with something vague, such as "Share your thoughts - we'd love to hear them." I can never think of a thing to say when I hit that wall.
These are only a few ideas to help you get more value from your blog moving forward. What else would you add to the list?