photo credit: aresearchguide.com
Blogging is a great tool for businesses to establish their authority and win over customers—but the process is much more complex than writing and posting. Much like the tree falling in the woods, no one will simply “hear” your message, and what’s the point of writing blogs if no one is reading?
Along with crafting a powerful, relevant message, every blogger needs the right tools to push their content out into the world so that the message gets seen by the most important people — those who need your product or service.
With these tools and a little savvy, you can blast out an irresistible message that will appear on millions of screens, while people browse and read — a message that converts into clicks, and clicks that convert into customers.
Step 1: Develop a killer idea.
Before you start brainstorming ideas for that first topic, remember this tenet of marketing: Much of our behavior is driven by a wish to alleviate pain or boost pleasure.
“Your customers are motivated to act much more frequently because of pain than because of pleasure; pain is more immediate and generates stronger emotions, so avoiding it always wins,” Sarah Collins wrote for AllBusiness.
“If avoiding pain compels people to buy from you, all’s well and good. But what if they associate you or your product with future pain and won’t buy?” she said.
With that in mind, aim your first blog topic right at the lives of your customers. Think about how your product or service fixes pain points. Then angle your topic toward information and solutions that give them that nudge forward, with a well-placed tie-in to your product.
Step 2: Get organized.
After you’ve done your research, brainstormed the tips and insights, and gathered up those expert perspectives and statistics, it’s time to corral this swarm of information into an outline.
Remember, most readers aren’t looking for a deep dive. They want information that gets to the point, palatable and easily scanned.
Once they click, they’ll have one question: “Is this worth reading?”
Break up the block of text with plenty of subheads, keep the paragraphs brief and be sure to write bright, concise sentences.
Step 3: Wait until the end to bring up your product.
People browse online for entertainment and information. If a click takes them right into a six-cylinder sales pitch for your product — let’s say driveway blacktop — you can count on a bounce. Instead, your blog should back into that sales pitch.
A better approach: Make a list of tell-tale signs of asphalt damage.
Wait until the bottom third of your blog to bring up the product, and do it in a way so that it flows naturally into the topic.
At the bottom of the page, land on that call to action (CTA). Hopefully, by then, your reader will be saying, “Come to think of it, my driveway is in terrible shape. I should sign up for that free consultation.”
Step 4: Give the headline extra attention.
A blog headline is a lot like the display window of a downtown shop. The best ones stoke curiosity — people just stop in their tracks and feel like they must go in. Whatever you choose, it’s crucial that the headline is a true reflection of the content.
If the headline says one thing, but the content goes in a different direction, that will torpedo all the expectations your reader brought to the blog. Once again, you can expect a bounce.
Step 5: Share! Share! Share!
Now that your blog is written, revised, polished, copy edited, and posted (with an eye-catching image), a natural place to start the sharing is on social media. Sponsored posts are easy to put together at a low cost, plus they can help you reach a wide range of social media users who are potentially interested in what you have to say.
According to Social Media Examiner, social media has been very successful for content marketing in the past couple of years.
92% of marketers say that social media is important to their business, and more than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least two years report it helped them improve sales.
As people scroll, scroll, scroll through their feeds, you may catch a groundswell of impressions. But that’s not the same as getting clicks. A click physically takes that customer one step closer to action. But impressions? Not so much. Social media is a great tool to get seen, help people find you, and engage with your customers. At the same time, it’s crucial to bring a multi-platform approach when it comes to sharing your content.
Step 6: Find the right distribution channel
Find a network and be seen on thousands of sites by readers who are interested in your product. How do you get there? Just a few years ago, banner ads were the answer, especially those designed to plug in content based on the user’s browsing and clicking habits.
Here’s the problem: The actual inventor of the banner ad calls it the “worst ad experience ever invented” for the way it now interferes with the online and mobile experience. Probably not the best vehicle for your blog.
Instead, opt for a native platform that will make your blog title and photo tie in seamlessly with other articles on the website. Look at it this way: If it appears on a site that prospective customers already trust and visit, they are much more likely to risk a click when they see your zippy headline embedded with the other pieces.
That’s the upside of partnering with a content discovery platform like Taboola. Your blog will appear on our vast network of high-quality, brand safe publishers.
Step 7: Analyze the results
Once that blog post is out, you’ll want to know how it performed. Did people click, and did it result in the behavior you hoped to see? That is, did the blog hit your goals for newsletter sign-ups, free trials, and even sales?
Many platforms can give you data on what people clicked. While that’s useful in some situations, Taboola offers content providers a much richer portrait. We know what people are reading, and how they’re interacting with your content.
Not only will that help us get your content to the right audience, you’ll have tremendous new insight on what your customers are looking for. That could provide just the spark you need for your next killer topic!
Taboola is the world’s leading content discovery platform, serving 360B recommendations to over 1B unique visitors each month on the web’s most innovative publisher sites. To learn more about how Taboola can help you A/B test your site content, contact us or start your campaign.