Superb content is the cornerstone of your marketing campaign because people want to be educated, not sold. Producing and providing quality content to your target market will set you apart as an authority in your industry. When they decide it’s time to make a purchase, they’ll head to you.
The goal of every piece of content you produce is to provide a better customer experience to website visitors. They should find the expert-level advice and knowledge that they’re seeking. Is your current content providing value to your visitors?
The Power of Business Blogging
Every business that wishes to grow their revenue online must have a blog. Blogs provide a number of tangible benefits that will boost your business:
Blogs help drive visitors to your website. Every business owner wants more website visitors, but how do you get them? There are three ways to drive traffic to your website (without paying for ads, guest posts, etc.): blogging, social media, and search engines. In fact, blogging assists with social media marketing and drives organic search engine traffic.
Every time you publish a blog post, it is one more indexed page on your website. That means it provides a greater opportunity for your website to show up on search engines.
Additionally, writing excellent blog posts helps you reach new prospective customers on social media. Every blog post is a piece of content that others can share on social media, which exposes your business to a brand-new audience.
Blogs help convert visitors into leads. You have traffic coming to your website, that’s great! Now, to really grow your business, that traffic must convert into paying customers or clients. Every published blog post is an opportunity to do just that – convert visitors into leads. Add a call-to-action lead generation form to the bottom (or top, or middle) of every blog post. These calls-to-action are more effective if they provide free content in exchange for an email address: free ebooks, free whitepapers, free webinars, etc. Blogs help with what’s called ‘traffic-to-lead’ conversions. This is how it works:
Blogs establish you as an authority. An effective business blog will post content that addresses common questions and pain points within the industry. Consistently creating content that strives to help your target audience will establish your blog as an authority in their eyes.
Establishing authority is more difficult goal than increasing traffic and leads, but it’s a potent goal to pursue. Becoming an authority in your industry will illustrate your expertise to potential customers, who will start to trust you as they read your outstanding content. They become more likely to convert into leads, and then from leads into customers. Lastly, having in-depth blog posts that answer common questions can also be used as tools by your salespeople to help answer customers’ questions.
Blogs provide long-term results. Think of blogging like a long, slow avalanche. When you start out, you might not see a massive boost in traffic or leads. However, thanks to search engines, every blog post you publish add to the avalanche of traffic. Almost every blog post you publish will continue to drive traffic for weeks, months, and even years. This means it keeps driving traffic, keeps generating leads, and keeps showing your authority. The effort that you invest today in your blog can pay off big time for months to come.
Blogs help you refine your target market. Do you know exactly who you’re targeting with your marketing efforts? If you’re like most businesses, you have a rough idea, but it could use refinement. Having a blog helps you learn who visits your website, who becomes leads and who becomes customers. You’ll learn more about the people out there who become paying customers by writing content that appeals to them.
Not all blogs are created equal. You won’t reap the above benefits by publishing low-quality content whenever you feel like it. Instead, you must:
Add New Onsite Pages Regularly
New content is the lifeblood of your online presence. It shows search engines that your business is alive and well, on top of catering to the needs of your website visitors. Having a blog will provide you a space for adding new onsite pages, but don’t neglect your static pages. You may discover as traffic grows that you need more static onsite pages.
For example, if you regularly receive emails from current or prospective customers asking the same questions, it’s time to create a FAQ page. Link to the FAQ page from your contact page. Doing this will both cut down on the time you spend responding to emails and provide increased value to your website visitors.
Look for opportunities to add new onsite content to your website. Doing so will enhance your visitors’ experience, help attract more traffic, and add clarity to your business.
A Concise Guide to Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is the act of providing content to another website in exchange for a link back to your website. This practice can help you reach a new audience, generate new leads, and ultimately boost your revenue.
Before you start looking for guest blogging opportunities, take a minute to determine your business goals. Understanding your goals will help you understand which types of blogs you should ask to guest blog for. There are three primary goals for guest blogging:
Ideally, you’ll accomplish all three goals with a single guest post. However, not all blogs that you post on will be well-suited for each of these goals. Therefore, it pays to have a clear and concise goal about what you are out to accomplish with guest blogging.
It’s now time to start looking for guest blogging opportunities. Regardless of your stated goal, you will want to post on blogs that are highly relevant to your industry. Consider the following criteria as you investigate different blogs:
For example, if you are selling yoga mats, you’ll want to look for guest posting opportunities on health and wellness blogs that have an engaged audience and active social media profiles.
How do you find the actual guest post opportunities? There are a few ways to find them:
Google searches. The best place to begin finding guest posting opportunities is to run a few choice searches. Use your primary keyword, for example ‘yoga mats’, and combine it with some of the following phrases:
These searches will reveal different blogs that accept guest posts, or who have published guest posts.
Competitor backlink profiles: What is your competition doing online? Research their backlink profiles to see where they’re guest posting, then see if you can guest post on the same blog. You can use tools like Open Site Explorer to investigate the backlinks that your competition has accrued. Another way is to do this Google search (replacing domain.com with your competitor’s domain): link:domain.com -domain.com “guest post”.
My Blog Guest: Another way to find guest posts is to use MyBlogGuest, which is a network of blogs that accept guest posts. You can sign up for free and search for different blogs that are accepting guest posts. You can also create a profile for your blog, allowing you to accept guest posts.
Create a spreadsheet that details all of the guest posting opportunities that you’ve found using the above methods. Then, it’s time to start getting to know the blog before you pitch.
Spend time getting to know the blog’s content: Read through the blog’s past posts and pay attention to the topics they discuss, along with the style used in the posts.
Read other guest posts on the blog: Ideally, your target blog will already be accepting and publishing guest posts. Seek these out and read them thoroughly. What did they do well? What could they have done better?
Discover which posts perform the best: Based on comments and social shares, identify the types of posts that have performed well. Make notes about the topic and analyze the style of writing.
Participate in the community: Follow the blog’s social media pages, comment on new blog posts, and sign up for the forum (if there is one). Become an active member of the community; it’ll greatly increase your odds of having a guest post published.
While you can pitch guest posts at any time, there are a few key opportunities that you should capitalize on. Always pitch a guest post when:
If you notice any of the above, it’s time to send a pitch. However, before you do, make sure that you’re following the best practices for submitting a guest post. Understanding the art of the guest blog pitch will greatly increase the chances of your guest post being accepted:
Invest in Premium Third Party Article Development
Let’s face it, you’re a business owner. Unless your business happens to be article development, you may find yourself venturing into unknown territory with blogging and guest blogging. Not only does it require a certain skill set, but it requires a substantial amount of time. As your business and blog grow, you’ll find you need an entire team of writers and editors to continually produce content.
Instead of producing all of your content in-house, invest in a premium third party article development company. There are several notable benefits involved with doing so:
Video Blog with Professional Video Production
Video content can add great value to your website visitor’s overall experience. Starting a video blog for your business can do wonders for helping you reach an entirely new audience, as well as enhance your relationship with your existing audience.
Unsure if a business video blog (or vlog) is right for you? Consider these benefits of having a business vlog with professional video production:
Your website and blog should have plenty of images to coincide with the stellar content you’re producing. Stock photos and creative commons photos are a great place to start, but investing in custom photography will help you stand out.
Seek out a photographer with a portfolio that you love. Buy the exclusive rights to their photos, and put them on your website. You may even wish to hire a graphic designer to add text over their photos that highlights the core themes of your blog posts.
ROI of Content Marketing
Understanding the impact of a marketing campaign is vital when deciding to continue or discontinue the campaign. When it comes to the ROI of content development, there are three strategies you can explore to determine if your content investment is worth it.
1. Calculate ROI for a specific campaign. For business owners running targeted campaigns, this is the best strategy for determining the ROI of your content development. You’ll calculate the ROI of each campaign individually. You’ll need to understand:
Once you have this information, we recommend using this ROI calculating to do the heavy lifting for you. That handy calculator will give you the ROI of your campaign in a percentage.
2. Calculate the value of organic website visitors. Assigning a dollar value to organic traffic gained by your content is one way to calculate the ROI of your content development. First, you’ll have to understand how much you would pay through Google AdWords to obtain the same amount of traffic. Then, compare how much traffic you’re getting organically thanks to your content. One drawback to this strategy is that it doesn’t take into account video content or social media content, but it will help you understand the value of your written content. Once the cost of developing your content outweighs the cost of paying for traffic, you’ll have a positive ROI.
3. Calculate ROI on per-sale basis. If your business specializes in high-priced items or services, calculating your ROI of content development on a per-sale basis may be the right strategy for you. Be warned, this strategy won’t work well for businesses with a high volume or lower priced items. In order to use this strategy, you’ll need to be equipped to track which content leads to which sales (which is possible through Google Analytics).
In essence, this strategy calls for calculating the cost of content development, then tracking a lead as it goes through the sales process. You then subtract the cost of the content revenue from the content cost, and that’s your ROI.
The importance of having excellent content on your website cannot be overstated. An active blog and video blog will do wonders for growing your business. Ready to get started? Here at AlphaMind Studios, we’ll tailor a content plan for you that will boost your revenue.
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