Blogs can be extremely powerful lead generators. So powerful that B2B companies that have a blog report 67% more leads that those who do not. That’s because of the social media and Google phenomenon as people might not be talking about brands daily but they do at least a dozen searches per day, share viable articles with their friends, and discuss the trending topics.
Many brands have become market leaders because they’ve managed to establish their blogs as industry-leading knowledge sources. HubSpot and Moz are great examples of this, as the companies’ blogs have become a place where marketers go to check on the latest trends or research a particular topic.
Blogging has become such an essential part of every marketing strategy that 55% of marketers say it was their top priority for 2018. Yet, as you’ll be able to see from the statistics, not all of us manage to reach large audiences and engage with them. The goal of this article is to research exactly what trends make blogs go from empty no-reader spaces to highly engaged communities.
Trend 1: Good Performing Articles Are Growing in Length
It’s true that a significantly small percentage of marketers write articles larger than 2000 words, but these bloggers are reporting that their content is performing around 3 times better than the average article that has a length of 1150 words. This is why, we can actually conclude that the longer the publication – the better it performs.
Now, with word-stuffing long dead, to rank higher one of the essential things you must know is that Google is constantly optimizing its search engine to provide users with more relevant and intent-based content.
To answer the needs of customers, the company has developed LSI (latent semantic indexing) – an algorithm that uses mathematical techniques to understands the relationship patterns between different words in your text. LSI helps Google understand the topic of your article.
For example, a user may want to read more about OTR encryption. But when they search for “OTR” the displayed results could be for the “On the Run” tour by Beyonce and Jay-Z or for “Off-the-record Encryption”. Based on the words used in your article and their relationship that carries the meaning of the text, Google understands what your article is about and displays security-related articles higher.
To rank higher, you have to use a precise subset of keywords rather than a singular one because this helps LSI understand your article more in-depth and rank you higher for a particular search.
Trend 2: Bloggers Invest More Time per Post
Overall, the time bloggers invest in producing content has risen. What’s apparent is that effort pays off as copywriters who spend 6+ hours on an article report two times better results than those who don’t.
Both search engines and users demanding content personalization. Respectively to make an article attract a particular kind of people you need to do more thorough research, work with buyer personas, and psychographic targeting in order to personalize it.
Your overall content strategy should be optimized and coherent, meaning different activities should be aligned with one another and support the final goals.
Writing two thousand words is not enough anymore. You have to provide supplementary content that keeps the audience engaged and helps them better understand the topic. Adding a video, infographics, or audio in an article helps engage more people, yet it also means you may need to put even more effort and time into publishing a lead-generating article nowadays.
Trend 3: Frequency Is King
Many companies have blogs but what’s curious is that just 2% of businesses use them to their maximum efficiency, publishing a post at least once per day. However, 60-68% of those that publish daily or more regularly, report high results driven by their publications.
That’s easily explainable. To run a blog effectively, you have to invest a significant amount of resources and have people contributing to the daily publishing process. However, once you manage to post at least once per day – you slowly become a recognizable source increasing consumer dependency on your brand. Becoming a source of daily information makes you rise above competitors, especially locally, presenting bigger market opportunities.
Another reason why blogging daily is important is that most users online are interested in time-relevant topics and demand everyday access to new content to be active readers of a blog. If users know there’s always something new to find once they visit your blog, they will dive into your content each time they require info in your company’s field.
Trend 4: An Editor Is a Blogger’s Bestie
Less than 20% of bloggers have a formal editing process. Yet, around 40% of them report strong results compared to just 20-25% of the bloggers that do not work with editors.
Almost half of the users report that they skim through articles. This means that making your writing as up-to-the-point as possible and polishing content in order to be easily comprehensive is essential to engage the viewer skimming your text. Working with editors helps copywriters engage more leads and personalize their content to fit users’ needs even more precisely.
Do not forget your already published content too: older content that gets updated scores much stronger results than old-content that is not up-to-date or accurate. Furthermore, the relevancy an experienced editor could tailor in your article makes you sound much more trustworthy.
Trend 5: The Hunt for Original Content
Users are not looking for something reposted that they’ve read at least 20 times with different wording. Especially active readers, consuming content daily and being highly engaged, are looking for articles that provide them with unique knowledge, or perspective, one that is relevant and not a copycat just using different words.
Even though original research articles have 3-times higher results, just 25% of bloggers are producing such content. That’s because such articles require excellent research skills, personal experience, and knowledge of the topic. They’re extremely time-consuming, but original content is what establishes your image of industry-wide knowledge source.
Trend 6: Analyze Every Step of the Way
More and more bloggers are using data to drive their creative processes and 40% of those who always use analytics report strong results. This once again proves the fact, that researching your target market is an essential part of marketing nowadays.
Knowing users’ intent and psychographics is important if you want to answer the constantly evolving expectations of customers. Not only demographic data is important nowadays, but understanding what your target market is interested in, what are their pain points and goals, who are they following and how are they consuming content. All of this data helps you to properly reach out and use content that appeals to users’ intent, engages and converts leads.
Marketing is an iterative process; adjusting your strategy to the market requirements, rather than not making mistakes is the difference between good and bad marketers.
Trend 7: Attention Bloggers, Guest Posting Is NOT Your Enemy
Even though most bloggers guest-post, the stigma among some in the copywriting community is that guest-blogging is bad for your personal brand. Well, finally there’s a statistic that proves these people couldn’t be more wrong.
Brand blogs not only score better in search engines due to content quantity but they usually have larger audiences than personal blogs. Guest posting doesn’t only serve the brand you’re writing for but also lets you reach new audiences, get powerful insights into their consumer behavior, and even become a known name in the blogging industry.
Trend 8: Promoting Your Content
In the sea of information, one of our main job as marketers is to divide the subjective data from the facts. Promoting your content is a broad topic and usually based on the industry you’re in and your business model, there’re different ways to approach it – each of which could be equally beneficial depending on the case. Yet, we’ve tried to find commonly occurring patterns to see the overall trends.
Even though social media is quite popular and almost every marketer we know is excited by its potential, it’s also a place where visual content is the king. Promoting your blog through social media could easily turn into an ineffective, highly-spending activity. Due to this, we suggest that you carefully monitor how your articles are performing in social media to know whether the investment is worth it.
Paid-advertising, of course, is the most effective activity for marketers, though it’s always good to keep in mind your content strategy and where the blog fits in it to not overspend. SEO-optimization requires much smaller investment but is a must for every blog that wants to rank higher in SERPs and get the immense non-paid, organic search traffic from users whose intent is known and easily leverageable.
Among the most effective promoting activities the one that got our interest was the influencer outreach. Influencers are continuing to be a 21st-century phenomenon with incredibly engaged personal audiences and are always a good choice to collaborate with for a marketing campaign. Especially if their own image resonates well with your brand’s one.
The GDPR-targeted survivor, email marketing, is still amongst the least effective practices for promoting your blog. It’s extremely hard to time the emails of all your subscribers as people are rarely active at the same time and usually get irritated if you start mailing them too often. What email campaigns are very useful for though is to re-engage subscribers or send your value proposition to users that have previously engaged with your emails.
Blogging can be extremely powerful lead-generating and converting marketing practice. It’s also quite useful for getting external links leading to your website and thus indexing the page and the site higher in SERP results. Setting and running a blog requires careful analysis, a very structured process, a good understanding of your marketing strategy and target market, and real empirical knowledge that can be converted to unique content.
What’s important though is to understand that marketing is an iterative process, where we need to constantly educate ourselves on the latest trends, share trendy content, and do time-relevant data analysis. Be consistent and give it time. The effort you need to invest in blogging is rising, but so are the results, so roll up your sleeves and start organizing your blog today, especially if you’re a B2B company!