Why Blogging is Integral to Your Inbound Marketing Content Strategy

Content Marketing Is Still King

You’ve heard it. You know it. Get your content strategy in check. You have to blog. In fact, you can’t afford to not create content regularly. Because without it, your competitors are going to dethrone you from the proverbial kingdoms of search, social, and content. Let’s avoid checkmate, shall we?

Any inbound marketing agency will tell you that your expertise is the most valuable commodity. And if it can be shared, the possibilities are boundless. But, before you cross the moat to conquer the market, you will want to gather around the round table and chart your buyer’s journey.

What kind of content do they want? When do they want it? In what medium should that content be delivered? With inbound marketing, you need to be ready to meet prospects along the marketing funnel top to bottom.

But Wait, Doesn’t Blogging Fall into the Attract Stage of the Buyer’s Funnel?

Right you are. But you wouldn’t send a bunch of knights into battle without their armor, swords, and horses, would you? The key is to write blogs often that can fit alongside your sales process. Because you’re not only meeting strangers in search engines and social networks. You’re attracting them to your website as visitors who you’re working to engage into leads and ultimately close and delight as customers.

Remember the old adage “create once, use many”? It maps nicely to the various calls-to-action (CTAs), content offers, and nurturing email workflows among other marketing automation communications of the sales process. But when you take a step back, I bet you could identify multiple blog topics that could support the content you later deliver to prospects in the middle or bottom of the marketing and sales funnel.

Set Realistic Expectations for Your Content Strategy

The mythical quest for the Holy Grail wasn’t completed overnight. B2B and B2C content marketing is the quest, not the outcome. It takes time to develop a content strategy that not only delivers the information your prospects want but also makes sense for your company.

As a business owner or marketing executive, ask yourself these six questions:

  1. Do I have content marketers in-house to develop content regularly?
  2. What about designers to create the supporting visuals?
  3. How about the tools to manage the editorial process from A to Z?
  4. Can we distribute the content effectively to our audience?
  5. Will I have the resources to be timely and react to the responses?
  6. Is this content strategy sustainable for us?

If you answered “No” to any of these, the Legendary Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh might devour you. But, if you address the No’s and invest in your team, additional resources, tools, and most importantly, time, you can set realistic expectations to execute a content strategy that is strengthened with each piece of content produced.

Your Focus Should Be On What Makes You Competitive

Don’t focus so much on your competition. It’s not all about conquering. Your competition may also have a content strategy in place that includes inbound marketing blogging. But, just because their content marketing is working for them doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. And vice versa. The content you produce may not drive the same impact from their audience.

I know what you’re thinking. “But if the Trojan horse worked for the Greeks…”

What makes you competitive and your content marketing, by extension, competitive is knowing your audience. Write for them. Provide answers to their burning questions. Offer solutions to their problems. Give them a reason to engage, stay engaged, and share. Let your content be there for them when they need it and where they need it. That aha moment that makes them say, “I have to work with these guys” can be a reality.

And only after that write for search engines. Because let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. Each piece of content you create becomes indexed by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the like. Identifying keywords that translate throughout the blog headlines, sub headlines, body copy, and tags help to ensure you rank higher in search results. Cue royal wave.

Invite the King’s Court and Measure Metrics that Matter

Once your blog content is produced, posted, and is search engine-ready, amplify it and let your kingdom reign. Distribute your content to where your audience is the most likely to engage with it. Have an email list segment that would find the blog valuable? Send it over! Spread the wealth of knowledge to social media. And for an added boost, you may even consider pushing it through sponsored or paid media avenues.

Regardless of how you distribute your content, you’ll want to be sure to measure its impact:

  1. How many people did you reach by just teasing out the content across various channels?
  2. Which channel was the most successful?
  3. Did prospects engaging with the post?
  4. What action did they take? Were there clicks, likes or shares?
  5. How many visits did your blog post get in a week? How about in a month?
  6. Did they stay on the site or did they bounce?

The topics that lead to the most views and engagement and that drive the most leads are the ones you and your team will want to focus on as your inbound marketing content strategy evolves.

Talk inbound to me.  I’m listening.

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