Jan 5, 2022 3:59:10 PM
Blogging has increased traffic for many companies and understanding the current branded content trends will jumpstart the process.
Are you thinking about starting a blog for your company in 2022? It might seem like you've missed the boat, and you may wonder if it's even worth trying to play catch up with a new blog at this point. This article will dive into the function of blogging for businesses and how you can create a successful blog for your company.
Is Blogging Dead in 2022?
The simple answer is: no.
Blogging is alive and well because people are still reading and sharing content. It's not going away as a top marketing tool anytime soon. Demand Metric reports:
- 80% of US consumers are interacting with branded social media and blogs.
- Blogs give companies 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
- 70% of consumers feel closer to a company because of content marketing.
- 60% of consumers enjoy reading relevant content from brands.
- 70% of consumers prefer to learn about brands through articles instead of ads.
However, the blogging scene is more congested and basic content or fluff pieces won't garner much attention. People tend to block out the noise these days. Keep reading to find out how you can dig deeper for a blog that will reach your audience and grow your online presence.
Am I too Late to Start Blogging for My Business in 2022?
To be perfectly honest, you are coming into the game later than many other companies. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't start. Instead, make the most out of your late arrival by building on current blogging trends. Don't try to reinvent the wheel.
Blogging in 2022 isn't just throwing content to the wall to see what sticks.
According to Semrush, 84% of marketers have a content marketing strategy, and blog posts continue to be the most popular content format. The top methods for content distribution are organic search, social media, email marketing and paid advertising. Top marketers find the most efficient content marketing tactics include:
- Search engine optimization (75%)
- Updating/repurposing existing content (61%)
- Publishing how-to guides or educational content (45%)
- Creating more video/visual content (41%)
- Optimizing the customer journey (41%)
- Analyzing competitor content (37%)
- Diversification/new content types (34%)
How to Start a Blog for Your Business
In order to create a successful blog, you need to understand how to make your content appealing. These steps for starting a blog in 2022 will help you move in the right direction.
Choose a Niche Area
Start with a very specific focus. Not only should your blog niche define WHAT kind of content you are providing, but it should also define HOW you plan to deliver it and—most importantly—WHY your content is different.
Why is your blog different than every competitor in the industry?
The difference may come down to voice, tone, value, style, target audience and more. Just like you should hone in on how your brand is different from the competitor, you should also establish how your content marketing will stand out.
Your niche selection shouldn't limit you to a tiny audience with no room to grow. Look for the gaps in the current market to see if there are areas you can fill without alienating other parts of your potential audience. For example, you may find the competition won't openly share their rates or give real answers to some of the more complicated questions—leaving a wide-open space where you can prove value and build trust. Or a local competitor may be advertising to mid-sized companies and neglecting local small businesses in their marketing strategy.
Learn to Tell the Story
Your brand has a perspective within the market that is valuable to the consumer. Learn how to tell your brand's story in a consistent and engaging way.
Content today should form a cohesive multi-channel marketing strategy; your audience should get the same experience with all platforms and content types produced by your brand. In other words, a customer who checks out a Facebook post should have the same brand experience as someone reading your marketing emails, visiting your site or stopping into your physical storefront (or office).
To tell this story, your content has to be authentic. You can't have one face on your blog and then a completely different approach when the customer talks to your sales reps or customer service team. You need to have a clear understanding of where your company lands in the current market, what you bring to the table and what you plan to do going forward—and that clarity will shine through in your content marketing.
Answer Real Questions
What is your audience asking? What questions are your sales team or customer service reps answering on a regular basis? You can get a head start by answering real questions that your customers ask.
Answering questions is one of the quickest ways to improve your organic listings—these are the things people are typing into the search engines! Not only does it improve organic SEO (search engine optimization), but your sales team and customer service reps can also use this kind of content to help answer customer questions without spending as much time on back and forth.
Reach out to your teams and find out what questions you could answer in your company blog to get your content calendar started. Then, look online to see what else people are asking. Check search engines and popular forums for questions you could answer in blog format to increase traffic and attract new leads.
Stay Consistent and Relevant
We won't lie—breaking into the blogging world is hard. You will have to commit to consistent posting and content creation. It takes a lot of time and content to start building an audience.
However, it's better to start now than weeks or months from now. The sooner you get started, the closer you will be to building the online audience you want. Like hockey Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky once said: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Establish checkpoints throughout the year where you can evaluate your progress and realign your content strategy with the current trends. Continue to provide valuable and relevant content to attract an audience interested in what you have to say.
One key way to stay relevant is to boost your marketing strategy with influencer voices.
Mix Your Content Formats
Different forms of content will do different things, so don't try to make each piece fall into every category. For example, video (vlog) is going to appeal to certain audience members, while blog posts will appeal more to others. Some topics will be time-sensitive, but others will last for years to come (evergreen content). And some content is going to be more likely to pop up on Google search results, while other content is going to be more sharable or likely to go Viral.
The best way forward is to try to understand the different reasons your content succeeds and create multiple kinds of content.
- What performs well on your top social media platforms?
- What gets shared most on Pinterest?
- What relevant keywords can you rank for on Google (pro tip: try local keywords)?
- What is getting the most click-throughs on email?
- Which content is popular with your loyal customers, and what is engaging for new leads?
- What content has the potential to be evergreen and needs regular updating to stay relevant?
- What kind of content is your team using to support their customer interactions?
There may be some ways you can combine benefits. For example, you might find that great images with compelling title text are most lastly to get re-Pinned, so you start adding them to content that is designed to rank for certain keywords or get click-throughs in email. But there are many times a specific piece of content will serve a very explicit purpose.
Set Content Strategy Goals
For each piece of content you create, you should have a clear audience, an intention (where will it be most successful?) and a set conversion goal (what action are you trying to provoke?). Capitalize on each content type by aligning the CTA (call to action) and content formatting (titles, layout, imagery) to get the most out of that piece.
Not all content is going to be a hardcore sales pitch. For example, some content forms will build trust and send you to another page to read more or ask you to sign up for emails.
So, it's important to set different goals and create content to achieve those goals. Ask yourself: what would be beneficial for my company? Maybe you need to improve your local clout, shift your brand reputation, build a stronger contacts list or bring in fresh leads who have never heard of your company. Your goals should go beyond sales to include other forms of long-term value that will eventually translate into higher sales.
Track and Assess Your Content
Watch your numbers so you can see your growth and adapt accordingly. The increase in traffic may spike at certain times, or it might be a very slow climb. Be patient as you give the process time to work. After a few months, assess what kinds of content are performing in the ways you expected and reevaluate the content that isn't getting a lot of traction with your audience.
If you need help, consider outsourcing your strategy or content creation (like writing blog posts). Look for fresh ways to increase your reach. Many marketers will use freelance copywriters, bloggers, influencers and photographers to reduce the burden of content marketing or improve the quality in areas where they aren't particularly skilled.
Don't let yourself stay in a rut.
- Write out a content marketing strategy
- Set a budget and create a content calendar
- Set specific goals with measurable outcomes (KPIs or OKRs)
- Track relevant blogging metrics
- Adjust your strategy to improve success rates
- Outsource where you are struggling to keep up
The biggest mistake here is to be afraid of failure. It's better to try and realize something isn't working than to keep pushing in the wrong direction. And the sooner you work through these early growing pains, the sooner you can start to see a return on your investment. Blogging is a powerful tool, and you don't want to miss out on the benefits it can offer your brand.