Five other things you can (and should) do with your blog

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It's important to be aware how blogs serve organizations, not simply as platforms for communication, but as sales, marketing, and lead generation devices.

Five Other Things You Can (And Should) Do With Your Blog

To claim that blogs are an important online tool would be an understatement. They're the digital front lines that set the tone an organization uses as it communicates its products, services, and ideas to the market. Blogs need not simply function as descriptions of products and services; they can also show the customer that the organization has put a lot of time and effort into understanding the customers wants and needs, anticipating questions that clients might ask and providing context for the services they provide. It's important to be aware, however, of the many uses blogs serve organizations, not simply as platforms for communication, but as sales, marketing, and lead generation devices.

 With that in mind, let's take a look at ways to maximize the use of blogs:

Optimize The Value Of Your Content

Google is sending an entire zoo of mammals and birds to your domain - Penguin is aiming at the black-hatting SEO techniques and Panda will penalize thin, low-quality and duplicated content. Google's latest Hummingbird update, combined with the recent SSL encryption of keywords will introduce conversational search - say bye-bye to keywords optimization and welcome to the world of inbound marketing. The online marketing industry is making a huge shift and now it's all abound value optimization, rather than keywords optimization. Create content that converts, because high-rankings doesn't equal high-quality lead generation. Scroll back to your old content assets and optimize their value.  

Host Celebrity Guest Posts

Also consider optimizing your calls to action. Getting those CTAs up to date across your blog will increase traffic from all directions. Be sure to implement tests that establish which CTA structures are the most effective, and retrofit those onto old posts. OK, so in your particular industry there might not be celebrities in the usual sense of the word, but industry-specific thought leaders contributing to your blog can give it an air of legitimacy. No matter how much time and effort you put into your content, few circumstances can lead to more social media growth than someone with twenty times the followers sharing your content. This growth is ideally felt in an increase in subscribers. Many of your views will, without a doubt, originate from emails. While a great number might go unread, intriguing guest posts written by thought leaders are more universally read.  Using updated CTAs, a customized subscriber landing page, and subscription CTAs in emails, you’ll notice a marked increase in the number of customers who stick around more and engage with your site.

Turn Posts into Shareable Content

Your marketers are still drying their eyes from that time your renamed their clever articles. Let them know that they need not fear, but old posts can be  re-purposed for use in a variety of places, which include but are not limited to: Email sends, sales enablement content, social media content curating, and content for your primary website(s). Explain a concept or problem (and its solution—your product), send a newsletter, or bundle old content on a unified subject and offer it in efforts to generate leads. This step is quite easy, as it can often simply involve optimizing a title for sharing on Twitter or Facebook. That one simple step sends more users in your direction, where you’re more likely to hold on to their attention with CTAs and more glitzy content.

Topic Analysis for Better Content Strategy

You’ve got a number of posts written on topics distributed over regular intervals; there’s bound to be major overlap in topics. Use the opportunity presented by analytic data to see which topics trend the most and when, what post organization strategies are the most successful, which titles yield the most clicks, etc. Keep lower-yielding topics (you still want to cover all of your bases), but write about them with less frequency, and don’t cover them on weeks or months of higher traffic volume (i.e. time when your audience is more likely to be surfing the net instead of working). If some subjects continuously aren’t hitting home with audiences, perhaps it’s time to cycle in new topics or try a new presentational style: Use more infographics and visual content, write a series, and incorporate narratives. Feel free to be experimental; in the world of marketing, blogs tend to be the lowest-risk place to try new ideas. It’s one thing to write an edgy blog post, it’s another to fund a controversial billboard.

Use Content To Enable Sales

Your primary goal, one can hopefully assume, is sales. Go back into past content, see where people are clicking the most and spending the most time, and start using your blog as a sales tool. Don’t be afraid to incorporate your products into blog posts semi-gratuitously. A number of users frequenting your site will have some sort of issue or challenge that they need to overcome, and your posts are hopefully offering a solution to that problem. As a marketer, your role doesn't end with transforming content assets into sales tools. Once your MQL becomes SQL, you'll need to enable sales representatives with the appropriate content assets. Why? Your sales colleagues still have a long way to go, until they close the sales-cycle and they will need appropriate content assets that will enable them to educate their leads and help them move along the buyer's journey.