Content Strategy: Self Assessment

blogging-new-approach

5 Top Tips for Nailing your Blogging Strategy

Does your business have the capacity to write blogs of at least 1,500 words? If not, you might be wise to think about implementing a new approach in order to achieve the goals of your content campaign.

Evidence suggests long-form posts are the ones which fare well with the mighty Google. The top ten Google search results for specific keywords are usually around 2,000 words, SerpIQ findings show. It´s fairly obvious stuff when you think about it, as longer blogs improve your chances of getting quality backlines – not to mention shares and attributions.

When you factor in all the other things that a good content campaign demands it can be pretty overwhelming for a brand, which is why many seek out the help of specialist agencies to alleviate some of those concerns.

If you´re still pondering what your next move is going to be on the content front, take a look at these rules for creating great blog posts from Social Media Today, intertwined with a little of our own opinion.

Weigh up your current content strategy: Can you put a tick next to these five points currently?

1. Knowing when and how to share

How au fait are you with social media? You really must be operating in the right circles if you’re still managing to get your content high up Google´s rankings, despite not going full tilt on social media.

As nice as it would be to just put out content and be found, in the stark reality that is our world, this just isn’t the case. Just do a search on Google to see how many results get fired back at you for the theme of your blog post and you’ll soon see the importance of nailing the distribution of your content.

Having an acute awareness of all the different platforms available to you, and which ones align best with your brand, is crucial if you want your content to be read. Not just that, timing is everything if you really want to pique interest in your posts. Do you know when the best time to post on Twitter is?

Think about reaching out to influencers and others in your niche. Build partnerships, collaborate on long-form resources, utilise each other’s skills to create exceptional content and then jointly promote it like crazy within your circles. You’ll both know the majority of your pals or foes in your niche, and there are plenty of tools you can use to find more bloggers, writers, YouTube channel aficionados and more that would be more than happy to work with you on a  joint venture.

2. Turning old into new

Coming up with new ideas can be exhausting – especially if you don´t have anybody to share your thinking with, as is often the case for lonely writers. How about taking inspiration from previous posts – repurposing them with a new angle, or discussing how relevant they are today in a “How Times Have Changed” piece?

You needn’t limit yourself to just blogging with your existing content. Text can be refreshed into visuals, an infographic, podcast, video content or a series of guides for you to add to your website.

We’ve done this ourselves recently, so are real advocates for repurposed content.  Having had a look over all our old posts from the four years we have been running the Bespoke blog (yes, we had quite the archive!), we found plenty of overlapping themes that we could turn into long-form and sustainable posts.

Matching them all together was a fairly painstaking process with good old Excel, but we got there in the end, and now we have a repurposing strategy which is providing us with a tip-top editorial calendar for the most part of 2015.

The engagement on our repurposed content has enjoyed a swell too, so all in all, though a slightly soul-destroying process in the first instance, improving on or consolidating your content is a winner in our eyes.  In doing so you not only increase your website´s optimisation, but it gives you a chance to capitalise again on previously successful content. Have you revisited your existing archive recently to find hidden gems or just left them to gather dust?

3. Making a feast for the eyes

Text, unfortunately in this day and age, just isn’t quite enough. We all know our attention span online is far reduced compared to that when we’re, say, nestled into a good book. If you need any further proof of how heavily we mere mortals rely on imagery to engage, just look at the king that is Instagram. It leaves little doubt that we really are a very aesthetics-orientated species.

Failing to go visual is nearly as bad as not uploading the content altogether in our book, especially when you consider the freedom you have when it comes to picking a picture or video. Even so, many brands are still leaning too heavily on text, despite research suggesting that content comprising visuals generates up to 94% more views than posts that are not accompanied by illustrations or photographs.

If that figure isn’t enough to persuade you to embed graphics, diagrams, illustrations, charts, photography, video (the list continues…) into your blog posts, we’re not too sure what will.

We’re all guilty of being pushed for time and not taking those extra few moments to add in the visuals – let it be known we’ve done it here enough times. So whether it’s revisiting existing content to give it a bit of spruce up, or a new long-from piece you’re considering putting out, breaking out your text with visuals is guaranteed to up your audience engagement.

There are a wealth of free-to-use archives online for gathering imagery, visuals and video to add into your content. But taking others isn’t the only way. Next time you’re talking data, why not create a pie chart in Excel and export it as an image to drop into your post. Your percentages will instantly come to life and readers will quickly see the information you’re trying to portray.

A word of warning, however – whilst additional visuals are a must, don’t forget to optimise them to keep your page load down and to add additional relevance to your content.

4. Scoping out the competition

Seeing how your brand is faring against others in the sector is an age-old tactic for self-improvement. It´s no different in the online world – the difference now is that the process is much easier.

Competitor analysis should often be the starting point of your blogging strategy. Think of it as a SWOT: identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Have they put together a post but not gone into enough detail? Are their readers clamouring for something more in their comments? Is there something a little too corporate in their conversational tone?

In a nutshell, the questions to ask yourself when reviewing your competitors is: How are they communicating with their audience and does their audience seem to engage?  Start your analysis with that mentality and you are guaranteed to find inspiration for your editorial calendar.

Capitalising on others is perfectly normal behaviour. With the Internet being as it is, how can we truly find the originator of a piece of content? In reality we can’t, but we can make sure ours really is the most relevant, authoritative and engaging source of information to answer our audiences’ cries.

Do you match up favourably with your competitors?

5. The move to mobile

Although we are yet to hear officially from Google, word is that the search engine giant is factoring in your website´s mobile compatibility when it comes to where it places you in its rankings. If true, it would be a logical step given that the number of people accessing web content through portable devices is forever climbing. How does your website look on a mobile device?

It is vital at this stage in the game to start seriously considering the user experience you provide on a mobile device. If you’ve already received your notification in Webmaster Tools giving you a wee bit of a scolding about how your website is faring, now is the time to start thinking about search in the future.

Does your content look, read, scroll and pop for your audience on a mobile device, or is there a lot of zooming, squinting and finger swiping for your readers to get to your posts? Search optimisation is, for the most part, about being user friendly, and what we’ve just described is far from it.

If you want to be found in mobile search, and we’re guessing you do since predictions say it’ll take over desktop imminently, making sure you’re mobile friendly is an absolute must.

Have these pointers prompted a few too many “umm”-filled responses? Maybe now is the time to outsource your content marketing and search optimisation! Here at M2 Bespoke, we pride ourselves on making content creation – not to forget distribution – look easy.

 

Useful Resources

Social Media Today

By |2015-02-19T10:45:01+00:0019th, February 2015|Content Marketing, Uncategorized|