How to Run a Scalable, ROI-Centric Blog that Converts
Posted on June 27, 2019
Nowadays, businesses are starting to realize that content marketing is an essential component of an entire marketing plan. Getting the right content to the right people at the right time can boost your ROI for your business. However, it can be difficult to implement and track. In the video and text below, you will get key knowledge and learn about key tools that can help all marketing campaigns run smoothly so that you can maximize profits. So let’s dive in!
Hi there! My name is Libby and I am an SEO/Content Marketing Specialist at Top Floor. Today, I am going to discuss the benefits of content marketing. Jason Stewart, VP of Strategic Content at ANNUITAS said, “it is a mistake to dismiss revenue generation as a valid, important goal (and KPI) for your Content Marketing.” In fact, when done correctly, content marketing can significantly boost revenue. There are some key components you need to implement in order to create an ROI-centric blog.
The Mission Statement
The first component is the mission statement. According to Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, you should “start strategies by developing an editorial mission statement that guides content creation efforts and serves as a beacon for the overall business.” The editorial mission statement should be comprised of:
- Core Target Audience
- Material that will be delivered to the audience
- The outcome for the audience
Before you even create your blog, it’s important to set goals. These goals can be anything from increasing brand awareness to increase your leads. Google Analytics is a great tool to track your KPIs to see if you’ve met these goals. Some important KPI’s to track include:
- Landing Page Entrances
- Average time on page
- New vs. Returning
- Referral Traffic
When sharing blog posts on social media, it’s also important to monitor the number of likes, shares, comments, follower growth, and conversions. As far as sharing blogs through emails, you should track metrics like open rate, link clicks, subscriber growth, and conversions.
Optimize for Discoverability
Making sure people find your blog is critical for increasing your conversion rate; if people can’t find your blog, then they cannot convert. Let’s talk about how to optimize for discoverability without having to use paid distribution methods. With that, let’s talk about the best practices for search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is critical to bringing visibility to your content via non-paid search results. One of the biggest components of SEO is keyword research. If you already have a blog topic, keyword research will allow you to determine the words and phrases, or questions that your audience is searching for that relates to your blog. Even if you don’t have a blog topic in mind, keyword research will definitely help to generate unique ideas. While developing your keyword list, it is important to include semantic keywords, which is a different keyword or string of words that have the same searcher intent.
Now that you’ve developed your keyword list, it’s time to talk about how to structure your blog URLs. For example, if your company is called ABC Company, then the URL should start with Abc-company.com. Then there should be a backslash
Now let’s talk about the structure of the blog page, starting with the H1 page title. The H1 page title indicates to users and search engines what the blog is about. Make sure that the title is concise; if the title is too long, readers will opt-out of reading it. You also want to make the title engaging.
When it comes to the body of your blog, make sure you are using the primary and semantic keywords in the body of the text, as well as the sub-headline. On average, you should use 2-4 keywords for every 500 words throughout the body.
The final component of your SEO strategy is the meta-data. Metadata tells people and search engines what they will find on your page. Your meta title should be between 60 and 80 characters. Meanwhile, the description should be less than 160. Now the metadata may or may not be used by search engines, but you should still write them to give search engines the option of using your own description.
For non-paid discoverability on social media, you want to ensure that you’re using relevant hashtags, tagging companies and/or individuals, and allowing for interaction with your audience. Posts also get more traction when you include an interesting image or Gif. Lastly, it’s essential to interact with other companies or influential people; this means liking and commenting on their posts so that your business can gain visibility.
How to Cultivate an Engaged Following (3 Steps)
- Be Customer Obsessed. Too often, businesses only focus on the sale. However, successful content marketing takes a slower approach because it is about helping your audience, not yourself.
- Create Top of the Funnel Content. Top of the Funnel content means your getting out in front of people during their initial research phases. This is your first chance to establish trust and credibility. Then, once your audience is ready to buy, they will think of you because you were the first person that got in contact with them.
- Eliminate Walls of Text and Dead Ends. The body of your blogs needs to be scannable; this means adding short paragraphs, bulleted and numbered lists, images, and videos. You also want to ensure that your audience never hits a dead end; there are no links to related content the audience may be interested in. It’s important to entice the reader to learn more by adding links at the end of every blog posts in order to see what else your company has to offer.
Optimizing Blogs for ROI
When creating an ROI-centric blog, it’s important to keep your audience moving through the life cycle funnel. The stages of the lifecycle funnel are:
- Discovering– Who is your audience? What is your topic? Why are you writing it? When will you write it?
- Consideration– Does your blog meet your audience’s needs? Does it satisfy their comparison research? Does your blog provide visual or social proof that alleviates concerns they might have?
- Buying– Usually, companies stop at this stage; as soon as the company gets a purchase, they think their work is done. However, it’s important to continue with all 6 stages in order to nurture each customer so that they increase their loyalty to your business.
- Onboarding– This stage gives you valuable insight into your persona groups and your customers as individuals. For example, a great onboarding piece can be a well-designed Email that inspires your new customers to give out more information, helping you to better serve their needs and make you more valuable.
- Using/Support Stage– This is the stage where you need to check in on your customers and solve the issues they may have with your product or service. An Email drip campaign is a great way to utilize content to solve your customer’s needs.
- Evangelizing/Advocacy– Now’s the time to create a compelling call to action for your drip campaign. For example, if you want to get insight on what your customer’s like/dislike about your product or service, your call-to-action (or CTA) can say something like “What did you think about our product/service?”
Once all 6 stages are complete, you will not only retain customers that have been put through this stage, but they can become advocates for your business and help bring other potential customers through this cycle.
Here are some key tips for driving the number of clicks on your CTA button
- Use green and gold buttons
- Have arrows point to your CTA
- Have an image of a person looking at your CTA. People will naturally follow where that person is looking.
- Use round buttons; it will draw your eyes inwards
- Give people an incentive to sign-up, download. One way to accomplish this is to use the FOMO approach, which stands for fear of missing out. (i.e. “Join over 200,000 of your peers!”)
- Use the word “me” in your CTA. An example of this is, “Send me a free quote.”
Capture and Analyze Data
Google Analytics is a great tool to measure the success of your blogs. This tool measures metrics like the number of visitors, the time they spent on the page, how many other pages on your site they went to after visiting that blog, and more. Another great tracking tool is Google Tag Manager (GTM). This tool allows you to track the more granular metrics you want to capture like email clicks, link clicks and more. If you want to utilize A/B testing or even track fully recorded sessions, I suggest using Inspectlet. This tool also lets you track by the different devices people use like phones, tablets, and desktops.
When creating content for your emails, it’s best to use an email service provider (or ESP), which will allow you to track your list growth, open rate, unsubscribers and more. Some ESPs have a free version, but as your list grows, you may have to purchase the paid version. Other ESPs will have you pay up-front, but they provide more functionality. In order to track the success of your emails, you’ll need to use the Google URL Builder, which allows you to develop unique URLs so that you can monitor every email campaign.
How to Scale Your Content Process
Developing content can be tedious work; that is why it’s crucial to create a scalability model so that you can create quality content FASTER! Let’s go through 3 effective ways to scale your content:
- Repurpose. This is the easiest way to scale your blogs. You can turn the content from your blogs into different types of content including eBooks, infographics, emails, and videos. When you think about it, your ability to repurpose blogs is endless. Here are some tools to help you repurpose your content:
- For developing infographics, a great tool to use is Venngage.
- For videos, Soapbox is a great tool.
- For developing templates for emails, social media, blogs and more, HubSpot is a great tool for that.
- “DAM it.” DAM, or Digital Asset Management, is a very important tool for content marketing success. Depending on your company’s need, you may need either a basic or advanced system. However, even at the most basic level, the DAM should still allow you to organize content and files on the back-end of your website. Some great DAM systems include Box, Libris, and Webdam. Essentially, DAMs will allow you to organize all your content marketing efforts efficiently.
- Core Efficiency Processes. A content marketing efficiency process must start with a complete and documented content audit. Your content audit should answer questions like:
- Who is the content geared toward?
- What questions does your content answer
- Could the Content be represented in a different format?
- Was your content posted and/or promoted on other platforms (i.e. social media, print publications, etc.)
Another component of the efficiency process is the governance documentation, which outlines processes, like brand standards and production processes, for current and new employees. Also, if you want to position your future content marketing for success, you need to look beyond your immediate needs; focus on hiring the right people at the right time in order to propel your content marketing efforts forward.
To summarize everything we just talked about:
- Craft your blog’s mission before writing begins.
- Determine which KPIs matter to your overall content strategy and business.
- Optimize for discoverability using SEO and social media best practices.
- Make sure that at least 80% of all content helps your customer. It’s also important to establish credibility with your customers by creating top funnel content. Finally, make sure to break up text with subheadings, testimonials, images, etc.
- Avoid dead-ends and draw the audience down the funnel.
- Create content for all 6 stages of the lifecycle stage. After the buying stage, continue to nurture your audience for maximum ROI.
- Capture and analyze data with Google Analytics, Tag Manager, Inspectlet and Google URL Builder.
- Create a scalable content strategy- Repurpose, Leverage a DAM, and create efficiency processes.
Content development can be a daunting task, but breaking it down into smaller pieces and putting together a solid strategy you are sure to alleviate some of those stresses. For more great information on content development, check out our free eBook: A Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing Strategy.