June 22nd, 2015

Inbound Marketing Strategy

If you're running a business that has dedicated a large part of your marketing strategy to an inbound marketing campaign, then you absolutely have to have a company blog. There are numerous benefits to releasing content on a company blog, from being able to increase your search rankings through the use of SEO (search engine optimization) to establishing yourself as an expert in your field. A high-quality blog can eventually lead to a larger customer base, increased brand awareness and increased loyalty to your brand. However, there are a number of mistakes that you should be sure to avoid. The following are 9 of the most common blogging mistakes that companies often make:

Not realizing that most readers scan.

Internet users have a short attention span. Additionally, they don't want to waste their time reading something that offers them nothing of value. Because there's so much junk on the Internet, and users have so little time to waste, most people will scan over a blog to get the basic idea and will only read through the entire thing if their interest is peaked. This means that you have to format your blog in a way that entices people to read through your entire blog. There are a few tips for doing this. First of all, always break up your content into smaller paragraphs. The more blanks space there is on the page, the easier it is to scan. Secondly, use bullet points or numbers if possible, or at least use headers that describe the point or theme of the content below it.

Making your blog too long.

Nobody is going to scan five pages of text. As soon as their scroll bar starts lengthening, odds are that the reader will leave the page. Content should be short and sweet. This doesn't mean that you can't release a larger piece of content every once in a while - just don't make a habit out of it. If you do release a piece of content on your blog that's over 800 words long, at least break it up using bullet points and numbers.

Not using images to support your blog.

A page full of text is a little intimidating. Seeing an image or two will help to break up the text. The image should also support the title and theme of your blog, making it easier for scanners to see what your piece is about.

Trying to go beyond your target audience.

Always remember who your target audience is. This is who you are writing for. For example, if your company sells real estate, then blog about topics that can relate to that subject, from tips on how to buy a home to tips on how to pack your belongings on moving day. This is the kind of content that your audience will be able to appreciate. An example of going beyond your target audience would be blogging about ways to lose weight. What does that have to do with real estate? Absolutely nothing.

Neglecting to use social media.

The blog can't be the only part of your Internet marketing strategy. You'll need to use other methods in order to get exposure for your blog. This is why you should use social media. A social media account will allow you to share content from your blog to your followers, which will help draw visitors to your website. Followers who like your blog can share it with people in their own personal social networks, thereby helping to spread brand awareness.

Using your blog to market your products or services.

Nobody wants to read a blog that's just an advertisement for your products or services. This type of content doesn't help anyone, especially people already familiar with your brand. You want your content to strengthen brand loyalty, and hitting your customers over the head with information about products and services won't do that. Your blog needs to provide information or helpful advice.

Not updating your blog regularly.

You have to have and maintain a schedule for releasing new content to your blog. You want your readers to know exactly what day and time you are adding to your blog, otherwise, your target audience will have no idea when your blog is updated. They'll check your blog every once in a while, but eventually they will stop, which means you are losing dedicated readers. Do a little research on when the peak Internet usage time is for your target audience and schedule updates to your blog according to the results.

Writing for search engines instead of people.

A mistake that many companies make is to use their blog solely as a vehicle for SEO keywords. While they may be improving the web traffic to their blog page, they won't be improving brand loyalty. Most blogs that are used for the sole purpose of SEO tend to provide poorly written content, which causes readers to turn away quickly.

Not implementing a call to action.

You should have a short call to action at the end of every blog post. This will help you to generate new leads whenever someone new happens upon your blog. If the content is good enough to the point where the reader went through the entire piece, and if the call to action is strong enough, you may be able to turn that reader into a potential customer.

Make sure that your blog is a successful component of your content marketing strategy by avoiding these common blogging mistakes.