Content, content, content. It’s all you hear about these days in the marketing world.
‘You’ve got to get blogging, create great content. It’s the best way to drive traffic to your site’, they say. And they’re right. Whoever ‘they’ may be.
47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content before contacting a sales representative (Demand Gen Report, 2016). That pretty much says it all. If you want to attract customers over the internet, you need to offer engaging content.
So, when your digital agency starts talking about inbound marketing and blogging, don’t switch off. You’ve got to listen intently. Here are the three main things you want to hear from them:
1. Does this appeal to my target audience?
Would you write a personal letter to someone without first knowing at least a little bit about them? No, thought not. See a blog as a personal interaction. Ok, it’s a bit one-way. But what separates good blogs from great ones is the ‘conversation’ factor. If you read a blog and feel like a friend is talking to you, passing on advice and useful information, then you know it’s likely to be a valuable one.
Ideally, you want your digital agency to realise this too if they are creating a blog on your behalf. If they’re completely focused on keywords and SEO, then they aren’t going to get the job done well.
They should be keen to understand your audience: who they are, what they want and why they’ve come to your site. Do they want light entertainment or serious discussion? Are they looking for how-to information or to know more about your service? These are things you need to discuss with your agency.
More and more businesses realise that a blog is a golden opportunity to set yourself up as an ‘authority’ in a certain field. If you can become the ‘go-to’ location for valuable information and advice, your sales will go through the roof. So, it’s vital you get to understand your audience and give them exactly what they want.
2. How can we get people to link to your content?
Never underestimate the importance of organic link-building. Google algorithms are so hot on this these days. You’ll rank far higher in search results if you have lots of links pointing back to one of your blog posts for example.
That’s why it’s so important that your agency is aware of this and want to create ‘share-worthy’ content. You need to discuss between yourselves what is going to constitute ‘great content’. They will have some ideas, but make sure you make your voice heard too, after all, nobody understands your business like you.
To get an idea of what content your agency should be talking about, Buzzsumo released data on which blog posts generate the most backlinks. The top three are as follows: list posts, why posts and how to posts. Be wary if they aren’t recommending any of those in their planned blog schedule.
3. How can we use the blog to increase sales?
Let’s face it. The bottom line of any content marketing is how it affects sales.
If you’re churning out post after post, month after month, but there’s no increase in sales, then, quite frankly you’re wasting your time.
It could be that your blog isn’t doing its job of driving more traffic to your site, or that you aren’t putting strong enough ‘calls to action’ in your posts.
A good digital agency will understand the importance of the ‘call to action.’ You don’t want to attract people to your site, get their attention, then watch as they leave without buying anything. That’s kind of like getting people to come into your high street shop because you’ve got a great window display, but when they get in there’s nobody there to sell them anything.
Your agency should have some ideas, whether it’s getting them to sign up to an email list using a lead magnet (downloadable content that’s emailed to them), offering a free consultation or a discount.