There's no denying that content marketing, which has gained significant traction over the last five years, is becoming increasingly important to businesses across all industries.
Marketers have found that investing in owned media (e.g., corporate website, blog, or microsite) is crucial to a company's long-term success in content marketing.
One type of owned media—the blog—is among the top 5 content marketing tactics used by B2B marketers, according to a recent study by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute.
But what does it take to launch and sustain a successful business blog?
At Curata, we conducted a survey of 428 marketers to answer that question. Our analysis focused on the best-practices and tactics of bloggers with 10,000+ month visitors, identified as the "10K Club."
Careful assessment of that group—including interviews and survey data analysis—revealed that the following six attributes have been crucial to the success of the 10K Club.
1. Gain executive support and investment
It is critical that a company's CMO recognize the importance of content marketing to drive pipeline growth.
Equally critical is that the CMO be prepared to invest in the creation and marketing of a business blog as part of a broader content marketing strategy.
Some 56% of marketers in the 10K club are hiring additional resources for their blog, whereas only 24% of companies with <1,000 pageviews per month are doing so.
2. Create a blogging strategy
As part of a basic blogging strategy you should identify...
- Who your audience is
- What your objectives will be
- What type of content you'll create and curate for your blog
- How you'll align with both corporate and business units' campaigns
(Note: Parallel with the planned content, you should continue to publish reactive, random acts of content as the need arises.)
A key success factor exhibited by the 10K Club is providing shared services and infrastructure for the rest of the organization to contribute to the company blog.
Some 80% of 10K Club bloggers have established a Center of Excellence (CoE) team to enable other teams across their organizations to ensure their participation.
The CoE team oversees key responsibilities related to the business blogging strategy, such as providing...
- A blogging code of conduct
- Guidelines for engagement
- Design, editorial, and writing staff
3. Create relevant, high-quality content
To develop relevant, high-quality content, avoid being "egocentric": Focus your blog content on topics that will help your audience be better at their job and more successful in their career versus solely providing content about your own products and solutions.
(For more information about non-egocentric content marketing, see the four steps to content marketing enlightenment.).
To create relevant, high-quality content, consider doing the following:
- Tap into subject matter experts, both internally and externally.
- Engage readers using charts, infographics, and other visual elements.
- Use content marketing humor to your advantage.
4. Post frequently
Asked about the frequency of their posts, 91% of 10K Club members said they post new blog updates at least once a week. Be sure to post often, and develop a cadence that your audience can rely on.
5. Market your marketing
Successful content marketers market their marketing. That is, they don't create a great piece of content and then "throw it over the wall" to their social media team. They align with several groups across their organization, taking a multichannel distribution approach.
More specifically, the best content marketers...
- Align with their social media team for a smooth hand-off of content for promotion into LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other communities.
- Execute their own promotional tactics (e.g., promoting content across their own networks).
- Collaborate with demand generation and marketing operations teams to use their content to nurture buyers in marketing's pipeline (e.g., 39% of 10K Club business bloggers use newsletter promotion at least weekly, as presented in the below chart).
- Tap into paid media such as Outbrain, Disqus, Taboola, and other types of promotional services. (Check out this list of content marketing promotion tools for additional ideas.)
6. Measure your impact
10K Club members measure their pipeline impact to demonstrate and improve performance. While pageviews remain the most measured element, the following are other important content marketing metrics:
- Likes or shares
- Time spent on site
- Marketing leads
10K Club members stand out from the pack in also tracking influence on the marketing and sales pipeline as well as impact by individual writers.
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Check out the Business Blogging Secrets Revealed e-book for additional data and findings from the study, including what other attributes are important for a successful business blog.