Does your blog content have a focus on helping your customers or are you merely producing a blog to "get content out" to maintain a competitive advantage? Although producing content and hosting a blog to educate your customers is a key strategy to staying relevant in 2021, it's also crucial that the content you are producing be mindfully done, with a focus on helping your customers.
If your website analytics is consistently showing low conversions and quick visits, then it's time to make some changes. There are some technical reasons that blogs fail. Your site might not be properly set up for the latest SEO strategies or you may be competing with larger brands for keywords.
But most of the time it's the writers and the owners that need to change their style vs. focus on technical glitches.
It's Not about you
If your blog is focusing on you instead of answering researcher's questions then it's time to rethink this strategy. Blogs are the prime place to show off your brand's personality and get your consumers engaged with the things you're most excited about in your industry. It is not a place to showcase your awards or testimonials.
If your target audience is contractors, post articles that discuss strategies around how using your materials and products would solve their building and remodeling problems for their clients.
If your target audience is homeowner DIYers looking to take charge on their own project, post how-to articles and videos to empower them.
If you're not sure who your audience is, then you need to define your buyer persona before implementing any Inbound Strategies. Check out this resource on defining buyers persona development.
10 ways to kill A Building Materials blog
1. You are sharing your feature pages, cookie cutter style to your blog post. No need to restate what you already have on your site, remember, your blog is an educational piece not a product catalog. Simply linking sources in your blog will suffice.
2. Your blog is hosted on a separate root domain, making this an SEO disaster, but also very confusing and challenging for the user to navigate back and forth. Keep your blog on your website with updated, fresh and focus-organized content.
3. Poor headline or title. Your headline is going to appear in many places: the top of your post, search engine page results, subject lines and feed readers. The goal of the headline is to stop readers and draw them into your post. You can’t do that if you use confusing headlines.
4. Your blog doesn't have a focus. If someone asks you "What's your blog about?" you should be able to respond in briefly in 1-2 sentences. None of which should be "We write about everything in the industry." Communication, efficiency and consistency are key to showing your customers you are organized and a great resource to help them.
5. Your blog looks like everyone else's. Are you utilizing new digital trends? Videos, interactive and engaging content, or simply using photos and text?
6. Zero presence on any social media platform. I know this is new and difficult to maintain, but social media is where everyone is living these days. Create a brand on your social, connect with real humans, be responsive and share your knowledge you write about in your blog. People want to hear from you.
7. There is no accountability. Who is responsible for the blog and content creation? If it's the writing is falling on one individual they likely will get burnt out or run out of inspiration after 6-9 months. Jazz up your content, get a small team involved, meet regularly and map out the focus.
8. Lacking sources, links or engaging video. Let's be real, how often are you reading a full article that is plain text? Boring. Get creative, source your information with outside links. We can't possibly know everything, so it shows you are doing your research to share the best information possible.
9. You are NOT optimizing. Just because your blog article has been written does not mean the work is done. Checking things like title length, meta description, and that your images have the proper alt tags so that Google can know what those images live, are all important steps in optimizing. Check for grammatical and spelling errors and broken links. Tools like grammarly are free and available for you.
10. Giving up or not caring. A lot of building material manufacturers are jumping on the digital forefront and creating blogs, but easily give up after a couple of months of work. That's because creating content is a never-ending and very difficult process. Consistency is key and it's so important you maintain your blog and focus to see Key Performance Indicators of why this Inbound tactic can be so crucial to your digital strategies in 2021.
It's Okay to seek resources to help with this
You might be realizing that caring for a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy like creating a blog and content takes a lot of work. Even when you get an impressive campaign out the door, there is more work to be done. Creating content never stops.
If you find yourself checking the boxes on a lot of the "do nots" you have read in this article, it might be time to consider finding a resource to help. An agency, content creators, or other experts can assist you with shifting your focus and save you time. Be sure that your inbound strategy is running like a well-oiled machine. At ManoByte, we have a few resources that can help you get there.