Skip to main content
Marta Peral Ribeiro

Marta Peral Ribeiro
– Communication Consultant –

The long format in the Age of Fast Entertainment

Blogging remains one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies brands can use to cement their reputation.

Although building an audience involves several trials and errors, there are specific guidelines that can be followed to obtain the visibility – and return – that a blog offers.

Marta Peral Ribeiro
– Communication Consultant –

The long format in the Age of Fast Entertainment

Blogging remains one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies brands can use to cement their reputation.

Although building an audience involves several trials and errors, there are specific guidelines that can be followed to obtain the visibility – and return – that a blog offers.

Do people still read blogs?

In recent years there has been some skepticism about the usefulness of blogging, with the existence of those who consider them obsolete.

But are they? In fact, it was not the blogs themselves that fell into disuse, but rather some of the practices that used to be used, such as:

  • The use of personal blogs or for entertainment (social networks have become more appealing to this end);
  • Blogs with random themes, unspecific;
  • High quantity of articles, but poor quality.

Some facts:

Although various types of blogs may exist, namely personal, business, niche, microblogs, among others, this article focuses on business blogs.

but… do brands also need to have a blog?

According to a report from the Content Marketing Institute, published in 2020, blogs or short articles are at the top of content marketing strategies used by brands, preceded by Social Networks:

gráfico com o top 10 conteúdos b2b marketers

Source: Content Marketing Institute

 

The same source indicates that:

  • 31% of brand awareness is due to blogs/short articles, a higher percentage than content on social networks (25%)
  • Blogs also represent 13% of lead opportunity.

Another study elaborated in 2019 by the Global Web Index reveals that blogs account for 22% of search sources when users want to learn more about a particular product, service, or brand.

The benefits of the business blog:

Visibility and reputation

The blog allows you to present the brand in a way that is closer to the public, increasing brand awareness.

By providing relevant content, the brand is standing out as an authority on the subject.

In other words: people tend to rely more on the brand, which gives it a higher positioning compared to other brands.

Traffic that lasts

What happens every time a new blog post comes along? Google will get a new organic result to present. This means that there is an increase in the probability of visits to the blog, thus generating traffic.

Over time, the number of views will also tend to increase, as well as the number of leads. It is therefore appropriate to write articles that are not exclusive to a particular period, that is, that they are as timeless as possible in order to continue to interest readers even if they only discover the publications months or years later.

Converting traffic into leads

In addition to the natural consequence referred to in the previous point, there are other strategies to generate leads. For example, when referring to another relevant publication from the same blog, to which a link is added.

Another quite common strategy is to add some action (phrase) that leads to another page or form, such as a pdf that summarizes the topic of publication, an e-book, an online course, etc.

Just as publications continue to generate traffic for a long time, lead generation also follow this flow.

Redes sociais

Existe uma relação simbiótica entre os blogs e as redes sociais, porque as redes sociais conduzem a audiência aos blogs e vice-versa. Ou seja, ambos se promovem. E como em cada rede vivem diferentes comunidades, cada uma representa uma oportunidade para efetivar uma determinada audiência.

Social networks

There is a symbiotic relationship between blogs and social networks because social networks lead the audience to blogs and vice versa. That is, both promote each other.

And as different communities live in each network, each represents an opportunity to affect a particular audience.

Community

Blogs, as well as social networks, represent a “public” reading space, enhancing the creation of a community.

When people with the same interests meet one another on a blog, a community is created, which can exchange ideas and represent the right audience for when the brand creates a webinar, for example, or other events.

Sales

Blogs, such as content marketing, email marketing and social networks, power a company’s business, as they represent a more direct marketing channel with the potential customer.

The users already feel confident because they follow the articles (lead generation), which helps them decide at the time of purchasing a product or service of the brand. In addition, the blog can be of service for the brand to try a marketing campaign, study the persona, launch information about events, etc.

10 strategies for a successful blog

1. Planning

Like any marketing and communication strategy of a company, everything evolves, first, a thought.

After setting the goal of the blog and its target audience, it is important to establish:

  • the topics to be addressed
  • the periodicity of publications
  • social networks where the articles will be shared
  • which contributors will feed the blog
  • what tools will be used to monitor blog results.

2. Educational and specific content

The main reason that most users access a blog is the expectation of finding information that answers their questions.

The more restricted a blog is to one topic, the more authority it will reveal in this matter.

Regarding the presentation of the information, it may be, among others:

  • an informative text
  • a tutorial
  • a case study
  • a printable list in pdf format
  • a table
  • the announcement of an event

3. Who are your readers?

Knowing your audience makes all the difference.

Having an active social listening, that is, analyzing the comments of the public, provides many clues about who their persona is and what subjects can be addressed to answer their questions.

The same is true in the sales process, where recurring questions arise, such as:

  • What is the most suitable product/service for me? (comparison tables may appear)
  • What are the unique features of this product/service?
  • What are the costs of this product/service?
  • How can I enjoy product X more?
  • How much can I save per year by opting for the Y product/service?

4. Simple language and concise information

The more summarized and uncomplicated the information presented, the easier it will be for the reader to understand (and continue reading).

Here are some ways to do this:

  • Write short sentences
  • Present well-structured information, separated by topics
  • Use accessible language, with an empathic tone
  • Complement what is being said with images, graphics, videos.

5. SEO optimization

If on the one hand, the way a website presents the information is important to the user, on the other hand, it is also advantageous to use SEO optimization techniques for search engines to present the article at the top of the results.

After all, the algorithm follows the behavior of users step by step, that is, the human factor.

Tools like Keyword Tool or Google Search Console help you find good keywords to boost the visibility of articles. Finally, you can check that the text is properly optimized through the plug-in  Yoast.

And speaking of SEO: handing the users what they expect really makes a difference. For example, when an article does not live up to its title, it has “dislike” feedback that will lower the article’s ranking.

 6. “About Us”

The tab for the presentation of the company is an excellent opportunity to create a narrative, telling the history of the brand and the reasons for its existence – and that of the blog.

Then it is essential to explain what you have to offer.

The organization’s description creates an image, which directly influences the customer’s choice.

7. Channeling communication to other platforms

As mentioned earlier, it is crucial to correlate the blog to other channels such as social networks, a  podcast, or a Youtube channel.

  • Social networks: It is necessary to enable the sharing features on the different platforms to increase the visibility of the company, as in this example where the blog article is promoted on the social network, but the blog also allows the user to share it on the networks:

jelly.agency instagram post about an article

instagram mention on website

  • Podcast and video: Adapting the written content from blog to video or podcast makes it more appealing to those of your audience that prefer audio, or even for readers to digest what they have read more easily.

However, it is essential to adapt the tone according to the channel to be used, since the characteristics and tools of each one differ, as well as the audience itself, which varies from network to network.

For example, in the case of platforms with a strong visual component, it is convenient to find appealing images and a more familiar language. On a professional social network such as LinkedIn, the speech should be empathetic, but based on a more competent tone.

8. Consistency

Ensuring a constant schedule of relevant publications helps keep the audience engaged with the brand and reiterates the brand’s reputation.

Lead generation and conversion are also naturally related to this point because a user who verifies useful content over time, especially if it evolves, is more likely to bet on that brand.

9. Guest collaborators

Having different people contribute to the production of articles for the blog enriches the information provided. why?

Each guest integrates their specialization, so the themes are more diverse. Especially when it is an opinion content.

In addition, as they each have their own tone of voice, it also expands the range of readers, who can identify themselves with a certain style more easily. That is, the reader has more than one choice.

10. Analyzing blog metrics

To verify that the objectives initially set for the blog are being achieved it is imperative to measure their performance every 3 months:

  • Is traffic increasing?
  • Which publications/themes/authors have obtained the most views and “likes”?
  • Are posts being shared on social media? Which ones?
  • Are CTR’s increasing?
  • Has lead generation resulted in conversion?
  • Where do these leads come from?

Where to host the blog?

Depending on the type of content and the target audience, there are numerous options for blog hosting platforms. CMS’s (content management systems) allow the management of content from professional-looking blogs or websites without the need to hire a computer developer.

According to BuiltWith,  the most widely used CMS in the world is WordPress:

gráfico sobre distribuição do uso do CMS em toda a internet

Also in Portugal, WordPress is the most used (28%), followed by Joomla! (10%) .

 

WordPress:

  • It has more than 20,000 active sites in Portugal
  • It is suitable for most businesses
  • Its configuration and operation are relatively simple, even in the mobile version
  • Allows customization
  • It is available in Portuguese
  • Allows conversion to the website, with plug-ins to improve it
  • Disposes of optimization features (SEO)

 

Joomla! :

  • It has a relatively intuitive configuration, although it is more complex than WordPress
  • Fits all kinds of businesses in general
  • Enables plug-ins to customize blog features
  • Allows e-commerce
  • Features mobile-optimized tools
  • It has optimization capabilities (SEO).