Though posting blogs is the most common form of content marketing, there are still plenty of blogging questions, especially as the amount of content expands. You’ve probably been reading a lot about “content saturation,” which refers to a point where there is so much content online that each new blog, white paper, webinar, podcast or other form of content becomes diluted or lost in the clutter. This overload makes it much more difficult to reach your audience.
What’s more, studies show that the amount of content being published is not slowing down. In fact, up to 17 new blog posts are being published every second! And, the latest research from the Content Marketing Institute, indicates that organizations plan on increasing the amount of content they produce in 2019.
Even in this rising sea of content, publishing blogs is key. Each new post creates an opportunity for your company to be found in search engines, get shared on social media and engage with your audience. With that said, many clients ask these four blogging questions:
How often should we publish a blog?
Research from Hubspot found that the more blogs companies published per month, the more traffic they saw on their website. Specifically, companies that published 16+ posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0-4 monthly posts. (For more stats, check out Blogging Frequency Benchmarks.)
However, research from Orbit Media shows that a regular cadence is more important than quantity. While frequency and consistency can both impact your results, of the two, consistency is more important. Create a publishing schedule that can be realistically maintained over time within your organization. Posting a weekly blog on a regular basis is more effective than trying to post something twice or three times a week and missing the mark. Or worse, posting only sporadically.
The other factor to consider is quality. It’s far better to post one good quality blog every week or even bi-weekly, rather than publishing poor quality content every day! What constitutes quality? Content that:
- Offers new insights and spotlights recent developments in your industry
- Provides relevant, useful information to customers and prospects
- Answers your customers’ questions and addresses their pain points
The bottom line: Give people what they want. (For tips on producing more effective content, check out Content Marketing vs. Promotional Marketing: The Art of Giving People What they Want.)
The Snap Agency found bloggers who post weekly had a 66% chance of getting a prospect to visit their website.
How long should blog posts be?
There’s a lot of advice on this topic, and it varies widely. However, according to Convert Kit’s State of Blogging Report, 69% of company bloggers are now writing posts longer than 1,000 words. A study by CopyPress supports this trend by showing that long-form content outperforms short-form content by about 40.5%. Currently, the average word count for professional blogs is 1,142 (Orbit Media).
The best advice: Look at your own data to see what performs best. Audience preferences differ by industry, type of company and subject matter. What does your audience prefer?
Deciding on a blog’s length also depends on your goals. Write Practices found that if you want comments on your blog, shorter is better (about 250 words). If you want social shares, the sweet spot is 500-1,500 words, and if you want the holy grail of content marketing (ranking in Google), you need to publish 1,500-2,000 words.
Within your blog, research from CoSchedule found that shorter paragraphs (3 sentences) and shorter sentences (approximately 25 word) gets higher readership.
How can we maximize our content distribution without paid advertising?
Look no further than your colleagues! Employees are typically a company’s biggest advocates, and each one has a distinct, extended network at their disposal. In fact, on average, employees have 10X more first-degree connections on LinkedIn than a company has followers (LinkedIn).
“Employees are every brand’s greatest asset with the power to build your brand and attract and retain the best talent,” said Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group.
Not only do employees humanize your company’s messages, their posts typically receive an average click through rate of 30%. That’s because 62% of people trust a brand’s social media more than it’s advertising (Edelman Trust Barometer).
To extend your content’s reach, simply have every employee share company blog posts on their own LinkedIn and other social media accounts.
How can we break through the clutter?
Think outside the written page. As a marketing tool, video is growing faster than any other type of content. For instance, more video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major television networks have created in 30 years! And, it’s not just funny cat videos – 87% of online marketers use video content because it’s highly effective. Consider these statistics from Wordstream:
- 51% of marketing professional worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
- 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video.
- Videos on website landing pages can increase conversion by 80% or more.
- Having a video on a landing page makes it 53% more likely to show up on page one of the search engine results page (SERP).
- An initial email with a video receives an increase click-through rate by 96%.
- The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.
Though video is growing, there is still plenty of opportunity to get noticed. Consider adding a video blog to your editorial calendar. With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to produce and share high-quality videos.
Despite content saturation, blogs still provide a lot of bang for the buck. Not only do they attract new prospects, they continue to work for your company long after they’re published. Old posts will be found by searchers – if the information is relevant and valuable – on your website, on social media and through links on other sites. For instance, Hubspot found that over 75% of their blog views and 90% of their blog leads came from old posts.
Successful content marketing involves posting consistent, high-quality blogs, as well as other forms of content. To reap the most rewards, commit to a regular schedule, create engaging, informative content, mix things up with video/webinars/podcasts, and amplify your reach through employees.