There may be many tools to choose from in the content marketer’s bag of tricks, but it’s safe to say that maintaining a company blog is one of the most popular and effective. However, just because the humble blog has been around for donkey’s years, doesn’t mean that it is immune to the constant evolution which makes the content marketing world such a challenging and interesting world to work in.
Yes, blogging is subject to trends, just like any tactic at the content marketer’s disposal. However, for the SME that’s short on time and resources, it can prove tricky to stay up-to-date with current trends and predictions, let alone incorporate them all into their content marketing strategy.
Fortunately, the Internet is a wonderful thing – we came across a recent report by web design and development gurus, Orbit Media Studios, summarising the findings of their latest blogging survey. As well as charting the changes that have occurred in the blogosphere over the past year, the research also provides interesting insight into blogging trends – insights that you can use to your advantage in your content marketing campaign.
Get your blog bang on trend by bearing these considerations in mind:
1. Long-form posts are in
Long-form is in; short and sweet is out. The survey revealed that the average blog post is 10% longer than it was the previous year, reaching nearly 900 words in length. Although it is important to remember that quality always trumps quantity, longer length posts are more likely to provide the details that your target audience needs and wants – a fact that Google takes into consideration in the rankings. Orbit Media recommend planning search optimised posts of 1,500 words to get ahead of the trend.
2. Collaboration is key
Orbit Media’s research revealed that 64% of bloggers pen posts for more than one blog. Consider the power of guest posting in order to widen your audience, boost brand awareness and build authority. The Content Marketing Institute recommends guest posting as an excellent way to secure those valuable backlinks from industry leaders and influencers – contributors are usually more welcome than you might think.
3. Promotion, promotion, promotion
Social media is still king when it comes to promoting your company’s blog posts with 93% of blogger respondents citing it as a promotional tool. However, Orbit Media demonstrate that SEO, email marketing, influencer outreach and paid promotion are now utilised much more widely than they were a year ago. Ultimately, this trend points to the fact that in order to get your content viewed by your target audience, you may need to experiment and go that extra mile to help stay ahead of the crowd.
4. Visual and audio is on the up
Visual content is on the rise with 8% more bloggers using at least one image per post than the previous year. Interestingly, the study also found that the use of video in blog posts had decreased whilst audio had increased. It doesn’t take a content marketing genius to figure out that breaking up a post with enticing images is more likely to help your post attract attention – last year Hubspot published an infographic revealing that adding compelling visual elements and graphics to a post can generate up to 94% more views – but why not really get ahead of the curve and pop in some audio snippets or a regular podcast?
5. Consistency wins over frequency
Finally, one of the key challenges for the SME keeping a company up-to-date is finding the time to do it. Rejoice at the news from the Content Marketing Institute that two-thirds of bloggers “are still publishing less often than daily but more often than monthly”. The takeaway is that even if daily posts are beyond your remit, keeping your posting schedule consistent is just as likely to demonstrate reliability and keep your audience engaged. Consider sharing an editorial schedule with your team to keep your efforts organised.
Even an old hand in the world of blogging can do with shaking up their approach every now and again – do you have any blogging tips to share that keep you one step ahead of the game?