Thinking about content marketing and how to make content strategies to drive traffic for you? We know that it’s challenging, and we love sharing our ideas on ways that you can do it.
Running out of fresh blog ideas? Try changing formats instead of coming up with new ideas. When you fall into patterns with your blog, it becomes predictable and — dare we say it? — a trifle boring. Try one or more of the format changes suggested below.
- Go for the goal. If your blogs are always less than 600 words, try going more in-depth at 900 or even 1200 words. 1200-word blogs may just fit the bill for those topics that require more development or more background. Because they involve more substantive topics, they really are not harder to write than 600-word articles.
- Alternate Blogging Styles. Keep your audience coming back to see what style of blog you will give them this week. Alternating blogging styles also means that you can match the style to the topic. There’s no rule that says once a 250-word blog, always a 250-word blog.
- Create a Q&A Blog. Add a fill-in feature to your website and on social media to collect questions from your customers about your product or service. Examples include questions that concern “how to install” products or when to call for service for a particular problem. You will then respond to the questions on your Q&A blog. The Q&A blog helps bring new visitors from social media to find answers on questions that interest them. It also brings visitors back to your website for a repeat visit. Design the Q&A blog as a regular feature, or alternate with regular blog pieces.
Take a Break from Blogging. Give yourself a break from blogging and change it up with more visual content. Here are a few examples.
- Infographics. Infographics are very popular with website visitors and for good reason. First, the graphic style gives your readers a visual representation of how your points fit together, a colorful background to the main presentation points. Then, following the presentation points makes your reader spend more time on the webpage just to make sure that they absorbed every particle of what you had to say.
- Podcast interviews. We are becoming a world of listeners, rather than readers. We also have shrinking attention spans. Create a live interview of a respected leader in your field or an innovator in a new technology or another representative of your company. Air it live on your website. Also, record that interview during the live performance and then replay it for a certain period of time as a podcast in your blog spot. That’s an interview that keeps on giving. Podcasts are wonderful aural tools that combine well with a static infographic while the recorded information plays. Podcasts allow your audience to take notes, replay a section they didn’t understand the first time around, or surf around your website while they listen to your engrossing interview.
- Add a trivia quiz about your industry. We all enjoy trivia challenges, right? They are especially fun when they delve into the historical weeds on an industry that interests us. Quizzes are a fun substitute every once in a while. Use them when you are on vacation from blogging or during holidays when you expect readership to fall off.
Track Blog Formats. Whether you decide to alternate blog formats, take a break from blogging, or employ a mix of the two, make sure you track audience reaction to your changes. Identify the blog style that gets the most play on your website. See which infographic customers shared the most times on social media. Tracking your customers’ response to new blogging styles and formats will give you fresh perspective on your audience and what moves them into action. You may find that they enjoy the fact that you alternate styles as much as they like particular formats. Keeping the blog fresh is what it’s all about.
Be Creative. Be Yourself. We think the take-away from this post is to have fun with whatever blogging style or format you decide to try. Yes, you want to create fresh content, but make sure that fresh content reflects your company’s persona and responds to your customers’ expectations. Just as products evolve and businesses alter strategies, you are not necessarily tied to your first idea of what a blog should look like. Explore the unexpected. Experiment.
To talk about content marketing, or anything else, please contact us. We want to help you grow your business.