2020 has turned almost every industry upside down. The shift to remote working has been dramatically accelerated. Businesses everywhere are scrambling to find new ways to establish and maintain connections with customers. It’s no surprise that blogs and content marketing are doing some of this heavy lifting.
The Current State of Blogging in 2020
Check out some of these statistics:
Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads
Engaging content is among the top 3 reasons brands develop a social media following
81% of US customers trust information in blogs
61% of consumers have made a purchase after reading a blog post
Many companies, however, have convinced themselves that they shouldn’t or can’t commit to creating or properly maintaining a blog. This is unfortunate, as a report from HubSpot indicates that brands who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see ROI on their overall marketing efforts.
Companies who ignore the power of the content marketing experience these unfortunate results:
Missed opportunities for thought leadership, brand awareness and relationship building
Lost market share
Weak brand recognition with leads and customers
No recyclable promotional content or CTAs to share on social media
In today’s competitive landscape, not only is it important to recommit to your content marketing strategies, but it’s possibly also time to review your blogging processes, tools and workflows.
What’s Trending for Blogs
We all know content is king. Good information keeps consumers coming back for more and develops brand loyalty. But there are several other trends materializing among today’s most successful blogs.
Attention to Aesthetics
Today’s scrolling readers want information quickly and in an easy-to-digest format.
Sentences should be 25 words or less
There should be plenty of white space
Paragraphs should be no longer than 4 lines
Length and Consistency
Long form content maximizes SEO.
From a review of top-ranking Google content, the average word count is between 1,140 and 1,285 words.
According to marketing guru Neil Patel, that number is even higher. 2,000 words or more is ideal. 3,000 is even better.
For SEO purposes, it is also important to dive deep into the topics you cover and post regularly. Google rewards blog owners who post regularly. According to Hubspot, brands that publish 16 or more blog posts a month see 4.5 times more leads than blogs that post four or fewer times per month.
By optimizing your blog for mobile users, you’re optimizing their experience with your brand. This one is non-negotiable.
Flexibility for New Features
Along with optimizing for mobile, blogs are now accommodating voice searches on a regular basis. According to one report, 50% of all searches will soon be voice searches. Blog creators must optimize and adapt content for voice queries.
We’ve all noticed Facebook Videos have increased, but finding out the increase is 360% can be shocking. Video is something blog owners must also consider incorporating into the content calendar.
Attention to Quality Must Not Waiver
As your brand works to keep up with these new trends, your content must maintain superior quality if your brand is to remain competitive.
Have you allocated the right amount of time and effort to generating quality content?
For all of this to happen, your content marketing efforts might need to ramp up and your budget may have to stretch a bit further.
However, many brands haven’t allocated the necessary resources toward blogging. This is a mistake.
According to Smart Insights, the time required to write quality blog content has increased more than 65% since 2014.
Some brands ignore blogging because their staff doesn’t possess the writing skills or enough marketing expertise.
That is why, according to The Content Marketing Institute, 84% of B2B companies are outsourcing their content creation.
Is it time to outsource?
To effectively leverage blogging in order to convert leads, consider:
Online proofing software
Working with an experienced agency to get the job done
How to Manage Blog Content Review and Approval
Whether you create your own content or choose to outsource, an effective content review and approval process ensures the content you produce is of the highest quality.
A few best practices for managing the content approval process include:
Define the right stakeholders.
Map out and define the content approval process and timeline.
Establish consistent branding guidelines.
Assemble all pieces of the process into a repeatable system.
The last step above is critical.
Why Track Changes Just Doesn’t Work
In the past, using email and tracking changes, the process may have looked like this:
a content writer creates a word document
the writer emails the document for blog content approval
the manager marks up the document, tracks changes and returns it to the writer
the writer sends it back and the process continues on a loop
Today, this manual process has become unmanageable and obsolete for a variety of reasons, including:
Feedback and input of more stakeholders must be considered
The complexity and length of content has increased
More brand assets and media are included in today’s content
One writer went so far as to write an entire blog outlining her distaste for tracking changes:
“As I worked my way through the changes, I would mistakenly reject new copy and then have to go back to the original markups to re-insert the copy. I’d also accept changes that I didn’t intend to…More annoyingly, I lost sight of the consistency and flow of the copy when someone who wasn’t a copywriter changed words, sentences, even paragraphs. Paragraphs!!”
The content and the review can be fantastic, but if the process is a mess, your blog won’t be successful.
Make the Switch to Marketing Approval Management Software
Marketing Approval Management Software has one collaborative interface where you can gather feedback quickly and easily. Approved reviewers can log in and markup blog content as well as add text comments so that feedback is always clear and concise. You and other reviewers can always view everyone’s changes, so that any conflicting feedback is transparent and can be sorted sooner than later.
When changes are finalized, you simply batch them up and send them on to your creative team. This intuitive feedback system helps to minimize revisions, which cost your business time and money.
To organize and standardize the review and approval process, approval software is more effective than tracking changes. Clarity and communication improve, revision counts remain low and the approval process becomes streamlined.
With so many brands, websites and blogs in circulation today, sometimes the process can become overwhelming.
But if you stay the course and stay on top of blogging trends, outsource and automate wherever possible, you should be on your way to building an engaged audience of potential customers before you know it.
An end-to-end solution that helps teams manage campaigns from initial brief, to review and approval of content, Admation consolidates the management of digital assets and approval workflow to enable seamless project management. Click here to book a demo today.