Optimising webspace; the benefits of brand blogging

This week we’re discussing the benefits of brand blogging.

Here at full service digital agency DVO we’re big supporters of clients optimising webspace. Sounds straight forward, of course as a business you want to optimise all your resources and channels and brand blogging can be a great way to achieve this. But in today’s New Normal, as marketers and business owners, it can be challenging.

So what exactly do we mean when we say optimising webspace? Well, it’s the practice of looking beyond a brand’s site or blog to create an overarching online marketing presence. Any approach that doesn’t encompass every element, from e-commerce to social media to blogger outreach, will create an incomplete, confused or broken machine that isn’t ready to take on a well-rounded marketing strategy. We’ve seen this time and time again with clients, where responsibility for different digital resources can sit with different departments and silos are a very real problem still. So having a strategy that sits above this and pulls all the elements together effectively is vital and will actually make each channel work harder and produce better results.

We’ve written a series of articles, breaking down the different areas of webspace, explaining what they mean, why they are important and how you make them work harder for you.

Why have a blog?

Owned media has many different aspects and may seem daunting. But it’s also the most accessible and easiest means by which connect to your audience. At the centre of this should be your brand’s blog. Why? Well, for many reasons but here are some key stats that you should be aware of, especially if you’re not convinced of the value a blog can bring to your business.

  • A blog produces 97% more inbound links to a company’s site compared to one without a blog.
  • Companies that blog receive a massive 434% more indexed pages on average than those that don’t. Seriously, you don’t have a blog!!!
  • Small businesses that blog will see 126% more lead growth compared to those that don’t.
  • 23% of total Internet usage is on social media networks and blogs.

Webspace

Every client is different. They have different brands, different products, different attitudes and different approaches but most want the same thing: to get their brand known. When they ask if they really need a blog, the answer varies depending on what they are hoping to achieve. We hope the stats above have helped convince you of the benefits of brand blogging if you were sitting on the fence.

A blog should be the heart of a brand’s owned media. Brand blogging is the motor that keeps it running. It provides the content that drives individuals back to your website. How can you get involved with social networks, your email databases and other channels without having something to say? For most companies, your website and blog exist to tell the world what you’re about and why they should care. Your site does it on a basic level, but your blog lets you go off on tangents. 60% of people feel more positive about a company that has custom content on its website than those that don’t. It shows a confidence and a level of expertise that consumers want from the companies they are buying from or interacting with. And if it’s content that evokes an emotional response and encourages further action like commenting or sharing, then that’s an added bonus.

What do I blog about?

Working with clients who are starting out on their social media/blogging journey, we hear the same thing time and time again. What should I say, what should I talk about? Why would people be interested in what I’ve got to say? While understandable, this anxiety is often misplaced – you’re already an expert in your field so talk about what you do. Using brand blogging to explain your decisions, your journey, your beliefs, your successes and even your mistakes. After all, that’s what your customers are most likely to be interested in.

Nothing to say - Blog about it

McDonalds Canada is a great example of this, as can be seen in the fast food giant’s behind-the-scenes feature showing how burgers are photographed, hosted on YouTube. By being completely transparent about the dark art of food styling, the brand has taken something it knows intimately and created positive, engaging content that keeps its consumers interested and informed. The video has earned more than 11.3 million views.

Whilst developing content marketing for Expedia, we knew we needed to put a fresh spin on what could have otherwise just been more of the same old travel blogging, creating content that would stand out in a cluttered space. We did that by flipping the narrative into the future, focusing on what you could do, not what we had done collectively as the writing team. Making it about the travellers and the experience they could have allowed us to position the content we created away from the rest of the market. We built a network of writers across 8 global cities who were our correspondents and formed the basis of our content marketing approach. Having this solid digital experience meant we could build in tactical campaigns highlighting new destinations, seasonal holidays such as Halloween and tie-ins with wider campaign initiatives.

This is just one example of how we’ve used a brand’s existing know-how and worked with others to create useful content. Updating your blog at least once a week may seem daunting, but you already have the knowledge and expertise to share with your customers. And trust us, if you’ve got your offering and your branding right, people WILL want to listen. We’re here help bring it out. Talk to DVO about brand blogging on 020 3771 2641 or email us at iminterested@w-ptheme.club.

 

Optimising webspace and why you should care about bloggers

Blogger outreach and bloggers can make the difference to your content campaign’s amplification, in the second in our optimising webspace series we discuss why?

Before digital marketing, there were two main ways to get your brand seen – advertising and PR. The online revolution has given us a third: Bloggers. But say the word ‘Blogger’ nowadays to those not in the know and you might be on the receiving end of an derisive eyeroll. Which is a shame and, we believe, very short-sighted. This valuable resource has been tainted by what can only be described as a deluge of third party publishers. I mean, think about it, EVERYBODY and his mate Dave is a blogger these days. In this our second post on optimising webspace, we’re aiming to re-establish bloggers and blogger outreach as a valuable element that can be a huge benefit to your marketing campaigns.

Blogging took off in the late nineties. These writers, critics and reviewers started out making careers from what were once hobby blogs. Whether using wit, authority, well-crafted prose or all three, many bloggers managed to grow their readership to such a level that brands and advertisers sat up and took notice. Let’s have a quick look back before we look forward.

From humble beginnings, Peter Robinson’s very funny Popjustice founded a record label, released branded compilations, held branded tours and broken pop news stories. Charlie Lynne’s film blog Ultra Culture was hailed the UK’s foremost film blog by reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and hosted the national premiere of Spring Breakers. And Jack Monroe, the budget food blogger behind recipe site ‘A Girl Called Jack’ has earned worldwide media interest and become the face of Sainsbury’s ad campaigns. How’s that for the power of blogging? And lots of people sat up and took notice. Where’s there’s traffic, there’s cash and where there’s cash, you’ll quickly find people jumping on the bandwagon trying to exploit it. Hence the above mentioned eyeroll response. Blogging started to get a bad name for itself, what was once innocent and pure, spontaneous and organic, became cynical and cheap, lacklustre and cold.

Cat blogging

So what does today’s blogger look like? Well, for a start, don’t call them bloggers! It’s all about ‘Influencers’ now. Which, considering how much blogging has moved on in the last few years, is a far more accurate description. Gone are the days when a blogger could throw up low grade content on their blogs (their own or ‘borrowed’ from elsewhere), fling out some click bait, post tired listicles and sit back and watch the revenue pour in in line with their blog traffic. Today’s blogger understands the power of engagement, and harnessing top quality content on their blogs, their social media channels, images and graphics is at the centre of all this. The best blogs capture their readers’ imaginations, giving them reasons to return, stay and share. It’s actually pretty much the basis of DVO’s core proposition around content and engagement, and something brands the world over are keen to buy in to.

When we worked with specialist travel operator Thompson Lakes and Mountains, we saw an opportunity for blogger outreach that feed content to not one, but two blog audiences. By creating a guide to the company’s most popular destinations inspired by the maps often found in fantasy novels, we worked with a number of influential travel bloggers as well as the fans of dramas such as The Hobbit and Game of Thrones. In doing this, we used this highly engaged network to spread word of Thompson Lakes and Mountains across multiple channels on our behalf.

(Click the image below for the full infographic).

The best bloggers are seen as proper, respected experts in their fields. No longer is running a blog just about posting about your Couch to 5K progress (or lack of it!) or what you ate for lunch this week. Good blogs are well researched and presented, understand their strengths and their audience. They produce useful and inspiring content which illicits a response and excites the reader, prompting them into action. Which in today’s saturated digisphere is no easy task.

Be sure to check out our previous blog in this series on brand blogging. If you’d like to discuss with us how you can expand your reach into earned media, get in touch. Talk to DVO or drop us an email at iminterested@w-ptheme.club

The social media storm that is Movember

Movembers a lot of fun for most of us. This week we analyse what you can learn from Movember to make you’re social media more effective.

A quick look at social media will tell you we’re staring down the face of Movember (already!) and the question of whether to ‘tache or not to ‘tache raises its head. Yes, that’s right, it’s nearly Movember and men (and women) the world over are considering ways that they can support this very worthwhile charity. As a full service digital agency we want to look deeper, analysing why initiatives like November are so good at engaging large audiences and how you can apply the same thinking to your campaigns.

Every year, in November, Movember turns moustaches into a symbol of support for its cause. But what was once a very simple premise with an equally simple fundraising journey has become somewhat of a behemoth. Ask most people what they think Movember means and what the movement supports and they’ll say, “growing a moustache in November, get some sponsorship and raise money for testicular cancer”.

But Movember has become so, so much more than that. Let’s explore.Continue reading