Blog Content Marketing Strategy Ideas – Episode 70

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Sarah breaks down blog content marketing strategy. How to think about the value of your company’s blog. Ways to scale and repurpose blog content. Your blog’s role in the attracting and engaging clients, and examples of things she’s done as the Editor-in-Chief of a brand blog.

THIS EPISODE AT-A-GLANCE

  • The benefits of brand blogs
  • Ways to scale the content on your blog
  • A list of ways to repurpose your blog

Full Podcast Transcription

Sarah Panus:
Hey, Hey, Kindred Speakers. On today’s quick episode, I’m sharing ways to think about your company’s blog content strategy. How to think about your blog across your company, ways to scale and repurpose the content, your blogs role in attracting and engaging clients and examples of things I’ve worked on scattered throughout. So all of this, after a word from our sponsors.

Sarah Panus:
Hi, my name is Sarah Panus. I have spent the last two decades driving digital content for billion dollar brands. Now I help content marketers build winning brand storytelling strategies and reduce feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Join me as we discuss strategy, creativity, confidence, and building a better connection with your audience. Think of this as a creative content marketing jam session mixed with chicken soup for the soul. This is the Marketing With Empathy podcast. 

Sarah Panus:
Okay, so blogs – brand blogs, corporate blogs. I’ve been managing corporate blogs for around 12 years now. Just had a lot of work on the back end. As I record this, I’m currently the Editor-in-Chief of Sleep Number’s external blog, and I like to call myself a rental Editor-in-Chief. It’s one of the things I love doing for my corporate clients. So I have a lot of experience with blogging, with the backend, with kind of thinking about its role in the value it can add to the business. And really starting a blog from scratch and watching it grow into a significant revenue driver and traffic driver for a company. And during this time over the last 12+ years, blogs have, from my perspective, really gone through some identity changes. I think is how the best way I would describe it. I’ve seen it where, you know, in the beginning bloggers in general, were huge.

Sarah Panus:
There were the first influencers. And with social and bloggers, etc. it being this big thing. And then brands started creating their own blogs, lots of bad ones, unfortunately. Lack of storytelling, really. Self-Serving, no value, why the heck would someone wanna keep coming back and reading this thing from this brand. And then I saw bloggers kind of lose their spot as THE top influencers, as social has grown more and more. And video blogs and have been growing some with vloggers, with the V, vloggers. Growing more with the increase of YouTube influencers and just leaning more into, into video storytelling in general, that we’re all seeing now. And I think because of all of this, some brands have deprioritized their brand blogs, or they’re maybe not even thinking about what else their blog could do for them because they’re focused on so many other things in the content space.

The Benefits of brand blogs

Sarah Panus:
Well, I think those that are neglecting or ignoring the blog are definitely missing large opportunities to attract new leads and reengage existing owners. So let’s just think about the benefit of brand blogs first. They’re incredibly useful for a variety of things. And I’m sure there’s even gonna be more things that I don’t bring up today that you guys are oh, we actually use our blog for this, or I’ve heard of it in a different way too. Cuz there is so many different ways that can be used. The first big bucket I would say is really helping,

attract website traffic and leads

Sarah Panus:
As companies, we all are looking to attract website, traffic and leads, aren’t we? So there’s a huge SEO value of ranking for consumer customer searches. You know, there’s around 90,000 Google searches per second. Blog content’s great for SEO because you know, it’s usually longer articles. You have more words that helps give you more of an opportunity to rank better. And what I’ve seen is, versus your e-commerce site where you’re generally focused more on your branded words, blog content is a great place to expand in non-branded keywords that customers are searching for. So for example, instead of Nike, it would be sneakers or shoe, some different kinds of general shoe terms. Instead of Sleep Number bed, it would be mattresses, you know, general terms that is what I mean. And so there’s a huge SEO value to be able to attract and on average, you know, because they are longer, which is great longer form content. On average generates eight times more page views, three times more social media shares and nine times more leads than short form content. So that’s a recent stat from SCM rush.

Sarah Panus:
So that’s a lot of additional business opportunity that you could be engaging. And I think about blog traffic, as you know, it’s upper funnel leads, upper funnel visitors and traffic, for sure. And then because of storytelling and storytelling is generally upper to mid funnel, depending on what you’re sharing in your stories. And then as that traffic comes into your blog, then you can tag your site to track what those visitors, those blog visitors are doing after they read the article. If your blog lives on your main company website, are they looking at other pages? Are they reading multiple articles? What key actions are they taking? Ask them to subscribe for your blog, to your blog. So then you can capture their email information, that’s a lead. And then provide value to them through great storytelling. Right? Over time it makes them want to reengage and keep reading.

Sarah Panus:
I love looking at repeat visitor traffic on blogs because it helps you understand a lot about the quality of what you’re sharing and if people are coming back and want to continue to be reading more. So new visitors is a great kind of parallel to a light lead, I would call it, cause you don’t have their email address yet. But they’re a new visitor, you’ve introduced and opened the door for them to start to learn more about your brand through some article that you are sharing on your blog, whereas they may not have ever been in the market to look and be researching anything about your company. It’s an amazing way to attract. I kind of think about it in that example, I think of it a little bit like perfume or cologne where someone smells really good.

Sarah Panus:
You may, and you may get just a whiff of it and you’re, “Ooh, what is that?” Right? And it makes you wanna lean in and smell it. Maybe talk to the person, get to know more about it. It’s kind of that where the block is you’re bringing them in through some great, valuable content that is on a topic they’re interested in, but really is not. It’s not promotional, it’s storytelling. So it’s also blogs

provide a physical place where your stories can live digitally

Sarah Panus:
It’s this beautiful library where you can organize your storytelling content. So if it’s hard is I would say, is it hard for you to add content to your website? Currently? A lot of times there’s a lot of extra levels from an e-commerce site to be able to add storytelling content throughout the site is more difficult. It may be more challenging. It may take a lot longer just to go through that process with that team. Well, a blog platform on your website can make things a lot more turnkey so that you know, you can get those stories out there quicker that teams and channels within your organization can be pushed in traffic to and driving to the other benefit is you know, really helps

improve customer loyalty and engagement

Sarah Panus:
So blogging is, is very scalable, relatively affordable. And, and so that it’s actually the third, most common content marketing strategy for businesses, according to SDM rush and the content you share gives value to your customers. As I mentioned, or potential customers, it is gonna help position you as a leader in your space. It can help improve your brand reputation through online brand reputation. But also if there are, you can look at it from a PR perspective too, if there’s a certain topic, you wanna be a leader in well that storytelling content around that topic from your experts, your point of view is a great tool to be able to be directing media to, from an earned media perspective. And how do you think about your blog across your company? So there’s all these benefits and value of it. So then how do you think about it? I think about the blog as prime real estate to house your brand stories.

Sarah Panus:
I said, it’s the library, it’s a great place to house. It’s a great place that where you can have your internal and external teams across the company, driving traffic to the stories that are housed on your blog, help engage potential customers, existing customers, employees, and external partners, right? So lots of legs there, lots and lots and lots of legs. And that’s why I wanted to do this episode because I just wanted to talk about what are those legs and that value to help you in your own companies, if you have a blog or if you’re thinking about getting a blog to be able to be thinking of it broadly of all the benefits that it can do, cuz again, I’ve seen this first and of how incredibly valuable this is across multiple teams.

WAys to scale the content on your blog

Sarah Panus:
So let’s talk then next about ways to scale and repurpose the content on your blog. First and foremost, you need to have a content plan for your blog, just any other channel and communication channel. And that will need to ladder up to your overarching storytelling pillars for your company, the main goals and things you’re looking to address throughout the year. Leaning into empathy filters and data and SEO insights and all the things. So you’re gonna create a great content calendar, or if you have a marketing shared content calendar, ensure that the blog is represented in it. So holistically across your organization, everyone can see what content is going to be published on the blog or has already been published on the blog with links. So they know and can very easily be driving to articles that make the most sense across their different channels.

Sarah Panus:
So for the purposes of this episode, I’m just gonna assume everyone has a content calendar already. I’m not gonna, this is not gonna be a content calendar episode. So we’ll assume you have one and the blog is on it. And the key here is a next step then is to work cross functionally with other teams to understand their content needs, who needs content, what types of stories do they need and would it be valuable and helpful to have that content that they need live on the blog? Do their story needs align with your overarching themes that you’re trying to communicate on the brand blog. So a really easy way to kind of help manage this within your organization is to create an intake form so that people could just fill out digitally, submit a request about a story request. Ask them a few questions about what they’re looking for, you know, deadlines of course, but also the why, why is this important?

Sarah Panus:
And what I’ve found from just my work as an Editor-in-Chief of corporate blogs is a lot of times, you know, when you’re, you’re the closest to the storytelling aspect. And so a lot of times teams will come and they’ll make a request and it’ll be very Brandy, oh, it’s this product. And, but your job then is to talk with them and really to help uncover how do we editorialize this? How do we think about this in a way that is gonna make it really interesting to our target audience? It’s not gonna turn them off, they’re gonna read it and think it’s an ad or that it’s a, a landing page on our website, but this has to be different cuz with all these things work together, this is bringing them in or re-engaging them. So that’s a great discussion you can have sometimes.

Sarah Panus:
And then you can decide, does it make sense or doesn’t it make sense on the blog? Does that make sense somewhere else? Or how could you tweak the story in a way to get it to where it is more editorial in tone from a storytelling perspective. You wanna make sure you’re having those conversations. So as an example, for one of my corporate clients, I’m regularly talking with multiple teams to plan quarterly content needs with the blog as one of those levers. So we’re gonna chat about what we have planned in the blog calendar our monthly content themes, articles, or videos that we’re planning to launch. And then we’re asking that team then for input on what do they have planned during that same time? Is there someone we could interview that they have access to in their world?

Sarah Panus:
You know, what communications do they have going out so that we can look at it quarterly? So for email example, we’re looking at that quarterly and thinking about what blog content can go into each of the emails throughout the quarter in their plans and how we can support them there while adding value in emails. So that every email isn’t just promotional that you have some great storytelling, editorialized content that is so additive and it’s, it’s adding more value increasing the likelihood of clicking and not wanting to unsubscribe, you know, from all the emails and feeling bombarded with promo content. We’re looking at quarterly as well. If customer loyalty programs. So that’s a huge one of re-engaging your existing customers they’ve already bought it. They’re already users of it. So how do you reengage them? There’s only so depending on your category, they may not buy the product frequently enough that you’re, you, you, you need something in between to keep them re-engaged.

Sarah Panus:
And so content is brilliant for that. I actually should do a separate episode just on that because I just have so many great insights and learnings on how effective that is at tapping into your existing owner base through story time. So I’ll write that down for another episode, but looking at that and then thinking through what you have planned sharing that with the team to help amplify that through their community, to engage with that content. And then vice versa. Think again, it’s really the whole mix of how everyone’s working together. There are no silos you need to, from a storytelling perspective, understand what everyone’s needs are, what the priorities are for the business. And then how do you make that into great storytelling content that your customers are gonna wanna engage with? So I’ve personally seen blog content drive, significant revenue, annual revenue, traffic, SEO value.

A list of ways to repurpose your blog

Sarah Panus:
So I’m gonna just give you a list next here of other ways that you can scale and repurpose your blog content to drive more results for your company. So I’m just gonna go through a bunch of different examples. These are all things that I’ve done with blog content and the need just keeps growing and growing and growing. So it shows that it’s working. So teams are wanting more of it and everyone gets really excited about it. Cause when you see something working right, then you’re like, oh my gosh, that’s so great. I want more of this content. How do we work together on this, which is the ultimate that’s who you want inside your organization. So the first is customer loyalty program. So I talked a little bit on that, but engagement, you wanna engage your existing customers via whatever loyalty programs you have share content with them ask them, you know, reward points for engaging with that content in those loyalty programs.

Sarah Panus:
And then also be thinking about that loyalty program of how you can mine for stories. It’s a great way to get reciprocated back and help. You know, what else other things you can talk about through these stories is it’ll help you get to know your customers more. I love interviewing customers for blog stories. It’s a great way to get to know the customers better. It’s also a really great way to determine if there’s anyone that you’d want to include in future video content. So the blog can kind of be that first first, I don’t know, marker right where you’re you’re and then you see if they advance a level and then you see if they advance at the next level for video content down the road. So that is another brilliant way to be constantly thinking about your blog. It’s kinda a casting agent almost.

Sarah Panus:
If you think about it in that way great to repurpose the content, use it and share it through emails. I mentioned especially if your company has a very large email list that they’re communicating to, how do your blog content stories get pushed through that? And then don’t forget about your internal employees. So share the content through your own internal employees. I know most large companies and midsize companies now have different levers and platforms and things to pull that help share certain content with their employee base. And then you can just make it really easy to ask the employees to share the content with their communities. So post beyond is a, is a vendor. I know that does a great job with that. And you can just tap into your existing employees to be amplifiers of the content there as well.

Sarah Panus:
And then of course you have social paid and organic tons of opportunity to share and scale blog kind of through those channels. One example I love is taking one blog post and repurposing it into 10 separate Pinterest pins to help scale and attract your customers via Pinterest. You know, because blogs are longer, you can slice and dice it a lot of different ways with different headlines and quotes and different thoughtful imagery and different color changes. All of ’em literally drive back to the same article, but be positioned in 10 different ways to see from a learning perspective, what worked better at attracting traffic from Pinterest to your property. But it’s just such a brilliant way of being able to, I always talk about, I say, let’s just milk it for all it’s worth, honey. Right? We’re gonna milk it. We’re gonna milk this content everywhere we can cause good Lord.

Sarah Panus:
We spend enough time creating the content that we make for our companies. You want it to do as much as it possibly can. So that’s why I wanna share all these different places of where your blog content can live and benefit. So social’s a big one. Or if you have a customer service team, that’s responding to questions on social, have them send a blog story link related to the topic that they’re chatting about with the person. Maybe they have allergies and you have a great story on allergies on your blog. We’ll send them that link, right? So it’s a great way beyond it also helps be kind of so people don’t sound robotic. You’re adding a lot of value or, “Hey, I saw you like this. We have this great article on X. Here’s a link if you’d like to read it”. Again, it’s not promotional, you’re adding value. It’s editorial, but it’s that you are showing your thought leadership.

Sarah Panus:
You are showing you care, you are showing and adding tons and tons of value through this content. Then you have kind this other bucket where I think of PR. And I know I mentioned a little bit before about your, is your, could your blog content be leveraged in partnership with your PR team to think about things that they’re trying to pitch for earned media coverage in a way that makes it media a bull that earned media would want to cover it? It could an article on the blog be better to drive consumer media to versus a news release as an example is there a deeper behind the scenes point of view interview with an expert at your company that where you have that video live within a blog story that you drive the media to? So there’s different ways to think about that.

Sarah Panus:
So definitely sit down and chat with your PR team about what’s coming up and think about what could make sense. And then the last example I’ll share is thinking about, you know, blog content and how that can add value to your external partnerships. And there’s a lot of things that fall under external partnerships. So there could be paid media content partners that you work with. I remember being really proud because we were doing a partnership with Katie Kirk media and we had several blog stories that ended up getting re-shared in Katie Kirk’s daily newsletter that she shares out. And the times that we included those specific blog articles, the company’s blog articles, they were actually one of the most clicked on if not the most clicked on of that day. And that’s this huge volume. And you think about all of there was 50 links in these newsletters and the fact that the blog brand blog content was doing so well, it was just so gosh, dang.

Sarah Panus:
It felt good, right? It feels good when you’re like, yes, I know this is great content. And I know that this people are interested in these topics, it’s adding value and they wanted to click on it. They wanted to read it. So think about it in those partnerships of any partnerships you have with paid media partners to think about how could you amplify with thrive global, I know they have contributor articles where you can look at submitting content for publication as well or larger partnerships you’re working on larger sponsors that you’re partnered with too. You think about it of how could that content maybe add value to them? Additive, is part of your partnership, but then also is it content that they may want to share with their employees? Right. So then you’re getting even more sharing.

Sarah Panus:
So if you partner with Google and you have a huge paid parts partnership with Google, is there something with content sharing that Google does, right. That you could get that shared out with them as an example, right. That’s a huge example. We, I work with a client and we have a partnership with the NFL. So there’s content that we could share internally within the NFL, within their different groups that they have and different experts and, and folks there, there’s so many layers there, so don’t just stop. And they think about how you can continue to scale this content beyond. Or if you have any CSR, nonprofit partners, same thing, one of course you’re gonna wanna interview them and do great stories about those partnerships. But then again, sending the stories to them, to amplify and share within their existing employee base or, or their external channels.

Sarah Panus:
And just really thinking about, gosh, all these legs, right? I’m talking about all the legs that this blog content has. So that wraps up today’s episode about blog content, strategy marketing. I really love being a rental Editor-in-Chief for brand blogs, cuz it works. It’s so great. It’s just smart. It just makes our jobs a lot easier to have a central place for stories to live. So connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d love to hear from you. Email me if you’re having any questions about your own corporate blog that you wanna chat through. I would love to hear from you. My email address is sarah@kindredspeak.com. That’s Sarah with an H, @kindredspeak.com. So that’s it folks. I hope this was helpful and sparked a few ideas for you to further tap into the power of your company’s blog. Until next time, Kindred Speakers.

Closing Remarks

Sarah Panus:
If you’re hearing my voice right now, you’re likely a corporate content marketer of some kind looking to level up your brand storytelling career. What would it feel to have the skills, confidence, and know how to advance your brand storytelling results and love the work you’re doing? In an ideal world you and your content team are high level strategic thinkers that know how to humanize your brand to drive seven X engagements and actions. You have the right creative mindset to attract your ideal audience and build brand trust and loyalty through storytelling. You’re viewed as top performers in the company and brand storytelling is valued because it’s driving business results and supporting multiple channel teams. But things don’t always go our way, right? Maybe your brand lacks, a cohesive content strategy. Maybe you and your team are asked to deliver a lot for your company and it’s hard to keep up.

Sarah Panus:
You know you need to invest in figuring out next steps in your company’s brand storytelling plans, but haven’t had the time to figure out how yet. And you need help integrating it across the organization. You personally want to level up your skills because you know, you need to know how to do these things to advance in your career. You want your work to be valued so that you love coming to work each day, attracting leads, increasing repeat, and referral actions or creating a loved brand. And in this competitive market, you’re looking for ways to stay competitive, for yourself or retaining and attracting top talent for your company. That’s why I created the Brand Storytelling Academy, a hands on three month group training program designed to help corporate content marketers attract upper funnel leads that drive bottom funnel results through storytelling. For one sixth of the cost to hire a person on the team or onboard a high level brand storytelling strategist, you and up to five people on your team can be developing and accelerating your brand storytelling skills. Think of it like a college certification program for you and your team, but you get the knowledge a lot quicker and your professor, me, has 20 years of hands on experience guiding you along the way. Curious? Fill out the application at kindredspeak.com/apply to learn more and I’ll be in touch to answer all your questions and discuss if it’s a good fit. Go to kindredspeak.com/apply.

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ABOUT SARAH PANUS

Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling marketing strategist, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps corporations attract upper-funnel leads that drive bottom-funnel results through storytelling.  Her mission is to add value to the world by humanizing brand+consumer connections. Her online courses teach content professionals inside corporations think like Editorial Directors for their brand to drive stronger results while enjoying their jobs more.  She’s spent the last 20 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, and others, speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Learn more at www.kindredspeak.com. Follow Sarah on Instagram and LinkedIn.