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Articles, Blogs Still The Best Marketing Tools For Small Businesses

While content marketing continues to increase in popularity on social media platforms, blogging and articles are still in the lead for marketing usage.

According to recent marketing research from the Content Marketing Institute shows producing content in the form of news and articles, small businesses can effectively educate their audiences.

Creating newsworthy and interesting blog content is one way to keep an audience informed and engaged, and according to research, it is critical to plan ahead in order to not waste time bringing in the wrong traffic.

Although websites and other marketing strategies are important, blogs are a useful tool in a content marketing strategy because the message is short, blog topics changes on a continuous basis and give users an opportunity to provide feedback.

Blogs provide a steady stream of hot stories or useful information in an industry niche. The useful information should include a wide range of information that in essence, is related to a certain topic. For instance, if the content pages on a website are for a brand of shoes, blog posts could contain short messages about how to relieve foot pain by wearing a certain type of shoe or orthotic. Another post could include information on the type of socks needed for walking long distances, or information on the hottest trendy shoes, what famous person is wearing them and why the shoes are so popular. Blog posts improve the variety of sharable content and can increase traffic immensely.

When blogging is used as a marketing content tool, using content that an audience wants to read is a great place to start. But how does a blogger or marketing team determine what sort of content should be included in their posts? It all starts with planning. It is critical to plan ahead so that time isn’t wasted on useless information that doesn’t bring in the traffic.

A blogging strategy should include the following: understanding the target audience, learning about and researching the competition, identifying strengths and knowing what resources are available to provide the interesting blogging content. After all, providing a continuous stream of interesting information is going to take great writers and manpower.

Understanding the audience will keep the blog topics more focused. Finding out what is important to the audience and tuning in to conversations on other websites or blogs. This information is a valuable because all content, blogs, websites, ads or otherwise should be written for a specific audience. Any content not directed at the target audience should not be used because it confuses the reader and may cause them to doubt the consistency of the blog. When this happens, the reader will go elsewhere for more reliable content.

The advantage of learning about and researching competitors is to gather information and to find gaps in their content. Research can be done online by googling specific companies or brands, reading all of their content and also by using keywords that users are likely to use. Doing a thorough research has a couple of advantages including identifying websites and blogs that may be competing for the same audience and gathering a lot of material and ideas and it may reveal a missing niche.

Finding a niche, something that is missing from the competitions brand, will help bloggers focus more on marketing differences. Writing about differences, the niche, instead of repeating what has already been stated on other blogs, gives bloggers something different to write about and helps engage their audience. Several of the posts should scream, "Look at me! This is what our brand, information can do for you!" Identifying strengths and then talking about them like crazy in a blog can make the difference between either keeping or losing the audience’s attention.   

Although blogging should never be the only tool used in a marketing content strategy, it is definitely still a hot commodity that with the right planning, can provide a steady stream of potential customers interested in a topic, service or brand.

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