Home Online Business Blog Content Marketing Strategies for the Digital Age: Blogging

Content Marketing Strategies for the Digital Age: Blogging

18 Dec
Young bearded vlogger looking at camera reviewing shoes.

Content marketing isn’t new. In fact, some point as far back as Benjamin Franklin’s 1732 Poor Richard’s Almanac for the discipline’s origins.1 Despite this longevity, the digital landscape has a profound effect on content marketing.

In discussions on why to use content marketing, we see two major recurring themes: customer value and trust.2,3 While these themes have been present since the beginning, in the digital age, their importance is magnified by the ubiquity of search engines.

An eye-watering 3.5 billion daily queries are made on Google alone as of November 2023.4 Ranking high in Google’s search results brings increased credibility and traffic. To rank high, one must engage in a content creation strategy that’s guided by search engine optimization. Above all, this means publishing high-quality content.

According to Google, content should demonstrate EEAT: experience, expertise, authority and trustworthiness.5 That means all digital content marketing campaigns must provide value and foster customer trust to a greater degree than ever before, or otherwise risk poor performance.

With that in mind, this post will cover building effective content marketing strategies in the digital age, specifically through blogs.

Setting Content Strategy Goals and Defining the Target Audience

The first step in content creation is determining your goals. These goals will help direct all aspects of your overall content strategy. Some of the most common goals include increasing sales, increasing brand awareness, increasing conversions and generating leads.

Next, define the target audience for the content. Establishing demographic information like age range, location, lifestyle and income allows for content creation that zeros in on the target audience’s specific needs. For content to be truly valuable, the audience must believe it helps satisfy one or more of those needs.

Defining the audience will also help you achieve the appropriate voice and tone. If the content sounds off—either too formal or too casual for the intended readers—it will struggle to connect and convey a sense of trustworthiness.

Keyword Research and SEO

With a set of goals and an audience in mind, it’s time to begin your keyword research. Content marketing in the digital age should always be crafted with a primary keyword in mind. Often, the goal is to have a keyword with a high search volume and a low difficulty score. In other words, it should be a query that people are searching for but doesn’t have a good result yet.

To use keywords effectively, start by identifying topics that would be relevant to the target audience. Once you’ve identified a good candidate among the related keywords, you can plan content around addressing that query.

A general rule to note: Keywords should be integrated naturally into the title, in the headers, and several times throughout the body of the text. For example, if the keyword is “SEO optimization guidelines,” it could be integrated into sentences like, “Understanding these SEO optimization guidelines will help you write better blog posts.”

Crafting Compelling Blog Content

While keyword selection and integration are crucial, this isn’t enough on its own. Particularly with blogs, attention-grabbing headlines, introductions, and supporting visuals are indispensable for conveying a sense of value.

But what makes something attention-grabbing? The most reliable approach is to apply the principles of good storytelling. Start with an introduction summarizing the needs the content is supposed to fulfill. Then touch on relevant experiences, wherever applicable, to keep the reader engaged on an emotional level. This will both captivate readers and contribute to the piece’s EEAT value. Finish with a conclusion, ideally with a call to action funneling readers toward your content strategy’s ultimate goals.

Supporting visuals should enhance the key points of the content. This might mean an infographic illustrating a compelling data point or a detailed image showing the problem the content will help solve. Above all, visuals must convey relevant information to get the best results.6

Promoting and Distributing Blog Content

Content shared on digital promotion and distribution channels will, generally speaking, perform better than content that relies on SEO alone.7

Blogs and videos can be easily integrated into a social media marketing strategy. They can also be effective when promoted via influence marketing, so long as the chosen influencers are active in the target audience’s online communities.

Finally, content can also be leveraged in emails. Studies have indicated that this is crucial for video marketing, in particular. Including a video in an email can enhance your click-through rates by 65%, especially when it’s mentioned in the subject line.8

Encouraging User Interaction and Engagement

User engagement can correlate to stronger search engine performance.9 To get better engagement, it’s important to have both a good user experience and an active approach to comments and questions.

You can encourage comments, feedback and ongoing discussions with an easily accessible comment thread and prompt responses from the brand itself. You can also share content that incorporates interactive elements, like quizzes and polls, to drive engagement. Finally, be explicit in encouraging readers to share any content they like with others.

Want to learn more about how to effectively incorporate user participation into your next marketing campaign? Check out William & Mary’s on-demand micro-course, “Participation Marketing Strategy: Trends to Incorporate in 2023 and Beyond.”

Analyzing and Measuring Blog Performance

The only way to confirm whether the content meets your strategic goals is to track it. Search engines typically offer users a dashboard service for this purpose, such as Google Analytics. You can also use third-party services.

Start by identifying the key metrics to track. If your goal is increasing brand and community awareness, for example, tracking engagement and site dwell time might be useful. If the goal is increasing sales, then conversion rates are key.

After a few days or weeks of monitoring, these metrics can help fine-tune your strategic decisions, both for tweaking existing content and for creating future posts.

Evolving Blog Strategy for Continuous Improvement

The digital landscape is always evolving. As such, content marketing strategies must adapt to keep up. Though a good strategy starts with audience research, it’s important to regularly reassess your audience to stay on top of trends and preferences. And as new content formats become popular, don’t be afraid to experiment with them.

Above all, seek feedback from readers, viewers and the hard data. Only with concrete insights can informed changes be made. Over time, any brand can refine its content marketing strategy to serve as a compelling component of its brand identity.

Step Up as a Leader in Marketing

Study content marketing and more as a student in William & Mary’s Online Master of Science in Marketing program. The Online MS in Marketing is a personally tailored experience for working professionals, designed to help you achieve your specific career goals.

In this program, you’ll develop unique analytical, strategic and creative skills that comprise your first step toward a dynamic new career trajectory. William & Mary’s world-class faculty members provide an unparalleled education that trains you not only in the tools and techniques successful marketers use but the mindset required for strategic, effective, empathetic leadership. At William & Mary, you’ll prepare to thrive in an ever-changing field, build a culture of openness on your marketing team, and view challenges not as obstacles, but as opportunities.

Speak with an admissions outreach advisor today to learn more. Schedule a call.