How to Create a Well-Balanced Blog: Nourish your Audience with Nutrient-Rich Content

February 11, 2015

Editor’s note: This post covering the vegetables blogging food group is part of our series on creating a well-balanced diet of content marketing. The series provides tips and examples for the following blogging food groups: Whole Grains, Vegetables, Meats, Condiments, and Desserts.

If you were like most kids, it took extra parental prodding (or an assist from Fido) to make the vegetables on your plate disappear. Now, as an adult marketer, it may take a little extra prodding for you to create “vegetable” blog content. While this may not be your favorite content to create, it’s certainly good for your brand’s health.

Three Types of Brand-Healthy Vegetable Content

Thought leadership content, guest posts, and case studies can serve as the essential nutrients needed to establish credibility and build trust with your audience. Below you’ll find a brief overview of three vegetable content varieties along with real-world examples from brands that are serving up vegetable content their audiences enjoy.

1. Thought Leadership Content

Example: ManpowerGroup has an educational blog covering topics in the realm of employment law. The content they publish establishes Chief Legal Officer Mark Toth as a thought leader (which also boosts company credibility) while also providing an element of humor: “The impossible has happened. A lawyer is doing something for free.” See how ManpowerGroup adds flavor to the topic of employment law by checking out their “blawg,” Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Employment Law (But Didn't Want to Pay a Lawyer to Ask).

Key takeaways: A 2014 ITMSA survey revealed that 88% of technology buyers said thought leadership was important or critical in determining a shortlist of vendors, a 30% increase over a 12 month period. Regardless of which industry you’re in or which type of thought leadership content you focus on, demonstrating your company expertise on a particular topic can help your brand become the go-to resource for prospects, customers, and even competitors.

2. Guest Blogging

Example: In her post, “3 Ways to Turn Email Subscribers into Social Fans,” Joy Ugi of email service provider WhatCounts makes a guest appearance on Social Media Examiner to speak about a topic near and dear to her organization: increasing followers on social sites. By publishing external content that accounts for audience motivation while naturally tying in her company’s expertise, Joy is increasing brand awareness for WhatCounts among an audience of marketers.

social media examiner

Key Takeaways: Writing guest posts for respected industry publications and external blogs can amplify your content among relevant, hard-to-reach audiences. Guest blogging allows your audience to discover your company (and your brand narrative) through the strategic content you publish, opening new doors that can eventually lead to increased leads and revenue.

In addition, inviting outside sources to contribute to your brand’s owned blog can be a great way to provide your audience with a fresh perspective. Leveraging contributions from influential industry experts can help your efforts in multiple ways. First, their appearance alone can validate your blog as a respected destination for industry insights. Second, these influencers may share their contributions with their network, resulting in greater reach and traffic.

3. Case Studies

Example: If case studies are supposed to be dry, the marketers at Pantheon didn’t get the memo. In “8 Amazing Drupal Launches,” Pantheon includes links to eight problem-solving stories that show not only how they were able to meet critical launch dates for their clients, but also how to achieve unique, challenging goals for complex projects.

Key takeaways: Case studies can be a great way to show how your company solves problems for its customers. When backed by statistics and results, they are highly effective in establishing expertise and are especially compelling when the benefits relate to specific areas of interest for the audience.

As these examples show, including vegetable content in your brand’s blog can be a great way to establish credibility and expertise for your brand. So be sure to create (and eat) your vegetables. They’re good for you.

Looking for more ways to improve the health of your business? Check out some of the content marketing insights we complied in our eBook, The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership.

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