It’s been almost exactly four years since we declared that the blog is dead. What!? Okay, full disclosure: we meant the ‘company blog page’ was over! Finished! Finito! Kaput!
We made the bold claim that any innovative company worth their salt was moving to a more media organisation approach, modelling themselves on news providers like the BBC.
Were we right? Time has proven that a lot of innovative companies experimented with the layout of their websites and pushed their content to a more central position. We sure did. But if you take a look across the B2B technology space, a lot of organisations have not. They have continued to keep the homepage > services > resources page dynamic. And that’s totally fine.
The issue—and the point of this article—is that the traditional mindset of where the ‘blog page’ is located can commonly filter into what kind of content a company produces. Today, we want to say that the blog is not dead… but if your business really wants to make a splash with its content marketing strategy, you should be thinking outside the blog.
Make 2021 the Year You Elevate Your Content
B2B content marketing used to be blog writing. But we’ve moved on and the formats and mediums organisations now have at your disposal are much richer and can engage your audience in more than one way.
In 2021, you should have higher ambitions for your content. And honestly, it’s not really that difficult. It just takes a little planning.
Here’s how to kick your content up a notch:
Start a Monthly Editorial Meeting
The content in your content marketing strategy should never be ‘ad hoc’. Now, if you’ve already set up a content calendar, then that’s a good start. But the next step is to set up a monthly editorial meeting to discuss what content you will publish over the coming month.
Who Should Be There?
The editorial meeting should include decision-makers from your marketing team, as well as product experts, sales representatives, and representatives from any other area of your organisation that might have good input into what content the business should be producing.
It’s important to keep in mind several points:
What purpose a piece will have
Who is it ‘for’?
What you want the reader to do (i.e. the CTA)
What form the content will take
One of the questions that should be central to your editorial meeting is what form your content should take. This is where you actively ‘think outside the blog’. That’s not to say you should never write another blog again. Rather, it’s a matter of allowing yourself to think about alternative ways of producing your content.
What Form of Content Should You Be Thinking About?
The online consumption of video continues to grow rapidly. It’s estimated that the average person will spend 100 minutes every day watching online videos in 2021. This is an increase from 2019 (it was 84 minutes back then).
So, what are you waiting for? Think about the blog content you currently produce and how some of those ideas could transform into video content? How difficult would it be to produce? It might be easier than you think.
Tip for 2021
Set up a company YouTube channel and begin experimenting by taking a blog post you’ve already written and using it as inspiration for a video.
In a time of remote working, the webinar is having a resurgence. It’s a great way to sell your expertise, it’s interactive, and it generates leads. With the range of easy-to-use apps available today and the fact that a lot of us are working from home, producing quick, and valuable webinars is a great way of drumming up interest, engagement and most importantly leads.
Tip for 2021
Webinars, like video content, aren’t as difficult to set up as you might expect. In fact, webinars are probably easier than producing a piece for video. You can create them using your everyday video conferencing tools, combined with a presentation app like Microsoft PowerPoint. Take an idea for a blog, turn it into a presentation, and boom: now you’ve got a webinar ready to drive traffic.
Podcasts are the new ‘go to’ innovative content medium. Your mother has probably started one. That’s not to say you shouldn’t. Do you have charismatic thinkers and speakers in your organisation? Get them on a call with each other (again, using your trusty video conferencing software), hit record and you have the beginning of a podcast.
Tip for 2021
If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, choose a host to introduce each episode—consistency will help create a following. Outline your topic beforehand: make sure anyone who’s on the podcast knows what they’re going to talk about and the structure of the chat. This will save a lot of time when it comes to a trying to edit an episode into a flowing conversation. Speaking of editing, you can use free software such as Audacity to edit your recording and another free platform, such as Anchor, to publish it.
Audio Versions of Blogs
Just because you are thinking about reducing the volume of blog content, doesn’t mean you can’t do a little more with that content. Adding an audio version of your blog is not only an extra way for people to consume it but it’s more accessible, enabling differently-abled people to more easily consume your content.
Tip for 2021
If you’re starting a podcast it means you’ve likely invested in a decent microphone and editing software. Why not put it to further use by recording your latest blog and putting it out as an audio piece?
Long-form written content like industry reports, technical whitepapers, and eBook guides are all still just as relevant as they were several years ago. When done well these can be excellent lead generators. Researching and providing specific information that your readers can’t get anywhere else is a great way of showing your expertise.
Tip for 2021
Why not turn a piece of long-form content you’ve done in the past into an interactive webinar? You could send invites to your mailing lists and push it on social media, generating a bit of a crowd who are interested in the subject matter and could potentially turn into new leads.