Ever wonder what makes some content marketing blogs hugely successful and others, well, not?
Market fragmentation is one of the biggest challenges that companies face today, according to research from PwC.
There are a few reasons for this pain point. For one, the internet has lowered barriers for marketers aiming to reach their target audiences. Anyone can launch a digital campaign through channels like Facebook, Google Search, and blogging. Even tougher is the sheer competition that arises from businesses working with customers across geographic borders.
Companies need to do more than create compelling advertisements, videos, or blog posts to stand out. The difference between an impactful campaign and lackluster content is one thing: narrative.
Defining Narrative for Your Blog
A narrative is a more complex way of saying “story.” It includes an arc that guides readers through a helpful lesson, take away, tutorial, or set of tips. There are a few ways to sanity-check your writing to determine whether your narrative is strong:
- Conduct a face test. After reading your blog post, ask the question “so what?” What is the value of reading this blog post, and what will your audience take away?
- Ask for feedback before you hit publish. Share your blog post with trusted advisors who will give you critical feedback for improvement and iteration.
- Ask for feedback after you publish your blog post. Blogs are ever-evolving publications. When you incorporate ongoing feedback, you build stronger content overall.
What you’ll notice after following these simple steps is that you’ll have a narrative at two company layers—at the brand and content (or “asset”) level. Your blog posts will be more refined and tailored to your audiences. The more you listen, the more you’ll learn about them along the way. Learn what other companies have learned.
Narratives are key to engaging readers.
Here’s some inspiration from three top content marketing blogs. Of course, don’t forget the Content Marketeer (psst, you can subscribe here!).
Top Content Marketing Blogs
Content Marketing Institute
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is known for providing data, in-depth resources, and informed analyses on the evolution of the content marketing industry. You can see how valuable this brand’s media presence is from the pull of the conference that’s hosted. The Content Marketing Institute attracts a smart, dedicated, and loyal crowd. For added inspiration, browse the resources that the company turned media shares. People love the content because of the quality of the learning experience it provides.
MarketingProfs has been a hub for industry analysis and education, like Content Marketing Institute. But MarketingProfs has gone even deeper to build around applied techniques and understanding how content marketing applies to other aspects of marketing. The company has transformed years of expertise into something valuable that people can use.
Even though Buffer is associated with a software product, the blog team has been committed to providing in-depth, knowledge-packed content. Read this blog post, and you’ll see why.
Before you can even think about how you need to retain readers, you need to think about your brand’s educational vision. Don’t let sales drive content. Go against the grain.