This may sound obvious, but it’s a message that not every marketer truly internalizes: everything you release is a representation of your company. Each page on your website, each social media post, each direct mailing, and each print ad could be someone’s first impression of your business, so it’s crucial to put your best foot forward in every case. Sometimes, though, it’s actually making mistakes with the seemingly small details that can make the finished product fall short. At McCauley Marketing Services, this is an issue that has long been on our radar, so we could go on and on with a list of details that are often overlooked in one medium or another, but today we want to focus on some of the details that marketers tend to underestimate in those all-important blog posts.
First of all, you should always include some type of image in your blog posts. Not only does this make the blog more attractive and easier to read, but it also allows your readers to share it on Pinterest, and when you post the blog on other social media platforms, the picture will draw in more readers as well. But you don’t just need a picture—you need the right one. Your photo should look professional, eye-catching, and of course, on-topic for the content of the blog. Avoid anything too graphic or unpleasant, and make sure the picture is consistent with your brand. But above all, make sure it’s a photo you actually have the right to use for marketing purposes, whether it’s a photo you’ve taken yourself or a stock photo you’ve purchased the right to use commercially. You will vary rarely find “free” photos that are actually free to use for commercial purposes, and there are even some photos you can purchase that can only be used for personal (non-commercial) purposes, so read all licensing information carefully.
- The Title
Like the photo you pair with your blog, the title of the post is one of the first things potential readers will see. If someone does a web search for the topic of your blog, the title you create is what shows up in their search results, and on social media posts, the title of the blog’s web page is front and center. So make sure it’s a good one! Your title should be concise enough to grab a reader’s attention, yet informative enough to convey the full topic of your blog. Remember, it will negatively affect your website’s bounce rate if people often click on your blog and then realize that the information isn’t what they’re looking for, so you don’t just want to pull in as many readers as possible, you want them to be people who are actually looking for the information you’re providing.
- The Structure
It may sound trivial, but the physical way that a blog is laid out can determine whether someone takes the time to read it. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes—you’re a busy person looking for some quick information, so what are you more likely to actually read: a solid block of text, or a page that is broken up into small, easy-to-skim pieces so you can easily find the specific information you’re looking for? Formats like lists tend to attract readers, and even content marketing that won’t work well as a list can still be broken into sections with helpful sub-headings.
There’s no magic formula for a blog post, but here’s a tip: the more fresh eyes you can get to critique it, the better. Try showing blog posts (and other projects as well) to team members who haven’t been involved in creating them so you can get their true first impressions. Strategies like this can help you better understand the messages your work is communicating both intentionally and unintentionally. If you prefer to leave your marketing to the professionals with decades of experience, schedule a meeting with McCauley Marketing Services today. Or, for more marketing tips and the latest industry news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.