How to keep growing a blog when you already have stratospheric results? – WAU

“Hello, welcome to the Websites Are Us Marketing team. Its mission will be to contribute to the growth of the blog, which already has a monthly traffic of millions of sessions, and of the blogs, and, which are growing at rates 50 to 80% month to month. Good luck!” Have you ever imagined you […]

“Hello, welcome to the Websites Are Us Marketing team. Its mission will be to contribute to the growth of the blog, which already has a monthly traffic of millions of sessions, and of the blogs, and, which are growing at rates 50 to 80% month to month. Good luck!”

Can you imagine hearing such a bomb?

The first reaction is mild despair: “Now what? What am I going to do to grow these blogs even more? They must already be stagnating, they have nowhere else to grow ”.

I confess that when I received, in October 2017, the challenge of being Marketing Supervisor at WAU, responsible for all our Acquisition and Demand Generation strategies, this was more or less my first thought.

However, after him – and a few meetings with the Marketing director – I managed to calm down and understand that, despite not being an easy task, all of our blogs would still have a lot of space to grow.

Today, after a few months of experience (and with a lot of space to learn yet), I decided to write some of what I learned for maintain the growth of our blogs even when they are already at stratospheric levels of authority!

I will give real examples of experiences that we have spent here in our Marketing team and that made us realize the importance of each of these new learnings.

Check out my tips and, if you have already had a similar situation in your career, leave a comment on your learnings too!

1. Don’t forget that the blog is a revenue generating channel!

One of the main changes that Digital Marketing has brought to companies that are investing in this type of strategy is the fact that the results can be measured more easily.

Thus, it is very well known how many hits resulted from a content, the levels of engagement, how many leads were generated, what age group was reached with an ad etc.

In addition to making the work of marketers more focused on the exact side than on the artistic side, as before the digital age, this change also meant that marketing had a most striking performance in the customer acquisition process.

In other words, the role that was exclusive to the sales team was divided so that marketing would act as a first step in attracting potential customers for the company, optimizing the entire sales cycle.

You probably already knew all this since we started thinking about Inbound Marketing, right?

But what many companies end up forgetting and that is always good to remember, is that all Digital Marketing actions must be in accordance with your company’s business objective!

In practical terms, what does this mean?

That if your company is focusing on a niche of customers, for example, you can have the most beautiful blog in the world, with millions of monthly sessions, but if you don’t convert that traffic into real business opportunities, all the investment is going down the drain!

Traffic alone does not mean much. The number of likes on your social media profiles means nothing when analyzed alone. Even the number of leads that marketing delivers to sales can be a vanity metric if they are not leads that can actually turn into new business for the company!

As strategies grow and evolve, it is common for marketing teams to get lost in routine tasks and monitoring metrics and forget about this very important factor that is the alignment of marketing with the company’s objective. So, the first tip of this post could not be another!

We are always very focused on having a constant conversion rate on our blogs to generate the ideal opportunities for our sales team. For this reason, we have an editorial calendar for launching rich materials that connects with the editorial calendar of publications on blogs, aligning our sales funnel very well.
A direct example of this was exemplified in this post that has a single blog post that was responsible for bringing more than 2 million reais of revenue to WAU over time. I recommend reading!

2. Master the basics

If the blog you have at hand is already so big, it is probably because you already had a successful strategy.

Until they reached that point, they certainly had some recipes that always worked, like some type of specific post, a certain frequency of publication or another factor.

Therefore, for your blog to continue on the growth path (or leave the plateau effect), it is essential that you completely master these routines. See this tip as “make the beans with rice well done before attacking the most complex recipe”.

If you and your team still don’t know what led you to this point, I suggest doing a more in-depth analysis of the actions before moving on to the next tips.

Only by understanding the strengths of your strategy and the actions you must take to continue having at least the same results will you be able to think of differentiated strategies to further grow your traffic.

To guide our team and ensure that everyone is following the same processes and, consequently, achieving similar results, we use some basic checklists. We decided to produce material that would offer all these checklists to our audience because we realized that this is a great difficulty for some of the companies that are scaling their Content Marketing strategies.
In this offer, you will find essential steps for each of our main processes, such as posting content on the blog, fixing SEO errors, posting on social networks, etc.

3. Document your processes very well

This tip is practically an extension of the previous tip.

To understand what actions you do that work and replicate them successfully, the best thing you can do is to document your processes very well.

This means making spreadsheets, editorial calendars, video tutorials, creating checklists and any other actions that will ensure that all the key activities of your Marketing strategy are running in the most optimal way possible.

This documentation, in addition to facilitating the execution of daily tasks, is also a great asset when training new members of your team.

If your marketing strategy is growing, your team is certainly following this growth.

However, we know that the manager is not always available to accompany each new member in their routine activities, right? Documentation is essential for guide this team training moment also.

Here at WAU, we realize that we have a methodology that we apply both to our blogs and to our clients’ strategies. We document this methodology with a very detailed step by step of what we did to make our blogs work as they do. If you want to check it out, just access the Websites Are Us Methodology here!

4. Spend your energy on new ideas

If you’re already following the first two tips, great! You have a structure to keep your blog at constant rates. However, our challenge is to keep growing!

As our basic strategy is already under control according to the basic processes that were previously determined, to get out of the normal rhythm, you also have to think outside the box. We cannot settle for just the same rate of results.

Therefore, it is essential that you are always thinking about new strategies, new channels, different types of content, diversified disclosures and any other possible variations to bring results to your strategy.

But, before you start doing several tests inside your blog, think calmly.

Everything must be done with a lot of planning to prioritize the tests that make sense within the strategy, that have the potential to generate real results and that you will be able to implement from beginning to end.

It is no use doing a test that is not relevant to your audience or that you cannot measure the results, is it?

We are always challenged to diversify our acquisition channels here at WAU, so finding new opportunities is part of our routine. For example, we recently structured magazines for our blogs within the Flipboard application. This is a news and content application segmented by themes, so we are testing our digital presence and engagement with readers there as well.
Check out our magazines:
– Content Marketing Magazine
– Revista Blog Inteligência
– Content Marketing Magazine
– Websites Are Us Community Magazine

5. Find the audience that is really evangelist for your brand and give them special attention

At this point in your strategy, your blog probably already has a loyal and consolidated audience. And this is great!

What many companies forget to do is to value this frequent audience that trusts their content, as they do not realize that they are a great opportunity to develop evangelists for your company, that is, people who like your content and the characteristics of your company so much that defend it tooth and nail and recommend the services of their own free will.

And it is not just to “take advantage” of your readers’ sharing potential that it is worth investing in this type of relationship.

It is to really get to know your audience a little better and learn even more about the possible content you can do to solve their doubts.

One of our main strategies here is to acquire freelancers to work with web content production. So, in addition to the Community Websites Are Us blog, we have a Facebook group with freelancers who have already registered on our platform.
In this group, some freelancers really stand out for responding to each other of their own free will, guaranteeing the community aspect of the group, without the need for internal moderation. For this reason, we held a special face-to-face event at our headquarters in Belo Horizonte, inviting some of these freelancers who are already a fundamental part of our strategy.

Rock Content Freelancers Community

From left to right: Fernanda Rezende, Lívia Noronha, Mariana González, Kenia Teixeira, Willian Porto, Amanda Gusmão, Lívia Feu, Gabriel Nascimento, Laura Ferreira, Marcelo Faria, João Pedro Ferreira, Helena Contaldo, Anna Gabriela Cardoso, Arthur Guedes, Thiago Murça

6. Stay tuned to what people are saying on your blog

The best channel for direct communication with your audience is probably within your own blog. There is the place where most people feel totally comfortable talking to the blog editors and asking questions with other readers of the content.

As I was talking about in the previous topic, if we are going to look for evangelists and faithful readers of our blogs, nothing better than paying special attention to your blog comments.

In addition to guaranteeing this relationship with your audience, you can have great content ideas to produce on the blog and solve doubts that you haven’t yet mapped and that really solve your persona’s doubts.

To give the example of our marketing team, when we receive a comment on our blog, the editors already respond (usually within 24 hours). If it is a comment with more technical questions about a specific area, such as marketing automation or paid media, for example, the editors direct the comment to a specialist on the topic within our own team.

Thus, discussions on topics are always rich (as they rely on the experiences of experts) and we guarantee that our audience will be interested in continuing to interact with the content.

In fact, if you have any questions so far, don’t hesitate to comment! I will be honored to answer each of the comments.

As I said, here we have the standard of answering comments with doubts always as soon as possible, usually by calling the technical specialist in the area or by the author of the post. In the content 12 advanced content hacks for you to multiply your blog traffic in 2018, by André Mousinho, we have almost 20 comments, all with the author’s answer, as you can see in this print: Responding to blog comments

7. Make marketing partnerships

When our content strategy is stagnant, a great way to reach new horizons is to form marketing partnerships with companies that are talking to an audience similar to your persona.

You can make guest posts, co-marketing, material dissemination partnerships, shared webinars or any other type of strategy in which the two (or more) companies combine and generate results that will be shared between the two.

By selecting a company that has a persona similar to yours (and that is not a competitor, of course), you add this channel for acquiring new contacts and potential customers!

Since those people were previously interested in the proposals that your partner company had to offer, they may be interested in what your company has to say as well.

We have some partners that are recurring both in publications on our blogs, and in launching material in partnership. When we are talking about these shared offers, we usually work with only one landing page (to facilitate the user experience) and the two companies organize themselves to share the results obtained, that is, to disclose to the partner the complete list of contacts that converted into that material.
For example, one of the materials we made in partnership with Smartalk is the Super Presentations Kit. Are you curious? Check the material right now!

Super Presentations Kit

8. Don’t forget to use paid media to maximize results

When we are talking about the beginning of a digital strategy, it is common for some people to understand that there are 2 options and that they exclude each other: invest in paid media OR in organic media.

It may even be that, to be able to make a quality strategy and with a reduced team, choosing one of the two paths is better.

But when we are dealing with a more evolved strategy, it is necessary to get this concept out of your head!

You are probably at a point in your digital strategy that has a dedicated team and has already reached a certain level of maturity with the actions you are taking, right?

Therefore, it is essential to understand that paid media can be used to enhance your results, to be able to cover gaps or even speed up any specific result that you need to achieve.

Our main strategy for attracting customers is Content Marketing and, consequently, our organic channel is very strong. Even so, we have a paid media investment to expand our capacity for new audiences or very specific niches. One strategy is complementary to the other, and not exclusive!
For example, one of the ads we made on our Facebook page, promoting our video celebrating 5 years of WAU: Rock Content Video

9. Use your social media channels well

We know that when dealing with Digital Marketing, we are always thinking about rapid changes in the scenario and updates to the behavior patterns of users and the platforms we work with.

Social networks are great examples of these recurring changes, like algorithm updates and privacy rules, for example.

Therefore, the scenario for commercial profiles on social networks is increasingly directed towards the use of ads. In other words, the publications that you make on your profile with the objective of taking people from social networks to your website or blog do not have as much reach effect to your base if you do not invest a certain amount of money in boosting publications. .

As such, social networks with mass reach, such as Facebook and Instagram, are no longer playing such an important role in the traffic generation strategy for a blog.

So, what to do? Stop posting on social media?

In my opinion, stop publishing is too extreme an positioning, after all, people are already part of these platforms. So, what we have realized that has brought legal results to Websites Are Us, for example, is to use our social networks as branding channel and brand positioning, and not just traffic generation.
In addition to the change in the strategy’s objective, this change in the use of social networks makes the posts really more focused on the user experience, generating interest and engagement with your brand. within that context, without necessarily leaving the platform to go and consume the content within your blog.
To exemplify this change in content types, see just these two posts from our Facebook page:
Infographic on social networks
Image on social networks
The first image is a clear invitation to download the Organic Results ebook on Instagram, showing what are some of the topics you will find in the material. This post aims to take people from Facebook to the landing page of our material and, consequently, convert more leads.
The second image, about Instagram Insights for 2018, already speaks of some of the insights in the image itself, that is, it is possible that the user consumes this content within the timeline itself. We still do not have proven data to show the effectiveness of this type of strategy in relation to the other type of posting, however this has been a great bet for us in our strategies for the near future of social networks.

(Buzz Content)

Opening, literally, a parenthesis here in this topic about social networks, I find it interesting to present another type of content that we have produced on our blogs recently in order to engage the public of social networks and, at the same time, bring a little traffic to our site.

It’s what we call Buzz Content and it concerns content that is being talked about at the moment, the opposite of evergreen content.

That is, we posted some interesting news for our market and content related to events of great repercussion, such as the launch of new series, for example.

Thus, because they are topics that are often talked about at the moment, it is possible that people in the area will be interested in clicking and consuming the content on our blog, even if it means leaving the timeline.

10. Consider having a CRO expert

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is one of the areas of marketing that has grown most recently due to the great application of the work of these specialists, which consists in ensuring that your company’s online presence, such as website, blog and tools, for example, are all optimized for conversion.

Do you remember the first tip I gave about the alignment of the marketing strategy with the company’s commercial objective?

The CRO professional will be able to act directly in these presences to ensure that your communication is clear and efficient to reach your ideal audience.

We have in our marketing team Werik Gonçalves, who is our CRO specialist. He is responsible for developing front end codes to make our online presences aligned according to the brand identity, as well as developing several tools for our strategy, such as the Email Subject Generator.

11. Invest even more in Sales Enablement content

Sales Enablement content is content that can be used by the sales team to build a good reasoning with potential customers at the time of negotiation, helping to clarify the prospect’s doubts and reduce objections.

If you already have a large and authoritative blog, publishing this type of content that aims to educate the persona at a time when he is already closer to the moment of purchase can help not only in the argument, but also in the perception that your company really is a specialist in the segment and is prepared to answer any doubts it may have in the future.

For this, it is necessary to have a very close alignment with your commercial team, applying good practices of Vendarketing.

Make recurring meetings with key sales team members to be able to map the content that can be produced by the marketing team to resolve these doubts.

In addition to producing rich materials on the subject, such as the ebook on Vendarketing, for example, here we have weekly meetings between marketing managers and sales managers. In these meetings, we managed to align gaps in results and new opportunities for content or strategies that we can start investing in.
In the ebook on the topic we explain in more detail how our selling experience is, check it out!

Ebook Vendarketing

12. Master the long tail keywords

Long tail are the most specific keywords about the user’s search intent.

These are the longer terms, which usually have a lower search volume, but tend to convert more into the SERP, as they relate to the exact topic that the person was looking for on Google.

If you already have a big blog, you’ve probably talked about all – or almost all – of your persona’s big problems and difficulties, right? So, possibly, it has also produced content with all the head tail keywords in your niche.

Therefore, to ensure growth without many repetitive posts, it is necessary to invest more in posts that talk about long tail keywords, as they are great ways for you to rank on Google and can help build your blog’s authority as well.

With the satellite posts strategy, you link the posts of long tail keywords to the texts with the macro theme that is covered in this content.

Thus, you inform the search engine that your content is related to each other and also facilitates the user experience within your blog, as he will be able to easily navigate from one post to another.

On our blog, we have some content that is our main ones, that talk about great topics in our niche, like Marketi