Established Marketers

How to Ensure Your Website’s Blog is Successful with the Right Content Mix

Ensuring the success of your website’s blog requires a strategic approach to content creation and a focus on providing value to your audience.

You could post various content on your blog, but which types of content will help you get the results you’re looking for? Your content mix should strike the right balance between being informative and educational while supporting your overarching marketing strategy: conversions and growing your business.

What we mean by conversions is getting your ideal prospect to take action, i.e., going to your Contact Us page, reading another blog post, providing their contact info in exchange for downloading a valuable eBook, calculating cost savings, going to your product or service page, pricing page, etc.

As a content marketing agency, we often see clients publishing more company-focused articles. Think of employee promotions, company adventures, etc., and although great news for them and the company, it does little to move the needle for your customer. There is a place for everything, including where to place specific content on your website.

We’ve been asked over the years:

  1. ‘What is the best content for my blog?’
  2. ‘What is the best blog content strategy?’

While both can prompt a profound analysis based on your niche, buyer personas, and their challenges, goals, and responsibilities, we decided to create a list of potential content formats with the advantages and disadvantages of each for you.

We go over tips and recommendations for building a successful business blog.

First, let’s get into what a content mix is.

What is a Content Mix?

A content mix is the right blend of content types. You may have blog posts, news events to report on, a product or feature update, infographics, videos, podcasts, and eBooks—enough content formats to spin any marketer’s head.

Consider creating how-to guides, case studies, interviews, and opinion pieces to add variety. More importantly, content and its formats are a way to communicate with your customers. Some of your audience may prefer long-form content, while others prefer a visual like an infographic.

As an agency, we often see clients creating other forms of content that are more company-focused than customer-focused.

We’ll compare all the top blog content formats shortly. Some of the formats can be used interchangeably, depending on your goal.

Types of Content: Advantages & Disadvantages

The shift in your content marketing strategy starts with knowing the different formats and how each piece will influence the decision-makers and your SEO.

Understanding the unique blog post formats will help you communicate more effectively with your audience. Blog content also serves the purpose of helping your service pages rank by being link-worthy. When a blog post attracts a link, every page on the site is more authoritative and more likely to rank.

Let’s look at the vast amount of content you can create with the difference of what each piece offers.

Blog Post Formats to Add to Your Content Mix

1. Evergreen blog post

Description: Evergreen content is designed to be relevant, informative posts that benefit your audience for years. The content addresses your reader’s problems and questions and does not need frequent updates to stay relevant. The articles are typically 1,000 – 1,200 words.

Advantages: Evergreen content is SEO content that is a valuable part of your content strategy. Your technique includes basing this content around keywords you’d like to rank for. With keyword research and long-form content in place, your evergreen article can drive traffic for months or even years and has a better chance of ranking on the first page of Google.

Informative posts like these can be structured in list format. The most common is a short list of 5-10 items based on a specific topic. They are easy to write and preview for your audience and can be shared on social media.

Disadvantages: They are a popular blog post format, so you need the list to stand out. If the topic has already been covered and ranked on the search engines, you need to find an original angle and cover it with better insights. They are not just bullet points but heavily researched and give your readers the information they need to take action on one of the items immediately.


2. Pillar page blog post

Description: A pillar page is designed to cover a specific topic comprehensively and is the basis on which a topic cluster is built. The pillar page is linked to a cluster of related content. Topic clusters help more pages rank to give searchers better answers. For example, a pillar page for us could be on ‘Inbound Marketing’ with cluster topics that consist of ‘strategic content,’ ‘responsive email design,’ ‘lead generation,’ ‘lead nurturing,’ B2B sales lead’, and more. Like evergreen posts, they offer a ton of value and range from 2,000 to 5,000 words.

Advantages: Search engines reward content that is organized by topics. Each page helps the other perform well. Pillar pages can obtain backlinks for years after publication. This helps your long-form content rank well in search engines. (SEO) Pillar pages create a better user experience and build trust and credibility.

Disadvantages: Pillar pages are time-consuming as they are comprehensive, lengthy, and require in-depth writing on the specific topic. But they are worth the effort.


3. Tutorials/How-to’s to add to your content mix

Description: How-to tutorials are a step-by-step guide on how to do x. For example, How to write a blog post: A step-by-step guide.

Advantages: Content written in the ‘How-to’ format helps your readers solve problems, often with step-by-step tutorials. This process builds trust and brand recognition. It is solid content geared toward your customer, not your company. How-to tutorials can also be in video format.

Disadvantages: How to tutorials are effective. However, they take time, and you need to understand your goals, brand voice, who you want to reach with the piece, and what they are looking for.


4. Videos

Description: Videos are an engaging way to inform your audience about your brand and products.

People spend 1.4x more time on pages with video than without, making it a great way to keep them on your site. (Wistia) 

Advantages: Well-crafted videos have become one of the best ways for marketers to build brand awareness, demand, and loyalty. 92% of marketers who use video say that it’s an integral part of their marketing strategy. Embedding videos on your website or blog is a great way to attract readership and conversion.

Disadvantages: Producing strategic videos and content will impact lead quality and help your prospect quickly move through the sales cycle. The disadvantage comes when you do not connect with your audience by effectively showing your solution and shortening the sales cycle.


5. Checklists

Description: Checklist posts are helpful because they provide your readers with a list of everything they need to do to complete a task.

Advantages: The ‘checklist’ format serves your audience. It gives them the exact steps to move forward on a specific topic.

Disadvantages: A piece of content that serves your audience does not have a disadvantage.


6. Infographics

Description: Infographics are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge.

Advantages: Infographics are a popular way for people to consume content because they are visually appealing. They are also a great tool for condensing and simplifying complex concepts using visual aids.

Disadvantages: One disadvantage is the time and skill required to prepare an infographic. The other is Google cannot read the text in the graphic. Be sure to add content below the graphic to help with rankings.


7. Case studies add value to your content mix

Description: B2B case studies are success stories that show how different strategies help a business reach its goals. By doing so, companies experiencing the same challenges can relate and see themselves achieving the same improved outcomes.

Advantages: Case studies are an effective marketing and sales tool to engage prospects, add credibility, and prove that your product or service helps your customers. Use an existing customer as an example of what your solution can achieve.

Disadvantages: Case studies only have an advantage when done correctly. They are incredibly effective in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey when buyers actively compare solutions and providers to solve a problem they’re experiencing.


8. Product/Service reviews or testimonials

Description: Customer feedback can impact your website. Two types of customer feedback are testimonials and reviews. Testimonials are positive customer stories that focus on specific results after experiencing your product or service. Reviews provide a general overview of your customer’s experience and tend to be less formal.

Advantages: Product reviews or testimonials are beneficial if they are honest and provide an unbiased opinion of the product or service. Both can prove value to your prospects and influence how much a customer can trust your brand or product. Testimonials can be posted on your company website and used in promotional materials.

Disadvantages: One downside of testimonials is that they can come off as too salesy or sound biased. Some may perceive them as not authentic. However, research shows that 72% of customers say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.


9. Comparison posts

Description: A comparison blog post is an article that compares two or more products or services to help educate and engage potential customers and increase sales.

Advantages: Like product/service reviews, comparison posts are significant in the consideration/decision stage. It lays out the differentiators of each product or service. You are painting a picture in your reader’s mind of how similar your business is yet different from your competitors.

Disadvantages: Comparison posts are compelling when done right. You must do the proper research and give an unbiased opinion when comparing.


10. Podcasts

Description: Podcasts are a popular marketing strategy for promoting and selling your services through audio content. Your listeners receive valuable, informational, and educational content from experts and industry leaders.

Advantages: Podcasts build trust between you and your listeners. Podcasts give you credibility. You can repurpose your podcast content to your blog to increase exposure and boost traffic. Podcasts build authority and encourage word-of-mouth marketing.

Disadvantages: Podcasts are a long-term strategy. You need to be consistent to grow listeners, and creating audio content can be time-consuming.


11. Webinars

Description: Webinars are interactive online events that allow you to share your knowledge with a targeted audience.

Advantages: Webinars establish you as a trustworthy and reliable resource in your industry. Recording your webinars allows you to share valuable content with your audience later.

People who register for your webinar show a strong interest in what you offer and become ‘qualified leads,’ making it easier to nurture and convert them.

Disadvantages: As with most great content creation, creating the content is time-consuming. The other drawback is understanding the technology involved in creating a successful webinar.


12. News posting about employees or company updates

Description: News, updates, and announcements are short-form blog posts (under 1,000 or even under 500 words) and give your audience—customers and potential customers—information about your company. Employee spotlights do well on social media channels to help attract top talent.

Advantages: News postings about your employees on your blog can be fun and show off your team and brand. To some extent, it can inform investors of the leadership plans, but it does little to engage or educate your customers. (or influence SEO)

A better alternative is to post announcements like these in your blog’s dedicated “Announcements” section rather than a blog post.

Disadvantages: This type of content is not educational or informative enough to attract your ideal audience. It may or may not be relevant to anyone.

From an SEO perspective, this post type leaves a critical element off—keywords relevant to searches.

13. Thought leadership/Industry news

Description: Thought leadership content created by subject matter experts (SME) informs and educates industry news with unique viewpoints. It can include industry news, conferences, webinars, podcasts, videos, etc.

Advantages: Writing about industry topics builds trust, demonstrates expertise, and helps you connect with your audience. Thought leadership posts get your brand noticed and yield influence.

Disadvantages: Creating thought leadership pieces takes time and is a long-term marketing strategy. Content like this should be shared by internal experts who create unique posts about essential industry changes or news in a dedicated “News section” of your blog.

Steps to Creating an Effective Content Mix

The easiest way to get your content to speak to your ideal customer is to create content focused on what your business does best.

Meaning if you sell ‘widgets,’ talk about what those widgets can do to help improve your customers’ lives.

When you’re clear on your audience’s needs and interests and know their goals, this will define the purpose of your content. Be clear on the goals of each piece of content you produce.

Understanding your audience’s pain points, you can inform, teach, inspire, or share industry knowledge and resources with them.

Base your blog content around the marketing funnel . . .

Are your readers seeking information in the Awareness stage (pain/problem-aware)? In the awareness stage, you help the buyer define their challenges by educating them with content through your blog.

Have they moved on to the Consideration stage (solution-aware.) Your buyer persona is still considering solutions to their pain or problem, which could include your product or service.

Lastly, is your reader making a decision? (Provider-aware, they have options they are comparing.) In the decision stage, buyers are looking for the opportunity to speak with sales, try a demo, or request pricing.

Recommended Content Mix for a Successful Business Blog

Your content mix should follow the 80-20 rule with informative posts and company or product-focused content.

80% Informative content that adds value to your audience, like evergreen and pillar page posts.

20% company or product-focused content for your existing customers to stay enthusiastic about what your company is doing or providing, like employee promotions or leadership change, company news, or other updates.

Regarding SEO, posting the occasional news or announcement post won’t hurt your overall strategy, but it does nothing to help it. (as long as the rest of your content is relevant and high-quality.) We suggest dedicating a section on your site specific to this type of information.

A perfect content mix includes valuable and relevant posts that answer your audience’s questions and inspire search engines like Google to trust you. When Google sees your site as authoritative and trustworthy and articles/blog posts match the searcher’s intent, you will be rewarded with better rankings.

The strategy for finding your ideal content mix depends on what’s important to your customers and how they are searching for the solution you offer. It is all about creating content that will best serve your audience.

Leverage external content creation partners (like Responsify) to help define your target audience, keep up with utilizing relevant keywords to rank for, and produce quality informational and educational content to drive more visitors and convert more leads in a dedicated “Insights” section of your blog. Get a fresh perspective on your content marketing with a free assessment.

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