Today’s IT service providers understand the value that blogging brings—whether it be through search engine optimization (SEO), driving traffic to your website, demonstrating thought-leadership or generating new leads. However, many are left wondering, “how do I get more involved with blogging?” and “what kind of content should I be publishing?”
To help you maximize the effectiveness of your blog, I’ll walk you through the five types of blog posts you should be writing, and how and when to best leverage them.
The first type of blog post you should get familiar with are evergreen posts, which received its name due to the fact that the topics are always relevant and have value year-round. Evergreen posts are packed with information, and typically provide readers with more knowledge or instructions on how to solve a problem—usually in the form of education-based or “How-To” posts. With the latter, it’s less about broad definitions and more focused on how to actually do something. Either way, the goal is to deliver tangible value to readers in a way that’s equally important to both prospects and existing clients.
For MSPs, evergreen posts could look something like, “5 Reasons to Outsource IT to an MSP,” “How to Secure Your Small Business,” or “Tips for Detecting a Phishing Email.” These are topics and themes that are valuable to your general readership, even though little bits of information or best practices may evolve over time.
Evergreen posts are at the top of this list intentionally because they’re arguably the most important type of post you’ll want on your blog. The majority of your posts (70-80 percent) should be evergreen because they allow you to cast as wide of a net as possible. They’re not time-sensitive, they’re not tied to a specific event—rather, they’re topics that people are always searching for and can help attract viewers to your blog at any point in time, given that you’re targeting the right keywords and optimizing your titles.
On the other hand, newsjacking posts are time sensitive. These types of posts are formulated around grabbing a major headline or international news story and inserting yourself into that conversation. A good example of this is when security breaches come across the wire, like we saw with WannaCry, Petya and other types of ransomware attacks.
The goal of newsjacking is to take a major media headline that’s on everyone’s mind and bring it down to your local level. Aim to describe what’s happening and why your readers should care about it, and then bring yourself into the conversation by putting an IT focus on the story. Illustrate how your MSP business is aware of what’s going on and describe the potential impact to add more value to these types of posts.
Newsjacking should not comprise the majority of your blog calendar, but they should be considered any time a major news story breaks. Given that they’re time-sensitive, you’ll want to pick and choose which events you want to cover and dedicate your resources to writing about.
Reviews are relevant to both consumers and business-to-business readers because they might be wondering, “should I buy this new piece of technology?” or “is it time to upgrade my systems?” As an MSP, you might be offering services such as hardware refreshes that relate to these topics, and providing reviews allows you to educate readers on different product specs and position your offering as a solution for your readers. Also, these posts are a great way to attract people to your website, especially on the prospect side of the house, because you can capture interest from those who might not be aware that you’re offering specific and relevant services.
For example, you could publish a post reviewing the latest iPhone update or release, and then mention how you have a great Mobile Device Management (MDM) offering that can help businesses better manage the various mobile devices that are coming in and out of the workplace. The main goal of review posts is to first educate readers on a specific topic, while also thinking about how you can tie it back to your brand or your services.
4. Question and Answer (Q&A)
Q&A posts can span a variety of topics, and can be in the format of interviews, case studies or testimonials. These posts are most valuable when you bring in a subject matter expert and create an interview-style blog post, where you’re asking different questions and they’re providing thoughtful answers and giving their expert opinion on a certain topic.
If you’re looking to be seen as a thought-leader, you’ll want to feature Q&A posts on your blog. These posts give a sense of authority because you’re showing that you know what you’re talking about and have input from different subject matter experts, whether they’re internal employees or external folks that you’ve been working with. Additionally, Q&A posts are very shareable—which is ideal for social media—and provides a way to publish content across a span of topics in a lighter, more digestible manner.
5. Company and Culture
Company and culture posts provide great opportunities to personalize your blog and set yourself apart. Look to leverage these posts if you’re sponsoring events, getting involved in volunteer or charitable work, or working with other organizations at a local level. Some other fun examples I’ve seen include employee spotlights or sharing pictures from a company event, such as a cook-off.
The goal here is to look for ways to insert your own brand and your own culture into your blog. Managed services is a very relationship-driven business, and when people are checking out your blog and they see a combination of informative content with some fun company culture posts sprinkled in, it goes a long way in differentiating your brand and inviting potential conversations with prospects.
There you have it, folks. If you stick to this list of essential blog posts, you’ll have a nice variety of content that will always be fresh, relevant and valuable.
Continue your content marketing education with our four-part guide:
By Courtney Swift
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