The word “blog” was first coined back in 1999, and its importance and usage has become widespread ever since. Back in 2012, 62% of respondents to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing reported that their company maintained a blog as a marketing tool, and in the time since, the practice has become even more commonplace, especially with the rise of content marketing.
Why use blogging to build your brand?
Blogging is increasingly important for businesses that want to drive traffic to their websites, generate leads, and establish themselves as experts in their industry. It’s also great for SEO; if you post original content and regularly update your website, your reward will come in the form of higher ranking and authority in search results.
According to HubSpot’s research, regular blogging every month can more than triple your inbound traffic. Whether it be the big charity ball you held last week, your analysis of a recent policy announcement, or a write-up of the latest sports game, strike while the iron is hot to keep updates as relevant as possible, and people will come to associate your business with quality content. Just make sure your goals and audience are clearly defined.
Utilizing RSS feeds is one way of doing this effectively, allowing users to subscribe to your content and receive new updates or posts automatically. Additionally, if you have more than one blog, or even distinct categories on your blog, there is the possibility of creating multiple RSS feeds to segment and target your audience — though if you’re new to the blogging game, you should be cautious about this approach.
There are, however, downsides to RSS feeds, which largely depend upon the demographics of your users. Also, RSS requires users to have a reader. One of the more popular platforms for this was Google Reader, which the company killed in 2013 after it cited a lack of use. Indeed, Google Reader was a niche tool for a niche community, and RSS continues to be that way. In addition to it not being widely adopted, it’s yet another place other than the inbox that users have to check. Meanwhile, on the marketing front, tracking subscribers of RSS feeds is a challenge.
Strengthen both channels by leveraging your blog in email
As a blogger, your aim should be to distribute your content far and wide for the maximum ROI on each post. A simple way to do this is by adding dynamic content to your emails, for example, by pulling a live RSS feed that populates in real time, in order to deliver the most relevant content.
This is beneficial for the users who check their email every day but aren’t necessarily subscribed to your RSS feed. This also saves you time on writing or rewriting fresh copy for your email, as the blog posts will appear automatically in your template. And since your email list is almost guaranteed to be higher than your daily blog traffic, what better way to get that content in front of a much wider audience?
Inspiration: Blog feeds in email
Use Case 1: The “You’ll Find Me At The Front”
You write daily reviews of concerts and other events in your town and add them to your blog daily. You also send an email twice a week to your email list. You want to focus on attending more events and writing more reviews.
Create a dynamic RSS block, which automatically pulls in your most relevant and recent content for all your email readers to read. Set it up one time and it updates itself, saving you the hassle of updating your email template all the time.
Use Case 2: The “Meme Queen”
You really like Tumblr as your blogging platform, because it gives you the opportunity to show a less serious side to your brand. You particularly like to use memes to express what your company’s viewpoint is.
Create a dynamic Tumblr block to add to your email newsletter; this way, you have your specific email copy alongside the most recent posts straight from your Tumblr, all in your email, in real time.
Use Case 3: The “Split Interest Blogger”
You write a couple of different blogs and you have varied audiences for the two sections of your business. However, you want to create a community update email to show off all your various content.
Create two dynamic RSS blocks and add them to a header image in an email for a simple community update from two different interest areas.
It's Alive! It's Alive!
Andrew Sullivan expressed the attractiveness of blogging beautifully: “Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.” Your blog is a vibrant form of expression that can bring every email inbox to life.
Excited for more? Check out our guide, "22 Uses for Embedded Social Feeds in Email" with example campaigns. Bring your email marketing program to life with real-time Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and RSS streams.