Do please forgive us while we indulge ourselves a little. We won a UK Blog Award last Friday, making it the second of these wondrous accolades we’ve received in as many years. This year we were recognised in the Digital and Technology category, building on last year’s win in PR, Media, Marketing and Communications. I’m pretty sure this means we now officially run the entire gamut of ‘digital’ and ‘marketing’.
The content marketing mantra is always that it’s a marathon, not a sprint
Our thanks to you
First, gratitude. A hearty thanks to the tireless Southerly team for achieving blogging brilliance once again. I would like to extend my thanks to our lovely followership that voted to get us to the finals and, more to the point, are the ones responsible for reading all of our stuff. And I’d like to thank all our guests, interviewees, tech and charity partners, influencers, people that invited us to cover their events or work and all our external contributors, for being a crucial part of us upping our game again over the 2016/17 season.
I’d also like to thank Gemma Newton, Director of the UK Blog Awards, and her team for another superb event that succeeds in bettering itself and exuding prestige each year; as an aside, it’s fascinating to see first-hand an event like this grow so remarkably. And, lastly, I’d like to thank our category judge, Mat Sears, Communications Director for EE, whose wisdom I cannot fault, and who had some very nice and complimentary words for us on the night.
There’s one notable hero in all this that can get somewhat overlooked
The real hero
In the spirit of the UK Blog Awards theme for ’17 – ‘Blog Heroes’ – there’s one notable hero in all this that can get somewhat overlooked amongst all the thanksgiving: the blog.
Whenever someone asks me about what good content marketing looks like – and believe me, I’m frequently stopped in the street – I point them here. Not because I’m proud of any one piece, or because I desperately want them to read one of my more poignant articles about marketing; I’ll do that anyway. Moreover, I make no bones about upholding this humble blog as a beacon of our work as an agency. It absolutely is the philosophy to everything we do. Talking talks and walking walks. It’s us on paper. Or rather laptop and phone.
Blog strategy works
That we’ve won an award in two different categories for two consecutive years is, to me, a pretty good sign. It’s an indicator that our ethos of adapting and improving, complementing high quality content creativity with good data, and consistently providing what our audience wants to know, works. If ever there was an advocate for the ideal that quality always wins and content (with context) is king, it’s here.
This blog is a testament to good SEO strategy. That we’re ranking at worst on the first page of search results, and at best first or in the top three for several increasingly competitive key phrases (I’ve been checking), shows you in real terms that sustained, regular publishing of good, relevant content that people want to link back to and share really does boost your SEO.
This humble blog is a beacon of our work as an agency
We get frequent enquiries about our services through good old organic traffic – companies that have simply found us by searching agencies online. Our subscribership and social followership both continue to rise while our overall bounce rate falls, as readers are prompted to find out more about what we do. That’s all the blog’s doing, and honestly, it can receive no higher compliment in this digital sphere we inhabit.
When I started contributing to and managing this blog several years ago, I was armed with what could now be described as tenuous knowledge of the then burgeoning world of SEO and blogging for business. As content creators and unwitting data analysts, around this time people like us were more or less finding our own way through this marshland of rules and best practices, black hats and white hats, link farms and backlink requests, Penguins and Pandas, and all manner of habitually ambiguous and difficult to comprehend technical jargon. But, learn the tricks of the trade and apply your own individual flair, and you can take your content and your audience on a customised and self-styled journey.
Readers are prompted to find out more about what we do
The content marketing mantra is always that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and the Southerly blog extols that reasoning. Your traffic, your search ranking, your thought leadership, your audience – these things don’t spike overnight. It takes time, strategy, and the drive to keep being better. But if you commit to the endeavour, it works. In fact, it works very, very well.
These plaudits are, of course, a wonderful recognition of good work done well, and we couldn’t be more grateful. But the blog is the real hero here. It shows you in no uncertain terms that in the digital world, content marketing gets results. Next time someone stops you in the street and asks you how, send them here.
Until next year, of course.