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5 reasons you need to start writing Reaction Blog Posts

Ever found yourself sat next to someone who only wants to talk about themselves without offering even a brief “tell me about yourself” in return? Frustrating, isn’t it? If you’re in a formal setting – maybe a conference or an awards evening – there’s no escape. You must sit and endure it as they sounding board you into submission. 

That’s why blogging about yourself just doesn’t work. Unlike at a prize-giving dinner, readers can just get up and walk away, bouncing off your blog page quicker than you can say “Did I tell you about my base-camp trek?”. No offence, but prospects and customers just don’t want to hear stories about you. 

Sure, the odd post about a particular service you offer, or sharing your successes is fine. But the vast majority of your content needs to be informative, educational, thought provoking, inspiring and challenging. So if you are blogging about yourself, then do it from the customer's point of view - what is in it for them? What is it about your good news that makes it their good news too?

Most content you put out there should signpost readers towards useful tools, lessons learned and top tips. The more you teach, the more they will come back to you in future, building valuable relationships. Over 50% of marketers that curate content say it increases brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO and web traffic. Don’t just create content from scratch every time it’s blog-writing day: curate, curate, curate.

Our Scrapbooking Blog Post explains how you can do this, but another option is the Reaction Post...

What’s a reaction post?

Recently, we created a pillar page about, well, pillar pages. But instead of telling you all about this content and merely linking to it (explaining to you how helpful we are and what a great writer I am!) I’m showing you this video from HubSpot. A beautifully illustrated, easy-to-follow video that explains why pillar pages are important for organising your content into clusters and ensuring Google can help users find it.

ESM Inbound didn’t create this content. But because we have found it helpful, we are now sharing it with our readers so that it might be helpful to you, too.

This is what the reaction post does. Not only is it an opportunity to share curated content you’ve loved with your readership, but it’s chance for you to show your reaction to the content, explain what you loved, how you used it and what readers can do to achieve results from it, as well. 41% of marketers that curate content say it has increased the number of sales-ready leads – it’s not just us who are seeing the benefits. Conversely, you could always use examples of unhelpful, difficult, badly constructed content you’ve found and explain what you feel is wrong with it – the effect will still be as powerful for readers.

Back to the video…

This HubSpot content has been really helpful to us – especially when we first started creating pillar pages. Here’s what we loved:

  • The animation makes it both friendly and memorable
  • The bright colours are inviting and engaging
  • The slow, measured voiceover is friendly and authoritative in tone
  • The background music is gentle, doesn’t distract, yet implies urgency
  • Use of a second-personal narrative makes the viewer question their own content strategy
  • It’s short which makes it digestible and easy to watch and re-watch as needed
  • It’s helped us to explain pillar pages and cluster content to teammates and clients

What are the benefits of The Reaction Post?

  1. It’s easier and quicker! If you’re creating content from scratch, it takes longer than when you can use a ‘starter for ten’. Keep an ‘inspiration folder’ for every article, video, blog post, infographic or podcast you find and love. When the time comes (or you’re short on ideas) use a piece of that content for your reaction post.
  2. It shows your sector you are secure in your authority. Confident enough to send readers to other companies’ content, you know this strengthens your standing, rather than weakening it. Sharing content from other websites will help you to establish more trust and authority in your brand.
  3. Your position as a thought leader can grow. The reaction post gives you the opportunity to really show personality and insight into your understanding of the industry. By using an existing link as a springboard, you can share your most up-to-date, innovative knowledge, illustrating how ahead of the curve you are.
  4. Opportunities for collaboration and two-way marketing projects. By featuring another brand in your blog, the chance may come about that they want to feature you on their blog in return – before you know it, you’re making positive inroads with your peers, learning as you do so and forging positive working relationships.
  5. Your readership truly gets the best source of information. Most importantly, by using the Reaction Post, you’re opening up a wealth of valuable content to your prospects and customers that they might never have found on their own. You’re sharing learning and enabling them to become better business people.

A final thought

Don’t be that person at the dinner table, spouting off about their daughter’s clarinet exam. Be the person who gets up out of their chair and talks to every person in that room, asking questions and offering food and drink, as you go.

Show that you’re dedicated to collecting research and material from other sources, and confident enough to broaden your own learning through research, not feeling threatened that someone else is doing something better than you. We can’t all be digital designers, video marketers and copywriters – but if you notice someone has done a great job of some content, don’t shy away from it in the hope that your customers won’t find it for themselves – show it to them. They’ll thank you for it.

If your customers and prospects see that you’re willing to share good practice and interesting views from across the industry, not just promoting your own services, chances are they’ll keep coming back for more posts, more advice and ultimately a sale.

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