If you are a small business or a multinational company, blogging is integral to your online content marketing strategy. It has become a popular means to get noticed on search engines thanks to SEO practices. This is good and beneficial. Be careful that in your quest to be seen, that you don’t sacrifice the quality of your content. Audiences are now starting to take notice that there is a difference between valuable blog content and not so important writing. If your content isn’t informative and exciting to read, people aren’t going to stick around. 2017 is poised to be the year that brands invest in bringing their digital writing to the next level, which may mean hiring an “industry expert” to create higher caliber blogs.
Now that we have established that your content must be great, let’s move on to why you should use blogging as a marketing tactic.
1) It helps drive new traffic to your website and works closely with search engines and social media to do that.
We all know we want more visitors to our websites.
Have you thought about the way people find your website?
They could type your name right into their browser, but that’s an audience you already have. They know who you are, you’re on their radar, and that doesn’t help you get more traffic on top of what you’re already getting.
You could pay for traffic by buying an email list, and hope some people open and click through on the emails. But that’s expensive and, you know, illegal.
You could pay for traffic by placing tons of paid ads, which isn’t illegal, but still quite expensive. And the second you run out of money, your traffic stops coming, too.
So, how can you drive any traffic? In short: blogging, social media, and search engines. Blogging helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest — which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.
Blog content also helps keep your social media presence going. Instead of asking your social media manager to come up with brand new original content for social media (or creating that content yourself), your blog can serve as that repository of content. You’re strengthening your social reach with blog content and driving new website visitors to your blog via your social channels. Your blog gives you the opportunity to create relevant content for your customers. Use this as a marketing tactic to drive traffic back to your website.
Make the blog on your website the foundation for all of your social media platforms. Additionally, post inbound links directly in your blog articles, to drive traffic to specific landing pages of your website.
2) Increase your SEO/SERP
It would be great news if taking a trip, going to the gym or sleeping would drive folks to your site, but they don’t. The good news, that’s what blogging does! It does this largely through search engines.
Here is what I mean:
Let’s say you sit down for an hour, write, and publish a blog post today. Let’s say that blog post gets you 100 views and 10 leads. You get another 50 views and 5 leads tomorrow as a few more people find it on social media and some of your subscribers get caught up on their email and RSS. However, after a couple days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down and you’ve netted 150 views and 15 leads.
Blogs increase your SEO. Fresh content is still a key to beating out your competitors in the search engine results page. Use keywords in your articles. List out the keywords, topics, and categories you want your business to be found with. Use these words, and related expressions when writing your posts.
It is true, whether you actively seek these out or not, blogging regularly about your business, industry and product or customer lifestyle will naturally increase your search keywords. Being intent about your words will only increase results. Keywords and topics on your website are a significant way in which Google (and other search engines) find your site for these searched words.
3) It helps convert traffic into leads.
Now that you have traffic coming to your website through your blog, you have an opportunity to convert that traffic into leads. I like to call these, Call To Action leads. Often, these calls-to-action lead to things like free eBooks, free white papers, free fact sheets, free webinars, free trials … basically, any content asset for which someone would be willing to exchange their information.
To be super clear for anyone unfamiliar with how traffic-to-lead conversions work, it’s as simple as this:
A visitor comes to the website,
The visitor sees call-to-action for a free offer,
The visitor clicks call-to-action and gets to a landing page, which contains a form for them to fill in with their information,
The visitor fills outa form, submits information, and receives the free offer.
This is how you turn that traffic coming to your blog into leads for your sales team, which drives long-term results.
4) It helps establish your brand as an industry leader/ authority
Well written articles demonstrate your company as an industry leader. By posting topics that resonate with your market and show your knowledge, you are marketing your skills for your business, service or product too.
The best business blogs answer common questions their leads and customers have. If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target customer, it’ll help establish you as an authority in their eyes. This is a particularly handy tool for Sales and Service professionals. “Establishing authority” is a fluffy metric — certainly not as concrete as traffic and leads, but it’s powerful stuff. Become the hub, or the place to be, for your industry.
You are building trust, too. The more you can show that you are well-versed in your field, the more likely your consumer will trust you to supply what they need. Your customers additionally benefit from the learning you provide them.
5) Develop better customer relationships
Blogs provide another source to deepen the connection with your customer. By connecting directly on your website, your clients are able to get to know your business or product from the comfort of your online home base. Again, here you are building trust by being a source of information. Consumers like to be informed, and appreciate that you are the one teaching them.
Additionally, just as on your other social sites, respond to comments and interact with your consumer. If they have questions about a product you are writing about, respond to them directly on your website. Unlike many social sites, a blog is generally search-able on your site for some time. Your website comments last longer than on a Twitter response or Facebook post. Other customers will see your interactions too.